YBY ep 327: Redefining Success with Jess Lonett

This week on Yes But Why, I chatted with my friend Jess Lonett, an enthusiastic human who loves collaborating with other enthusiastic humans.

Jess Lonett is a cat mom, a glitter enthusiast, a #swiftie, an inspiration hoarder, a playlist curator, a donut lover, and an improviser based in Austin, Texas! She is what some may call a human woman who likes attention and has been capturing the attention of friends, family and strangers alike in a variety of ways since birth. She’s won silver medals as a competitive dancer, played Goldilocks as the lead in her 3rd grade class play, done kicklines in high school football halftime shows on the pom pom squad, and been knocked down as a jammer on a small town roller derby team. She performs comedy regularly at Fallout Theater and she writes a blog called “!!!” (for real though, the website is http://www.exclamationpointexclamationpointexclamationpoint.com/ )

Turns out, Jess is from Pittsburgh; and, even though I didn’t know that until this chat, I should have assumed. She is as delightful and wonderfully creative as the other amazing ladies I’ve interviewed from Pittsburgh. Amazing town.

Jess and I are compatriots from the Austin improv scene. I have had the pleasure of coaching Jess in improv and directing her in sketch comedy a few times over the years.

In our conversation, Jess told me that she started as a performer like so many of us do – choreographing dances in her basement. We shared notes on both winning lip sync contests back in the day. And then, Jess told me she hosted a radio show in college called “Groovy Cupcakes.”  Now that is pretty much the most perfectly Jess thing I’ve ever heard.

Jess loves music; that’s how she got to Austin. She is a lover of mixtapes (aren’t we all) and she is a curator of some amazing Spotify playlists. Jess is an appreciator of art and the people who make art. That is something we really bond over and share.

Jess has such a welcoming energy. She told me that she is community first, creativity second, when it comes to her extracurricular activities.  From improv to volleyball to dance, Jess brings the joy to every scene she encounters. It’s all about connecting with people. And Jess is an amazing success at that.

You can support Jess Lonett at Fallout Theater in Austin Texas where, on the last Wednesday of the month at 8PM, she will be performing in Teenage Dirtbag. You can also connect with her on Instagram by following @itsjesslonett.


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(production notes: recorded zoom meeting via Rodecaster on 10/24/2022; posted on 11/21/2022)


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