Media, Darling: Carly Maga

Believe it or not, when Carly Maga moved from the cultural hotspot of suburban Ottawa to Toronto in 2006, she had a serious case of the starry-eyes. Now, through the ups and downs of any long-term relationship, the infatuation has evolved into a deep and meaningful appreciation. Her journalism degree coupled with a constant need of being entertained has resulted in her writing/tweeting/talking/living Canadian theatre and the arts for publications like The Globe and Mail, The Grid, Torontoist, OpenFile, and Toronto Standard. When not at a play or writing about a play, she’s covering the celebrity news everyone needs to know on Yahoo! OMG! or TV for BeyondtheGuide.com.

As a freelance writer, Carly has had the opportunity to pair her passion for theatre and her savvy writing style through profiling and reviewing theatre productions in Toronto, Ottawa, Chicago, New York, and more. She’s chatted with notable directors like Atom Egoyan and Robert Lepage, and would do anything to get a story. Including trying a KFC Double Down.




Twitter: @radiomaga

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
When I was a kid, I would flit week to week between careers as a dental hygienist (like my mom), an opera singer, or a school bus driver. But acting was the first thing that really stuck with me, until I discovered journalism offered me the same opportunity for storytelling but on a larger platform and, I thought at the time, in a more reliable industry.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d like to get some international living under my belt, but other than that, I’d love to still be seeing tons of art and discussing it with those who make and love it. And I want a dog, her name will be Bea.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Just write a lot, wherever you can. It sucks and I don’t think it’s right, but work for free, or very little. Especially if you want to focus on a particular beat, you have to create a place for yourself. And when you intern, don’t lose those contacts.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
There are a few things I try to keep up with – Toronto news, theatre in New York, London, and Chicago, things my friends and peers are up to. Twitter, actually, has been amazing for that. Plus Maisonneuve Magazine, The Walrus, and I’m addicted to Vulture and New York Magazine.

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
Talking to actor Eric Peterson is definitely a highlight, but I’ve also had some amazing talks with young, exciting artists around my age. Worst was the director of a really reputable avant-garde theatre company in New York. She refused to answer my questions and I felt about two feet tall by the end of it.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Just work harder than everyone else.” (Thanks @NatalieZed!)

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Don’t get too comfortable.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
As someone who’s relatively early in their career, I always really appreciate even a small greeting, or proof you’ve read any of my stuff. It goes a long way. And when you meet in person at an event, I know there’s lots going on, but try to look people in the eye.

I hate?
Mustard. And arrogance. And sharks.

I love?
The fall.

Reading?
Still in summer-fluff reading mode – the last of Guillermo Del Toro’s vampire trilogy The Night Eternal. Next will be one of the classics I’m trying to catch up on, though I admit I hardly have time to read fiction.

Best place on earth?
A cottage. Any cottage.

Dinner guest?
The expats of 1920’s Paris.

Hero?
I don’t have one in particular, though there are lots of people around me that I really admire. I like to surround myself with people who, I think, are achieving bigger and better things than I am. It keeps me motivated.

Pool or ocean?
Oceanside (see “what I hate”).

Voicemail or email?
Email definitely. Or for bigger conversations, in person.

Live theatre show you’re most looking forward to this fall?
This is the hardest question so far! I wrote about a few of my picks for Torontoist, but I think personally I can’t wait for the remounts of The Normal Heart at Buddies in Bad Times and No Great Mischief at Tarragon – they were so praised and I missed them both the first time. As for new shows, Tear the Curtain! at Canadian Stage is really exciting, I love what Electric Company Theatre is doing.



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