Get $10 OFF any One-on-One session with Jennifer…
Head to >> youbookeditpodcast.com/apple
Use Code: BOOKEDIT
EP 122: Jennifer Apple (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] . You booked it episode 122. Alrighty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Jennifer Apple, are you ready for this Jennifer?
[00:00:14]Jennifer Apple: [00:00:14] yes.
[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] All right. Jennifer is a multi hyphenated artist who hails from New York city. She currently plays the role of Anna in the Tony award, winning the band’s visit first national tour and has performed at regional theaters like Chautauqua theater company act, Goodspeed musicals, and Pennsylvania Shakespeare festival.
[00:00:36] She has developed and workshop a ton of new plays and musicals and lent her voice to multiple cast records. Jennifer has appeared on TV in new Amsterdam and holds an MFA in action Dean from the American servant tree theater. Yeah. In San Francisco, as a teaching artist, she specializes in finding new materials specifically for you acting the song slash monologue.
[00:01:00] Audition coaching BFA slash MFA prep and breaking down the text. She recently founded the empowered artist collective, which is a community for women seeking an artistically sustainable career in the performing arts. She believes in honest and truthful storytelling, the power of simply being and bringing out what makes you.
[00:01:21] You Jennifer, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:01:37]Jennifer Apple: [00:01:37] Yeah. Oh boy, I feel like this,
you know, this question that you can take it on the personal side or you can take it on the artistic side. So as a human being. You know, I love hiking. I love dogs. I love travel and, uh, I love seltzer, but in terms of my own, uh, story, I guess in the arts, I am, um, an actor slash coach or acting coach or a teaching artist.
Um, what have you, and, uh, how I got here, uh, born and raised in New York. I’m a true new Yorker at heart. Um, I started singing when I was really young. My parents eventually gave me voice lessons. Um, then I was in community theater. Then I went to theater camp and I was the kid in high school who was doing theater.
kind of had a natural progression. Um, when I went to undergrad, I went for a liberal arts degree and I really leaned into, um, so I got, uh, I had a major yeah. Theater with an acting and directing double concentration and a double minor in creative writing and philosophy. I know it was like as though I did it.
[00:02:34] Did nothing with my time, I moved back to New York and then I was mostly doing music theater regionally around the country, but I really want us to do more TV and film and Shakespeare. And so a mentor was like, why don’t you apply to grad school? So I applied. To grad school, it worked out.
Um, I had, I headed out to Francisco, uh, , to be American conservatory theater, where I got my masters in acting.
Um, and while they’re in there and post being there, um, I really started. Teaching and coaching, um, monologues songs, uh, text break down Shakespeare, all of that. Um, and then I booked the band’s visit tour pretty much soon after and was traveling around the country with that. Um, as well as teaching and then COBIT hit and now I’ve really, really, really been teaching and coaching a lot.
[00:03:20] So that’s
kind of my artistic journey, I guess, in a very, very quick little nutshell.
[00:03:23] Dane Reis: [00:03:23] Brilliant. I love the nutshell. I also love seltzer.
[00:03:26]Jennifer Apple: [00:03:26] Oh, my God, listen, I
it’s it’s people can argue with me as much as they want as like, Oh, it’s not really water. And in my mind, I’m like, well, what is the base of it? If it’s not water, it’s water, you know, it just happens to be fun. Water. It’s the best water and yeah. Oh yeah.
[00:03:40] Dane Reis: [00:03:40] exactly. You know,
You know, what I found with seltzer is that I realized, well, I used to drink too much soda. Right. Right. And what I realized is I never really wanted to sugar. All I wanted was bubbles.
[00:03:51]That’s all I wanted.
[00:03:52]Jennifer Apple: [00:03:52] Correct. And you can make the bubbles fun. Like you could throw,
you know, alignment and there, you can throw 11 in there. You can throw some juice in there. I mean, you can, it doesn’t have to be bland if you don’t just want the card, like the carbonation of it, you know, you can make it a joy,
[00:04:04]Dane Reis: [00:04:04] absolutely
[00:04:05] Jennifer Apple: [00:04:05] Oh yeah.
