A Day in the Life of Renée Marino, a Broadway Star-Turned-Master Communicator

UPDATED: February 29, 2024
PUBLISHED: February 29, 2024
Renee Marino, brunette woman with white shirt

Renée Marino looked onto the crowd during a 2013 Broadway performance of Jersey Boys and found herself staring at legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood, who had shown up to scout actors for a film adaptation of the musical. For weeks, she worked with her agent to get an audition but was invited to audition for a less prominent role than she’d played on stage.

As she began, she heard an inner voice tell her: You have to do this. It feels too right.

“I was really hoping to come in and read for the role of Mary Delgado,” she says. Surprisingly, the casting director was thinking the same thing. She got the part.

The first day on set, Eastwood told her he’d been all over, checking out different casts, but that nobody was of her caliber. Turns out, Marino had almost missed the chance to audition for her dream role due to a miscommunication via a casting associate.

She credits that “quiet voice of her soul” for giving her the push to speak up. With that story as proof, she helps others find their voice now as a communications and connection expert, TEDx speaker and bestselling author of Become a Master Communicator: Balancing New School Technology With Ol’ School Simplicity.

6 a.m. – Meditate

Some days, you want to crawl back into bed. Others, you want to grab life by the horns and get rolling. Marino chooses her type of morning meditation based on her mood. Sometimes her husband, Michael Lopez-Calleja, meditates alongside her in their New Jersey home.

She practices transcendental meditation, the “Devi Prayer” and Tony Robbins’ priming exercise. But, sometimes, she just slows her brain. Self-connection, or listening to your inner voice, is the first step of the communication method she teaches others. Going inward helps her stay balanced.

8 a.m. – Move

After meditation comes movement. One day, she’ll run on the treadmill; another, she’ll dance her way through “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez. Multiple meditation types and exercise options give her flexibility.

“Three years ago when I started my business, I went from dancing eight shows per week on Broadway… to then [plopping] myself in front of a computer.” Getting endorphins going means her mind starts moving too. As she puts it: “That’s when the creative ideas are flowing.” After a post-workout tea or protein shake, it’s time to get to work.

10 a.m. – Research

Becoming a master communicator doesn’t just happen—Marino constantly studies the way people communicate. Her current research focuses on the power of storytelling. For example, instead of introducing yourself with a verbal resumé, you might start with an engaging anecdote. That way, you present yourself as a real person, not a bullet-point list.

Marino helps others develop their “signature talk,” which they can use as their go-to keynote speech. She engages business owners and entrepreneurs, from millionaires to startup CEOs, on how to craft their stories.

10:30 a.m. – Outreach

Marino is more excited to get on the phone than your average person. Before a keynote or collaboration, she initiates several calls to determine a client’s biggest pain point, to plan breakout sessions and, especially, to learn more about their company. Step three of her communication program, nailing down information, involves deeper research before an event or meeting—learning a client or colleague’s likes, dislikes, past work and more.

11 a.m. – Coach

Marino started a coaching call with an owner of a solar power company, who found himself shying away from being on camera because of a scar on his face. She coaches him and others one-on-one as a part of a community coaching program.

After working together, he told her, “My business is thriving. My confidence is thriving, first and foremost.” She taught him the value of vulnerability: “The parts of ourselves we want to hide the most are the parts of ourselves that connect with others the most,” she says.

Noon – Video journal

Sometimes, entrepreneurship can be overwhelming, even for Marino. So, she records video journals on her phone to verbalize swirling thoughts. “When we verbalize, we magnify and maximize what we are saying, allowing us to hear it back.” Another benefit: “You can delete it right after.”

3 p.m. – Speak

Just this week, Marino gave four keynote speeches. One was in Italy, where she addressed people at a “beautiful retreat” through a company called the Happy Healthy Guys. Her message was simple: “In order to live your happiest and healthiest life, you must prioritize authentic communication and connection.”

5 p.m. – Eat

Marino goes to dinner with her husband and publicity team at Porter House Bar and Grill in NYC, where she orders filet mignon. Speaking of mealtime: Marino trains her own team on communication best practices at monthly lunch-and-learns. Recently, two of her colleagues came to an understanding that when one sends brisk emails, it isn’t yelling. Rather, it’s her instinct to shoot off emails like a to-do list. That realization wouldn’t have happened without the opportunity to communicate openly as a team—in person, instead of behind emails.

7 p.m. – Bond

Marino uses screens selectively and on purpose, such as watching Succession with her husband after dinner. What she doesn’t do is miss opportunities to engage because of technology. In fact, she knew she had to write her book after witnessing a family of five spend an entire restaurant dinner on tablets. “No one spoke…. It broke my heart. I said, ‘Nope, this needs to be a book.’”

8 p.m. – Challenge

This week, Marino challenged her 6,000-plus newsletter subscribers with a writing exercise: Note a few things that motivate you, with a vow to do one thing per day, and something that keeps you stuck, with a vow to disengage from it. Also, name a superpower you possess, and remind yourself of it every day.

Next up on her bucket list: hosting a television talk show that’s “a cross between The Ellen [DeGeneres] Show… [and] Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.” Until then, she leaves people with one challenge—the power of asking. “If you don’t ask, the answer will be no.” 

Frost is a career, lifestyle and health journalist based out of Cincinnati.

These events were taken from a typical day and some illustrate the highlights of Marino’s life.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photo credit: Courtesy of Renée Marino; Michael Lopez-Calleja.