Christina Ballinger of Day One House: “Every morning I find a song that reflects my mood and I smile at a stranger; We are all going through something”

Alexandra Spirer
Mar 11 · 6 min read
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Find a song to dance to every morning and smile at a stranger. Every morning I find a song that reflects my mood and I smile at a stranger (obviously in the most charming way!). We are all going through something. It’s amazing how these simple practices can make an incredible shift within ourselves and those around us. Just try it… I guarantee success!

For my series on strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Ballinger. Christina is a female entrepreneur, business owner and philanthropist that has produced some of New York City’s largest events over the past 15 years. She operated family owned Webster Hall & Webster Hall Entertainment. If you ever went to legendary concerts like Metallica, Green Day, LCD Soundsystem, Morissey or Lady Gaga, then it is likely in the midst of her handy work. Today gearing up into her new venture, Day One House, an Event and Digital Marketing Production company focused for businesses of all sizes to set their stage.

Thank you so much for joining us Christina! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve said this before and to understand the full scope, I came out of the womb onto the dance floor of event venues. An environment constantly surrounded by every character imaginable and raised by a family of dreamers. I was brought up to know that there was absolutely nothing I couldn’t do when you put your mind to something.. So I guess this isn’t a story, but a teaching that I will always hold onto. If you want to dance, then dance! If you want to sing, then sing! If you want to change course, then change course. These are your instincts. Your FIRST instinct so follow it. This is what your subconscious is telling you what you need. Follow the beat of your drum and keep a pep in your step. It may not always lead to a positive, but it leads you to where you need to be… and damn happy doing it! This is how I got to where I am today.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Gosh, well when I see people are flustered in a situation and they’ve done everything they could…but sometimes you get an unpredictable surprise…and that’s when I chime in and say my favorite line “Just trust the process!”

I can’t tell you how many times while in the middle of a packed event you get that shocker call on the radio that something turned left. At this point the momentum is already rolling, all you can do is give mercy to the river and manage the flow to the best of your ability.

I’d say the funniest story of this was a few years ago when Kanye West was supposed to perform at Gov Ball and due to weather was cancelled. Meanwhile at Webster Hall we had a new artist under Kanye’s label performing. Next thing you know a Twitter post goes up that Kanye was heading to Webster to perform with his artist and BAM! 2000 people in front of the building, people flooding the streets onto 3rd and 4th ave blocking every exit. They were so convinced Kanye was going to jump on top of the marquee and perform that they stood there until the early hours of the morning. Police department calling, neighbors losing their minds and a determined mob refusing to leave…all you can do is keep everyone safe and manage the flow. Trust the process…

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Webster Hall was a rare opportunity that many people never get. I’ve worked side by side with some of the worlds greatest bands, DJ’s, agents, bookers, operators, event producers, brands and corporations. I’ve been trained wearing multiple hats, the Master of None and Master of Everything in all capacities. It forced me to walk into everything with an open mind making my brain and endless sponge. I see how worlds connect like many people do not. The opportunity to share this knowledge through Day One and help bring fruition to companies of all sizes. This is magic and experience that cannot be duplicated.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Balance. Anyone in this industry I’m sure has heard this before but it’s true. We are so overly stimulated all of the time that we’ve burnt out before we even realized we’ve burnt out! All I can tell you is to make room for balance and make room to put even a percentage of effort that you put into your work, into yourself.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I love this question. The fact that there are so many people I could speak of makes me feel incredibly grateful. However, I would love to say my grandmother really takes a pedestal here. There isn’t enough room on this page to really give the full scope of this woman. She raised 5 kids on a working farm, helped them open AND operate businesses from pizza shops, nightclubs and concert venues. Until she was 92 years old she worked until 4am Thursday, Friday and Saturday in @WebsterHall. At the end of Saturday night I would head out with her to Atlantic City for some slot machine fun. The ultimate firecracker. Ask anyone that worked at WH when she was alive and they will have a story to tell. Incredibly tough but also could be sweet — she was a rock you couldn’t shift. Most importantly she taught me to be exactly who I wanted to be and could do anything I wanted. When times are tough you move forward. In the first question of this interview you asked how — well it was the force of this woman that set the path for where we are today.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I aim for this every day. Even if this is just making a connection through a network that I feel will make beautiful things happen for people.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

You know, I struggle when people ask me this question because again I would say your experience is going to be your best education. That being said I will give you some ‘Tips’ to hold on to:

  1. ASK QUESTIONS: Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions — the more the better. Anyone who knows me will laugh at this comment.
  2. Continue Educating Yourself: We are in the information age so everything is at your fingertips.
  3. Be Humble and Keep and OPEN MIND: We never know it all — so listen, be humble and keep your mind open to everything your environment has to offer you. This is how your mind grows.
  4. Lead by Example
  5. Nurture and Support your Community.

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self regarding life lessons, things you would like her to know what would they be and why?

To my younger self I would say absolutely nothing! It’s those lessons that shape you so ride the river of awesome baby!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Find a song to dance to every morning and smile at a stranger. Every morning I find a song that reflects my mood and I smile at a stranger (obviously in the most charming way!). We are all going through something. It’s amazing how these simple practices can make an incredible shift within ourselves and those around us. Just try it… I guarantee success!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

christina@dayonehouse.com

Instagram @christinaloren_b

Facebook: Christina Ballinger

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/christina-ballinger-59b29b27

Alexandra Spirer

Written by

I am an entrepreneur, publicist, journalist and event producer based in Sunny Florida. My passion is writing & giving back to others.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Alexandra Spirer

Written by

I am an entrepreneur, publicist, journalist and event producer based in Sunny Florida. My passion is writing & giving back to others.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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