An Interview with our Recruiting Director, Jen Donohoo
We got a chance to sit down with our Recruiting Director, Jen! She's spent many years on the Lane and now works internally recruiting Laners all over the country! She works in the office while balancing different choreographing and directing jobs! Jen only recruits the best of the best, we're so lucky to have her on our team! Read below to learn more about Jen and why she's an intricate part of our team!
How long have you been working for the Lane and what has been your favorite ML gig?
I have been working for Mustard Lane for 7.5 years. How do I choose a favorite gig? From a "Walker" for The Walking Dead Premiere to managing a team of 160 for one of our favorite events of the year, Bustle "Rule Breakers" in Prospect Park, there's never a dull moment on the Lane!
What has your journey with ML been like?
I was fortunate enough, like many of our New York Laners, to be referred by a former Laner and was able to jump right in on gigs upon my move from Chicago in 2012. I have done everything from the 7AM street teams and demos for Pepsico to choreographing for the Pride Parade and managing teams of 160 for large scale events. I started out as Brand Ambassador and was promoted to Team Lead in late 2014 and began to work sporadically for us in the office until I took over Casting & Recruitment in the Fall of 2016. Although, I'm mainly behind the scenes now, I love being able to travel across the country to meet our hard working Laners. Last year we staffed in 70 different cities across the country, and this year we've delved into the Canadian market and have staffed events in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. I love that there's always an influx of amazing new talent. It creates for a fun family environment.
Do you have any creative passions outside the Lane?
Yes! I have many that ebb and flow when time permits! I'm a director and choreographer that works on everything from musical theatre, touring arena shows, stage managing hair shows and even cruising around the Caribbean installing a Diving Show on a cruise ship. When I have time, I also love to write poetry. It's a great escape and helps clear my mind when it's sometimes drawn in many different directions throughout the day.
How long have you been in NYC and what is your favorite part about living here?
I've been in NYC for 7.5 years and love how accessible everything is in the city. Being able to hop a nonstop flight to most destinations across the US and Europe helps with my travel bug. I also love that I can stop in for late night groceries at my 24 hour bodega! NYC truly is the city that never sleeps.
Favorite playlist to play on the Sonos while working?
Always jazz or soft rock favs, as my office mates will attest to!
What makes you excited/passionate about working at ML?
I have seen our company grow a lot in the past 7 years and what excites me is the endless possibilities for the future. As we work with so many talented Actor/Singer/Dancers across the country and Canada, being able to grow our business with more of the entertainment gigs is always fun! Also, getting to work on an event from start to finish, particularly the large scale events is exciting for me. Seeing all of the details played out and our team going above and beyond for our clients fills me with a sense of pride. Each person in our small, but mighty office, plays their own part in helping each event succeed without a hitch. All of the small details really make a difference and something I feel like I hear a lot from our Laners is that they always feel really well prepared for our events and know exactly what they are walking in to. I know our team has our staff's best interests in mind at all times!
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live and why?
Tough question. I'm an avid traveler. Every year I take a two to three week trip to Europe to wine taste. I live for Italian and French wines, but would probably end up in Italy because the food is more to my liking! Retiring on an Italian vineyard has always been a dream of mine!
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I try to take several ambitious hikes every year. Wine tasting trips to Europe or Upstate NY if I'm time crunched are always on my list. I also love hosting dinner parties, Friendsgiving and other festive events at my house. I'm a bit of a homebody, so Harry Potter or Marvel marathons are always a fun pastime!
If you could be any superhero, which one and why?
This answer changes on a daily basis! I'm currently in the middle of a Marvel Marathon. I'm watching the movies and TV series in chronological order and currently in the middle of Agent Carter. Agent Peggy Carter is resourceful, a chameleon and quick on her feet. Not many series have a woman as the lead interest. She carries the show with her wit, beauty and steadfastness to earn respect from her male colleagues without cutting any corners.
What would your advice be for anyone just moving to NYC with career ambitions in the arts/creative field?
Patience and persistence. All you have to do is show up and do the work. Make sure that when you're not auditioning that you're training. Get into an acting class, take a new dance class, try out a new vocal coach, or write a new script or short while you're riding the train to a gig. The easiest thing to do after an audition is to focus on the negative, but the more productive thing would be to think and talk about what went well. Getting discouraged in this business is just par for the course, but what you do to overcome it shows a true sense of your character. Make sure that you align your work schedule with your career path. If you are in a 9-5PM job, this will make auditioning incredibly challenging. Set yourself up for success by finding an influx of flexible and part time employers that understand and respect an actor's path and trajectory. Make sure that you leave time to have fun and hang out with friends. Having an escape will let your brain relax from constantly thinking about the auditioning or the next gig. You have to enjoy the journey a bit as well. Balance is absolutely key!