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.
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Rave: How to get back up

If we learned anything from The Oscars (and our BFF J Law),
it’s that no matter
who you are,
everyone falls on their face sometimes. However, it isn’t always quite so literal. In our line of work we see all kinds of falls
and blunders and part of our job is to help you pick yourself up with the most
grace and least damage – to you and your reputation. We’ve got a couple simple
pieces of advice to help you recover from your next fall (psst, the fall is a
metaphor).



Plan ahead

The best defense is a good offense. It is wise to always have a contingency plan
in place, should things go wrong.




Be Quick

Alright, you can’t plan for everything. However, don’t wait for somebody else to
notice your mistake before you take action. 
As soon as you see a mistake
or an issue, it’s time to spring into problem-solving mode. In the PR world, we
say the first 48 hours of a crisis are crucial – you’ll want to get ahead of it before
it gets ahead of you.
Get Real

It’s cool man, everyone makes mistakes, but no situation will
be made better by lying about it.  It’s
time to appeal to people’s humanity – it is easier to forgive a mistake than a
mistake and a lie. Communication is
key! Angry people are often confused people. Clarify what the mess is and how you’ll clean it up.




Have a support system

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Depending on the situation,
a good friend, a solid PR team (ahem), or in Jennifer Lawrence’s case, two of
the sexiest men alive can help back you up or see a solution you may not.

Learn from your mistakes

Seize the moment; it is an opportunity. Sure, nobody loves
making a mistake but it is certainly a way to learn. There are very few
memories as palpable as ones full of embarrassment or guilt, and while
that sucks, it can keep history from repeating itself.



Rave: Academy Awards 2013

How did everyone enjoy the Tony Awards last night? Juuuust kidding. As if M’Obama would ever get all dressed up to present Best Musical. There was a whole lot of singing last night though, so you can understand our confusion. We’ll get to that in a minute. Big ups to the FLOTUS for using this opportunity to chat about the importance of the arts.  


So, the Academy Awards. They were long, but what else is new. Host Seth MacFarlane tried his best but it all felt quite lacklustre and a teeny bit misogynistic? Whatever, that is a debate best left for Vice Magazine; we’re here to talk about celebrities. Let’s get to it. 


The Dresses!

There was a whole lotta strapless happening on the red carpet last night. We suppose the Oscars aren’t the place to take a sartorial risk, but this year seemed a lot tamer than in the past. Where was Bjork when you needed her? That being said, there were a few stand-outs. 




Best Actress nominee Naomi Watts went with a bit of a riskier choice with her sparkly Armani Prive gown. The colour and cut-out were just a little bit futuristic (in the best way).  




Charlize Theron slayed us in her Christian Dior Haute Couture dress. The tailoring, coupled with her short hair, was a strapless dress we could really get behind. Plus, it was white and didn’t remind us of a wedding dress (ahem, Jennifer Lawrence). Success!

We were into Amanda Seyfried’s Alexander McQueen gown, particularly the subtle colour and pattern, along with a high neck. Her hair could’ve been a bit better, but all in all, it was a good showing. 




America’s Sweetheart looked damn fine in Elie Saab last night. It was sheer and sexy, but in a classy, Oscar-appropriate way. Way to go, Sandra Bullock. As usual.




We absolutely adored Sally Field’s red Valentino gown. The colour was great, the detailing around the chest was flattering… all of it, was a delight. We almost forgot about her making out with Seth MacFarlane. 



Now, this was a contentious dress. Anne Hathaway seemed to be following the Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar check-list (Pale pink? Check. Satin? Check. Diamonds? Check.) but her Prada had chest darting that could take an eye out. The dress’s real appeal was the back and the double-whammy of decoration — a sash and necklace. 


The Musical is Back! 




From start to finish, this year’s show was jam-packed with musical numbers. Some missed the mark (sorry, boob song), but we loved Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron’s Ginger & Fred dance number. It would’ve been better if they’d done a little Ginuwine at the end, but whatever. 




We aren’t really sure why Chicago is supposed to still be relevant. A song AND the cast presents? That’s a bit much. Catherine Zeta-Jones looked killer, and her dance moves brought us right back to 2002, but next time… maybe a bit more rehearsal time? If you’re going to lip-synch at the Oscars, at least do it well. 


Kudos to the cast of Les Miserables for giving us goosebumps. Actually, make that kudos to Samantha Barks for just blowing it out of the water last night. Is this what people sound like on stage in the West End? Because, buy us a ticket to London, stat. 




