Jackie Tohn, an Oceanside native and Oceanside High School graduate has made a star turn in the hit Netflix series “GLOW,” a quirky, fictionalized retelling of the 80’s-era televised wrestling promotion Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
Among the show’s large ensemble cast of funny women, Tohn, 36, a professional comedienne, actress and musician, plays Melanie Rosen, a rich but insecure party girl, looking to make a name for herself in the world of women’s professional wrestling.
Tohn said she was excited to be a part of the largely female-run production, which features talent from shows such as “Orange is the New Black,” “Nurse Jackie” and “Weeds.” “It’s so empowering to be in a place where women are getting to tell their stories,” she said noting that traditionally, stories in pop culture have been told from the male perspective.
Initially drawn to the show, “like a moth to a flame,” by writer/producer Jenji Kohan, the creator of “Orange” and “Weeds,” Tohn quickly realized how special the opportunity was as she started peeling back the layers of the production “like an onion,” she said.
“Working with the women was incredible,” she said of the opportunity to perform alongside a large cast of comediennes. “Normally, all the parts I try out for, there is room for one [funny] girl, but here on our show, there’s room for so many,” she said. “It just feels really good to be around a lot of funny women.”
Speaking of Rosen, Tohn said she felt her character was a good reflection of her roots. “I think, I’m just such a New Yorker,” she said. A Temple Avodah congregant in her youth, Tohn revealed that Rosen’s last name was originally Rose, until the writers realized she was Jewish.
Ironically, Tohn, who played a role in an Oceanside Middle School production of “No No Nanette,” repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried out for the school plays in high school before finally giving up.
And although she is now a television star living in Los Angeles, Tohn hasn’t forgotten her Long Island origins. She joked, “You can’t take the girl out of Oceanside, right?”