New York Undercover

012 Yolonda Ross on That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

Yolonda Ross

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Grace of Intuition

Yolonda Ross can currently be seen reprising her role as the no-nonsense single mother ‘Jada’ in the fourth season of Showtime’s acclaimed series, The Chi. The show was created by Emmy award winner Lena Waithe that explores the interconnectedness of a neighborhood community of characters on the South Side of Chicago, featuring current storylines that range from defunding the police to her character’s fight against breast cancer.

An independent film darling, Yolonda made her feature film debut in the award-winning independent film Stranger Inside in 2001. Yolonda went on to win an IFP Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Performance for the role, as well as received her first Film Independent Spirit Award nomination in the category of Best Debut Performance. In 2014, her work in the John Sayles film Go For Sisters garnered her a second Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

She appeared in Denzel Washington’s award-winning feature Antwone Fisher, as well as the independent films Yelling To the Sky opposite Zoe Kravitz, Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, Lila and Eve starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez, Whitney directed by Angela Bassett for the Lifetime Movie Network, Annie Silverstein’s Bull, Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, Ana Lily Amirpour’s Bad Batch, Nuotama Bodomo’s Afronauts, and Elegance Bratton’s award-winning short film Walk For Me, in which Yolonda starred and produced.

Yolonda has also portrayed recurring characters on several high-profile series including, Ms. Green in the Baz Luhrmann Netflix series The Get Down, Claudia on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, and her role as documentarian Dana Lyndsey on HBO’s Treme. Additional television credits include guest starring roles on Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, 24, and Chicago PD. She was featured in the PBS American Masters documentary How it Feels To Be Free, about Trailblazing African American Women Entertainers.

Yolonda made her directorial debut with the 10-minute hybrid short film/music video Breaking Night, about a young girl taking control of her destiny. The short film officially became the music video for the famed Manfred Mann song, “Blinded By the Light,” and was in rotation on VH-1 Classics.

Most recently she performed in David Mamet’s newest play Four American Women during the pandemic. The two have developed a mutual admiration of each other’s work which inspired him to write for Yolonda the roles of Nora in the hit show The Unit, and Kelly in the biopic Phil Spector for HBO.

As a writer and director, Yolonda is currently developing her feature debut, Scenes From Our Marriage, along with other film and television projects.



“I am placed here for a reason. I am placed her for Black women.”

“I use music for everything. I understood emotion through music so dialogue kind of became lyrics to me. I used my repertoire of music to understand how to evoke emotion.”

“I will ask other actors about scents because there’s a certain memory you get when you smell people. If we start working together I will ask them what they like so I can wear it for them.”


  • WRITER: Juan Francisco Villa
  • SOUND DESIGN: Zachary Jameson
  • WEBSITE & GRAPHICS: Chase Jennings
  • ASSISTANT: Elle Powell
  • SOCIAL OUTREACH: Bebe Katsenes

041 Ron Cephas Jones on That One Audition with Alyshia Ochse

S2 041: Ron Cephas Jones

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The Little Moments that Build into Big Moments

Two-time Emmy Award winning actor and poet Ron Cephas Jones continues to captivate audiences with his heartfelt and memorable performances on both stage and screen. This year, Jones and his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones made Emmy history as the first father-daughter duo to both win individual Emmy awards in the same year.

Jones stars in NBC’s award-winning drama series, THIS IS US, which returned to NBC for season 4 in September 2019. Jones plays ‘William Hill’, a gay, recovering addict who becomes reconnected with his biological son while coming to terms with his own terminal cancer. Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and Sterling K. Brown co-star in the series. Jones’ heart-wrenching work on the show has earned him two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series along with an additional Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor and two Black Reel Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor. As a cast, the show has received a 2018 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, a 2018 and a 2017 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Drama Series as well as show wins at the Critics’ Choice and People’s Choice Awards.

Jones was recently seen in the AppleTV+ Series TRUTH BE TOLD, which is based on the novel Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber. Starring Octavia Spencer as Poppy Scoville-Parnell, the show revolves around a journalist who creates a true-crime podcast to reinvestigate a decades old murder case that may have convicted the wrong killer – someone she condemned. Jones plays Poppy’s father, a former Black Panther who may be in the early stages of dementia, in a performance The Hollywood Reporter called, “magnetic.” Jones will reprise this role in season 2 of the series which has been ordered by Apple TV+.

Next, Jones will star alongside Julianna Moore in Stephen Kings’ new AppleTV+ Series LISEY’S STORY which follows a widow who becomes the object of a dangerous stalker, obsessed with her husband’s work.

On the small screen, Jones was recently seen in LUKE CAGE, Netflix’s critically acclaimed series based on the popular Marvel comic of the same name. In 2015, he appeared in the sophomore season of USA’s Emmy nominated drama series, MR. ROBOT opposite Rami Malek and Christian Slater. His other television credits include Baz Luhrman’s THE GET DOWN for Netflix, AMC’s LOW WINTER SUN, BANSHEE, THE BLACKLIST, LAW & ORDER: SVU, and ABC’s 2008 adaptation of A RAISIN IN THE SUN opposite Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald.

Jones can previously be seen in the installment of Sony’s Marvel Universe, VENOM, opposite Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams and W oody Harrelson. Other film credits include Ken Marino’s DOG DAYS, HE GOT GAME, Woody Allen’s SWEET AND LOWDOWN, and PAID IN FULL.

On stage, Jones has appeared in a depth of diverse roles including; Longacre’s Broadway production OF MICE AND MEN opposite James Franco, Second Stage’s BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, Off-Broadway productions of THE EXONERATED, TWO TRAINS RUNNING, and TITUS ANDRONICUS, Classical Theater Harlem’s THE TEMPEST, as well as the title character in RICHARD III as part of The Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit. Jones has also appeared on the London stage in Old Vic London’s THE TEMPEST & AS YOU LIKE IT, the Almeida Theater’s THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, Greenwich Theatre’s OTHELLO, and on Westend, JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN.

In 2006, Jones was a recipient of the prestigious “Sustained Excellence of Performance” at the Obie Awards. He has additionally received recognition for his theatre performances at the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards.



“It’s all about the action…You can’t focus on what you’re feeling until you can focus on what you’re doing…You don’t feel anything until after the action.”

“You can’t do this to be successful, you have to do it because you love it. Success is a byproduct of doing something you love.”


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  • WRITER: Erin McCluskey
  • SOUND DESIGN: Zachary Jameson
  • WEBSITE & GRAPHICS: Chase Jennings
  • ASSISTANT: Elle Powell
  • SOCIAL OUTREACH: Bebe Katsenes

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Los Angeles-based actress, bestselling author, host of That One Audition podcast, entrepreneur, & mother.



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