Media, Darling: Sabrina Maddeaux

Sabrina
Maddeaux is the Managing Editor at
Toronto Standard, where she writes
and edits smart, candid content that sometimes makes people angry. Prior to
that, she was the Style Editor at
Toronto Standard. And before that, she
freelanced for publications such as
Toronto Life, blogTO.com, Sweetspot.ca,
TCHAD Quarterly, Faze Magazine, GlobalNews.ca, and more.

She
attended St. Bonaventure University in New York, where she studied political
science, journalism, and theology, and played NCAA Division I soccer for two
years. She likes things that aren’t boring. And cheese, always cheese.
Photo credit: Becca Lemire

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were
on the horizon?
Actually, I always thought I’d be a lawyer. When I graduated from
university, I got into top law schools like Boston College and Notre Dame — I
even put down a deposit at Boston College and moved there. Two weeks before
classes were supposed to begin, something just didn’t feel right. So I totally
freaked out my parents, got a one-year acceptance deferral, and never looked
back.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d still like to be the editor of an independent publication. There’s
so much more freedom in what you can write and the opinions you can express — I
can’t see myself giving that up anytime soon.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Live outside whatever your beat is. If you cover fashion by day, be a
political junkie by night. It provides perspective and makes for a more
interesting writer and person.
Also, don’t regurgitate press releases. Think for yourself. Originality
creates value.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
The Atlantic, the New York Times, Jezebel, xoJane, The Paris Review, The
New Yorker
, The New Inquiry, Gawker, and a slew of other small independent
pubs. I watch Breaking Bad, Damages, Veep, Mad Men, Dexter, Golden Girls
reruns, and too much TMZ.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I’ve always had good interviews, maybe because I think of them as
conversations and not interviews. I’m also really picky about who I interview
because I hate transcribing.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think it was Kelly Cutrone who said, “Be everywhere, meet everyone.”
That was my philosophy for a long time, and still is. This industry is all
about networking and you never know when you’ll meet someone that can change
your career.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Always eat a good breakfast. Cereal doesn’t count.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Don’t complain about mostly positive coverage (unless there’s a factual
error). And don’t complain about honest reviews and feedback — even when
they’re negative. Also, don’t blacklist lightly. Media talk and we tend to have
each other’s backs when it comes down to it.
Finally, read my publication. If you pitch me an actress for our next
(nonexistent) cover, I can’t take you seriously ever again.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I like any PR pro who takes the time to get to know my publication and
me. The agencies and publicists I prefer really get what I do and don’t try to
brainwash me.
I also appreciate PRs who set realistic expectations about their events
and products; it shows they value my time and trust. Don’t lie to me, and I’ll
like you. If I like you, I might just cover that dingy event where one Degrassi
kid shows up (You’ll eventually have one. Everybody does), because I care.
I hate?
Censorship, Internet outages.
I love?
Strong cheeses and John Lithgow.
Reading?
I’m slowly working my way through the Game of Thrones series.
Best place on earth?
St. Bonaventure, NY.
Dinner guest?
I’m a little obsessed with media mogul and feminist icon Jane Pratt
right now. Would love to pick her brain.
Hero?
I think everyone should be his or her own hero.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Is it so five years ago to say Shazam? I’m on a BlackBerry, so my
entire device is so five years ago. I can’t be blamed.
Pool or ocean?
No question: ocean. The smell alone is so relaxing.
Voicemail or email?
Unless someone’s dying… NEVER, EVER voicemail.
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Rave: Funny Ladies

It comes up every once in a while, causes a little controversy, and then goes away: Women Aren’t Funny. Up here on the fourth floor, where quips and jokes can fly fast and furious, we beg to differ. Hence, today’s Rave: the funny ladies who make us laugh and reinforce our opinion that women can be hilarious. 

What would you give to be a part of this club?
 
Image source.

The SNL ladies and their spin-offs

A lot of the credit for promoting female comedy lately goes to the women ruling Saturday Night Live over the past decade. Tina, Amy, Kristen, Maya… they’ve given us so many great laughs. A few of our favourite sketches? The Dakota Fanning Show, Mom Jeans, Annuale and any sketch that has Kristen Wiig doing, well, anything. Plus, they’ve formed this cool group of beautiful, hilarious girls who make guest appearances in each other’s sitcoms and movies. More, please!

Here’s hoping Kristen Wiig has started writing her next comedy and includes this cast.
 
Image source.

Beyond PMS and boyfriend jokes

Ever experienced a date at a low-budget comedy club with unknown female comedian in the lineup who talks about PMS for half her set? Been there, and it’s had both us and our dates cringing. That’s one of the (many) reasons why we love Ellen DeGeneres: you never catch her talking about her lady parts or bad dates. Plus, she pranked Taylor Swift and it was pretty great:

The original queens of comedy


Funny women are nothing new, they might just be getting a little more credit these days. Some of the indisputable comediennes who led the way still make us laugh: Lucille Ball and her slapstick antics; The Golden Girls who spent seven seasons reigning the ratings as a quartet of funny, older women living together; and Jennifer Saunders, because Absolutely Fabulous taught us it’s perfectly acceptable to have a fridge dedicated solely to champagne. 

Thank YOU for being a friend.
 
Image source.




Funny in print


Pick up one of these books, and become the crazy person laughing out loud on the subway. Bonus points if it’s on an e-reader and no one can see what you’re reading. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling, and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler are a few of our faves. Laughs guaranteed.




What other funny women make you laugh? Tweet us @rockitpromo