CLOSTER, N.J. — Closter business owner Raquel Bruno gets to work with big-name celebrities such as 50 Cent, Lady Gaga and Robert Downey Jr. every day.
But the founder and president of Drive Entertainment Group in New York City says her job isn't glamorous as it sounds.
"This job is a lot of hard work and long hours," Bruno told Daily Voice. "But I do it because I love working with talent and making ideas happen."
Such is the life of a professional booking agent -- a job Bruno describes as an intermediary between TV networks and movie studios and an agent or publicist.
"Everyday I'm in the trenches trying to help my clients find the right talent for their projects and then being on site to make sure everything runs smoothly," the Leonia native said.
Her career has given Bruno the opportunity to help launch the TV network "TV Land' and produce the 2016 American Black Film Festival Awards and TNT's 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Reveal Show.
"It's about bringing people together to create things," she said.
Bruno believes she was primed to work with talent from a young age, after growing up with parents who were professional musicians.
"With creative people, you learn this language where you don't need words to communicate," she said.
Bruno became more fluent in that language during her college years at Rowan University, where she interned with Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon then hired her to work in program acquisitions, a job Bruno recalls as "sitting in a room watching cartoons" and recommending the good ones.
She worked her way up the ladder and eventually moved on to jobs at VH1 and MTV.
In 2006 she struck out on her own.
"I wanted to be able to do exactly what I want to do," Bruno said.
Drive Entertainment Group has been going strong for 10 years now.
"I am doing exactly what I intended to do and I am very proud of that," Bruno said. "Yes, it is stressful, but it is also very rewarding because I can look at tons of shows and projects and know that I had a hand in making that thing happen."