This week’s spotlight is on Jeanette Eng, the fearless founder of Actors InC. With her entrepreneurial attitude and her boundless ambition, this girly-girl is headed straight to the top of her own empire. Maybe we should start calling her an Empress now so she can get used to the title. Also, listen to her talk about what motivated her to start Actors InC and then actually go listen to her speak as the keynote-speaker for a Christian Women in Media Event, details are below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Wow, what a tough question…we might need to change this one…haha!
The short answer is I’m a commercial actress/model, a spin instructor, & a believer!
The long answer is I’m a hopeless optimist, a hard-worker, a writer, a fashionista, a girly girl, an adrenaline junkie, an inspiration junkie, a motivator, an ideas person, a frozen yogurt addict, and someone who strives to be excellent at what she does and honest about her faith.
Who are your major influences and why?
I’ve wanted to be the Asian Oprah ever since I can remember. I have some of my favorite episodes saved, including her finale, and I have her 20th anniversary dvd box set. Then I found out that there is already an Asian Oprah in China and I had to move on. If I was a tv host, I’d like to believe that I’d have the substance of Oprah, the style of Tyra, and the humor of Chelsea! Oh yes, and the paycheck of Oprah.
Another reason I respect Oprah, however, is because the last words in her finale episode were, “To God be the glory.” I could hardly believe it myself! But I love that. I love famous figures who are upfront about their faith in God. Tim Tebow, the football player…Jeannie Mai, the tv host…Megan Alexander, the Inside Edition reporter…John Wooden, the basketball coach…they’ve used their fame as a platform for their faith. And that inspires me!
What is an ultimate goal in your career?
Immediately, I’m ready to book my first national commercial and national print campaign and be ubiquitous! That’s when I’ll know I’ve conquered the commercial world. I’d also still like to host my own show.
But I’m going to be one of those people with an empire so there’s really no single answer to this. I want to be a media personality, a fitness personality, a fashion designer, a restaurateur, an author, a speaker, a socialite, a businesswoman, all with excellence and faith!
Has Actors Inc helped you and how?
Of course! I think that all actors struggle with the simple act of practicing! I mean, to just have a place to sit down with another actor and run lines is no easy task! You literally find yourself either doing it quietly in Starbucks, on a park bench, or forking over money to rent a studio! I struggled with this very practical problem and Actors InC has solved it!
Actors InC has also answered an emotional need for me. The acting industry is one in which it’s challenging to really get to know people. At best, you spend several days with the same people if you have a long shoot. After that, the chances of seeing those people again are slim and then, the chance of actually building a relationship is even slimmer. Actors InC is a place where I can invite anyone and anyone can come! And so, I believe that the relationships that are meant to be formed have much more of a fighting chance.
And of course, finding a place where conversation flows seamlessly from God to acting and back is literally heaven-sent.
What was one of your favorite jobs and least favorite jobs?
I have great memories from so many different jobs: the ice-cream machine on-set of an Xfinity commercial, the free trip to Iceland from a documentary, the ongoing paychecks from a SunnyD commercial, the fulfillment of a dream from a Shape Magazine shoot, the exposure from a WE Network shoot, the celebrity encounters from my red carpet jobs…I think that the jobs get better, however, as you become more comfortable in your skin and on a set. The best jobs are those in which I felt at ease talking with the cast and crew and felt proud of the role I was playing…and that only gets better with time!
My least favorite job was when I had to dress as an apple for a WWE shoot. It was a combination of being new in the industry and having an embarrassing role. I had to wear an apple costume in which only my arms, legs, and head were exposed…I looked like one of the fruits from a Fruit of the Loom commercial…it was mortifying. I think I even had trouble walking in it because the opening for my legs wasn’t even wide enough. And to make matters worse, it was on the my birthday and because I had to return from Connecticut, I was late to my own party! ;(
What lesson can you share with us that you’ve learned over the years?
There are a few! In no particular order:
- Don’t be afraid of your agents. Think of them as your partners, not your bosses. For a while, I was intimidated by my agents and then I took one day to go and physically visit every single one and it helped to break that invisible barrier I had been feeling. Be honest with them, collaborate with them, ask them questions, and just have a relationship with them!
- Don’t overpay [or even pay] for photos. Of course, if you have the money, please have at the top-notch photographers. But if you’re struggling, then collaborate with photographers so that you can get professional photos for free. Of course, you are taking a chance, but I’ve fared well this way!
- And to wrap it up, because I can keep going, stay hungry and stay patient. I think that the acting industry is unique in that people are constantly starting over again. There are so many different ways to grow that once you master one, there’s somewhere else in which to be a novice. So, don’t settle but don’t be too proud. As long as you’re busy either learning or working, you’re a success.
What would you like people to know about you?
I’d like for people to know that I’m cool! I don’t know…I don’t always get a chance to mingle and relax into Actors InC on Monday nights and I’d like to work on enjoying it more…now, there’s an oxymoron! So, for those who don’t know, I just want you to know that I am a very genuine, caring, arguably hilarious, and fun-loving gal!
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Cue: shameless plug! I am speaking at a Christian Women in Media event this week and would LOVE for any interested women to please come! This is also a dream come true for me: to be a keynote speaker! Say what?! And this is actually one of a series of personal milestones I’ve reached this year and I truly owe it all to God. The no-fail way that I’ve learned to live my life is this: Be excellent in what you do and be honest about your faith. Do this and you will move mountains!
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