Today we’d like to introduce you to Jhemma Ziegler.
Hi Jhemma, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in Miami with my three brothers, and we were always entertaining our family by singing and putting on plays. I was really close with my grandparents both of whom had total laryngectomies, and I found that performing for them was a special way to connect. It motivated me to continue finding new creative outlets to share with them and others. I started doing community theatre and realized that acting is what I wanted to dedicate my life to. When it was time for college, I came out to Los Angeles to study theatre at USC while simultaneously taking film acting classes outside of university, and I completely fell in love with the art of subtlety – you can’t lie in front of the camera. It wasn’t long before I booked my first acting job on Ugly Betty, which was especially exciting since the show was adapted from a telenovela by a writer from my hometown… and I got my SAG card! That’s when my professional journey really began.
Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to work all over the country in film and television. I currently spend my time between Los Angeles and Atlanta and love being a part of both communities.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like many actors and artists, I’ve found that there never seems to be a shortage of obstacles and challenges. I’m not immune to feelings of disappointment and rejection when I don’t book a role I really want and have to remind myself that it’s not personal. It can be challenging to let go of the outcome and focus on the journey instead, but it’s something I really work at. At times, this business can feel like it’s designed to break your spirit, and so we have to find ways to feed and refill our souls. For me, this has meant reminding myself why I began doing this in the first place and reconnecting to that pure purpose. I’ve certainly gone through difficult times where finances were a real struggle, and it’s challenging to be creative in survival mode. I always found solace in realizing that I’m not alone, even if at times I felt like I was. All these obstacles and life experiences have only deepened my creative well and expanded my understanding of the human experience, giving me compassion for the wide range of roles I’m asked to play.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I like to think of myself as an artist and storyteller. In my acting career, I’m possibly best known for playing the Scant Queen on HBOMax’s Doom Patrol. The show is based on a cult classic DC comic book, and I played a very fun character who floats around, wears a crown, and is literally pink from head to toe. I love embodying characters like this where I get to create something memorable and play with such an amazing cast. I also will be on the next season of Westworld, and it was fun plugging into that show’s very unique vibe. I would like to think I specialize in bringing characters to life that are far deeper and more interesting than they first appear to be, and I love adding this kind of unexpected dimension. Much like many of the characters I play, I think it’s easy for people to look at me and make assumptions of who I am and what I’m all about, but I like to continually surprise people.
What I’m most proud of currently is the music I’m writing and recording. It’s been a lifelong dream to release an album, and I’ve finally gained the courage to share my songs with the world. I’m working with some insanely talented people on this project, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.
What matters most to you? Why?
As an artist, what matters most to me is to tell the truth and to inspire and touch others whom I may never meet. We all share in the human experience, and the power to unlock emotions and simply ‘feel’ is fundamental to our emotional health. Movies and TV can be a great conduit to remind us that we are not all that different from each other, and I’m grateful to be a part of that message. On a personal level, it all comes down to love. My family and other loved ones are the most important to me, and even though life is so fast-paced & everyone is so busy these days, I spend as much time with them as I can and always tell them how much I love them.
- Website: www.imdb.me/jhemma
- Instagram: @jhemmaziegler
In the ‘additional photos’ section the editorial photographer is Embry Illions.