[00:04:05] No, it’s the best. It is the
[00:04:07] Dane Reis: [00:04:07] win. Absolutely.
[00:04:10] Jennifer Apple: [00:04:10] So true. So true.
[00:04:12] Dane Reis: [00:04:12] All right.
Well, let’s move on to this next section here. And Jennifer, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?
[00:04:23]Jennifer Apple: [00:04:23] Yeah, it’s so interesting because I feel like I’m actually the worst at memorizing. Any sort of anything, despite the fact that I’m an actor. So people ask this all the time,
like, what’s your favorite quote? And I don’t know if anybody’s ever said this. I know I say it all the time, so maybe it’s like my own personal quote, but, um, You are enough?
Um, I think maybe that’s a mantra more than it is a quote. Um, but I, I feel like for me, that’s one that I consistently come back to. It’s one that I, I use while I’m teaching. Um, but I, I think so often, especially as artists, we find ourselves in comparison or not trusting that what we bring into a room is beautiful.
Um, and, or, and, or we apologize for who we are and you are enough. Um, for me really is a true reminder of every single person’s brilliance and uniqueness and how special we all are.
[00:05:13]Dane Reis: [00:05:13] Yeah, absolutely. Couldn’t have said it better and let’s move on to this section. And Jennifer, of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence.
[00:05:35] And you know,
you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry. Like you’re having now it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of challenges, obstacles, and failures.
[00:05:56] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
[00:06:08] Jennifer Apple: [00:06:09] Yeah. Oh, so many, like I’m like flashing through all of these different challenges that I’ve had in my life as an artist. And boy, if you’ve asked this to anybody, they’re like, Oh, which one do you want me to pick? I think the thing that I keep coming back to is I’ve had very like versions of this same thing happen over and over again.
[00:06:28] And it’s not a specific instance.
Um, But this idea of needing to apologize for being me, I feel like so often, especially as a woman in the industry, um, and as somebody who is perhaps maybe more outspoken or, um, transparent or communicative or honest, which is just the way in which I communicate, um, Sometimes it’s viewed as in large, large quotes, like too much.
Um, and I feel like I had been trained or told so many times to diminish parts of myself, um, which I guess doubles back to the quote of, you know, you are enough, but this, I, I feel like I’ve had to apologize so many times for who I am and what makes me special or what makes me unique. Um, and walking into a room.
[00:07:17] Belittling my light to,
you know, not shine as bright as it could because of what others have tried to make me. Um, and I feel like if anyone is listening, like truly that is what makes you special, like who you are. What makes you different the way in which you communicate all of these things, even the strength that one walks into a room with that is your power as an artist.
[00:07:42] And if somebody asks you to diminish it, that’s just because they are not secure enough in themselves to handle what you are bringing.
Um, and I feel like that’s a huge challenge that I’ve had to, and still have to override a bit. Um, but I, I really try very hard now to think of it as an opportunity for me to really just show up fully.
[00:08:01]Dane Reis: [00:08:01] Yeah, that is such good advice. That’s so well said. Thank you for sharing that, because I think
that is, that is so valuable for everyone listening out there, but especially. Those coming into this industry, please rewind and listen to that again.
[00:08:16]Jennifer Apple: [00:08:16] Yes.
[00:08:18] Dane Reis: [00:08:18] Beautiful. And let’s move to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.
[00:08:40]Jennifer Apple: [00:08:40] I feel like it was actually probably before I even remember doing it. It was probably when I was a kid making my parents and my, like my younger siblings sit and
like force them to watch me do little shows that I made up in our living room. Like, I mean, they had to have a little ticket for admission that I created.
like, I had a little like microphone that I dance around and sing around with. And I mean, like thinking about it and that the joy and, you know, just inhibition of being able to just, you just get to run around and be, yeah, totally free. I feel like that was probably it, obviously the connective. Oh, you could.
