Tracy St. Martin is the VP of Marketing at Casting Networks, an entertainment technology company helping performers find great roles and industry professionals find great talent.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I began working in digital marketing 15 years ago as a fluke – I had recently finished my Master’s degree in English Lit with plans to work in the publishing industry.
With traditional publishing on the decline, and the online advertising industry exploding in the mid- to late-2000s, in lieu of publishing I was lucky to stumble into an account management role working with large e-commerce retailers on their lifecycle and email marketing campaigns.
While I was a newbie to the tech and marketing space, I was able to translate the analytical skills I gained in my English Lit/Literary Theory education to the digital advertising space and I excelled. I eventually moved to the brand side of the industry and have found a niche building e-commerce and subscription commerce programs for high-growth companies.
In my current role, I head up marketing and communications for Talent Systems, a technology company that builds and runs global casting and auditioning solutions.
Our platforms, including Casting Networks, Cast It Systems, and Casting Frontier, connect casting directors and entertainment industry professionals with top talent around the world, enabling them to find the right actor for every role – from commercials and TV shows to films, digital projects, and more.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
With Los Angeles still in a strict lockdown, my routine has certainly changed! I typically wake up at 6am and catch up on the latest news and personal emails on my phone for 45 minutes before I get out of bed.
Once I’m showered and ready for the day, I walk my 1-year old pup or drop him off at doggie daycare, then I get settled in my home office by 9am.
My day is usually full of Zoom meetings with my marketing team – planning campaigns, reviewing results and checking in on quarterly goals – and with cross-functional teams including product management, customer service and business development.
The day usually flies by quickly and then I’m off to take the dog on his evening walk, have dinner with my husband and unwind with some TV before bed.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’ve worked 100% remotely for the past nine months due to the quarantine, which has its pros and cons.
On the positive side, I’m no longer commuting to the office on the busy LA freeways, I spend lots of quality time with my dog, and my husband and I have dinner together every night since we’re not traveling across town.
I do miss seeing my coworkers in person – there’s no substitute for face time with colleagues and small talk in the hallway at the office.
I’ve also been less physically active since the quarantine began (mainly because gyms are closed) but I recently purchased a treadmill so I can make sure to squeeze in some cardio at home – no more excuses about it being too cold, too hot or too dark outside to exercise!
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance means never sacrificing your physical or mental health for the sake of your job. That means taking time out of the day to exercise, eat healthy meals, spend time with family, and to wind down at the end of a long day.
While I could certainly improve in each of these areas, I try to be mindful of how I am feeling during the work day, and I often find that just sitting outside on the patio in the sunshine for 30 minutes at lunchtime helps me feel refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the day.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
This one is embarrassing, but I’ve conquered my Red Bull habit! I’m not a big coffee drinker but I like getting a boost first thing in the morning, and I developed a routine of drinking a Red Bull every morning before work.
Recently I decided that I need to be less caffeine-dependent and get my morning boost a healthier way, so I gradually shifted to a daily cup of green tea. I’m not *quite* as energized, but I don’t miss the caffeine detox headaches.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love podcasts and I’m so happy that they’ve become a huge part of our media landscape. On the work front, I’ve always enjoyed Girlboss Radio’s interviews with change-making women and the valuable workplace advice from WorkLife with Adam Grant.
Unrelated to work, the best podcast I’ve heard is season 2 of American Public Media’s In the Dark, which focuses on a Mississippi man, Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times for the same crime. The conclusion to the story unfolded in real-time over the past two years and it’s an incredible, powerful feat of journalism.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
The Spotify app is one of my longtime must-haves – I haven’t purchased music since I began using Spotify many years ago and their annual Wrapped – Year in Review is one of the best marketing campaigns I have seen. Back in my commuting days, the Waze app was also key to avoiding traffic jams on the freeway so I could get to work on time!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I find the best work-life balance inspiration by speaking with my colleagues, peers and bosses who are real-life examples of excelling in their careers while still enjoying life and finding fulfillment outside of work.
Throughout my career I’ve encountered many people who are singularly-focused on work and the “grind”, and others who are equally – if not more – successful who enjoy a full life outside of work through frequent travelling, hobbies, and spending ample time with their friends and families.
To me, those who I see actually achieving this balance on a daily basis are the most inspiring.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’ve been very fortunate to hold on to my job during a year where many can’t say the same, and 2020 has been a great reminder that work can be a joy when you are valued by your company, when your role provides you with a platform from which you can learn and grow, and when you can complement your work life with downtime, self-care, and moments that bring you fulfillment in your personal life.
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