Most of us know Jill Hennessy from her terrific roles in "Crossing Jordan" and "Law and Order," but long before she was starring on TV, she was making a name for herself in another area of entertainment entirely.
"I used to play guitar on the street for money, in Toronto," says Hennessy, who just released "I Do," her sophomore album. "As a kid, I would always sing. It was just something that was so natural, as I think it is for most kids. And now, writing my own music, I get to tell my own stories, which is a little different from the acting I've done."
We caught up with Hennessy before a recent gig at The Cutting Room in NYC to learn more, as well as what inspired this latest album.
"Writing is sort of a cathartic therapy," she tells us. "This album's about a lot of relationships: It's about a lot of people I lost over the last five years, It's about my feelings and experiences with my own kids, with my own relationships with friendships, marriage … and how our perceptions of relationships are always changing."
"It's a complicated answer, I know," she smiles.
Most of all, Hennessy says it's thrilling to have the opportunity to entertain.
"I find I'm just most happy when I'm telling a story, whether I'm standing with a guitar on the street trying to earn money, or whether I'm on a TV set and acting," she says. "They're both two very strong and really satisfying forms of storytelling for me."
For more, including footage of Hennessy and her band rehearsing for the night's set, be sure to watch the rest of our exclusive interview above.