[00:09:12] Be this forever was not there, but the bugs started when I was really young. And
you know, the oldest child’s forcing everybody to or bullying. I don’t know everybody watch me, you know? Um, I don’t know if there was an exact like, Oh, you could do this. Um, For a living moment, because so much my journey was really quite linear.
[00:09:34] It just took a long time.
Um, or it still doesn’t, it’s still taking time. Like, it’s not like I’ve reached the pinnacle of where I ever want to be. Um, but. I, I don’t, I didn’t have a specific moment necessarily though. Oh, now I’m maybe I went to theater camp and there were kids at my feeder camp who were doing it.
[00:09:50] They were like doing the thing on a professional level,
um, movies, TV, theater. And I was like, Oh wait, these kids do this. Like, the thing that I’ve been doing for a hobby is a thing. And I think that was a switch of, Oh, this is a career. It’s a possible career. Not necessarily. You must pursue this career.
[00:10:10]Dane Reis: [00:10:10] That’s so funny that you brought that up, doing your own shows, keep creating your tickets and things. My wife tells a very similar story. She’s the oldest as well.
[00:10:19] Jennifer Apple: [00:10:19]
[00:10:19] Dane Reis: [00:10:19] younger siblings and I think her brother, the youngest of them ended up wearing tights a lot
[00:10:25]Jennifer Apple: [00:10:25] Oh yeah.
[00:10:27] Dane Reis: [00:10:27] to
[00:10:27] Jennifer Apple: [00:10:27] Oh yeah. I get
[00:10:28] Dane Reis: [00:10:28] that.
[00:10:28] she envisioned for everybody.
[00:10:30] Jennifer Apple: [00:10:30]
I mean I mean truly like, I, I, this isn’t like that necessarily, but I, I mean, I would make, yeah, my, my brother who’s below me. I’d be the teacher and he’d be the student. I’d be the, you know, like we’d do how, like he was, we’d play house and he’d be like, I don’t know what he would be, but I was always the one making him be and do what, but I wanted for my vision.
[00:10:49] So I relate to your wife completely. And that’s an
older, older kid thing, but I don’t.
[00:10:56]Dane Reis: [00:10:56] Beautiful. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it or what was going on in your life. And what about that moment makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.
[00:11:17]Jennifer Apple: [00:11:17] This one would have to be for my stuff. I, on new Amsterdam, I went into,
uh, it was an open call and it was whatever room they placed you in. It was a panel of three casting directors, but it was totally arbitrary what room you were going to be put into. And they were asking for scenes and I didn’t want to do a scene.
Um, I wanted to do a monologue and everybody was pretty much doing dramatic stuff. And I was like, not feeling it. I want to do a comedic monologue. Uh, so I totally broke all the rules that were asked me. However, I, I think I operate under that with a lot of the material that I do, or like what people are asking.
[00:11:51] I’ve truly believe if you’re not doing what you want to be doing in that moment. You’re not going to show up fully. So you’re wasting everyone’s time.
Um, and if they want to see you do something more, they will ask you anyway, I did this monologue, this comedic monologue. It’s about Ikea. And I still used a reader.
[00:12:07] I had the reader sit in the chair with me, even then we obviously didn’t say a word. If I and the casting directors were laughing through it all. And the casting director for new Amsterdam was in the room and he was asking me about my sag eligibility and all of that. And the next thing I know that following week I have an audition for new Amsterdam and then that following week, I,
uh, Went and filmed it.
[00:12:29] So it was fast. It was furious. It had nothing to do with what I auditioned for. At all like
at all at all. And, um, I’m grateful to David because he’s first of all, brilliant, but also he thinks outside the box, but also he really admires artists and actors and the craft, and he can see things beyond what you’re bringing into a room.
