An Interview with Kelly Klein

M / L

Some of you may know Kelly from years on the field with the NYC team, others of you may know her name from the helpful payroll emails. Kelly joined the Lane in 2013 and now helps run our Payroll and HR department. She is a ninja with payroll and always comes in the office with a smile. We absolutely love having Kelly on our team and feel so lucky to have her! Read below to learn more about Kelly! 

How long have you been working for the Lane and what has been your favorite ML gig?

I’ve been working on The Lane for over seven years now. Wow, time flies!! I’d have to say my favorite gig was for a Ketel One launch party. The client requested “Wes Anderson types.” Literally my dream! I was assigned a feather duster and instructed to interact with guests while dusting portraits for an installation. I love a good prop so I really went for it and dusted my little heart out. I think I ended up in a ton of Instagram posts that night! It was super fun and I loved that it allowed me to improv with guests and use both my acting and customer service skills to help create a unique experience for folks.

What has your journey with ML been like?

My journey with ML has been incredible. I was referred by longtime Laner Sylvie Preston and I just fell in love with Kristal the first time we met. I joke that I had been looking for my ML job the entire time I lived in New York City. It’s the best. The people are stellar, the gigs are fun, the clients are cool, and you get paid. What’s not to love?! The flexibility to audition is unparalleled and it’s so wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded creatives. While I’m no longer “in the field,” I really enjoy my internal work for The Lane now. I’m payroll admin and support and I get to use a very detail oriented part of my brain that I secretly love. Plus, it’s always such a treat to see the crew and catch up on office days. You just can’t get a better view than Meaux Space.

Do you have any creative passion outside the Lane?

Yes! Outside of The Lane I am an actor, acting coach, producer, and casting director. It’s been so fun to see what opportunities life throws at me and just go for it. At this point I have booked a fair amount of acting work and just celebrated the airing of my fifth co-star role last night on the new CBS series FBI: Most Wanted. I have also produced three digital series along with a ton of theatre, have cast seven short films, and am sole operator of my business, Calloway Productions. CP is my self-tape and coaching studio that is now in it’s brand new midtown location on 37th and 5th ave. I receive so much joy from coaching and taping my fellow actors. When my clients book a job, I feel like I’ve booked it as well. And nothing beats being a part of the actor’s journey. I’m truly very lucky to be doing what I love! And I’m so appreciative of my clients and friends who choose to work with me.

How long have you been in NYC and what is your favorite part about living here?

Too long. Ah! I moved to NYC in 2003 (if you can believe it) to attend the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School University. My favorite part about living in NY is the food. I can get almost any kind of cuisine at pretty much any time. I’m a foodie so good food is an essential part of my happiness.

Did you think you’d stay in NY this long? What made you stay?

When I moved here at 18 I wasn’t so sure? I just wanted to be in a place that wasn’t home where I could still act and perform but get out of my comfort zone and shake things up. But once I got through my (very tough) first year it was really the people who emerged as the best part. I found my community here, met my husband here (we got married this past fall), and I made New York my artistic home.

What makes you excited/passionate about working at ML?

Kristal Mallookis. An angel among humans. Seriously, I was like wait, this is my boss?! She’s so fun and cool and warm and friendly and supportive and generous and NICE. What’s happening?? She just has this amazing ability to find and connect good people, solve problems, and have a smile on her face the whole time. As a small business owner, I really look up to Kristal and firmly believe that without her support and advice I wouldn’t be where I am today.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?

If I could live anywhere else in the US it would be LA. That’s where I was born and raised and I still have a lot of family ties there. Also, the weather, the canyons, the views, are pretty spectacular! And the food scene is great. People never think of LA as a food town but I think they’re missing out!

But, if I could live anywhere else outside of the US it would be Amsterdam. I traveled there for the first time last year with my now husband and it was incredible. It’s a beautiful, unique city with such a rich history. (If you’d like a good book recommendation, read “Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City” by Russell Shorto. It’s fascinating!). Amsterdam reminds me of New York. In fact, I think if New York and Venice had a baby, it would be Amsterdam. The canals, the row houses, the food and art community are all stellar, and everyone is so happy!

What is your favorite play and why?

My favorite play…wow, that’s so hard! While I can’t choose a favorite, I do really love Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck. Whoever thought stamp collecting would lead to such an intense family drama?

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a tiny town in California, it’s called Los Angeles. Not many people have heard of it but I think word might be getting out now?

What would your advice be for anyone just moving to NYC with career ambitions in the arts/a creative field?

I have a lot of advice! Develop a tough skin. The city accommodates and waits for no one. Learn the subway system. Give yourself plenty of transit time. Find your community. Get good walking shoes. Create your own work. Even if it’s bad. Especially if it’s bad! Leave as often as you can to maintain your sanity. And, once in a while, remind yourself that you live in one of the greatest global cities in existence. It can be easy to forget when you’re grinding away but New York is truly a special place and it will always have a huge part of my heart.