Adulting with Jane: Interview with Creator and Actress Jenny Paul

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“Adulting with Jane” is a new DIY short-form comedy series that has one goal: to teach people how to “adult.” Adulting with Jane helps viewers learn an array of new skills and it is the first narrative series ever to feature shoppable video technology. What that means is that when viewers see and like a featured product in the show, you can click on it, buy it on the spot, and then easily return to the episode!

Yet the show also teaches valuable life skills. The episode “Don’t Panic” is in partnership with Talkspace to teach viewers “How to Manage a Panic Attack.” Now that people across the globe are experiencing anxiety and fear on an unprecedented level due to COVID-19, unemployment, social unrest and more, the “Adulting with Jane” operating company, Intent Entertainment and Talkspace wanted to stress that providing people with the necessary tools to cope with new mental health challenges is important. The “Don’t Panic” episode was also produced entirely remotely, with every actor (and crew member) working from the safety of their homes. Intent Entertainment’s mission for the show is to continue to partner with brands, people, and products that aim to serve the personal development and quality-of-life for millennials and GenZers.

Creator Executive Producer Jenny Paul is the force behind the show and she also plays the role of Jane, a woman in her 20s or 30s with the typical problems faced by young adults such as bills, jobs, and relationships. A star-studded cast of expert/influencers appears each season to help Jane and also entertain viewers. It is truly a collaborative project, similar to what can be said for so many social media platforms.

Jenny Paul recently discussed the show via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): When did you first get interested in acting?

Jenny Paul (JP): I always really loved performing growing up in Dallas, Texas, and although I did a lot of theater and music in school, it never really occurred to me that it could be a legitimate choice for a career. I didn’t formally decide to pursue acting until the summer before my last year at Brandeis University. I loved it, but I had a very hectic senior year as I tried to get in enough classes to graduate in theater arts while going back and forth to New York City from Boston on the weekends to audition for professional jobs.

MM: How did you come up with the concept for “Adulting with Jane”?

JP: “Adulting with Jane” is the type of show I’ve always wanted to produce. It is a show that encapsulates in a practical way what I think the best art does — reminds people they are not alone in the world and gives them the tools and permission to do good for themselves and others.

MM: How similar to or different from you is the character of Jane?

JP: This show could literally be called “Adulting with Jenny.” (It almost was!) The major difference between Jane and Jenny is that adulthood happens to Jane. She’s in the passenger seat but is open to learning and growing. I’m mostly in the driver’s seat. If I don’t know how to do something, I excitedly research the heck out of it– asking anyone (including Google) who might have a piece of that puzzle– to figure out how to make it work. Also, one of the major inspirations for the show was the “Fun with Dick and Jane” books. Jane seemed a slightly better fit for the title in the end.

MM: What made you decide to collaborate with other creatives to make this show a reality?

JP: I’ve always ALWAYS been far more fond of collaborating with others than working by myself. Two heads are better than one. And even three or four heads, if you don’t end up killing each other first. My major collaborators on this project, Elvin Roytman, Sami Saltzman, and Jonathan Paul (no, this isn’t a coincidence, he’s my younger brother) are long-time and trusted collaborators that I’ve worked with dozens of times on dozens of projects over the years. They are truly the dream team.

MM: How do you come up with the ideas for the episodes?

JP: Each episode of Adulting with Jane has three major considerations. The “nugget” of information, the expert, and the helpful tool/brand. Sometimes we (or one of our fantastic writers) has a killer idea for an episode, so they write the outline and then we go find an expert and vet a product/tool to promote. Sometimes a product finds us and if we love it, we’ll find a good topic that we can tie into it. Sometimes we fall in love with an expert/influencer that we have to have on the show, and we build the idea around them. That’s part of the beauty of this show. The setup is untraditional, so we really can go where the ideas take us.

MM: What channels can people watch this on?

JP: Our main channels are Amazon Prime and www.AdultingWithJane.com . We are most excited to have people to watch on AdultingWithJane.com because the videos are entirely interactive. You can actually “shop the video” be clicking on objects within the video. We also do smaller premieres on Facebook Watch, IGTV, and YouTube as well!

MM: How have you gone about promoting this show and what sort of feedback have you gotten?

JP: The response to this show has been nothing short of extraordinary. With over 100K dedicated followers on our various social media channels and over 10M views of our episodes and video content, people from all walks of life are loving it. And we are so grateful and happy that they are. People need a good laugh so much right now and are actively looking for ways to self-rely and self-care in a time where doing even the smallest things is much harder.

MM: What topics might you cover in future episodes?

JP: Next up on the production list- “How to Darn a Sock” (yes, we’re going to try to bring darning back), “How to Make Homemade Soup,” and a “Communication in Intimacy” episode.

MM: How tough has it been to work/film around Covid?

JP: Oh boy. Beyond tough. We literally shot the whole “Don’t Panic!” episode remotely (our “How to Manage a Panic Attack” episode). We even lost a full day in production as we kept hitting major snafus in figuring out how to get it done. The team had to work double overtime to make sure the quality standard could match what we’re used to producing in person — but they were and are incredible and totally rose to the challenge.

MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to discuss?

JP: “Adulting with Jane” is the big one. We’re hoping if we can sustain the show through 2021, bringing more and more useful tools and ideas to our audiences. We may also try to branch out and create a similar “DIY” show focused around parenting. The next frontier for Jane…

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You can binge watch the first four episodes on AdultingWithJane.com, Facebook Watch, IGTV, or Amazon Prime, and stay tuned for more new episodes on all platforms by subscribing at www.AdultingWithJane.com  For more information, visit www.adultingwithjane.com, Follow on Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest (@AdultingJane).