This is Jenna Craig! She is our Content Creator & Development Assistant here at Off The Lane. Jenna is our go-to girl for creating all the graphics as well as supporting us with program developement and overall organization growth! Jenna is a senior double majoring in theater and journalism at Ramapo College. She has been a lover of all things theater from the age of 5 when she began her career in the entertainment industry. Follow her on Instagram!
We sat down with Jenna for a little Q&A about her time working at Off The Lane!
What has been the most rewarding thing about working with OTL?
Jenna: I felt so lucky to find Off The Lane in the middle of the pandemic. I was checking LinkedIn every day when I saw their posting and applied. It’s rewarding to work with such great people and to also have this be my first job in the industry. I’ve gotten to meet and make connections with so many cool people! I feel like I have access to an entire community. In a way it’s networking but it’s also just connections and making friends. This industry is so small and it’s important to find people you can reach out to for help, and I feel like I have that here. I also gotta say, it’s really neat to be part of an organization while it’s still new. It’s fun to watch OTL grow just in the year that I’ve been here, and I’m grateful that I can help them grow with my job!
Has working with OTL changed you as a person and changed your work ethic?
Jenna: People used to always tell me how small this industry is, but I’m actually getting to see it firsthand now that I work here. It also used to feel so untouchable and scary. Before OTL, arts and entertainment (mostly the theatre industry) seemed so hard to break into. I didn’t understand networking, it felt impossible. I knew I wanted to be in this industry but I wasn’t sure how. And then I got lucky working for this small nonprofit (which I see endless potential for) and now I feel like I’m on the “inside.” Working here has made me realize that the industry isn’t so scary, and we’re all honestly stuck in the same boat of imposter syndrome and not knowing what we’re doing. But everyone’s doing their best. It’s definitely a hard industry, but if you’re around the right kind of people– the kind that want to help each other out– then it’ll be okay. And that’s what OTL is for me. There’s no one correct path, and I’ve witnessed so many individual, beautiful ones that have inspired me to just follow what I’m passionate about without worrying that I picked the wrong thing or I am doing something wrong.
What is your favorite thing about OTL?
Jenna: One of the main things I love about OTL is that there’s nothing else like it. I don’t know any other place where you can get free mentorship and free resources that are catered to you and your goals for the arts/entertainment industry. I just look at it and think, “It’s so good! More people need to know about this!” I plug OTL everywhere I can to whoever will listen. Also, as a soon-to-be graduate, I like to compare OTL to clubs on campus. The student organizations I’m a part of are my community and they’ve helped me grow. They’re where I can turn to when I’m not working or in classes. When you’re no longer in school, you lose that structured, close community. But you can find that same kind of solace with the community at OTL. As I continue to work here, my goal is to help people see OTL this way.
Photo of Jenna starring in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Ramapo College
What staff has to say about Jenna:
“What can I say about working with Jenna… It is such an honor and pleasure to get to work alongside Jenna! I am fortunate enough to get to work with her in three different spaces, Here at Off the Lane, The Ramapo News, and AYO our theatre honor society! She is such a hard worker it is contagious! She inspires everyone around her to be the best version of themselves they can be! She has taught me and our other colleagues how to be a leader. She is what I want to be when I grow up. I cannot wait to see what Jenna has in store for her future, because I know it will be something incredible!!”- Amanda Giampaglia (Social Media Intern)
“I feel so grateful that Jenna initially found the internship opportunity at OTL. She was an amazing intern… so amazing that we knew we couldn’t live without her! It has been such a pleasure to watch Jenna grow within her role here at Off The Lane as we continue to evolve as an organization. She is creative and ready and willing to do whatever needs to be done not to mention is extremely passionate about the work we are doing. Jenna, Thank you for all that you do here. YOU COMPLETE US!” – Kristal Mallookis President
“Jenna possesses such a talent for creative ideas and graphics. I’m always amazed when she creates content for social media because it is always so beautiful, not to mention on brand. Her blogs always really capture the spirit of Off the Lane and our community as well. Did I mention she’s also a joy to work with and a total sweetheart? Big and beautiful things are headed her way!” Jillian Schiralli VP