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Ten Minutes with Laura Mack

A TV stage manager for “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” an associate director for "Today" and a mom



Laura Mack’s cool factor is through the roof. As an associate director for NBC News (she currently works on Saturday morning’s “Today” show) and stage manager of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” Mack has a front-row seat to the most compelling moments and people of our time. But husband Ken, a producer at CBS Sports, and their two kids, Ava and Ryan, come first.

How did you get started in television? 
I studied business at Penn State, then after graduation I got an offer in network television sales at CBS. I was about to get another from Smith Barney that was three times the salary, but I went running in the other direction.

How did you transition into the production side of the business?
About a year and a half into my sales job, I was really bored. One day I printed my résumé and shoved copies under office doors. The only call back I got was from the archives, and I was hired as assistant manager of the video library. I got on the elevator and jumped up and down so much it shook. I was part of the Olympics team in Lillehammer, so I went to Norway for about a month. I worked the overnight shift and spent the days going to see every event possible. I couldn’t believe that people got paid to do this.

How did you end up directing?
From CBS, I went to NBC Sports and freelanced at HBO. Before I had kids, I would drop everything to get to the job. But now I’m part of a small crew that works out of broadcast center. I miss being on site sometimes, but this lets me come home at night.  

So, why sports—were you an athlete growing up?
I was a diver and played softball, but I wasn’t a competitive athlete. I loved the Olympics. And then my passion became live television. I’m fascinated by the mechanics of putting stories on the air so they are told efficiently, effectively, and successfully. 

Your husband is also a producer for CBS Sports, and he is on the road a lot. How do you make it work?
It’s helpful that we work in the same industry because there has to be a level of understanding. I know he loves what he does. My role is different in that I walk in the building, work like crazy, and then leave work at work. And I purposefully chose that arm of my industry because I wanted to be home.

This is quite a time to be working in political satire. What has it been like on the set of Samantha Bee?
Well, first, Samantha is the most amazing human being. She uses her voice to open up people’s eyes. Our country is so polarized, but our set every day is like a breath of fresh air. We have the collective good in mind.

Ok what’s with the zillions of Emmy Awards lining your bookshelves?
Yes [sighs modestly], I actually don’t know how many we have. They mean a lot to me, because it’s recognition from my colleagues.

Are your kids “wowed” by your work?
Well, they now have this thing about getting really good seats [laughs]. Seriously, they’ve been afforded some wonderful opportunities. Not every kid has been on the field for batting practice. 

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December 2017

Meet friends and neighbors at the KMA for a spectacular afternoon of assemblage art, costume-making, and dancing. Work with artist Stacy Scibelli to transform mixed-media materials into wearable...

Cost: $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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An epic reflection on The Book of Revelations’ recounting of the Apocalypse, featuring a rare live performance of Oliver Messiaen’s monumental Quartet for the End of Time....

Cost: $25, $20 (Friends), $10 (Students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, CT  10549
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Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
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Choral group Camerata d’Amici is proud to present its Christmas concert “This Christmastide” on Sunday, December 10, 2017, at 4 p.m. at the South Salem Presbyterian Church, 111...

Cost: Adults: $25 at door ($20 in advance) / Youth 18 and under: $10

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
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Sponsor: Camerata d'Amici
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Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
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Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
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Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
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Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
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Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

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Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. Come to this orientation to learn...

Cost: Free

Where:
Department of Social Services
112 Post Road
White Plains , NY  10601
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Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914-993-3710
Contact Name: Lini Jacob
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Wednesday, Dec.13. This festive holiday concert features the Bedford Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Anthony Newman, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. Mr. Newman, a renowned Bach expert...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
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Sponsor: Music Committee of St. Matthew's
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
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Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
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View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

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Music on the Hill presents the Festival Chorus and Jubilate Ringers handbell choir in a traditional Christmas concert, with artistic directors Ellen Dickinson and David H. Connell. The concert...

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door; students free

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

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Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

Stroller tours at the KMA are a unique opportunity to connect with other new parents and caregivers seeking culturally enriching activities to share with their babies. These once-a-month...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Website »

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Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel Looking to get your hands dirty and learn how to use the potter’s wheel? Try Clay...

Cost: $50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
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Get ready to rock the holidays with the one and only Rob Mathes, now in his third decade of holiday performances at The Performing Arts Center. This annual celebration featuring the multi-talented...

Cost: $45 to $72.50

Where:
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Rd
Purchase, NY  10577
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Sponsor: The Performing Arts Center
Telephone: 914-251-6200
Contact Name: Jenifer Howard
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This December, one of New York’s preeminent vocal ensembles, TENET, brings light and joy to one of the longest nights of the year in a heartfelt program of intimate carols to celebrate the...

Cost: $20, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Caramoor
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Contact Name: Caroline Andrews
Website »

More information

Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2017 Tis the season to be jolly at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Bricktacular. Join in on the festive...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE.

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Website »

More information

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Cost: $45 to $72.50

Where:
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Rd
Purchase, NY  10577
View map »


Sponsor: The Performing Arts Center
Telephone: 914-251-6200
Contact Name: Jenifer Howard
Website »

More information

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