Media, Darling: Angie Smith

Angie Smith joined the daytime talk show The Marilyn Denis Show in the summer of 2012 as a senior segment producer and on-air fashion expert.


Five years leading up to her current post, Smith reported on high profile events for Entertainment Tonight Canada including the Grammys, the Oscars and international Fashion Weeks. She’s chatted with numerous fashion icons like photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, Oscar de La Renta, Kenneth Cole, Sarah Jessica Parker, Essie Weingarten, Ivanka Trump, Jenna Lyons, Nicole Richie, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum and [one of her personal favorites] media mogul Barbara Walters. Smith’s talent reaches beyond celebrity-style with a primary focus on consumer awareness. In 2011, she was featured on Livedress.com about body-types and swimwear. In 2007, she produced a mini-series on the hidden health issue of “skinny-fat” for ET Canada and a two-part series on a model who survived a brain hemorrhage. 

Most recently, she hosted an evening of discussions at America’s Next Top Model Live in Toronto. Smith also partnered with GAP Canada to give shopping tips as part of a cross-province shopping event. One of the best parts of my job is the story-telling,” says Smith. “I also love a good transformation – knowing that someone walks away feeling educated from a story I put together, or that they feel better about themselves in some way.”

Prior to her start in lifestyle journalism, Smith interned at 48 Hours Investigates in New York City. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism and an Honours degree in Media, Information and Technoculture from The University of Western Ontario as well as an Ontario Certificate in Writing.

Website: www.marilyn.ca

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
I blame my grandparents for my career choice. When I was very young they got me a subscription to National Geographic and I was hooked on the concept of ‘journalism.’ I started interviewing my family, and anyone that came to the house, using a microphone and tape recorder. In university I did consider law – consider being the key word. And now after working in the media and realizing our pay scale, I’ve contemplated stripping…

Where would you like to be five years from now?
In a house with a lot of cats. 

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t shy away from internships.  We’ve all been there (I started as a script runner for Breakfast Television) and they get that foot in the door to show ‘em what you’ve got.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
Dateline NBC, 48 Hours Investigates, HGTV, National Geographic and The Bachelor/Bachelorette.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
Katy Perry. Hands down.

Worst?
Marisa Tomei. Hands down.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ― Dalai Lama XIVThe Art of Happiness
And, “you’ll get over it.”  You can really get over anything by changing your state of mind.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I don’t have specific rules, but I read The Art of Happiness quite often. I can now flip to specific chapters when certain situations arise. It’s a game changer. But my goal is always happiness and learning/understanding others.  

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Never hesitate with sending pitches – they will likely end up in the right hands one way or another. But try to make sure you know your audience (who is reading the pitch).

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
One PR* pro I know quite well stepped in to ‘model’ in one of my ET Canada segments to ensure the best brand/client representation – it showed real heart and dedication to her role.  I held on to her name/card for years knowing that no matter where she went she would be an extremely reliable contact. *Now a member of rock-it promotions, actually.

I’ve also experienced PR companies sending over props and clothing last minute to help make the best TV segment possible. I’m at the point where I can rely on specific agencies (like rock-it) to go above and beyond in ensuring all areas of a segment come together perfectly – even if it’s not all entirely related to their client.

I hate?
Mushrooms and the idea of veal.

I love?
My husband, cats, poutine, my MDS family and cheese.

Reading?
Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and my Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill.

Best place on earth?
Ordering line at a chip truck OR anywhere else with my husband Rick and family – road trips, the lake house…the list could go on and on.

Dinner guest?
Anthony Robbins – is he really that tall?

Hero?
My mother (cliché but true in this case).

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I prefer online shopping. I’m obsessed with gilt.com, zara.com/hicanada, and beyondtherack.ca

Pool or ocean?
Ocean. Unless the pool is mine all mine.

Voicemail or email?
Email. I never check my voicemails…to the point where they time out and delete themselves before I even know they existed.

Media, Darling: Gloria Martin

Gloria Martin is the Entertainment Editor for 680 News, Toronto’s number one all-news radio station, as well as its affiliates across the country including News 1130 Vancouver, 570 News Kitchener and News 95.7 Halifax. Gloria’s day ranges from talking to movie stars and fascinating personalities to helping out her favourite community groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto and The Famous People Players.



