Homegrown actress vids promote Farragut

Jill Jackson Martin pitching Town

Joining the State of Tennessee’s year-long celebration of its 225th birthday, Visit Farragut has been releasing a series of promotional videos starring homegrown actress Jill Jackson Martin.

The video’s first release June 1 coincided with the state’s kick-off, and a new video has been, or will be, released every Friday throughout month, highlighting the unique history of the Farragut area.

Martin — a Farragut High School Class of 1984 alumae — is partnering with the Town and has even written the scripts for the promos, which she has been filming at each of the four stops on the Towns’ self-guided History Walk under the direction of Town Tourism coordinator Karen Tindal and newly-hired media assistant Grayson Martin.

“Jill contacted me earlier this year, and shared her interest in history, and I shared with her the upcoming History Walk focus for the month of June,” Tindal said. “She just ran with it.”

The video promotions also are a way of counting down to Town namesake Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s 220th birthday Monday, July 5, Tindal said.

“The video series also fits in well with our year-long tourism focus of ‘History, Hops and Hometown Feels,’” she added.

Martin already had been doing similar work in Anderson County, promoting history and activities for that county’s tourism department, when she had the idea earlier this year of offering to do the same for her hometown.

“It’s my Town, the Town I love, and I wanted to do this for that reason,” said Martin, who was joined by her fiancé, Dr. Timothy Holder, for the May 28 shoot at Admiral Farragut Memorial Plaza, next door to Town Hall. Holder was a complementary addition to the series, as he is not only a history professor and dean at Walters State Community College, but the history buff also has written 15 books, including his most recent, “Devotions with Presidents.”

“Of all of the types of projects I have done, local tourism is at the top of the list,” Martin said. “Being able to share about the history of our area, highlighting the people and unique culture of East Tennessee and showing the beautiful country that we call home has definitely become a passion.

“My family roots run deep here, and I have loved every moment of learning more about Farragut and helping with this project,” added Martin, who is the daughter of FHS grads Jim and Joyce Jackson.

Enjoying an impressive acting career late in life through the Stair Agency, Martin’s videos — also shot at Campbell Station Inn, Pleasant Forest Cemetery and Founder’s Park — have been released on the Visit Farragut Facebook Page and Instagram each Friday in June.

A new-found career

Martin came into an acting career quite by accident over the last few years.

The mother of five had been selling Premier Designs jewelry, then modeled for a project for local fashion photographer, Jasmine Newton, who suggested she pursue modeling.

Many more opportunities followed, especially after Martin signed up with the Clinton-based Stair Agency.

“I knew I needed to sign with a reputable agency if I was going to do it, and four different people — including Newton — recommended Stair to me,” she said.

“It really was a God thing, because I interviewed with Stair, and they offered me a contract the very next day,” she said. “I have been working ever since.”

Martin has been in over 70 acting projects over the last two years, including lead roles for television, film, commercials, and music videos for a variety of local and national networks and in ads for social media, television, and print.

One of her latest projects is the faith-based film Heroes Immortal.

“I have recently branched out into production management for Aerologic Marketing as well,” she said.

It is quite a departure from how she saw herself in high school.

“I was so shy,” she said. “I had to get my nerve up then, just to speak.”

Martin said she loves what she does.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “Every day is an adventure. I have met amazing people along the way, and I have been very blessed to have this opportunity, right here in Knoxville.”