WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Apparently, a lot.
I’m sitting on my bed typing this as the remnants of Hurricane Ian tap at my window.
Many of you already know I was contacted by two literary agents and asked to write a book, and silly me, I said, YES! I’m happy to say I’ve completed my first draft, so YAY!
Now here’s the rub.
My full legal name is Julia Ballinger Dalton.
I was nicknamed Jill, perhaps because my mother was also a Julia, but she went by Judi.
I attended plenty of new schools as a kid because I was an army brat. On the first day of school, the teacher called my name, “JULIA BALLINGER DALTON.” I was horrified and felt embarrassed under the weight of such a gigantic name. “Jill,” I’d correct them.
So, I’ve always been Jill Dalton.
I joined three acting unions, and they checked and made sure no other Jill Daltons were listed because if they were, I’d need to come up with another name. My name was cleared for use with AFTRA, SAG, and EQUITY.
In the past, when I googled JILL DALTON, my photo and info came up first until recently.
Now when I google Jill Dalton, this comes up.
Jill Dalton - The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show.
There’s another Jill Dalton in town.
This Jill Dalton is the host and co-creator of The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show and co-author of Plant Based Cooking Made Easy.
My IMDB page still appears on the first page of Google near the bottom, and the last item on the page is my Performing Arts Legacy page.
My two websites JillDalton.nyc (for acting) and JillDaltonWriter.com, don’t show up until page two.
As a writer, your goal with Google is to come up at the top of the first page.
You see my issue.
I’ve been advised to add my middle initial to rectify the situation. I was told lots of writers do this.
So going forward, I will be Jill B. Dalton.
This seems simple, but I have a mental block about changing everything.
I believe this name thing is necessary but—
My concern is people will be confused.
All my acting credits are listed as Jill Dalton, so my acting name will stay the same.
All my writing credits are listed as Jill Dalton but moving forward, my writing will be under Jill B. Dalton.
I’ve also been informed I need to consolidate my two websites and have acting and writing together because people are interested in the whole person.
Lots to do moving forward.
Thanks for listening.
I appreciate it.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Juliet to Romeo from Romeo and Juliet