In May 2017, Tiffany Jenkins was clean after years of opioid addiction, mothering three young children and holding down her job at a Sarasota building company. But she was restless and had so much to say that she started a blog. Then she wrote a book. And, just for grins, she produced a video satirizing mommy support groups. The 5:37-minute sketch, in which Jenkins plays four characters, including a Florida Cracker in a Gators hat and plaid flannel shirt, quickly went viral. A star was born.
Since then, Jenkins, 33, has launched a website, jugglingthejenkins.com, and made scores of videos that have attracted millions of views. Her Facebook page is approaching 3 million fans, and her book, High Achiever: The Shocking True Story of One Addict’s Double Life, has sold more than 31,000 copies, astonishing for a self-published story. She’s even taking her one-woman show on the road, drawing big crowds last fall in Wichita and Denver for This Show is Awkward AF. Ten more shows were added for early this year.
“It’s crazy how this could happen so fast,” Jenkins says. “Everywhere I go in Sarasota it seems like people recognize me, and that’s cool.”
A former cheerleading captain at Sarasota High, Jenkins started drinking her senior year. She dropped out and became addicted to opioids. She stole to feed her habit, was arrested 17 times and served four months in jail. When she was released six years ago, she was given the choice to return to her family or go to rehab. She chose rehab and has been sober ever since.
Most of her videos are comic sketches about life’s inanities. In Meeting My Personal Trainer LOL!, Jenkins plays both the trainer and herself. Asked if she has any medical conditions, Jenkins deadpans, “I have a very rare medical condition called can’tmovemybodyalot phobia.” In a scene from Why I Suck at Being a Girl, she sits on a bed, disheveled in a T-shirt and sweat pants, looking every bit the worn-out mom. A faceless voice tells her, “You look so sexy right now.” Jenkins replies, “Thanks, I haven’t showered in weeks and I look like a busted can of biscuits. But you can get up on it if you want to.”
Although she is starting to make more money than she ever imagined, Jenkins and her family still live in a house they rent from her father-in-law. When their old mini-van broke down, they splurged on an SUV.
“I have this underlying fear it could all end tomorrow,” Jenkins says, “so I’m not ready to start living like a Kardashian just yet.”