Kelly Klein, one of our core NYC Laners, is an actress, photographer, acting coach and director! She has been on the Lane for 3.5 years and has since gone on to accomplish great things on her own. Kelly launched Calloway Productions in October of 2015. The journey began organically with encouragement from friends. Kelly has managed to create a full service, one stop shop for coaching, directing and recording self tapes. Calloway Productions provides the ideal trifecta for an actor/ actress to nail the perfect self tape. Her clientele is growing rapidly and you should be a part of it!
We sat down with Kelly to talk about the ins and out of starting her own business and where it is today.
What inspired you to start?
My friends kept on having ‘self-tapes’ that needed to be filmed for their auditions and I had just purchased a fancy new camera to motivate myself to experiment with more film and photography work. After I shot one of my best friend’s videos our mutual talent manager called me on the phone raving about the quality and said she was going to start “sending everyone to me” and a business was born!
What exactly do you do for the clients?
I coach and record actors for their self-tape auditions out of my studio. In addition, I also read with my clients, coach and direct the sides, and then edit and upload the footage. I try to make the process as easy and breezy as possible because I’ve been in the hot seat many times and know what it feels like! My business is a wonderful melding of all of my skills as a coach, director, actor, writer and then the technical work of operating the camera, lights, and sound. I also offer stand-alone coaching services in-person or via Skype/Facetime so my clients can be as prepared as possible, whether they are in my room or a big Casting Director’s office. Additionally, I offer slate-shots for Actor’s Access, photography services such as lifestyle and headshot sessions, and production coverage for live events.
Where do you see yourself/ your business in 2 years?
I would love to continue to expand my client base and keep my great success rate of client bookings and callbacks growing. I also produce short films and web series under the Calloway Productions umbrella and would love to continue to foster that side of the business.
How do you market your business?
Most of my business comes from direct referrals, word of mouth, and networking on Facebook. Mustard Lane has been so supportive and I’m happy to say I count many Laners as dear clients (and friends)!
What do you love about your work?
Nothing gives me greater joy than having a client book a role off of our tape or from our coaching session! I love being a part of that process and success because I’ve been lucky enough to experience it in my own acting work. Collaborating with fellow actors is so rewarding, especially when we can really crack open a scene and get into all the little details that make an audition specific and standout. I also have a fair amount of clients who are kids or who have never acted before. And it’s so thrilling to see them grow and play over the course of our sessions.
How does Mustard Lane support your outside endeavors?
Mustard Lane and Kristal have been so supportive of my business! From advice to clients to resources and scheduling conflicts, Kristal has always been there. It feels so amazing to have a “day-job” that supports me not just as an artist but as an entrepreneur.
Who do you look up to for business advice?
My father started his own successful business decades ago so I’ve always looked to him for guidance and advice. It’s so great to “talk shop” with him now! In fact, two of my brothers started their own businesses as well. So I guess it just runs in the family! As far as higher-profile business mavens go I will never forget the quote I read once on the internet: “You have just as many hours in a day as Beyonce!”
Do you work with anyone you’ve met on the Lane?
Yes, I love working with my fellow Laners! Karina Sindicich and I just collaborated on our upcoming web series, SPECRETARIES, along with Brandon Hughes acting as our fearless director. (Keep an eye out for it on a small screen near you soon!) Lisa Bettencourt and I have had some fun photographic adventures together (thanks for the amazing promo shot lady)! Karina, Lisa, Gladys Torres, Brandon Shaw, Cherie Celeste Malone, Annette Navarro, Basit Shittu, and many others are all now Calloway Productions clients and I couldn’t be more thrilled to help them realize their dreams! #mustardheart
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start a business?
Every business starts with an idea. Look around you for what might be missing in your area of expertise and get going! I fell into my business pretty organically but later realized there was a real void in the NYC self-tape market. I took those skills and that mindset and ran with it. You can too!
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Mustard Lane is the best! Seriously, I’ve been in NYC a long time and I feel like I was looking for a community like this for years. Luckily, I was steered towards it by the lovely Laner Sylvie Preston.
Bio: Kelly Klein
Kelly graduated from The New School University with a bachelor in Liberal Arts. She originally hails from Los Angeles, CA but has since made New York her artistic home. Kelly writes, directs, acts, and produces with her theatre company, BREAD Arts Collective. She also runs a self-tape and audition coaching service, Calloway Productions (callowayproductions.com), out of her Upper East Side studio. Kelly has appeared on the stage and screen in Los Angeles, New York, and around the U.S. on a national tour. She loves working for Mustard Lane and is happy to lend her detail-oriented and technical brain to making administrative operations on “The Lane” run smoothly.