Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone -Interview with Jenna Leigh Miller
We have reached the point of quarantine where we are settling. We are out of money and haven't had much social interaction except for behind a screen.
And I know we're all feeling a little desperate.
But just because we're desperate does not mean we have to settle in all areas of our life.
Yes, you might have to get a non-theatre related job for the time being.
However, how you choose to spend your time outside of work- and the people you choose to (virtually or socially-distance) spend your time with is still up to you.
I hope you are using this time to reflect on which friendships are worth your time and who is truly your ride or die.
I hope you are evaluating the hours you are spending scrolling the 'Gram and deciding if it's worth your time and energy.
In order to avoid settling you might have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
One fierce queen who has been stepping outside her comfort zone is Jenna Leigh Miller founder of Problem Solved. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing her about stepping outside of her comfort zone and owning her own businesses.
First, can you give us a brief introduction? Who you are, where you are from, where you went to school?
Hey! My name is Jenna Leigh Miller and I am New York City based actress and Theatre Coach. I am from Easton, PA, which is also where I am spending my quarantine! I have a BFA in Musical Theatre from Otterbein University, which is right outside of Columbus, Ohio. (GO BUCKS!)
When did you start Problem Solved?
Ok, this question is complicated because I have been helping other actors for as long as I can remember. Helping them find new audition materials, sharing info about upcoming show and auditions, picking out that perfect dance outfit. But officially I launched my Theatre Coaching business, Problem Solved, last summer. I had a huge launch party at Ripley Grier Studios. Food, drinks, other Broadway/theatre themed vendors who were fellow actors with side hustles such as myself, performances of past clients, and then an open piano bar at the end! The business was a business long before I put a name to it, but last May was when I made the big leap in entrepreneurship.
What was your goal -or your why- when you started Problem Solved by Jenna?
My goal then and my goal now is still the same- to support other artists. I am a firm believer that we as artists need to lift each other up and celebrate each other wins. Your success is not my failure. If anything, when a fellow artist wins, you win!
I want to help empower artists to be confident about themselves inside AND outside the audition room. That strength comes from within, I just help to bring it out. This is especially apparent when you are auditioning. I love auditioning. I know, I know, that sounds crazy but, I really do love it! I believe if you are more organized and you are properly prepped before an audition, more opportunities will cross your path. That’s why investing in finding new audition materials, building your brand, adding tools into your actor toolbox is so important. All of these things are services I provide through Problem Solved. Audition Book Re-Vamp, Branding, Non-Equity Theatre List, just to name a few.
And I can help you find the perfect audition song, find more auditions, build a brand that captures the essence of you.
I want to be your cheerleader. I want to see you succeed! I am here to support fellow artists. THAT is my why, and that will never change. #artistssupportingartists
What has been the hardest part of starting a business?
Growth. It is really hard to know the things you don’t know, until you know how to do them. If you could follow that, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Backwards why of saying building a brand is hard. But it is so important. Your Brand is you telling the world how you want to be perceived, what you stand for, and what your essence is. If you are an artist, you are a Brand. Yup, if you are an artist of any kind be that, actor, stage manager, costume designer, producer, casting director, choreographer…you are a brand. The sooner you accept that and adapt to this virtual world we are living in, the sooner opportunities will come knocking on your door! That has been the hardest part.
But one of the reasons I love Instagram so much is because it’s a community! You get to connect with people you never would have meet in real life. I have meet so many people through a little app on our phones that have turned into real life friendships. Plus, now I turn to Instagram as a creative outlet for me. Creating colorful, engaging stories is fun for me! It gives me an outlet to connect and support other artists, which I love.
What has been the most rewarding part of starting this business?
Connecting with all these amazing new artists! Now I get to be their cheerleader and root them on! (Even if it is from a far!) For me, its adding a new face into my circle that also wants to grow and support one another. Supporting other artists gives me such joy.
I am working with a new client who lives in Ireland…IRELAND. He told me this, and my jaw about hit the floor. The work I am doing is spanning over the sea! I couldn’t believe it! It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, but when I decided to start my business I knew that was something I was going to have to do. When you receive little gifts from the universe saying, hey someone from another country values what you are saying and doing, you can’t help but smile. I love what I do, I love my clients and I am so grateful I get to do what I do, even when a pandemic is happening!
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to start their own business?
SHOW UP! I always say half the battle with auditioning is showing up. Actually showing up for the audition, but also show up for your own self care, show up to rehearsal on time, show up and make connections to network yourself, show up! You can not win at the game, if you don’t play the game. This is 100% applicable when you are starting your own business as well.
Invest in a logo, build a brand, network the poop out of your services and products. Show up on social media. You never know until you try, so you just have to make the jump and believe what you are doing is valuable. Show up for yourself. Show up to prove to yourself, you are enough. What you are doing matters.
Gosh sounds so cheesy when I you reads this, but “Show up” is what I repeated to myself over and over again when I start my entrepreneur journey. No one else is going to do the work for you. You have to show up and fight for what you want. And if you need help along the way, ask for it! I actually encourage it. If I can be of service to anyone reading this, I am happy to help in any way I can!
How can people get in touch with you if they are interested in learning more or using your services?
Follow me on Instagram! My DM’s are always open even if it’s just to say “Hey nice to insta-meet you!” or to ask about my services.
Actress Page: @JennaLeighMiller
Theatre Coaching Page: @ProblemSolvedbyJenna
You can also check out my websites:
Theatre Coaching: www.ProblemSolvedbyJenna.com (this website has all my services on it!
Also if you want more from Jenna I'll be a guest on her Callback Cocktail Hour on IG Live tomorrow.
Here's what we'll be drinking:
The Ghost Light Paloma
2 TBS Lime juice 4 TBS Simple syrup 4 TBS Club soda 4 TBS Grapefruit juice 4 TBS Tequila Sugar Lime wedge to garnish Instructions: 1-Use lime wedge to rim glass and cover with sugar 2- Pour grapefruit juice, club soda, lime juice, simple syrup and tequila into glass and stir. 3- Add ice to glass. 4-Garnish with lime wedge. (optional) 5- Enjoy!
Tune in on Instagram here: