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Thursday, May 26, 2022

‘Workin’ Mom’ Has Juggled Dual Career

It’s a busy and crucial time for Compass Sherman Oaks real estate agent Jessalyn Wanlim, who simultaneously closes deals on homes in Studio City and Sherman Oaks while she herself has relocated to Nashville with her budding family.

Oh, and she also stars in the lastest season of a hit Netflix comedy, which debuted last week and has hovered on the streamer’s list of top 10 most-watched series.Wanlim, herself a new mother to a 17-month-old son, plays the spunky and maritally restless Jen Matthews on “Workin’ Moms,” a Canadian comedy starring and created by Catherine Reitman about four women returning to work after maternity leave.The show is decidedly a hit in Canada, as Netflix has posted five seasons of the series, which launched in 2017. And if the “Reitman” name sounds familiar, the series’ creator is the daughter of “Ghostbusters” and “Stripes” director (and Canadian native) Ivan Reitman and sister of “Up in the Air” director Jason Reitman. In fact, “Ghostbusters” star (and Canadian) Dan Aykroyd shows up in season one of her CBC comedy as Reitman’s father.Despite starring back-to-back in two Toronto-shot shows — the cult sci-fi thriller “Orphan Black” and “Workin’ Moms” — Wanlim, who started out in Calgary and Toronto and attended the Julliard School in New York, has lived in the United States since 2000 and Los Angeles since 2009. During her New York years, she had a recurring role on the soap opera “All My Children.”Wanlim said she had applied for her real estate license when her acting career began heating up.“When I booked ‘Orphan Black,’ I was done with acting,” she said. “But acting wouldn’t go away. It took a couple years to get licensed.”With the COVID situation following the birth of their son, Wanlim and her husband relocated to Nashville, where they moved just ahead of an exploding housing market.“If you think of the L.A. market and how it ridiculous, multiply it 10 times,” she said. “It’s a sellers’ market right now, it’s ridiculous – lack of inventory, sellers chomping at the bit, thousands of jobs because of Amazon and Oracle influx of people moving to Nashville,” said Wanlim.A home averages two weeks on the market there, she said.“We bought our house before everything really, really shifted,” Wanlim said. “We went there for the quality of life that we wanted for our son. It’s just a different energy.”Wanlim has enjoyed learning about Nashville submarkets while continuing her North L.A. transactions.“I’m able to maintain my business here (in North L.A.) because of my team (led by Craig Strong at Compass),” Wanlim said. “You can do that from anywhere in the world.” Part of her pursuit of real estate has to do with her own personal passion for it. Another part has to do with the discrepancy between Canadian television and Hollywood.“It does not pay. Can I retire off of it? Absolutely not,” said Wanlim, who returns to Toronto in August to shoot season six of “Workin’ Moms.”However, having a dual career, the experiences of acting and real estate feed off each other.“In terms of mental stability, it challenges me in another field and I work with other personalities,” Wanlim said. “It’s great to do something outside of acting and I’m doing something that helps people.” 

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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