Website: Globiz.ca; 680news.com/listen/globiz
Twitter: @globiz680news


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
No, I didn’t always want to be in the media. I was always into acting and writing from the time I was very young (grade one!). I have a BFA from York University in theatre, have done TV commercials, and written and starred in several of my own TV productions.

I love music so, while unemployed as an actress for a spell, I took a job as a disc jockey at a local club. I became one of the first female DJs in Toronto and the first to play “black” music from soul to reggae to rap when I jumped to radio as a late night DJ at CHIC in Brampton. I have been in radio ever since (CBC, CFGM, CFTR, 680 NEWS).

I have always had a passion for promoting our own incredible Canadian talent and have done that on every station where I have been employed.




Where would you like to be five years from now? 
I would like to be writing and producing more extensive articles about interesting people everywhere as well as Canadian stories.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry? 

Writing is king. Hone your writing skills. Be yourself. Get to know and love yourself. Know what your strengths are and present the real “you” in interviews. Honesty and self assurance will get you far. 

Best interview you’ve ever had? 
I loved talking to Sir Anthony Hopkins. He loves life and people and acting and has no time for Hollywood types. The same with Michael Caine. He has incredible stories about amazing people he has known. More recently Daniel Radcliffe impressed me. He’s so together at 22! He laughs at his fame and knows who he really is as a person. I love the Brits.

 
Worst?  

Mickey Rooney. Love the guy. He’s a legend. But a terrible interview. I tried three times. He’s very cranky.


Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
“Love yourself.” My mother told me that over and over. It’s important for young people to understand that means having confidence but NOT feeling entitled.



What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Work hard at what you love. It’s a privilege. Live every minute of every day to the fullest. Smile. Have respect for others. Help those in need as often as you can. 


What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros? 
Don’t be a pest. If I say no, understand it’s impossible for me to help you at the moment.
Present your information concisely and clearly. Target me if you know it’s something suitable. Don’t just put me on a list that sends out everything you’re working on. 



I hate?
Kim Kardashian. She’s nothing. And I really hate phony advice experts who pretend to dish out advice to movie stars and celebrities and tell them what to do with their lives. Ick!  

I love? 

Cooking! 

Reading? 
I’m reading the first two books in Toronto writer Ron Base’s new series, The Sanibel Sunset Detective, published by the late, great Brian Vallee. I’m also reading Italian Days by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, a travel journal with lots of food highlights. And of course any cookbook, anytime.


Best place on earth?
Manitoulin Island, British Columbia and Italy. 


Dinner guest?
Canadian actors Carlo Rota (24, Little Mosque on the Prairie) and Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway) because I know they both love to cook and have an incredible sense of humour. We would have a hard time trying to eat between the laughs!


Hero?
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Diane Dupuy, founder of the Famous People Players. 
 

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)? 
I always download anything by Trombone Shorty or Esperanza Spalding and Toronto’s Bill King. I just downloaded his new album, Five Aces.

Voicemail or email? 

Email!!! (Ed. note: exclamation marks intended.)




Rave: Deep, dark nail polish

As you may remember from our earlier post on nail art, we love experimenting with different nail colours and designs, especially in the summer. Those bright, funky colours, intricate designs, patterns – we can’t resist. 

But sometimes you need a break from all the neon brights, and crave something a little more glam, vamp and chic. We started to wonder if we could find shades that will transition us from summer to autumn.

With all the variety we found below, we’re happy to report it’s an absolute possibility. If you see us out and about, you’ll definitely see us rocking one of these bold colours on our fingers and toes. 


If you’re a bit nervous about expressing your dark side, ease your way in with this pretty, electric blue (Aruba Blue) from Essie. You can get it at Shopper’s Drug Mart for around $12, making it an easy dabble in the dark arts. Geri Halliwell was seen with a similar colour earlier this summer while in Monaco. 



We liked the idea of a deep, purplish-blue, so we tried out O.P.I’s Light My Sapphire. It retails for about $10 at Trade Secrets. For all of you who want to emulate Kristen Stewart’s rocker-chic glam, this is the colour for you. 



