Live A Double Life Outside Of Work: How 'Double Agent' Mara Frankel Balances The Record Industry And Theatre
You know that person. The one who’s able to (seemingly) effortlessly balance two different identities, excelling in a demanding career by day all while pursuing her passions to the fullest at night and on the weekends. Whether a corporate lawyer by day and a lead singer in a band at night or a fashion designer who runs a non-profit on the side, we all admire someone who is able to explore the different facets of their identity while not sacrificing success in either of their pursuits. So how do you find balance between career and your passions? Bustle and Rimmel London had a conversation with one such double agent to find out how she makes it all come together. Mara Frankel is dedicated to a demanding role on Atlantic Record’s Brand Partnerships team all while managing her own self-founded theatre group, The Brooklyn Theatre Club. During the day, she focuses her energy on creating new opportunities for artists like Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, but during her time off, she’s bringing musicals like “Les Miserables” to some of the hippest bars in Brooklyn. Not only does the Brooklyn Theatre Club bring musicals to new territories, it also allows the entire audience to perform with attendees being encouraged to get up and sing during ensemble pieces.
In an age where 9-5 has evolved to 9-7, Mara inspires us to find the time and the resources necessary succeed at your career without sacrificing your passions. Read below to hear more about her experience balancing a successful venture with her career.
On Keeping Identities Separate
"I try to keep my day job and night work separate for the sake of being professional, but anyone I casually chat with during the day has heard about Brooklyn Theatre Club by now," states Mara. "Since Atlantic Records has a super social environment, I felt comfortable sharing with coworkers. A lot of my coworkers have seen this project come to life from its inception, they’ve all been incredibly supportive since day one."
On why she feels she can be so open at her day job, Mara explains, "I think its mainly because a side gig is usually an artistic outlet for people and my primary job has already put me in such a creative industry. Everyone works really hard at Atlantic at all hours, so my colleagues usually give me credit on being able to juggle both."
What People Say When They Find Out
"I’m a goofball at work so no one is ever too surprised when they find out I perform. Then, its usually 'when can I see you?'" and then I get to launch into the whole spiel."
Use Knowledge From Both Pursuits
"I was able to apply a lot of my Atlantic marketing experience to Brooklyn Theatre Club. We talk about strategies to break artists every day in meetings, so the same principles apply in trying to have a successful new business. We are trying to market theater to a hip crowd, so even knowing how to set up social media properties and curating a voice for the business were skills brought over from my day job."
As for how running Brooklyn Theatre Club helps her improve her day job game: "Running [Brooklyn Theatre Club] made me a hundred times more organized at Atlantic. With running your own company, you have your eyes on every aspect of the business at all times and you learn to stay on top of the workload. I had to learn how to do a lot of new things, which made me more resourceful and organized overall."
Find Inspiration And Help From The People Around You
Her career at Atlantic and theater involvement have one major thing in common , Mara has found both inspiration and opportunities within her community of fellow music-lovers. Take for example her entry into the record label industry. “I fell into the music industry pretty coincidentally”, said Mara. “I met the drummer of a band I’d liked in high school after a show … [He] had started an indie label (I Surrender Records), and I started interning for him writing copy and helping him build social media pages for artists.” After she graduated from NYU, he was the person who introduced her to her current job at Atlantic Records.
Founding Brooklyn Theatre Club was equally serendipitous. She met her business partner Stephen at his birthday party where he had guests perform a read through of Les Miserables. "All these super talented people came together to party and be part of the show, it was a total success. I’d never seen anything like it and Stephen and I were both inspired. We started hanging out a lot more and brainstormed the idea of a theater company where the audience could be part of the show."
Your Wardrobe Reflects Your Identity
Despite the dress code at Atlantic being casual, Mara still has multiple meetings with clients and artists each day, so she describes her style goal as "comfortable trendy", relying on bold jewelry and sneakers as style accents. As for when she's running rehearsals at night? "There's a lot of moving around and dancing in Brooklyn Theatre Club, plus I have a tendency to sit on the floor in our rehearsal space, so leggings and a sweater are a must at night."
Beauty Choices For Day Versus Night
What's the first thing people notice, whether she's at work or rehearsal? "The purple hair." As her choice in color helps her stand out enough, she tries to keep her look simple and light while at work. "Liquid liner, mascara and lip balm are always in my purse. For night, I’ll throw on a bold pink or red lip and add a cat-eye for my eyeliner," says Mara about the difference between her daytime beauty routine versus her night.
Challenges Of A Double Life
Mara's biggest challenge is a lack of time to make for herself as she's always "jetting off to something." "Lots of to-dos stack up on both sides, so it can be overwhelming to get it all done and maintain a sense of personal balance."
Find Free Time
"I do a lot of careful scheduling so that I’m always busy, but that includes making time to hang out with friends during the week," explains Mara. These activities include everything from "Zumba, Netflix, and ... taking friends out to hot pot in Chinatown." And of course, Atlantic allows her to attend free concerts and events which she still considers to be downtime.
What inspires you most?
"I’m inspired by New York City ...You can look around and there are a million things happening in every direction at any given time. There is ALWAYS something to do here. Being in such a busy place keeps me moving."
This is a sponsored post with Rimmel London.
Images: Mara Frankel, Jimmy Fontaine