Um, he took a risk on me, you know, I, I, this was my first, um, like. Network television show. And he brought me in and then I did it and I’m endlessly grateful to him for that. And for that opportunity and for that whole experience, it was wonderful. And that’s set in general, every single actor on that set, like besides just being gorgeous actors as human beings, every single person on that set was incredible.
[00:13:19] Everyone was incredibly humble and giving and kind and professional. It was really just an awesome experience.
[00:13:27] Dane Reis: [00:13:27] Oh, what a great story. Love
[00:13:30] Jennifer Apple: [00:13:30] Yeah.
[00:13:31] Dane Reis: [00:13:31] And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s a weird time, right? We are. It’s this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:13:49]Jennifer Apple: [00:13:49] Yeah. Okay. Breaking this one down,
um, projects I’m working on right now, obviously it’s a little bit hard to, you know, be performing in the realms in which we would normally be used to them. So I think for me, I’ve, I’ve been. Doing and being drawn more to coaching. Um, as a coach, in order for me to be successful. In teaching an individual, I have to be incredibly clear and precise about what I am asking of them to do. And it, by doing that, I am strengthening my own skill set as an actor. Um, I have found that even though I haven’t been performing, you know, and what I would deem to be a performance space, I believe in my acting capabilities infinitely more than I ever have.
[00:14:34] Because I think I’ve given myself some time, but also through teaching and coaching so much, I’ve really had to get really specific and sharp with the way in which I bring out.
Um, you know, other people’s, um, Intentions and really their vulnerability and their bravery and the work that they’re doing. So that’s been on the coaching front.
Um, and I do that one on one as individuals. So whether it’s whether if they have a monologue or they have a song that they want to work on, or whether it’s just breaking down texts or I do BFA and MFA coaching. So that’s kind of like that runs the gamut of finding a material, getting your audition, slated, getting your.
[00:15:11] Materials and
your, your essays and all of that, all organized. So just kind of an all encompassing, um, Shakespeare as well. And then there’s the other side of it, which is masterclasses. So I, I work with a few different organizations and I teach weekly with them, but I also, um, go, and I guess now it’s all virtual, but into various universities and schools and two master classes and workshops in those spaces too.
[00:15:35] But the thing I’m most excited about, I guess that’s a new thing is while coaching, I had this light bulb moment, every single artist that I was working with their craft was really wonderful, but they had zero. Life and business skills. And I,
you know, I. Thought about myself and it’s taken me and I’m still learning, but it’s taken me years of time, time, energy, resources for me to cultivate that for myself.
[00:15:56] And I never learned it in school. It was something I was never taught. And it was just
kind of this expectation that you’re, you know, unleashed into the wild as an artist. And you should just know all these things about how do you deal with your finances and how do you, you know, And stay active, um, in terms of like challenging the industry or in terms of my multiracial for that aspect of myself, how is that actually going to benefit me?
[00:16:15] Yeah. All these things, no one ever taught me. So at this moment I contacted a good friend of mine and we created this program. Called the empowered artist collective, which is a community for women who are hoping to sustain their career in the performing arts. And we give them life skills and business skills there’s panels in which we bring experts,
um, to chat about all these topics from empathy, building to financial wellness, to, uh, mental, physical, vocal, uh, health and wellness.
[00:16:45] To challenging the system to being a multihyphenate.
Um, we are also giving them one on one coachings in that time. And the cohort that we are shaping, um, is also a support system for them for the rest of time, ideally, but it’s a three month experience. So it’s not just that you come in and then you’re out, it’s really about fostering this community, a mentor mentee type of experience.
Um, and I’m incredibly pumped about that. Uh, so that’s kind of like, My big change project and then the industry moving forward. I think the biggest thing right now, and we’re seeing that in a global scale on the countryside, not like, you know, land countryside, but like on our country. Um, Um, and you’re like you get it.
uh, especially in the industry, The need for inclusion, the need for recognizing that humans are equal, I need to be treated as such. Um, and how equity diversity inclusion needs to be ingrained into the system that currently does not hold those spaces. Um, for me, that is what I want, um, and need frankly, to see in the industry and these next couple of years, and.
