Sylvester Sessions #65

Jenna wears Tiled bomber.

Jenna wears Tiled bomber.

Jenna Owen

Sydney, Australia

Tell us about what you do?

I will probably be working that out forever! At the moment, I’m majoring in Literature and Performance at Sydney University and doing comedy and acting on the side.

How did you get into acting / comedy?

A desperate need for attention probably. I had an agent from a young age but that wasn’t a Dakota Fanning situation. I’m originally from Wollongong, so things kicked off when I signed with Marquee Management and moved to Sydney after high school. I played ‘Shan’ in a short film in 2014 called ‘Shan and Kate’ – directed by Zoe Rae and written and produced by Bronte Jovevski, and I remember how much they just owned any room they were in and I was like, ‘I need to be as funny as these women’. I teamed up with two of my closest friends (Victoria Zerbst and Jess Bush) and formed a sketch group called Freudian Nip. I always feel really giddy after I see them, like I just had a hot date. They are fearless and funny and we have the most riotous times. After we did our first couple shows, this whole world of women and comedy has opened up and I have an epiphany every day about how good comedy is in this city.

What or who inspires you?

Women in hip hop. Two of my favourite rappers – Rapsody and Junglepussy – are doing the most amazing things for women of colour and feminism. I lost a close friend to cancer early this year, his name was Elliott Miller, and he was the most amazing person I have ever met. He was so funny and sharp and you got better from just being around him. I am so lucky to have so many people in my life like that.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

‘Bro who cares’ – Jess Bush ‘Pause it. There’s only one thing I know and that’s that no one sold out the Garden more than Billy Joel sold out the Garden’ – Action Bronson

What's the best thing about living in Sydney right now?

Comedy. Generosity. Gun laws. Healthcare. I’ve just been in New York and I’m trying not to whinge about things for a while. It’s not good over there, and I feel lucky. I’m trying to shake out the cultural cringe. We’re doing okay.

Curated and photographed by Gemma Harben.