Broadway producer Jenna Segal visited the University of Nebraska at Omaha to give a speech to students at Mammel Hall on UNO’s Pacific Campus. While in town, Jenna Segal sat down to talk with me about her life, her career and words of advice.
Segal came to Omaha on the re-quest of her long-time friend, Adrian Duran, professor of art history at UNO. He had been following her career and asked her to speak to the UNO campus. Segal said that the main thing she wanted the listeners in the audience to take away from her speech was the impact of a women in entertainment.
“Just for people to see a woman up there speaking about the trajectory of her career,” Segal said. “Just to have that visual is really the take-away I want people to have. That the women in the audience can say ‘I can do that’ and the men in the audience see a woman as a producer and that is normal to them.”
Looking back on her career, Segal said that what brings her the most successful feeling was producing “Gigi” at the Kennedy Center. Segal shared that before producing “Gigi,” she had learned the most from her time at MTV, crediting MTV with teaching her the ability to create something out of nothing.
Segal said the best career advice she was ever given came from her boss at MTV: “Figure it out.”
“When I would come into her office and I’d open her door and say, ‘I have a problem,’ she would say ‘figure it out,’” Segal said. “And it was the greatest advice. There was no excuse. There was nothing about stopping. It’s like find a solution.”
Segal also has words of advice for anyone out there who might be listening.
“If you love the arts, that means a million different things,” Segal said. “If you aren’t finding success as an actor or you’re not finding success as a costume designer but you love the industry, look for what you can really excel at and embrace what it is about you that is going to make you good at that job.Take every opportunity that is given to you because you never know what you might learn from it and what different aspects of that career that you probably wouldn’t know existed at 19 years old.”