Jes Amador, a theater major, reads through her lines in a hallway outside of rehearsal. She prepares for her role as a nun in the upcoming play at City College, Salvation Road, Sept. 27, 2023. Photo by Eve McNally/City Times Media
Jes Amador, a theater major, reads through her lines in a hallway outside of rehearsal. She prepares for her role as a nun in the upcoming play at City College, “Salvation Road,” Sept. 27, 2023. Photo by Eve McNally/City Times Media
Eve McNally

Former child actor returns to City College, performing in ‘Salvation Road’

After a years-long hiatus from acting, Jes Amador will take the stage as a nun in a play that looks at family, faith

At four years old, Jes Amador knew she wanted to be an actress.

She remembers her parents bringing home a record of the “Mary Poppins” soundtrack before she saw the movie. 

“I was that one kid, singing at the top of their lungs, you know, in the movie theater, knowing all the words and everything,” Amador said, who has called San Diego home for over 30 years now. 

“Once I saw the movie, I was like, ‘Julie Andrews is amazing. I want to be just like her when I grow up.’” 

Not too long after, Amador made her debut as a child actor in promotional films and Disneyland commercials.

Jes Amador, right, reads her script during rehearsal beside her fellow cast member Ann García, a nursing major who plays Simi and ensemble in the play, Sept. 27, 2023. Photo by Eve McNally/City Times Media

Amador continued to act in high school productions, including “The Mouse That Roared” and “Witness for the Prosecution,” in which she played the lead. She also got involved in community theater in different towns. 

After taking a hiatus from acting for some years, Amador said she saw a production that left her starstruck. It was City College’s performance of the musical “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Around the same time, she said she saw a professional version of the show at the Civic Theatre. 

“I actually liked the version here at City College better,” Amador said, who, years prior, was enrolled at City College as a cosmetology major.  “The costumes were amazing, all the colors, and everyone was just really good.” 

She performed alongside her City College peers in “Pippin” in 2010 and got involved behind the scenes for City’s performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” in 2012.

Now, over a decade later, Amador is back at City College and will be performing in “Salvation Road,” which opens Oct. 6.

The performance will take place at the Black Box Theatre, which Amador describes as a hidden gem.

To read a preview of “Salvation Road,” click here. 

“Just because it’s small in there, doesn’t mean the talent is small,” Amador said. “The first rehearsal I saw (there) were a couple of the leads and I was really taken aback by how good they were. … There’s a lot of diamonds in the rough.”

“Salvation Road” tells the story of two siblings and a best friend who try to seek answers after their older sister unexpectedly joins a charismatic church and cuts off her entire family. Amador plays a nun the trio asks for help in tracking down their sister. 

“She’s kind of over the fight,” said Amador, describing her character. “And yet she still feels obligated to fight and she wants to do it because nobody else is.”

Beyond acting in “Salvation Road” and majoring in theater at City, Amador has aspirations to continue acting both on stage and in front of the camera.

Amador realizes her age makes her stand out among all of the younger people at City College. She thinks her age and acting skills might be to her benefit in Hollywood. 

“If they say they want someone a certain age, nobody looks that age, you know? Or they look like a strange version of whatever that age is,” Amador, 55, said. “It’s not relatable. … So that might actually open more doors for me because I look my age.”

Since leaving City College the last time, Amador now uses a cane to get around and was worried about accessibility. 

“The ramp is way far away from where I need to be or the elevators to get there (are) a little difficult so I think they’re making improvements,” Amador said. “But that’s been a challenge.”

Amador will perform in seven shows of “Salvation Road,” which run Oct. 6-14. Showtimes and tickets can be found at

Amador is hopeful that the performance might even inspire others to take up acting. 

“I mean, that’s how I started,” Amador said. “I saw a show and I was like, ‘Whoa.’”

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