How She Got There: Jenn Gambatese, Actress

Name: Jenn Gambatese
Job Title and Description: Actress
College Name/Major: New York University/Drama and Sociology
Twitter Handle: @jenngambatese
Instagram Handle: @jenngambatese

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?  

JG: My current job entails auditioning, rehearsing, collaborating, filming, recording and performing. Unless I'm in a long-running theater job, there is seldom a typical day.

What is the best part of your job? 

JG: The best part of my job is affecting people with my work, whether it be making them laugh or cry or think about something in a new way.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

JG: Don't look sideways. Stay in your own lane and run your own race.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

JG: I don't think I enjoyed my early successes enough. I was so worried about proving myself and trying to be perfect that I missed out on a lot of the fun. Old habits die hard and it's still something I have to remind myself... to be present and soak in all the good stuff!

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far? 

JG: One of my first jobs after college was playing in the European tour of the musical Fame. We played The Folies Bergere in Paris for two months. It was surreal because it hadn't been that long since I had gone there to see the Folies with my high school French Club, and here I was, not even five years later, one of the leads in a show there!

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

JG: If I'm bringing new people on to my team, I'm looking for them to have strengths in the parts of show business that are not in my wheelhouse, freeing me up to focus on my craft. I also look for a personal connection and a sense that I'm heard and valued.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

JG: I like to encourage young, aspiring actors to be voracious learners... not just of their craft, but of all sorts of topics! Everything we study informs what we bring to the table, and that thirst for learning is exciting for others to be around.

What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume? 

JG: Well, an actor's resume is different from a "civilians."  There's this part you can include called "Special Skills," like "speaks Mandarin fluently," etc. A friend of mine has this crazy skill where he can "sing any song one syllable off". It's hard to explain, but he starts each song with the word "well" to push the syllables back by one. So, imagine if he was singing "Happy Birthday," you know the part where it jumps up to the high note? Well, he'd be singing the 'py' of 'happy' instead of 'birth'.  But he does it so fast and seamlessly with any song someone throws at him, that you feel like you've entered the Twilight Zone!  He says he's only been asked to do it a half dozen times at auditions, but having seen him do it, I'm not sure why he's not an internet celebrity from it, lol! Jeff Kready put it on YouTube already!