We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenna Doolittle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenna, what is the most important factor behind your success?
This is probably going to sound cheesy, but I’ve realized that in giving you receive more than you could possibly imagine. During 2020, I learned that when you add value to someone else’s life, it comes back around to you ten fold. I started The Actors Rise newsletter early on in the pandemic to give actors access to resources (information on open calls, financial assistance, discounts, etc). I knew I had access to more information than most actors as I am also a career coach, an elected SAG-AFTRA delegate and previously worked in casting, so I just wanted to find a way to share the information I had quickly and help the actor community. Quite unexpectedly, my newsletter kind of blew up! It went from 36 subscribers to over 6,500 in a very short amount of time. By adding value to others, I managed to create a successful business for myself, which has opened the door to so many opportunities (like this article) and being featured in The New York Times. I’ve also been able to make new friends and build relationships with industry insiders who had you told me 9 months ago I would personally know – I never would have believed you! I can directly trace so much of my recent success to giving back and helping others. The more you give, the more you receive. I still send the Actors Rise Newsletter once a week. It’s FREE to subscribe. You can join at: www.bitly.com/actorsrisenewsletter
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an actor, I love telling stories that make people feel and think differently about the world, but I also just love having fun and working with my friends! I’m an only child, so growing up, doing theater was a way for me to connect and collaborate with others. We all got to be small parts of a bigger project that hopefully brought some joy to our audience. I still approach the industry with the same mindset: we all work together in order to create a connection with our audience that celebrates our shared humanity. While I was grateful to book a TV show in 2020, the thing I’m most proud of artistically is a short film I co-produced and starred in with my friends called BossBabes. We actually filmed it in my house – talk about stress having a 25+ person cast/crew in your new home! The short was written and directed by my friends Corey Clifford and Ryan LaGod. It’s a dark comedic thriller loosely inspired by a personal experience Corey and I had in a multi-level marketing company. The short sheds light on an important topic in a hilarious way and always appreciate when art can be both fun and educational. Doing the short reminded me how much I enjoy collaborating with other artists. I had a blast doing everything from fundraising to acting to giving script notes. We actually filmed most of the short the weekend prior to the first shutdown in LA, but it rained on our one outdoor shoot day and due to Covid we ended up having to wait months to film our final scene. We finally finished it when restrictions were lifted at the end of the summer. It was worth the wait though – we just got into our first festival! — With my company Actors Rise, whether I’m coaching or creating the newsletter, my mission is to empower actors with the tools and resources they need so they can take control of their careers and find the fun in it again! It’s important to me that members of the community support and educate one another so it’s not about competition, but collaboration. I firmly believe there is room in this industry for all of us and it’s much more fun when we support one another and celebrate our wins along the way! #actorsrisetogether
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A good hike is a must for a trip to LA. I love Escondido Falls in Malibu! But if you have people with you who aren’t up for a real hike, I highly recommend a walk around the Hollywood Reservoir. It’s flat and you can see the Hollywood sign in the hill over the reservoir. It’s a great place to snap a picture and take in some fresh air. During the day, you have to take in the beach at some point. Recently I discovered Playa Del Rey and it’s such a nice beach where you can not only watch the dolphins jumping, but watch the boats come in and out of the harbor. If we were feeling adventurous, I might insist on paddle boarding down at Mother’s Beach! After the beach we’d need ice cream! I always take visitors to Salt & Straw – I’m obsessed with their Lavender ice cream, but my husband swears by the Cookie Dough! In my neighborhood (Mid City / West Adams) there are so many incredible local spots. I’d take you to Mizlala for a delicious and healthy Mediterranean lunch. Then for dinner we’d head across the street to Alta Adams for fried chicken, pea fritters and fancy cocktails. In non-Covid times, I like taking visitors to a show at Groundlings or Rockwell Table & Stage (they do really funny musical parodies) and some late night karaoke is always fun. I miss live shows! During Covid, we like to set up a screen in our backyard and watch movies under the stars.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I can’t just pick one person or company to shout out as I would not have had any success growing The Actors Rise Newsletter without the support of so many industry leaders and actor advocates who made themselves available to our community during the pandemic. I am able to continuously share so much great content in the newsletter because people are offering their time and services. I recently compiled a massive thank you list shouting out all the people who went out of their way to support actors this past year. You can find the full list on my instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJekFWWJ_ZY/
Other: ClubHouse @ThatDoolittle Sign up for the free Actors Rise Newsletter: www.bitly.com/actorsrisenewsletter
Becca Murray James DePietro