Alumna on the Radar: Jené Johnson

You probably know alumna Jené Johnson (‘14) from Disney’s “Frozen” parody, “Do You Want To Go To Starbucks.” The video, filmed here on campus last May by senior media communications – film studies major Olivia Mowry, went viral. It currently stands at about 3.5 million views on Youtube. She moved to Los Angeles to live out her dreams of composing music and acting. The Point wanted to see what Johnson, a music composition major, is up to now that she’s graduated and if the viral video still influences her life.

The Point: Tell me a little bit about life after the “Do you want to go to Starbucks” Youtube sensation? Any perks? Any downsides?

Jené Johnson: The excitement of the “Starbucks” parody YouTube video is still happening. I still have people come up to me in my daily life who recognize me from it, or strangers from across the world who try and reach out to me over Facebook because of the video. Just this past week, [Actor] George Takei had shared my video on his Facebook page, and the views really spiked after that!

What are you currently doing musically? Acting?

JJ: I have been doing a lot of acting, and have had the chance to be in about 14 different television episodes from major networks, such as “Bones,” “NCIS,” “Perception,” “Major Crimes,” “Scorpion,” “The Comeback,” “Shameless,” and a few new shows set to premiere next year. I was also casted in a feature role in a film called “The Road to Hell” from the Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC). Musically, I’ve had the chance to score three short film projects for different filmmakers in the U.S., and I am also happy to be serving as a part of the worship team at my church out here in L.A.

Have you always had a passion for music?

JJ: I have always had a passion for the arts, specifically music. I’ve been involved with music and performing nonstop since the age of two, when I first sang live onstage. It truly is an important part of my life.

What is something in the near future that you are looking forward to?

JJ: Regarding my future, I’m excited to see the direction in which it goes. So far my life after college has been everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. But it’s my experiences at Point Loma that have prepared me for this, and I’m so thankful for my time there. I feel truly blessed to be where I’m at in life right now and cannot wait to see what the future has in store.

What is something you are most proud of that you accomplished while at PLNU?

JJ: Looking back to my time at PLNU, I think my favorite accomplishment would be my senior composition recital. I had about 80 people involved in the performance, and it was a packed house in audience. Seeing the hard work of my four years come to life onstage and the music from my brain being performed by my friends and colleagues, was easily the most rewarding thing to experience. It felt a little bit like magic. Thinking back on it now, I’m still so grateful for everyone who helped make my recital a beautiful, seamless concert. At the end of the night, I was honestly moved to tears by everyone’s efforts to bring my compositions to life, and the smiling faces out in the audience made it all worth it. It’s an experience I will never forget.