“Its a lethal combination, being a business-minded actor”: Meet our new Wellington Regional Manager Jessica Manins.


We just keep getting the raddest humans joining our team. The personalities here at BizDojo constantly remind me that people do not and cannot fit within a pre-established box. We have an Activation Manager with trapeze silks, a Comms and Branding superstar who fosters abused Guinea Pigs ( if ”fosters” means keeps and loves them forever), and a Community Assistant who is also a damn fine personal trainer, just to name a few. Wellington’s new Regional Manager Jessica Manins is no exception. She is a woman of many many talents, having played a key managerial role in the international expansion and growth of online talent community StarNow, on top of her own acting and theatre success born through a passion and love for the creative arts.

I sat down for a chat with Jessica so we could give you all a little insight into the newest Dojo Panda on the block. 

CM: You’ve taken on the Wellington Regional Manager role at BizDojo. How is the position shaping up against your expectations? Are there things that surprised you about your role?

JM: It’s exactly what I expected (and I had high expectations).  Probably the biggest surprise is the level of talent already working in the team.  Some kickarse content creators and people that know how to get stuff done extremely quickly. It’s great to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you.

CM: (*blushing furiously* Shucks…great start). How are you settling in? Are we weird enough for you?

JM: Weird? I haven’t met anyone weird yet. I’ve grown up in the film, theatre and tech world and if you combine all of those together you’re bound to get some interesting folk. I’ve met fascinating, positive, innovative, generous people. Everyone has been very welcoming and I am feeling really lucky.

CM: Tell us about someone who greatly inspires and motivates you, and why.

JM: My Dad. He’s an outdoor education teacher and growing up he pushed me to do a ton of physical activities that were outside my comfort zone.  He taught me to challenge myself and never give up.

CM: Who was 16 year old you? What was your outlook like, your goals and dreams? What would you say are the biggest changes in your thinking as you have grown and gained experience?

JM: I was immersed in the theatre world at 16 with aspirations of going to drama school. I was positive with little self doubt. The biggest change in my thinking from that 16 year old is probably the realisation that you could be so passionate about something and believe that that was your world and would be forever, only to find yourself growing just as passionate about other things that come along, if not more! 

CM: What REALLY grinds your gears more than anything else?

JM: Being late.  I can’t stand it.

CM:  Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Wellington. I’ve travelled the world and there is nothing like coming back to this amazing city. It’s where my family are, the air is fresh, the south coast stunning, amazing theatre and people with substance.

CM: What’s in your headphones? 

JM: Nothing. If you see me with headphones on there is probably something wrong.

CM: Last but DEFINITELY not least, whats your Secret Ninja Skill?

JM: I’ve been told I could represent NZ at the Olympics for shooting [a gun]. No lie. I’ve got mean hand eye coordination.