What's Up?

Jen Gets Mortified

This Thursday, I get to take part in something I've been obsessed with for a couple of years--MORTIFIED.

For those not familiar with it, Mortified is a multi-platform storytelling entity (live shows, podcasts, a documentary and a short-lived television series) that uses real, well, mortifying texts crafted by people when they were young. This is most often adolescent diaries and journals, but for some, it's poetry, songs, and fiction that they wrote. 

I'm working on getting my diaries curated, but in the meantime, I was a very lonely kid when I was in (what amounts to) middle school--so to cope with that, I started writing friend fiction. (No, it wasn't erotic a la Tina Belcher...but it was just as full of desperate fantasy). 

Come see me shake and read some of my childhood writings at Mortified NYC, at Littlefield in Brooklyn--Thursday, Sept. 8th. :)


Love on the Run: 3 Days!

Here's another blast from the past! The first days on set for LOVE ON THE RUN...

"I'm writing LIVE on my one day off for the entire shoot! FRANNY began filming yesterday in scenic upstate New York, where it's been gorgeous and sunny and full of vibrant autumn colors!

I hopped in the car with our producer and production coordinator to get to set for an EARLY start on Monday! The whole crew came to the headquarters on Sunday night, and we threw a celebratory BBQ in the freezing cold with a giant bonfire going. It's like camp for adults! XD

I moseyed on over to hair and make-up at the crack of dawn to get tanned, glowy and bouffanted. Our H/MU team--Yiselle and Morgan--are so friendly and super-lovely, and we'd gotten to know each other at the bonfire. I was then suited up into full bizarre Franny apparel. Franny really marches to the beat of her own drum. So a glittery lily-pad shirt paired with a tropical gypsy skirt and hot pink Keds? MARVELOUS. After I was all dressed and ready to go, I hopped in the car with our 2nd AD, Niki (who I adore), and swallowed a quick cup of coffee and an egg sandwich. I was catapulted into the first scene shot--which was me in my car, Sweet Yellow (a yellow 1965 Mustang). This poor car! It's SO broken-down and falling apart--so much so that the floor under the passenger seat has disintegrated. We moved to a scene that required that poor car to move--which meant it was going in neutral, and the Art dept. was pushing in the back. ;) 

Sweet Yellow after a rigorous push up the hill.

Sweet Yellow after a rigorous push up the hill.

We also shot a scene in a drive-through, and I moved to a SECOND car full of character--one being billed as a green Pinto! I got to order food from an apathetic fast food server, played by our director. :) So fun! We then moved to this gorgeous boutique for a shopping scene, where I worked with my first principal actor, Alicia Sable as the sales girl. I had Tuesday off, but visited the set of Franny's employ, a dog grooming salon. I met Frances Fisher, who plays my mother (SHE IS THE BEST), and I can't wait to work with her! I'm actually on set right this moment as I type, in a quick break while they film a shot that I'm not in. :) I get to play with dogs all day, and my bosses are Broadway actresses Mary Testa and Ruth Gottschall! Sooooo fun. Best job to date, hands down. :) "

Love on the Run: 4 days!

It's my pleasure to bring back some relics from the past from when we were in production on LOVE ON THE RUN!

LOVE ON THE RUN is a romantic road comedy, starring myself and Frances Fisher, Steve Howey and Annaleigh Ashford. It's directed by Ash Christian (Petunia, Mangus!, Hurricane Bianca) and distributed by TriCoast Worldwide. And we release ALMOST RIGHT NOW.

So here's your first blast from the past as you prepare to meet Franny:

"If the idea that 'every actor has their breakout role' is true, then here is mine:

I've just booked the starring, title role in the new indie feature film FRANNY. XD

(me, later, on-set as Franny)

It was a long process--the role is so perfect for me, and I auditioned for it, like, a month ago! There were weeks of hearing nothing, and then out of the BLUE, my manager called me last week telling me that I'd been called back to read with the casting directors and the director, Ash Christian.

*(Small world: Ash and I were actually both cast in King Kelly! We had no scenes together and had never met, but we ended up being Facebook buds before I even realized he was directing!)

I had my callback with the PalmStar gents and Ash, and we just had the BEST time. It felt so right, and I felt like it just HAD to be what was next for me.

Lo and behold, my manager--who has the best way of leaving cryptic voicemails when I've booked something ("You're in big trouble. Call me back.")--put on his best aloof voice as he asked me when I'd be going to LA.

"Well, I'm NOT, if I'm Franny!"
"Well then, I guess you're not going to LA, kiddo!"

And it's true--I will likely NOT be fulfilling that trip, since we're shooting for 3-5 weeks starting in November! I'll miss my friends, but clearly, booking something like this was the whole reason I intended on going in the first place. ;)

I am so, so SO VERY EXCITED. As we go into production, I will do my best to supply pictures and news and even video!


I would be utterly remiss if I didn't mention the GIANT FLOODS OF SUPPORT AND LOVE AND POSITIVITY that my friends and family and peers and colleagues (and acquaintances, even!) have unleashed upon me! I swam against the current of others' faith for so long, and I'm finally at a point where all my people are better cheerleaders than I could have even hoped for! You can't have any idea how much it means to me, or how wonderful it feels when you express your belief, support, love and congratulations to me. It means EVERYTHING!

MUCH love right back to all of you! <3 <3 <3

Jen's back on NBC this Fall!

Keep your eyes peeled for my latest work with NBC...premiering on one of their hottest shows late this September!

In the meantime, you can catch up with me on Netflix and Hulu on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, and Deadbeat!