We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennings Rice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennings, where are you from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. My parents are both dentists who have lived in the area for over thirty years. Charlottesville was an absolutely beautiful town to grow up in and I am very thankful to have spent my formative years there. It shaped who I am in so many ways. I had so much freedom there. My friends and I would all drive all over the town when I was in high school. We would often end up at local food treasure Bodo’s Bagels, hiking Humpback Rocks on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, snow skiing or swimming in a local lake. At school you would find me in the theatre, on the field playing soccer or socializing with friends and faculty. I was able to try so many things when I was growing up, I was never hindered. I took up theatre, painting, soccer, dance, tennis and running. I was fortunate to live on a golf course so I was able to walk right out onto the course and play with my brother and dad. The biggest thing that shaped me was my parents. They raised me to believe that with hard work I could accomplish whatever I decided to. They set an example of being kind to others and to not allow what others thought to cause me to not reach my goals. My mom was one of only a few women in her dental class and she raised me to always take the high road and work hard, to not take anything for granted. My dad taught me how to work hard, always do my best and be competitive. He spent hours with me on the golf course perfecting my swing which influenced me to always seek the highest skill in all areas.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This is a tough industry. A lot of tears, a lot of frustration but there’s also a lot of dance parties when something finally goes right! I always feel as if the biggest thing that sets me apart is my sense of humor. Ever since I was younger I always loved making people laugh, I grew up around boys and since I was so small I was only ever able to fight back with my words. I became extremely clever and quick with my communication. Because of the skill this developed, I started doing stand up comedy a year ago and I even got to perform at the Comedy Store which was a dream come true. I’ve had a lot of challenges throughout my time as an actor and with every challenge comes a new way of handling it. A big thing for me is never to allow myself to wallow. Sometimes I give myself a day to be sad, other times it’s 20 minutes. The most important thing I constantly tell myself is: It’s going to be okay. I always come out on top and can make the best out of a bad situation. I think I would want the world to know that I have a spark that can’t be extinguished. I am a fighter and I will always push through to the finish line.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well I certainly hope my best friend visits me soon! I would take her on a hike at the Griffith Observatory because it is my favorite hike and oh-so beautiful. My favorite coffee shop is hands down Groundwork Coffee, they make the very best latte. I love taking people to Rumble Boxing in West Hollywood, it’s a great workout that is super fun– it doesn’t even feel like a workout. An absolute must is always In-n-Out. I force everyone I know to get their Neapolitan milkshake. You will not regret it! For nightlife I take people to Pump restaurant in West Hollywood because I am a huge Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fan (I love you LVP). You have to get the “Pump-tini” it is my favorite drink ever! Then dancing in West Hollywood, I adore the Abbey!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
“It takes a village” always rings true for me in my career. All my success comes from those around me in some way or another. My family and friends always deserve a shout out because I simply love them with my whole heart! They are constantly supporting me and laughing at my jokes (which is a direct line to my heart). It’s important to surround yourself with people who constantly uplift and believe in you. If people don’t love you and make you feel loved constantly, boot them! My hero is Britney Spears, she really inspired me to perform. Britney was my favorite artist when I was little, anything Britney would do: I HAD to do. I started dance lessons, started singing and auditioning around my hometown. She’s actually the reason I became an actor. Also, I feel as if I would be nothing without my team at Studio 24/7. I was so lucky I found them a little over a year ago in LA. Mark McPherson is nothing short of a magician. I must also thank my pets who also inspire me, my dogs, Smalls, Daisy, and Penelope and my cats, Butterscotch and Trinity. I am a huge animal lover and I am often identified as the “Pug girl” because of my darling pugalicious Pug, Penelope.
Rob Flate Charlie Magdeleno Kyle Oechslin