[00:17:51] Perhaps, and hopefully this pause that we are in this intermission,
you know, so to speak that we’re in right now is really forcing people to get clear on these aspects and how they can integrate that into their systems. That definitely need a re overhaul.
[00:18:06]Dane Reis: [00:18:06] I agree so much with what you just said, but also
really, really excited about your, uh, what is the name of it? You call the program that you just created
[00:18:17] Jennifer Apple: [00:18:17] Oh, empowered artists collective.
[00:18:20] Dane Reis: [00:18:20] So grateful that you’ve created something like this because you’re right. The life side of this industry, the business side, the finances side of this industry is.
[00:18:29] Crazy that no one really gets taught this. And it’s so important. It’s one thing to go through high school, for instance, and be unleashed into the world where you’re going to go be a w two employee and work there for 40 years or a couple of places. It’s a completely different thing to be an artist where you’re going to go have a combination of W2 and 10 99 work
[00:18:51]Jennifer Apple: [00:18:51] It’s a nightmare.
[00:18:53] Dane Reis: [00:18:53] with.
[00:18:54] Hundreds and hundreds of different companies or people throughout your entire career. So you have to think of yourself as a business and structure everything as a business and understand finances and taxes and incorporate if that becomes applicable for yourself. But you’re right. All these things are so important and great part is,
is, is really not that difficult.
[00:19:16] I called to figure it all out. You just have to have the right resources like yours too. Go down that rabbit hole and figure it out. So you have that skillset because that’s how you create longevity in a career in the arts.
[00:19:29]Jennifer Apple: [00:19:29] correct. And it’s,
I mean, that’s the thing that we’re trying to do, which is, you know, have these conversations earlier for these, you know, emerging artists or pre professional artists so that it doesn’t take them, you know, X amount of years to try to like, gain those skill sets as they go, which look, they will, everybody could, we all have, you know, but it’s like, why do that?
[00:19:46] If. You can get that early on and then set yourself up for success much earlier.
You know, I think so much of this career is oddly, even though it’s a, you know, a community, it really is about like, well, I want to get this faster than you or people believe that. I don’t believe that, you know, but you know, if you don’t, if you got this, then I don’t have it as opposed to your success is my success.
Right. And I think my, my cofounder and I, we really want to cultivate this idea that. Your success actually is my success. And if I am helping you learn these skill sets, when you succeed in X, Y, and Z, then you get to help the next person with that. And it just really becomes the cyclical giving space versus this, you know, taking and scarcity space, which is not serving anybody in the long run.
[00:20:29]Dane Reis: [00:20:29] Wonderful. Love your insight on that. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready? All right.
[00:20:52] First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:21:04]Jennifer Apple: [00:21:04] Do your work and throw it out the window and then just show up and do the thing.
[00:21:10]Dane Reis: [00:21:10] Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.
[00:21:22]Jennifer Apple: [00:21:22] oddly the gift of time to really focus on what I deem to be important in this industry. As an artist, as a human and self care.
[00:21:34]Dane Reis: [00:21:34]
Hmm, the gift of time. That’s such a great way to put it because it’s a, it’s a weird time, right? And it can be very negative or we can turn it around and make something of this time. And. Whether that means you’re doing a project or creating something like you’ve created, or that means just being introspective and taking the time for you and pushing the reset button.
[00:21:58] doesn’t matter
matter whatever it is that you need for you.
[00:22:00]Jennifer Apple: [00:22:00] Oh, yeah, it took me until we created this program in a month. It took,
I mean, those first five months, like you, you better believe I was on that couch being introspective and watching Netflix, like, you know, I was watching people put self-tapes up and like creating all the creativity that was coming out was overwhelming.
