I’ve known Jena for something close to all of her life. She’s been at the festival almost as long as I have. Maybe longer.
Jena is working on something all of the time. She has a remarkably eclectic skill set that makes her valuable in almost any situation. I don’t know of a time I’ve thought “this is something Jena can’t do.”
When something comes up at the last minute, she is not one to back away from the challenge. Given just a couple of weeks to prepare, she wrote and performed a solo show at the Minnesota Fringe last year. On the Rarig Proscenium.
If you’ve ever been inside the Rarig Proscenium, you should know that performing a solo show on that stage is something only a crazy person would want to do.
Jena is not crazy. She is driven and she is willing to take chances that may or may not pay off because she knows that she will get something valuable out of the experience either way.
We’ve been recording A Reel Education together for about a year now and that has been a lot of fun. She brings that fresh perspective to every movie and it is a lot of fun. The biggest challenge, though, is fitting podcast recordings into her schedule that is filled with rehearsals.
You have to respect someone who is working in theater all the time. She is always finding projects that are interesting and different.
Somehow, she manages to do all of this while also being a single mom. I don’t usually talk about parenting in my Friend a Day posts but the thing is, Jena is very present as a parent and as someone trying to strike that theater/kid balance, I admire and respect her efforts in that regard. I’m fortunate to have a partner to share that load. She doesn’t have that.
Jena is hard working and dedicated and I think that work pays off in all sorts of ways. Time with Jena is always time well spent.
Not only did I watch this film for the Alphabetical movie project recently, I watched it again for A Reel Education!
That provides me with a wonderful springboard to talk about A Reel Education, which is by far my favorite podcast to record.
Every couple of weeks I get to sit down with Jena Young and Melissa Kaercher, watch a movie and then talk about it. How is that not the best idea for a podcast ever? I’m not saying that it is the best idea from a “everyone wants to listen to this podcast” standpoint.
Rather, it is the best idea from a “boy do I enjoy spending my time this way” standpoint.