They sign your checks, they haunt your dreams in the form of emails begging for ‘Clicks,’ and they tell you when it’s ok to use the Starbucks bathroom three blocks away…but who are they really? They weren’t always the masters of all things Mustard, but fate has brought them together and to your virtual door. Today’s blog focuses on the origin story of our Internal Office Team, complete with embarrassingly adorable photos which hopefully will give you an inkling of who these people really are and how they came to Mustard Lane.
Danielle Cortier – Project Manager
Danielle was born in Indiana, where she found her calling and began dancing at a young age. She made it clear to all around her that she was destined for more than dancing on the small stages northern Indiana offered. While on a trip to NYC, she fortuitously met Zoltar, who informed her of her destiny to stop wearing topsy tail braids and perform in the Big Apple and abroad. One puberty later, she moved to NYC where she taught dance and performed, and began doing field work with Mustard Lane. Always ready for something new, Danielle eventually became a Project Manager for Mustard Lane, and moved to Austin where she still dances, teaches, and looks for excuses to wear lace gloves.
Kelly Klein – Administrative Support
Kelly was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She was a miracle baby who was born three months premature and weighed just 1 pound and three ounces! Kelly was so tiny that her family loved to put her inside things that shouldn’t hold babies, like serving bowls and toy doll strollers. Kelly grew up, but not much taller, and started to act in school plays at The Archer School for Girls, train at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and even landed some parts on such venerable TV shows such as Unsolved Mysteries and Gilmore Girls. Kelly moved to New York to study writing at The New School University. On her way to becoming a copywriter in the advertising field she wished that “the acting thing” had worked out. Upon her father’s encouragement she pivoted and continued to act upon graduation. Post grad she was looking for a flexible side job that would still allow her to audition but that would surround her with like-minded creatives. Enter Mustard Lane and her role as unofficial “Payroll Queen” and official title of Administrative Support.
Tara Layne Goebel – Event Manager
Tara Layne was born and raised in Indiana. A dreamer and performer, she spent her childhood singing, dancing, and loving the stage. The endless hours of dance class and vocal lessons lead her to study musical theatre and communications at the college level. Then came the real world! Tara Layne moved to NYC with big city dreams and a love for the arts. As she auditioned and lived the life of an artist, she realized that her love for performing had lost its mojo! She wanted to work behind the scenes. Tara started working for Mustard Lane as a Laner back in the EARLY days. And couldn’t be more grateful for the time and friendships that she made along the way. In 2013, Tara Layne met her future husband (a Captain in the US Army) and left New York for the military life. In 2018 they welcomed their first child and Tara Layne returned to Mustard Lane to work internally on the event management side. Another baby in 2019 and currently pregnant with their third baby, Tara Layne stays busy! She considers it a true privilege to work with Mustard Lane and to help further the life goals of fellow artists.
Jen Donohoo – Vice President and Program Director for Off the Lane
Jen was born and raised in Ohio, and after graduating from Ball State University and an 8 month contract on a cruise ship, she landed in the Windy City. It was here she was reintroduced to her love of theatre, which very quickly became a game of frequent flights back and forth to NYC for auditions until she finally made the big move in 2012. Immediately upon arrival, she met with Kristal and started pounding the pavement with other hard working and like minded Laners before taking over as the Casting & Recruitment Director four years later. Her career as a director, choreographer and event producer has given her a unique skill of being able to find talent in some of the smallest markets. Need a child clown or an awkwardly posed teenager, she knows just where to find them 😉
Deven Anderson – Operations Director
Deven was born and remains a perfect blend of Midwestern adorability and friendliness. Though he wore OshKosh overalls and a platinum blonde bowl haircut better than anyone you will ever know in your life his journey inexorably led him to the Big Apple for a life of branded t-shirts. Complete with the confidence of a frosted-tipped prom attendee, Deven’s journey east, entertaining moderate sized theatre houses being a silly-silly goof-goof onstage led him to the open arms of Mustard Lane as it’s future Operations Director. Anything’s possible, folks.
Jillian Schiralli – Director of Special Events
As you can see, I have always had a flair for the dramatic (and trust issues with Santa Claus). Growing up in Indiana, I always knew I wanted MORE. Anytime there was a chance to travel to Chicago for a choir competition or audition for theatre outside of my little town of Valparaiso, I leaped at the chance to go and my parents were always so supportive of my dreams. The 2nd pic features a young, blonde-bobbed, highschooler in Chicago at my first overnight in a hotel without my parents. I was there filming a PBS special for a choir concert I was in. From there, I attended Ball State University where I received a musical theatre degree, and was able to participate in a showcase for agents and casting directors in NYC as a senior. From that showcase I was asked to audition for the National tour of “CATS”, which I was cast in, and made the exciting move to NYC!! After a year on the road, I was in New York with a need for a side hustle and a new apartment (my boyfriend dumped me and I had to move out- YAY!) My Ball State bud Danielle Cortier referred me to Mustard Lane and my other Ball State bud Tara Layne let me move into her apartment with her! And now we all work internally for ML!! From being on the field as a brand ambassador to transitioning 2 years ago to handling social media/staffing for ML and event managing/booking for the amazing Meaux Space. It’s been wonderful watching the ML grow since my hiring in 2009!
Lauren Haber – Marketing and Business Development Director
My journey to NYC was a slightly impulsive move after a post college Europe trip but my journey to ML felt more like fate. My Opa (in the baby pic) moved here from Berlin after being moved around in orphanages. He eventually began his own business which later became a family run business. His entrepreneurial spirit was always an inspiration to me. I went on to study Entrepreneurship at Michigan which was a turning point for my future. After living in NYC for a few weeks, my mom’s friend was in town and wanted to go on a power walk. Enter Kristal – she was the other companion on this power walk, we discussed everything from business to entrepreneurship, I vented about interviewing for jobs and by the end of the walk we clicked!! She saw that entrepreneurial spirit in me and soon after I became her first full time hire! That was a little over 4 years ago and it has been an incredible journey at ML!!
Kristal Mallookis – CEO and Fearless Leader
Kristal Mallookis, hails from the beautiful state of Colorado. She was a shy kid but always had a smile on her face. Kristal comes from a family of entrepreneurs and naturally found ways to make some extra cash. From selling Beanie Babies on a busy street corner in Denver with her big brother to hawking airheads and blow-pops from her 7th grade locker. She did get in trouble for the “locker candy store” but her Dad didn’t mind once he found out that she had a 70% profit margin! Kristal discovered her passion for dance and being on stage at the age of 3. She danced her way through high school with her best friends and was even a cheerleader. After graduating from college she made her moves to the big apple where she continued to take dance classes and audition a bit. Kristal worked her first promo job in 2005 and the rest is history. Kristal is extremely grateful for her internal team and for the Mustard Lane community.