Born to perform, Lisa Jai was first discovered as an actress back home in Canada at the age of four when she began landing roles in commercials for global brands and high-profile products.
Starring in ads for Charmin, Hasbro, Ocean Spray, Hallmark greeting cards, Ivory soap, Pines-Sol, Tang, KFC, McDonald's, Mead Johnson's Tempra pain reliever, Post's Alpha-Bits cereal, Jell-O, McCain Cheese Nibblers and the massive Canadian retail store Simpsons-Sears, Jai's cute face flooded international television screens almost immediately.
Even though she was very young at the time, Jai's range as an actress was already apparent; and her ease on camera and lovable personality made it abundantly clear to everyone around her that she had the makings of a star.
"Commercials eventually led to Television doing guest spots. I was in elementary school and booked regularly so I remember a lot of long nights - especially working on the series T&T starring Mr.T.," recalls Jai.
In the early 90's she acted alongside Jerry O'Connell in the hit series My Secret Identity.
She would go on to star in the television shows Pillars of Freedom, Medabots, Monster Force, The Magic School Bus, The Busy World of Richard Scary, Trail Mix, Stickn' Around, Little Rosey and many others.
Jai also starred as Jasmine Matsumuto alongside Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actor Mako (Memoirs of a Geisha, Seven Years in Tibet, Pearl Harbor, RoboCop 3, Rising Sun, The Sand Pebbles), Billy Blanks (Kiss the Girls, Jack and Jill, Assault on Devil's Island) and Adrian Hough (X-Men: The Last Stand, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Fog, Underworld: Evolution) in the film Balance of Power.
An action packed fight film Balance of Power centers on the story of Niko (Billy Blanks), a fighter who runs a dojo for underprivileged kids, and Todo Matsumoto (Mako), a martial arts expert who trains Niko to go up against an evil gang that is determined to destroy the dojo.
Jai's sweet face and innocent approach to her character Jasmine, Todo's granddaughter and a constant fixture throughout the film, adds incredible amounts of cuteness to Balance of Power, a key component in making the film fit for a family oriented audience.
For example, after Jai's character takes Niko to meet her grandfather to help him mend his wounds after being beaten to a pulp in an alley, she fixates her eyes on his sculpted abs and says, "May I?" and subsequently punches him in the stomach. In one of the film's most memorable moments audiences see Niko doing push-up as the small-framed Jasmine sits comfortably on his back nonchalantly reading a book.
A difficult and almost impossible task for many adult actors, Jai has managed to bring that same child-like innocence that we see in Balance of Power to many of her roles during adulthood when necessary.
Adding incredible emotional depth and vulnerability to Birdie, one of the leading characters in the theater production of "What of the Night," Jai gave a standout performance that received rave reviews.
Directed by Caitlin Hart, the play follows Birdie as she grapples with the decision to leave her poverty-ridden family at the age of 14 in order to create a better life for herself; a decision which means leaving everything she knows behind and heading out into the cold cruel world.
A Pulitzer Prize nominated play written by Maria Irene Fornes, "What of the Night" follows Birdie on a 60-year long journey of self-realization, love, betrayal and sorrow. Jai powerfully displays her capacity as an actress as she transforms from the young 14-year-old Birdie who is dead set on escaping poverty to the fragile elderly woman she becomes as years pass before the audience's very eyes.
Director Caitlin Hart says, "Lisa Jai is an exceptionally professional and talented actor. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on two shows in Los Angeles and I hope to cast her in all my shows to come! Her talent is limitless and her unique generosity onstage is a rare find. Los Angeles is lucky to have Lisa Jai!"
Staged at the Vagrancy theatre in Los Angeles in 2014, "What of the Night" received an Ovation Recommendation from LA STAGE Alliance, a coveted recognition that serves as a huge testament to the performances given by Jai and her costars.
Considered by many to be the Tony Awards of the Los Angeles theater world, the LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards provide a prestigious level of distinction awarding the best plays in LA, which is voted on by 250 professionals currently working in the theater industry.
As an Ovation Recommended play "What of the Night" is now in the running as a possible nominee for the upcoming awards, which are usually held at the end of the year.