Jenna Lyons on Filming a TV Show, the Value of a Good Night’s Sleep and the Art of Being Less Structured
Jenna Lyons is having a bit of a “rebirth.” Between launching her game-changing lash-centric LoveSeen beauty line, creating a pop-up shop and breaking into the world of television with Stylish With Jenna Lyons on HBO in T-minus 24 hours (the streaming docu-competition series has participants vying for a slot on her creative team), the former J. Crew exec is in new-venture mode—and learning some lessons along the way. Lyons recently chatted with us about her shift to reality TV and shaking structure to “let creativity fly.”
How is being on a TV project different than anything else you’ve ever done before?
The biggest shift is it is literally a world I know nothing about. Every day I came to work I felt completely ill-equipped. Everything was new, I had no concept of how to drive and shape a television show. Not to mention the fact that it was the first time I was working with a large crew of people and none of them reported to me. It was challenging, humbling and really exciting.
Any surprises when it came to filming?
I would say the most challenging part is forcing yourself to forget the cameras are there. The idea was to really present a story that was real and not manufactured. It’s deeply challenging to be “natural” when you have a microphone attached to your waist and three cameras at every angle. It’s hard to be natural in that setting. You also have to remember, what I didn’t know, is that when you are filming you start at 6 a.m. Nothing is more valuable than a good night’s sleep when you have cameras in your face at 8 a.m. sharp.
What do you hope people take away from the show?
I think the world of fashion and interiors can be intimidating and somewhat hard to connect to. I hope we are able to bring viewers inside the process and share the fun, the mess. Maybe they learn something and hopefully they come away wanting more.
Are there any creative ideas you got from the show’s participants that you are applying to LoveSeen?
I would say the most valuable lesson I learned through the process of the show and with working with new people is just letting things be less structured. Finding ways to harness creativity on the fly, letting people experiment and play around. I came from a far more structured environment, and I’m really grateful to have had a more unstructured and loose approach to creativity.
What is the number-one most important trait you like to see from members of your creative team?
Curiosity and tenacity. They are two things I can’t teach.
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