Lauren Berger is an Account Coordinator at Branded Entertainment Network: a global entertainment marketing company delivering premium brand integrations across streaming, TV, film, music, and influencer programming.
One of the funniest people I've ever met, Berger shares exclusive deets on her worst date (ever!), her current mantra (baby!), and how she's gone from FOMO to Coach Potato (coach, not couch!)
1. What is your life motto right now?
“That’s quarantine, baby!*”
This is a modern-day retelling of the tried-and-true motto c'est la vie. Such is life. We’ll get through this. While flattening the curve.
I use this motto to remind myself to not sweat the small stuff and the inevitable mini-frustrations that pop up from social distancing and staying largely inside. E.g. when you realize you’ve eaten an entire tub of hummus in one sitting again, that’s quarantine baby!
2. What's your most-played song within the past week? Why?
Broken By You by Grace Mitchell - despite a rather melancholy name, it’s actually a lovely song with a catchy melody. I’ve also been starting off many days dancing through my morning routine to the beautiful ballads of Motown legends like The Temptations and The Supremes.
3. Your Top Three Books of All Time:
I’m a sucker for the classics. It amazes me how so many have timeless messages despite centuries-old publication dates!
4. Your Approach to Health in One Sentence:
I approach health as a long-term investment in my overall well-being and longevity, implementing practical lifestyle changes as opposed to short-term restrictions that can often lead to frustrations and disappointments when they aren’t effective.
5. Your Approach to Happiness in One Sentence:
Reflection and gratitude - I can be a pessimist, so once I learned to redirect some of the negative thoughts that can naturally creep up in my head to instead focus on all the wonderful things I have to be gracious for in my life, I have instantly noticed an overall difference in my day-to-day happiness.
6. Your Approach to Dating in One Sentence:
While actively dating is definitely on a temporary production hiatus for me right now (that’s quarantine, baby!), I have been focusing a lot on self-development for the present, which I think will eventually help me discern what I am looking for in a future relationship when all us single and ready to mingle folk are able to put ourselves back out there.
7. Funny / most cringe date:
I went on a series of cringe-worthy app dates when I first moved out to LA post-grad, but one in particular sticks out because it was just so painful, figuratively and quite literally. I was invited to a dinner with a seemingly nice guy (my first mistake was a dinner first date as these are major time commitments).
I’ve never witnessed the phrase “manterruption” on such raw display as I did with his constant interjections about his career and aspirations. I’m estimating he spent at least thirty excruciating minutes providing in-depth details on the financial models he was building that week, but don’t worry he kept things spicy with not-so-subtle comments about how fancy the restaurant we were eating at was and how expensive the bottle of wine we were drinking was.
Please note he insisted on both as I would’ve been happier with an order of street tacos. As the minutes ticked by at a snail’s pace and it became more and more apparent that this man and I had no emotional spark, a server who was passing by in the tight quarters of the restaurant accidentally collided his serving tray with the back of my head. I guess he didn’t notice he had used my head as target practice because he kept on bustling by, and my date also didn’t notice as he kept on droning on. Nothing officially kills the mood like blinking back tears and hoping you aren’t concussed while listening to a stranger discuss the merits of diversifying one’s stock portfolio.
8. Most used word:
9. Last screenshot:
My last screenshot was part of a series of screenshots I took to do an IG story dedicated to my mom in honor of Mother’s Day. As you can see below, my lovely mom is showing off a massive bone that had once belonged to a prime rib larger than many lap dogs I know. I’m a pescatarian and no longer eat red meat, but even I have to admit I was incredibly impressed by the sheer display of carnivorous fortitude and ultimate triumph.
10. What are 1-3 things you do when you feel blue to make yourself feel better? / or feel like you’re having an off day?
Watch a really good TV series - right now I’m watching The Sopranos for the first time and am hooked like an eagle’s beak.
Cook a semi-complicated new recipe with a delicious pay-off. I am an avid hummus consumer and self-proclaimed chickpea connoisseur, so trying out a variety of hummus-based recipes has been a great mood booster lately.
Talk to my mom.
11. Insert most used emoji:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford
12. Most inspiring quote:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” - Henry Ford
13. What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Multiple technical glitches and connection mishaps during what was meant to be a simple internal sync via Zoom led to my entire team laughing until we were crying - that’s quarantine, baby!
14. Who’s someone who you can rely on to always make you smile? Why/what do they do?
I’m spending this quarantine back home with my family, so I have to say my current desk neighbor and the woman who gave me life, my mom. We’ve bunkered down at our dining room table so spend most days typing away at our respective makeshift work stations. She really keeps me on my toes throughout the day as she has an atrociously loud phone ringtone featuring an Italian opera tenor that often startles me, and she also often takes work calls by pacing around our work space in what can only be described as a series of speed walking laps, but she is hilarious, brilliant, often puts on a cup of coffee when I need it the most and always keeps me on my toes by saying the most outrageous things.
15. Best advice you’ve ever gotten:
Embarrassment is a useless emotion. When I was younger I was way too concerned about what others might think about me for fear of facing judgment. This kind of negativity led me to overthink everything and caused a great deal of stress on my decisions and behavior. You have too many important things to do to waste precious time on that kind of stress. Think about all the productive things you could do with that time instead. Whatever may be causing. you embarrassment, try to laugh it off and own it.
Me for example? I have two left feet and frequently trip over inanimate objects only to then instinctively apologize to them, and I’ve learned to accept that.
16. Someone/something that changed your life (for the better):
Learning to say no. I used to be the biggest sucker for “FOMO” and would agree to any social invitation for fear that I would miss out on something very important and my friendships would suffer for it. However, this mindset really wears on you over time. I recently heard someone say you shouldn’t let your mouth overload your back, and it’s so true.
I’ve finally realized that no one knows me and my needs like I do. By stepping back to ask myself what I truly want and evaluate what is best for me when making decisions (big or small), I’ve been able to strike a much better balance in my life. I’ve learned to accept that I’m someone who needs more nights of pouring a glass of wine and morphing into my true form as a couch potato than I realized. As a result, I’m much more energized so that the social plans and nights out become so much more worth it.
17. Most overrated advice / trend right now (in your opinion):
In my opinion, the most overrated trend right now is the proliferation of Bachelor-style love competition reality shows. I know that I’m in the vast minority with that opinion but they are just not my thing.
18. Something you feel like saying:
To all the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals working on the front line to save lives despite the terrifying and life-threatening circumstances it poses for them, thank you for your bravery and selflessness. You are all heroes and we all need to do our part to help support you.
On a personal note, I’ve been frequently going down an anxiety-ridden rabbit hole of contemplating the current state of affairs in our world and uncertainties in regard to our future. It’s okay to feel scared and you’re not alone if you do, and that’s not just quarantine, baby!
19. Fave website / youtube video / link online at the moment:
I am another Millennial who has fallen victim to the TikTok craze. Two creators who have been consistently cracking me up are Trey Kennedy and Mitchell Crawford.
20. Fill in the blank: I’m happiest when I: _______________________
21. Tag a gem who inspires you:
My mom and Queen of Plantation, Florida - Donna Berger