Jessica Bayard “Jesse”
Jessica Marie Bayard (Jesse) has been performing all of her life: from her early beginnings “on stage” in her living room singing and dancing for her family to performing in full scale operas and musicals for local theatres and universities. Born in Metairie on July 31, 1980, Jesse showed her inclination to the arts at an early age. Her first official role was that of Aunt Hippo in “The Elephant’s Child”. That was the start of a life long passion for the stage.
Though Jesse continued to audition and get lead roles in school plays and musicals, she soon found herself in a different kind of arena- the wrestling arena. In 1994 Jesse became the first female wrestler on an all male team to win a match in Louisiana. She wrestled through her Senior year of high school at Andrew Jackson High School while also being on the cross-country running and swim teams. Despite a full sports schedule, Jesse continued her passion for performing through Drama club and Chorus and also in the gifted and talented musical program under William Thomas.
Upon graduation in 1998, Jesse attended the University of New Orleans on full scholarship where she majored in Classical Vocal Performance. UNO provided a vast array of musical and acting styles which she enthusiastically embraced. It was at this time she performed in two full scale opera productions – The Magic Flute and Dialogue of The Carmalites. Jesse also had many roles in the Opera Theatre Workshop at UNO and continued to perform in local theatre groups in St. Bernard Parish. In the summer of 2002, Jesse played Lucy in the St. Bernard based Shine production of Jekyll & Hyde. Shine Productions gave her valuable and extensive experience which allowed her talents to mature.
In 2004, while competing in a singing contest, Jesse was asked to join the local cover band Axxis. Although she never fronted a band before, Jesse accepted the challenge. She sang with the band for a little over a year when Hurricane Katrina struck and changed her life. Jesse and her family, like so many others in the New Orleans area, lost everything. However, there is always a silver lining and soon after returning to New Orleans, Jesse learned of Troy Marks and No Idea’s need for a female singer and the rest is, as they say, history.