21 questions

Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz Knows Exactly What Billy Joel Was Talking About

Name: Jenna Noelle Ushkowitz
Neighborhood: East Meadow, Long Island
Occupation: Actor, Glee

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Billy Joel. My high school (Holy Trinity) was right next to his and it’s like, I know exactly what he’s talking about in his songs.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Peter Luger’s steak; it literally melts in your mouth. It’s the one and only, really. We make up special occasions just to go.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Currently, I sing and dance to show the world that different is good.

What was your first job in New York?
A Playskool ad for “dress me up Ernie” when I was 3. I also did three seasons of Sesame Street and I remember a little. They were so nice and [the actors] would talk as their characters to me. I remember Elmo would talk in his voice, and it’s this big tall guy, and it was so weird to me.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
A Little Night Music. Watching Bernadette Peters perform is like an acting class. She’s amazing.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Not really. Musicians, sure. I appreciate students and younger people, not necessarily panhandlers.

What’s your drink?
Stags Leap Cabernet. When I was bartending at Quality Meats, we would have wine tastings for the bartenders before the shift. Also, if a customer didn’t finish the bottle they ordered, we would get to finish the bottle, and I always got excited for Stags Leap.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Never — I’m a takeout kind of girl. Whole Foods prepares most of my meals ;)

What’s your favorite medication?
Sleep. It’s my favorite thing. I can sleep anywhere. I can fall asleep standing up, literally anywhere.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
Nothing. Probably cobwebs.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Anything over $250. Although, my friend/hairstylist Theodore Leaf cuts my hair when it’s time and I don’t get charged, so I get the luxury of a free haircut. I always leave it long and simple; I’ve tried too many other cuts and they just don’t work. Stick to what you know.

When’s bedtime?
Usually eight hours before I have to get up.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square? Old. When I was on Broadway when I was little, I remember always driving through Times Square with my dad to the theater. Now when I go back, you can’t even drive on Broadway in the 40s. New Times Square is too touristy to me.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
I think he’s taking over the world one city block at a time.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The same things that I love most: The people, the hustle, the subways, the uphill walks on the UES, the weather, the small real estate for outrageous prices 

Who is your mortal enemy?
The Boston Red Sox.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
This morning to work. I think I’m a good driver, but I don’t think people think I’m a good driver. I failed my road test twice before I got my license.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Probably in more ways than I realize. Everything’s a little more stingy now.

Times, Post, or Daily News? Times.

Where do you go to be alone?

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Knowing there’s no place like it, Getting lost on the subway and ending up in Queens at least once, looking like you know where you’re going, when you realized you’ve walked five blocks past where you need be … and knowing the correct pronunciation of Houston.

Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz Knows Exactly What Billy Joel Was Talking About