Musical producer

What TV producer Tracey Baker-Simmons does in a day at work

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Welcome to The Work Day, a series that chronicles a single day in the professional lives of diverse women – from gallerists to stay-at-home parents to CEOs. In this episode, we hear from Tracey Baker-Simmons, Executive Producer for Television and Film. She recorded a day’s work in May.

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Last name: Tracey Baker Simmons

Location: West New York, NJ

Job title: Executive producer

Previous jobs: I have worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. I started out in marketing and promotions for a major label in the early 1990s for a few years, then moved into music videos and commercials. I have produced hundreds of music videos and commercials for artists such as Brandy, Monica and Nas, as well as commercials for brands such as Sprite, McDonald’s and many more. Then, in early 2003, I started my company B2 Entertainment, where I conceptualized “Being Bobby Brown.” In 2011, I moved to the New York area and took a position as a development manager for Jarrett Creative. There I helped develop shows such as “Boston’s Finest”, “Alaskan Women Looking for Love”, and “Rock the Boat”.

Which led me to my current position: In 2015, I decided to venture out on my own again to launch my boutique production entity, Baker Simmons Media. I’m a risk taker and I’m taking the plunge to create a project like “Being Bobby Brown” – with stars like Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, who I didn’t know until I approached them about a show at the start reality TV — really made me realize that nothing is impossible. Last year, I produced a Christmas movie for the Hallmark Channel, “Sugar Plum Twist.”

How I spend most of my day: I spend most of my days developing new show concepts or working with my agent to set up pitches. I’m always up early to correct everything I wrote the night before, as well as checking my email and social media. A few days a week I have enough energy to meet my trainer at the gym, and most mornings I try to have a smoothie or coffee with my husband while we chat about what we have and when he think it will be home. (My husband does food and beverage for one of the private clubs in Manhattan and has a photography business on the side.)

People send me a lot of new show ideas, and I try to respond to them all. Although I’m an early riser, I also go to bed quite late, as I am most creative at night. My assistant is virtual, and we mainly interact via email and text, with a weekly Zoom on Mondays. The middle of the day is filled with meetings.

I do my best to write after 8 p.m. and try to watch good television. (I really think it’s important for me to watch TV to see what’s going on.) Between 11 p.m. and midnight, I calm down with a bit of YouTube and water or tea.

5am: My first alarm goes off and I turn around.

6am: I finally wake up. My iPad and glasses are next to me, so I can check my email and send payment to a graphic designer for a presentation they’re creating for the new series I’m presenting next week.

6:15 a.m.: Today I have a shoot in town with a celebrity client for a project with A&E Networks, which will not be named yet, as it won’t air until next year. (I work as co-executive producer on it.) We shoot a few days a week, and today happens to be one of our shooting days. I check the call sheet to confirm my call time.

6:20 a.m.: I finish my stretches in bed, then get up to see the sunrise and say my prayers and manifestations for the day.

6:50 a.m.: I jump in the shower and get dressed. I like to wear makeup, even if it’s covered with a mask. I make sure I have my tools: my iPad mini and headphones are essential on set.

8am: My car is coming. The goal is to arrive on set around 9 a.m. to be ready for the client’s arrival. The location is downtown, near Wall Street.

9am: I arrive on the scene, a recording studio in town. I’m excited, because this building is home to one of my favorite cafes, Gregorys.

I go up to the 22nd floor and meet the team. We do the review. On this particular shoot, my role is to explain the big overall creative picture. Luckily for me, the studio we’re shooting in isn’t on the main level, so we have to go up two flights of stairs. (So ​​much for skipping the gym.)

9:45 a.m.: The course is over and the talents don’t arrive until 11am, so I take that as a sign that I can go for a real coffee break. I go down to Gregorys and have a cappuccino in a mug and a hot croissant.

10:45 a.m.: I’m going back upstairs, so I’m ready for the talent.

11 a.m.: We get a call from management: Talent is going to be an hour late. (Glad we got that coffee break.) The team and I decide to run through the day one more time, so we can get things done quickly as soon as the talent arrives.

12:30 p.m.: The talent finally arrives and apologizes a lot.

1:30 p.m.: Filming begins, and all is well, except we’re supposed to break for lunch at 3 p.m. Today’s fame is struggling, so we’ll have to skip lunch.

4:45 p.m.: We finally wrap up the celebrity talent and break down the crew for lunch.

5 p.m.: It’s a walk-in lunch, so the other executive producer and I head to a nearby salad bar. I have a Caesar kale, something I only eat at restaurants.

6 p.m.: We’re all back from lunch and going over the lists of shots the team needs to take before we wrap up (exterior shots of the building, etc.). I’m sticking around a bit to offer any creative support needed.

6:30 p.m.: The filming part is over, and I can go home. However, I realize that today is Cinco de Mayo, so I pass by Soho House to grab a margarita with a friend. (I like mine spicy.) I skip the guacamole for the fried calamari.

Unfortunately, I can’t stay long, as I have to finish a first script for a Christmas movie that my partner and I recently pitched to a network.

8 p.m.: I’m going home to Jersey. The weather is nice and I decide to taste my new favorite rosé and get down to writing.

9:30 p.m.: I send the email to my production partner for review and decide to make changes in the morning. I hop in the shower so I can have a good time with my husband when he’s home.

10 p.m.: My husband is finally home, and we tell each other how our days went. He grabs a rum and I take sips. (It’s too late for me to have another cocktail.) We watch TV, and I do my usual after a long day of filming and fall asleep on his lap. Then he gently nudges me towards the bed.

11:15 p.m.: No YouTube tonight. I gave everything I have today and I need to rest.