Actor Jenna Ushkowitz may be best known for her role as Tina Cohen-Chang on the TV show, Glee. However, as of January, she has ventured out into the world of internet audio with her self-help podcast, “Infinite Positivities.”
Distributed via podcast network @Will Radio, “Infinite Positivities” is an extension of Ushkowitz’s 2013 book, Choosing Glee, a self-help book for teens on how to cope with life’s stresses and anxieties and the principles to live as a happier, more positive person. Episodes are divided into chapters, and each one falls under a theme covered in her book. She speaks with authors, experts, actors and others who she believes live life with a positive outlook.
“My perspective on positivity is that it’s a choice and I don’t know if everybody looks at it that way,” she explained in a phone interview. “The goal is to have people think differently than [how they did when they started listening].”
This is a new venture for Ushkowitz; one that she’s been wanting to act on for quite some time.
“I like to dabble in lots and lots of things,” she said. “I was thinking about [doing] a podcast for a while now.”
After appearing as a guest on Aisha Tyler’s “Girl on Guy” podcast, Ushkowitz developed an interest for the medium, especially with the opportunity to interact with people on what they have to say, as well as their stories and perspectives. With the help of business partner, @Will Radio CEO Will Malnati, “Infinite Positivities” became a reality.
Asked if she had any difficulties transitioning to a medium where it was voice-only after years of performing on both stage and screen, she didn’t find it to be that big of a stretch at all.
“I kind of love it because I can wear whatever I want,” she joked.
Really, the only difficulty she had was going from being an interviewee to being an interviewer. To arrange a conversation and bring out the best in each of her guests was a challenge she earnestly tackled.
“I want everybody to see what I see in the guest and why I brought them on my podcast,” she explained. “So it’s an interesting strategy to change it up and have to lead a conversation.”
So far, the guests she’s invited onto her podcast include professional skydiving instructor Eddie Carroll, author Mike Robbins, actor Matthew Morrison, actor Nina Dobrev, and more. When it comes to choosing the guests, Ushkowitz emphasizes quality over quantity, as she aims to find and reach out to people who will shine and who truly live life with a positive outlook.
Within the past year, there have been more podcasts emerging with Asian Americans as the hosts. When the subject was brought up to Ushkowitz, she finds the emerging diversity in the podcast world to be amazing.
“I think it’s wonderful that through the entertainment industry and through podcasts that there has just been so much more additions to it and I think it’s great,” she commented. “I love the fact that we can represent and that we can be like pioneers almost.”
Since its debut, “Infinite Positivities” has been doing really well, with a five-star rating on iTunes. Ushkowitz was able to intrigue interest for her new endeavor via social media, and she now has a really steady listenership as a result.
In the long run, she hopes to keep learning and providing new perspectives via the podcast. As long as she’s doing that, then she feels she’s doing her job. She also hopes that her podcast can provide insight on how celebrities are not all glitz and glam, and that they are humans with problems of their own to face. Social media can only reveal so much on one’s personal life, but Ushkowitz aims to show the intimacy of one’s life, as best exposed through a one-on-one conversation.
“When do people really listen to podcasts? It’s usually when they’re by themselves, with headphones on, on a plane or a train or at the gym or whatever,” she elaborated. “[Listening to a podcast] is a very intimate experience, I think; maybe even more than social media.”