[00:22:20] And I, yeah. Compare leads to despair. And I was sitting there being like, is this. Am I missing out on something like, what am I supposed to be doing? And
no, no, no. It is a gift. If we choose to make it a gift and it’s hard, some days are hard, but the flip side is, it really could be wonderful.
[00:22:37] Dane Reis: [00:22:37] Yeah. I also really liked that little quote that you just threw out. The compare leads to despair.
[00:22:42]Beautiful. and the fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.
[00:22:55]Jennifer Apple: [00:22:55] The first thing that pops into mind is untamed Glen and Doyle’s book.
Um, as a woman, I think it is like necessary reading right now for artistry, but also for your human self, um, to just get introspective, but also just Netflix, lots and lots of Netflix.
[00:23:16] Dane Reis: [00:23:16] beautiful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch. But you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:23:34]Jennifer Apple: [00:23:34] I feel like I see both sides to this. Part of me wants to say, I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything I’ve gone through. So I wouldn’t want to change it thing. I think the flip side of that is I wish that I trusted myself earlier or didn’t listen to the noise of others earlier so that I then just truly stayed on my path and trusted my path more.
Um, And really became a sponge for what my path was and focused and trusted that that was going to work out the way it was supposed to work out. But I think I fluctuate between both of those.
[00:24:09]Dane Reis: [00:24:09] Totally. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.
[00:24:21]Jennifer Apple: [00:24:21] I feel like we’ve had a few of them definitely compare leads to despair.
Um, trust in the process, you are enough. Really like there is no one in the world like you, I think we forget so often as artists, that we are the missing puzzle piece for people’s projects. They need you specifically you to show up in the room to prove to them that you who are the missing link and the missing puzzle piece for whatever they are needing.
[00:24:49] And. You coming in and trying to give them something you think they want or trying to be something you saw the is the thing, like none of that is going to serve you, but be show them who you are. And then they won’t know what to do with you.
Um, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not really just being yourself, so really own who you are and trust that that is enough and that your process will happen the way it is supposed to happen.
[00:25:15]Dane Reis: [00:25:15] Yes. And to wrap up this interview, Jennifer, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners. The nurse connect with you. Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:25:30]Jennifer Apple: [00:25:30] Yeah.
Uh, my Instagram, which is at Jennifer Apple underscore, uh, it’s very difficult, you know, being an Apple in the world, run by an Apple corporation. Um, so that was the closest I could get to just my name. So, uh, at Jennifer Apple underscore on Instagram, I’m actually pretty communicative on there. Um, fled into my DMS kindly, obviously.
Um, and then also my website, Jennifer apple.net. Um, that’s where you could find me both as an actor, as well as a coach and what I offer specifically. For one-on-ones for master classes where I’ve taught tests, all that good stuff. Um, yeah. If the empowered artist collective is something enticing to you, I’d love a follow on there, which is at empowered artist collective on Instagram or easy enough empowered artists, collective.com, where you can check out the whole program, see if it’s a right fit for you.
[00:26:19] Maybe pop it into some of the panels down the line, or maybe the next cohort as it gets released. . And for anybody who is listening to this podcast, if you would like $10 off a one on one coaching with me, as part of your listenership , go to you, booked it, podcast forward slash Apple.
Um, and that will lead you to me with a 10 little dollar discount.
[00:26:42] Dane Reis: [00:26:42] Beautiful. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Jennifer has just said into the description of this episode. And be sure to head over to you email@example.com forward slash Apple. To get your $10 off any one on one coaching with Jennifer. Just be sure to mention the code booked it when you talk to her. Jennifer. It has been an absolute pleasure to have you on today.
[00:27:12] Thank you so much for reaching out and connecting. Thank you for being here.
[00:27:16]Jennifer Apple: [00:27:16] Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so glad we got to connect and this is, this has been a blast.