Pret-a-Reporter

Life After Hollywood

How a Firing Led NBC's Ex-Comedy Chief to Open a Meditation Studio

Courtesy of Tal Rabinowitz
Tal Rabinowitz at DEN Meditation on La Brea Boulevard.

As a Hollywood executive, Tal Rabinowitz worked on 'The Mindy Project' and 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.' After she was let go, she let go — and now helps others do the same with DEN Meditation.

"I didn't have anger," says Tal Rabinowitz about the day in May 2014 when she was fired as executive vp comedy development at NBC, leaving the nearly 20-year veteran of Sony and Warner Bros. Television out of a job. "I had ego issues." But by 2016, she had gotten them out of her system, turning her executive experience on such shows as The Mindy Project and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt into an entrepreneurial endeavor. Last February, Rabinowitz launched DEN Meditation, a studio offering daily classes in mindfulness and healing, as well as yoga and sound baths, to such students as Anna Kendrick and Amanda Seyfried.

It was at NBC where she first learned how to meditate with then-co-worker Renate Radford, currently senior vp television at Brownstone Productions, who praises Rabinowitz, 41, for always having "a passion for looking inward and pushing herself to grow." Rabinowitz searched online for a place to go "on my way to work, during lunch, in New York while I was at upfronts, and it didn't exist," she says. These days, her DEN team visits the NBC offices weekly to conduct classes.

Working in Hollywood, with its work ethic, "prepares you for anything," she says. Plus, there was a skills overlap: "It's production. I knew how to get something off the ground from zero." And all those years of giving notes on scripts “helped me learn how to give bad news,” she says, relating how she used her skills recently when she had to fire an employee.

Now in business 18 months and opening a second location in Studio City in August, Rabinowitz, who aims to make DEN a global brand, is going out to investors. She doesn't miss the pileup of scripts during pilot season, and wearing flip-flips to work is a bonus, but when she first opened the studio — shortly after adopting a newborn — her own meditation "went to hell." Despite long hours, Rabinowitz has since achieved, yes, more balance: "It's still a business but my widget now is making people feel good."

A version of this story first appeared in the June 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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