When I first started becoming familiar with the comedy scene in Utah, JENNA KIM JONES was the part of many conversations. At the time, she was working with The Daily Show with John Stewart in New York, performing time to time at Wiseguys when returning to Utah, all while working clean and killing it. She is returning to Wiseguys (Ogden) in late April to perform, so I thought it would be a great time to interview her and see what she is up to now! As always, thank you all for your continued support of Your Creativity! Please enjoy the interview!
1. Describe What You Do.
I’m a comedian! Which can mean, a lot, I know. Basically these days, I write and perform my own stand-up comedy. I also host a podcast called #SorryNotSorry with Jenna Kim Jones and I can be heard on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend (iTunes) every Thursday. Besides podcasting and stand up, I also enjoy on camera work (whether that’s hosting or telling jokes or whatever it is). In fact, I have a new comedy special coming out on VidAngel very soon!
2. How Did You Get To Where You Are Today?
Before the internet, comics had limited ways to “make it.” The best way? Go on the road and perform and eventually get booked on late night TV. Luckily for me, there are other ways to get your comedy out there now. In 2014, my husband and I produced my first comedy special (#SorryNotSorry with Jenna Kim Jones) entirely on our own. That was something we never would have felt comfortable doing without the internet to help us get it out there.
3. What Type Of Conditions Are You The Most Creative For You?
The best way to for me to be and stay in a creative space is to constantly work. When I take breaks from writing (and I often do), my comedy muscle gets really weak just as an actual muscle gets weak if it’s not being used. Sadly, just like working out is hard, writing all the time is hard and I often slip up and let myself go a little bit. The best way for me to work is to come up with an idea and then shut down everything around me and just write.
4. Who Has Inspired You Most? Why?
I’ve said this before but Jim Gaffigan is always an inspiration to me. He’s a family man, he works like crazy, and his wife is a big part of his career. My husband has become a huge help in both my writing ability and execution. He loves goals and once I tell him something I want to do, he will do everything he can to help me make it happen. So I guess my husband is a big inspiration for me as well.
I started performing standup when I worked at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and that was the best education in comedy I could’ve ever received. I was around some of the best stand-up comedians in the business and just observing how they worked and performed taught me so much. During my time at Daily Show, I helped organized a monthly stand-up comedy show called The Daily Show and Friends that featured many well-known comics. I was basically a stand-up newborn but because I had the opportunity to be part of that show, I was able to perform with Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, Rory Albanese, Amy Schumer and so much more. I also want to mention that I received a lot of support from Keith Stubbs here in Utah. He gave me the opportunity to headline at Wiseguys about 2 1/2 years into my stand-up career and that gave me so much motivation to work hard and become better so I am very grateful for that.
6. Over the past few years, you & your husband have been podcasting. What has that been like for you? Why do you think so many comedians have them now?
Podcasting is the best! It’s a great way to stay in a creative space and make new friends and fans/listeners. I didn’t know a lot about podcasting until my friend Alison Rosen introduced me to it. It is a perfect way for me to feel like I’m performing without having to go on the road. My husband and I love podcasting together because it’s a way for us to be creative together and spend even more time getting to know each other. There are times when we are so busy but the podcast forces us to sit down for two hours a week and spend time together. It’s awesome! We also want our podcast to feel like a break for our listeners. We keep it lighthearted and fun and we make sure it’s safe for adults to listen to when their kids are in the car. Please give it a listen! www.jennakimjones.com/podcast
Podcasts are awesome! They’re an easy and fun way to reach out to your individual fan base on a regular basis. Plus it’s also a great way to deliver new content consistently.
7. Aside From Motherhood, Comedy & Podcasting, You Many Other Projects Like Your YouTube Videos: Jenna Tries. Where Do You Find The Time To Do Everything?
Oh, I still find plenty of time to binge watch Netflix. But in order for me to stay productive, I do have to carve out special time during the day. Last year, when I wrote a comedy special for Sirius XM (Jenna Kim Jones Live In Hollywood), my husband would come home from work, we’d hang out with our daughter, put her to bed, have dinner and then I would lock myself in our office for hours and work. Basically, I have to force myself to make time to work otherwise it would easily fall into the background. I’m also lucky that at this point in my life, I don’t have to say yes to every single project that comes my way. My one true love is performing and I’ll never give that up. So in the long run, it’s all about prioritizing.
8. How has being Mormon affected your career, good or bad? What led to your involvement in the “Meet The Mormons” film?
As a comedian who also happens to be Mormon, I made a choice a long time ago to keep my act clean. That can hurt a comic’s career at times, but I think at the end of the day, if you are funny and you work hard, you can book gigs. Meet the Mormons was a great experience and I learned so much about different areas of performing (on camera, voice over, etc) so I’m very grateful I was chosen to be part of the project. My involvement is a bit of a long story but I believe the director, Blair Treu, heard about me through the grapevine and he eventually visited me in New York. We clicked right away and it took almost three years after we met until the movie came out. There seems to be a running theme in my life of great people helping me at just the right moments. When Blair Treu found me for Meet the Mormons, I was getting married, leaving New York and feeling like I was losing a little bit of my identity. He believed in me and gave me a huge opportunity. I never thought I would see my face on the movie screen and because of him, I did! Plus I think the movie highlighted some of the things I really love about my faith so I was proud of it.
B I O G R A P H Y
Jenna Kim Jones has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and performed stand up alongside some of the best comedians including Jim Gaffigan and John Oliver. Her podcast, #SorryNotSorry with Jenna Kim Jones, is one of the Top 200 Comedy Podcasts on iTunes. Meanwhile, Jenna released her first stand up comedy special also #SorryNotSorry with Jenna Kim Jones. In September 2016, Jenna released a 2nd Comedy Special, “Jenna Kim Jones Live In Hollywood” as the featured comedian in the “Everyone Laughs” series on Sirius XM Laugh USA. Her comedy plays regularly on both Sirius XM channels Laugh USA and Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup. Jenna is also known for her work as the on camera host/narrator of the feature length documentary, “Meet The Mormons” which was released in theaters nationwide on October 10, 2014 and is, as of now, the 31st most successful documentary of all time.