"Industry Spotlight" is our monthly series where we interview professionals from across the entertainment industry about their current jobs and career trajectories. Our hope is that you will learn more about the positions you're already interested in, discover new roles you may not have considered, and utilize the wisdom of those who've paved the way before you to forge your own path for success.
This month, we sat down with Jenny Paul, creator and star of the upcoming web series Adulting With Jane, premiering October 22.
HOLLYWOOD RESUMES: In one sentence, how would you describe what you do?
JENNY: I am an actor/producer/content creator working mostly in the indie film and TV space in NYC.
HR: What was your first TV or film role and how did you book it?
JENNY: I’ve had dozens at this point, indie and mainstream, but I’ll call JESSICA JONES my first biggie. I auditioned. Went in, dressed the part, went balls to the wall (the audition was for a fan girl), and booked it the next day.
HR: Describe your process of auditioning and booking roles.
JENNY: These days, most of my jobs, especially on a smaller scale, come from referrals or direct offers, but I’m still in auditioning rooms and putting myself on tape frequently for bigger roles in bigger network and OTT productions. My last big role was a recurring role on THE LOOMING TOWER with Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard. I was seen by the casting office for a different/smaller role, and then they called me back again to read for the one I ended up booking: ‘Maureen’ in the CIA office.
HR: How/why did you start your own production company?
JENNY: Intent Entertaiment is actually my third! Each LLC was opened specifically for a different project or set of projects that I either produced or was involved in producing. The first two were with partners, and this one is just me. For now.
HR: What do you like most about your day-to-day?
JENNY: The flexibility is nice. I can take acting jobs and work my producing around it for the most part. I also like using my left brain as much as I use my right brain. The acting/producing combo keeps me interested. And busy!
HR: What are the skills someone would need to succeed in your position?
JENNY: Flexibility. Resilience. Resourcefulness. Optimism. Empathy.
HR: If you don't like ____________, you won't like my job.
JENNY: An ever-changing schedule.
HR: What’s an element of your career that an outsider wouldn’t expect (and maybe you didn’t expect before you got started?
JENNY: All the networking. Knowing people. Knowing people that know people. Knowing people that know people that know people. It takes a village to raise an indie baby.
HR: What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
JENNY: Letting my fear of not succeeding get the better of me and giving my power away (metaphorically and sometimes literally).
HR: If you could give one piece of advice to someone trying to break in, what would it be?
JENNY: Do whatever you can to discover and love your unique voice and viewpoint. There’s only one you, and I (and the business) are interested in being inspired by that person and that person’s contributions.
HR: Do you have any advice for how to keep up with bills/rent when you're between projects?
JENNY: I tutor SATs and ACTs-- and have for years. I don’t "need" to anymore for the most part, but it keeps me sane, helps bridge the gaps when money is tight, and makes a good year a really good year!
HR: Thanks, Jenny!