Momus Spotlight: Jenna Madden

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

How did you become an actor?

I worked for a children’s musical organization called (CMT- Fresno California). I started as a babysitter and the next year they offered me the title of Director for their production of Disney’s Jr. Lion King after the producer of the company said I had a creative eye. I fell in love with acting when I with the kids and watching their imaginations run wild. The show was a huge success and I immediately caught the theater bug after seeing how much enjoyment everyone had during the show. I dropped being a physics major, graduated high school, and three months later I moved to LA to pursue acting. 

Besides acting, do you have any other jobs in the industry?

I help with script supervision on many sets and have recently gotten into becoming a script editor where people send their scripts to me to be further developed. It was a very intimidating job at first but it has really helped me to recognize my love for literature and it inspires me to watch others be so passionate about their projects. 

What were you like during your childhood?

During my childhood I didn't talk a lot and until about 7th grade, a lot of people thought that I was mute or deaf. I also had a very hard time in school and therefore would skip classes all the time. I would call myself out of the school and didn’t get caught until high school where I missed about two years from skipping classes and my parents finally figured it out.  I guess you could say that I was quiet but rebellious. 

What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome?

Some of the main obstacles I had to overcome were mainly concerning money. In college I was working three jobs at one point on top of classes. Having almost no financial help meant long working days and fighting the urge to quit acting many times. When I moved to LA I was confronted with major bullies for the first time and not having many friends in the area yet, there came a point that I was living out of my car for some time. It was definitely a difficult time but I wouldn’t change anything because it helped me to mature and I developed some amazing life long friendships at this time.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I am finishing my feature film titled Sunshine. It challenges the perceptions of single parents to the outer world and the judgement of a child’s future based upon events out of their control. I am also working on a web series with a couple of close friends and getting ready to film a short in July. 

What is the best acting note you have received?

The best acting note I received was from Carolina Barcos who said, “If it’s not life or death get the f**k of the stage.” This was my first day of acting class and I was truly terrified of this women. But watching her passion for being on stage made me realize a lot about acting and how much of an effect we as artists can have on others. 

How are you keeping busy during this quarantine period?

During this period I have tried to find other creative outlets such as painting, learning a new language, and writing. I have also gotten to make a dent in my book collection and have been enjoying many of my favorite authors such as Chuck Palahniuk and David Wong. It’s also been a good chance to catch up with old friends and family members who I often don’t have a lot of time to call. 

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is John Dies at the End directed by Don Coscarelli. Psychological movies are some of my favorites and this film does a great job of analyzing the tiny details that affect the story-line and challenging the audience's views on major events by making them address their own mental limitations. 

What is your favorite character/role?

My favorite character/role is Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I had the absolute honor of portraying this character twice and every time I went on stage I would learn something new about the play and about myself as an actor. I was blessed with an incredible cast that had a lot of patience to let me try new choices over and over in rehearsal. My ability to break down a script improved during this show because I was able to discover so much during each performance. 

What advice would you give to an actor starting out?

Don’t let yourself be the person who gets in the way of you and your career. It was a hard lesson I had to learn where I felt that so many things were out of my control such as money, my living situation, or finding acting work. There’s a way to figure anything out. Don’t let your limitations overtake you. 

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