  

We’re also loving burgundy for a dark summer colour. M.A.C.’s Vintage Vamp Nail Lacquer is sleek, sultry and Kim Kardashian-esque for events or a night out with family and friends. C’mon, you know you wanna look like Kim just a little bit, sometimes.




On a hot summer Saturday night, there’s no doubt that some of us will be as bold as Emma Roberts and go for pure, rich black. China Glaze is an office favourite, and we especially like China Glaze’s Liquid Leather, which can be found at select Trade Secrets for less than $10.

So there you have it. You don’t need to stick with bubble gum pink just because it’s August. Try one of these hot, deep shades now, all the way into autumn.





Rant and Rave: Wedding gift etiquette

Summer months signal longer days, sangria on the patio, cute sundresses and weddings. It seems that each time we check our mail box a new wedding invite arrives. With each new invitation we wonder, “what is proper gifting etiquette and how much should we spend?”
Weddings can be pricey for everyone involved – including guests. Image source
Gifting amounts can be tricky and you can’t exactly ask the bride-to-be what gift value isn’t going to make her tell the tale of the cheap guest for years to come. Here are some tips for you to follow to get you through wedding season without sign of the fail whale. 
If you’re attending an out of town wedding:
Your best friend is getting married…in Jamaica. Often when guests are asked to travel long distances, their presence is requested in lieu of gifts. That being said, we recommend giving a more modest gift off the registry or a cash gift totaling $50 -100 a head (depending on what you can afford). 
 Destination weddings are beautiful, but are a big ask for guests. Image source.
If you’re a bridesmaid in the wedding:
Being in the wedding party is a huge honor, but also a larger financial responsibility. In addition to purchasing your bridesmaid dress, throwing a bachelorette party and giving a present for the bridal shower(s), you’re expected to purchase a gift for the new couple. This is where things get tricky – you’re obviously close to the couple, or are a future in-law, so you’d probably like to get them something nice. But how much is too much to spend? We recommend purchasing a gift off the registry or cash gift totaling $100-150 per head.   
 Why do groomsmen get off the hook for paying for wedding events? Image source.
Attending a wedding that’s a cash bar:
In an effort to reduce expenses, and because couples are frequently footing the bill for their weddings in more recent times, some are opting for a cash bar at the wedding reception. Because guests have to purchase their own cocktails we recommend purchasing a gift off the registry or a giving a cash gift between $50-75 per head.
Side note: if you’re hosting a cash bar:
Be sure to let your guests know prior to the big day. This information should be spread by word of mouth, similar to how registry information spreads. Also, providing guests with a few drink tickets and wine throughout dinner is a nice way to ease the pain of the dreaded cash bar. 
Other tips to remember:
Don’t bring cumbersome gifts to the wedding. Deliver them to the couple prior, or post, wedding. Most major retailers with registry programs will also let the couple pick up their gifts at the store after the wedding.

Registry at The Bay? They’ll let you purchase and ask the couple to pick up the gift later. 

Wedding presents should be gifted no longer than six months to a year after the wedding date. Mixed opinions about the exact timing, but no later than the couple’s first anniversary, or else it’s just a bit awkward.
Stick to the registry, unless you’re very close to the couple and have a wonderful idea for a personal gift. If you choose to take this risk, include a gift receipt – people are very picky about items they hope to have for years and years to come. Yes, they really do want that brand-new alarm clock.

Broke? Give the gift of amazing music by DJing the wedding! Image source.
If you can’t afford a wedding present, offer your services. Are you an expert photographer or a great DJ? Offer this as a substitute gift to the couple a few months in advance of the wedding. 
If you’re bringing a date to the wedding, make sure you calculate this into the cost of the wedding gift. Typically a present should cover the cost of each plate (approximately $100). 
 Is this vase worth $7,500? Kim Kardashian thinks so. 

In the end, someone has invited you to their wedding because they want you to be there to celebrate with them. If you’re under extreme financial stress, no bride and groom wants you to give a gift that you can’t afford. Be happy, supportive and invite them over for a delicious dinner after the big event to show that you care, even if you can’t get them that $7,500 Baccarat vase they desperately need.


Ed. note: Happy weddings to our two upcoming summer brides on the fourth floor, Christina Walters and Abigail Van Den Broek.