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Jenna Ushkowitz

Believe through Rejection

“You have to keep in mind the right project will come at the right time.” - Jenna Ushkowitz

I am a huge GLEE fan.

I used to watch all the episodes- I even bought a TV so that I could watch GLEE. I was kind of a freak.

That’s why I’m so grateful and excited for you to connect with a new friend of mine, Jenna Ushkowitz.

Jenna is one of the original cast members of the show GLEE which was a huge hit for six years.

She’s a South Korean-born actress and singer known for her performances in Broadway musicals, and for her role as Tina Cohen Chang on GLEE. She’s also the co-founder of an organization called Kindred which is a foundation for adoption.

In this 5-Minute Friday, Jenna talks about how she handles the pressures of Pilot Season in Los Angeles. It’s not always easy.

She breaks down how she made it to a hit show, what it was like to go through a pilot season, and the rules she lives by to keep her going.

Learn how to handle rejection in a healthy way on Episode 687.

“I strive to live a life that is not led by fear, but led by challenges that allow you to expand and grow and learn continually.” @JennaUshkowitz  

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The ups and downs of pilot season (1:30)
  • Jenna’s path to GLEE (2:15)
  • The tools Jenna uses to overcome rejection (2:30)
  • The three truths she lives by (3:50)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Jenna Ushkowitz

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                 This is 5-Minute Friday!!

Welcome, everyone, to this episode, I’m so grateful and excited for you to be here right now, to connect with a new friend of mine, Jenna Ushkowitz. Now, for those that don’t know me that well, I am a huge Glee fan, like, crazy Glee fan!

I would watch all the episodes, I bought a TV just to watch Glee; I was kind of a freak. And Jenna is one of the original cast members of the show, Glee, which was a huge hit for six years. She is a South-Korean born actress and singer, known for her performances on Broadway musicals, and for her role as Tina Cohen-Chang on Glee.

She is also a co-founder of an organisation called ‘Kindred’, which is the foundation for adoption, with a friend of hers, named Samantha, and she wrote a book in 2013, called, ‘Choosing Glee’.

* * *

Jenna Ushkowitz:           I’ve been going through it because this is pilot season. And for people who don’t know, pilot season is when all the new TV shows do their pilots and then the networks look and say, “We’re going to pick three out of the ten.”

So, all the characters are being cast right now, and I’ve gone out on a plethora of auditions, and they’re great! They’re going really well. You’re making relationships even if you don’t get the job, and you’re making good impressions.

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah. Of course. But how do you handle it?

Jenna Ushkowitz:           So, it’s hard, I mean, literally, day to it’s like, “I’m in La La Land! I love this!” and then the next day it’s like, “I hate everything! I’m quitting!” You have to keep in mind, the right project’s going to come at the right time. Not every project, and I mean, I’m a hundred and ten percent in everything I do, from waking up in the morning and drinking my coffee, it’s just, like, everything is…

Lewis Howes:                 You’re in it. “Yes!”

Jenna Ushkowitz:           Yeah, exactly! So, you can’t get married to the parts before you’ve booked them. I have to, like, “Let it go. Let it go.” And you have to remember that it’s just the right timing and the right character, and it’s going to all happen.

Like, there was a pilot I did for Disney years, years ago. And, during that time, I would have been, for the six years, it didn’t get picked up, or it did, but I got recast, actually. They brought in different women to play the role.

And, had I done the show while it was running, I wouldn’t have been able to audition for Glee. So, everything just, it all makes sense.

Lewis Howes:                 Of course, yeah.

Jenna Ushkowitz:           So that’s what I keep in mind. But it’s really a day-to-day, and I’m living with my best friend, Kevin, who plays Artie, right now. And we’re both auditioning, and we keep each other sane.

Lewis Howes:                 In New York?

Jenna Ushkowitz:           Here! Here in L.A., I’m staying with him. Yeah, and we’re great. We’ve always been the best of friends.

Lewis Howes:                 He seems awesome. He’s very talented, too.

Jenna Ushkowitz:           He’s insane, he’s literally insane!

Lewis Howes:                 His harmonies, whenever he sings harmonies, I’m like…

Jenna Ushkowitz:           And he can dance and he can sing and he can write and he’s just smart.

Lewis Howes:                 That episode where he got to dance, I was like, “Yes!”

Jenna Ushkowitz:           I know! We were all so happy!

Lewis Howes:                 It was amazing!

Jenna Ushkowitz:           And on tour we wake up in the morning, and go get breakfast and then go round the city together, so, everything we did was just…

Lewis Howes:                 That’s very cool.

Jenna Ushkowitz:           Yeah, I don’t know what I’d do without him, but even during pilot season, now, we keep each other in check, we read lines with each other, when we’re having a bad day, he’s like, “Let’s just go get cheeseburgers or something, and try and forget about it.”

Lewis Howes:                 That’s cool.

Jenna Ushkowitz:           It is good to have a support system here, yeah. It is hard, though. It is hard, hard, hard. There are days… We both had one really bad day this time, and we’re lying on the couch, like, “What are we doing?”

Lewis Howes:                 Yeah! Especially when you were on the top of the world!

Jenna Ushkowitz:           Yeah, I mean, you go from something, and then we look at each other and go, like, “I miss that show.” It’s one of those things sometimes.

My truth is living for the bigger picture, living for the greater good. Knowing that what I was doing left a mark that was bigger than myself. Number two would be living with the awareness of living with self-worth and self-love, or trying to every day.

And, three, the third one would be something about living a life that is not led by fear, but led by challenges that allowed you to expand and grow and learn continually.

* * *

Lewis Howes:                 Hey, guys! If you enjoyed this inspirational clip from a past episode of the show, then you’ll love the free book I’m giving away right now. It’s called The Millionaire Morning. It includes some of my best tips for starting off your day with a millionaire mindset. Get your free copy at and just pay shipping.

Again, check it out right now,

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