Second Life Podcast: Busy Philipps on Overcoming Rejection Early in Her Career

Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.


Busy Philipps always knew she would be an actress. In fact, she was studying theater in college when she landed her first major role as Kim Kelly on the coming-of-age hit Freaks and Geeks. While she found success early on at the age of 19, her career hasn't been without setbacks, rejection, and grit. "I never have really fit into a lot of people's molds," she tells Hillary Kerr on episode 33 of Second Life. But Philipps persevered in a male-dominated industry fraught with unrealistic expectations to come out the other side more sure of herself than ever.

After Freaks and Geeks wrapped, Philipps struggled to find her next role. "I was so defeated," she admits. "I didn't know what I was going to do." Eventually, however, the actress landed a job on another iconic TV show, Dawson's Creek, but the part came with its own set of challenges. It was the first time Philipps had been confronted with criticism about her looks on set. "I just would cringe anytime I would have to have a wardrobe fitting," she says. "It was a really difficult time as an actor and a young person."

Despite the harsh perfectionism demanded by Hollywood standards, Philipps credits the tough skin she had as a young person in the industry to getting her to where she is today. With countless TV shows and movies under her belt, a new book, and a late-night TV show on the way, Philipps certainly never gave up. Her advice to her 18-year-old self? "The more you you can manage to be, the better off it's going to be for you. And if you can remember that when people tell you that they have to hide your mid-section or cover your moles, you're going to be just fine."

Head to iTunes to subscribe to Second Life and hear the full episode.