Alumna Morgan McMahon recently booked a commercial tap dancing for Gillette Venus, as part of its #UseYourAnd campaign, which encourages women to be more than one thing.
“It’s a cool, inspirational thing I wasn’t really aware I was a part of until the commercial was released,” McMahon said. “It’s asking girls to be smart and something else or beautiful and something else, because you’re not always one thing. You’re not just a one-dimensional label.”
McMahon graduated from the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point in 2014. After landing an internship in New York that summer, McMahon decided to reside there permanently, having had the plan to relocate to the East coast since grade school.
“It’s always been a plan,” McMahon said. “I just never thought I’d actually follow through with it.”
With a background in dance and not in acting, McMahon found the audition process for Gillette Venus a bit weird.
“It was kind of funny,” McMahon said. “They put me in front of a camera and asked me to describe myself, which was strange. When I got a callback out of that, I talked about my family, my life here and other things.”
When casting directors asked McMahon to dance, she chose to perform tap.
“I ended up booking it, which was really cool,” McMahon said. “It was me and probably ten other girls on the shoot with all different talents. I got to tap dance by a skyline in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.”
McMahon felt privileged she was given little direction for the commercial.
“They didn’t direct me in any way because no one really knew about dance,” McMahon said. “It was actually really cool because I could do whatever I wanted. It was super fun, and it’s a commercial that’s out there now that will help women feel confident.”
After filming, McMahon was contacted several times by Gillette Venus, who required her approval to use her photograph in its campaign.
“They had to contact me for every little thing that was going to be used, like my face or picture for a thumbnail,” McMahon said. “They had to ask if it was permitted, so it was kind of crazy. I would love to do things like this again in the future.”
McMahon fits Gillette Venus’ campaign slogan well, as she currently holds many titles.
“I do marketing for the American Tap Dance Foundation and Reception, which is kind of what came out of the internship,” McMahon said. “I am also starting to get certification to be a Pilates instructor through a place called The Lab in Brooklyn.”
This April, McMahon will also commit time to working with a dance company from San Francisco that is starting a New York branch.
“We’re kind of in performance mode, so I’ll be in New York rehearsals with the company,” McMahon said. “We work together on their repertoire and perform it whenever they bring it to New York, so I’m working with them whenever they’re here. Then, when they need dancers for San Fransisco I can go work there depending on whether or not my schedule allows it.”
McMahon finds she is even busier because of her “survival jobs” that include catering and participating in research studies from time-to-time.
“I think it’s always fun to change things,” McMahon said. “I get pretty bored pretty quickly, so I don’t have the same schedule for more than a few weeks or months at a time, which is awesome.”
With a passion for dance, flexible agenda and enthusiasm for change, she will explore her city through new modes of work in the not so distant future.
“I like being here because I’m not ever getting stuck in the rut,” McMahon said. “There’s always something to do, something new to see or something new to strive for. It’s great here, and it wasn’t too hard to get used to because there’s too many good things to see.”
Arts & Entertainment Editor