Best memoriam of all time? YEP! Barbara Streisand sings “The Way We Were” and we can die happy now, thanks. Also, anyone else notice the publicist who was included this year? Mad props.


The Winners!

“Is Ben Affleck having a stroke?” – text we received after Argo won Best Picture. He certainly seemed a little shaken when Grant Hezlov was speaking. We can’t say we were surprised by this win (in fact, we totally called it), but Affleck seemed genuinely in shock. We’ll attribute his weird wife-thanking to that. 


Speaking of shaken, how freaking adorable was Jennifer Lawrence? The girl looked like she was about to barf with happiness. But can we talk about Hugh Jackman running to help her up after she tripped for a second? THE BEST. Here’s a gif, in case you missed it. 

After last night, we think it’s safe to say that Adele (at only 24 years old) is on track to win an EGOT and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honour. What a delightful human she is. Can you believe that she and Taylor Swift are the same age? Anyways, Adele is awesome and makes us feel very unaccomplished, but we don’t even care.




And finally, KStew & JLaw! Just a couple of besties hanging out on the red carpet. SWOON. (Ed. note: the swoon is also contentious on the fourth floor).


All photos are courtesy of Just Jared

Rave: Oscar Predictions

Hollywood’s big night is just days away – the 85th Academy Awards take place this Sunday, February 24. As the entire awards season leads up to this, anticipation is high. If you give a hoot about these awards, then you’ve likely got an Oscar pool you’re participating in (we highly recommend entering Lainey’s annual pool for some kickass prizes). While we aren’t going to reveal all our picks today – because duh, we want to win, too – we will share our insight into the nominees and the evening, in general. 


The BFF Connection


Wonder if Matt is jealous of George?



If anything has become evident this awards season, it’s that Best Picture is Ben Affleck’s to lose. Argo has been riding a massive wave of dominance, which is partly attributed to Affleck’s Best Director snub, partly because of the “perfect family” show he and wife Jennifer Garner have been putting on the past few months, and a lot due to his bestie and co-producer George Clooney. Clooney knows how to play the game and he’s been pressing a lot of flesh on behalf of Argo. Who could resist the Clooney charm? Not us, that’s for sure. The only real question left to ask is, will Clooney bring girlfriend Stacy Keibler with him to the Kodak? That would be two trips in a row, a new record. 

Tightest Races


Classic moments from JLaw & Bette.

There are a few categories that are way too close to call, among them Best Director and Best Actress. Also, Best Actor. We know, you’re all thinking “oh hey, who can challenge Daniel Day-Lewis? Nobody.” and yes, you’re right. But maybe, just maybe… Hugh Jackman can rip the bald statue out of DDL’s hands? That would be an upset. For Best Actress, we’re saying it’s between Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva. We love JLaw, but this won’t be her last time at the Kodak. Can’t say the same for Riva (sorry!). Finally, the most contentious category: Best Director. After the high-profile snubs of Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow, we weren’t sure what to think. Still don’t, to be honest. The power of Harvey Weinstein has us leaning towards David O. Russell, but Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee are also strong candidates. 

Locked Down


Shaved head + singing cry face = OSCAR!



We’ve already called Argo for the Best Picture win, but we’re sure you’re wondering what other categories are a lock. While there’s always a chance Academy voters will go rogue and have a change of heart, calling Anne Hathaway for the Best Supporting Actress win is about as close to a sure thing as you can get. Considering Amour was nominated in both the Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film categories, we’re also pretty sure that Amour will take the non-English category. 


Lowered Expectations


Stewie! 

After the excitement of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes, we just can’t muster up much enthusiasm for the Oscar’s host, Seth MacFarlane. Don’t get us wrong, we love Family Guy and were thrilled to hear some of the show’s writers were contributing to the Oscars. And while MacFarlane is a talented vocal actor, we always want a little bit of Broadway (i.e. singing and dancing) in our telecast and don’t know if he can deliver. Not to mention, he’s already claimed that this is a “one-time thing” for him. Doesn’t really engender the most confidence. 


Magic Oscar


Please God, let this happen on Sunday. 



This year’s show has an impressive list of presenters and special guests, including the cast of The Avengers (Robert Downey Junior, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson), Barbara Streisand, Adele, Nicole Kidman, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum. There’s so many things we want to know! Is Babs going to sing? Will Aniston bring fiance Justin Theroux with her? How does Clooney feel about Theroux?  Are Kidman and Naomi Watts still besties? And, most importantly, is Channing Tatum going to take off his shirt? 

Fave 5: Oscar Snubs

The Academy Awards, aka. the Oscars, aka. the Superbowl for Women, aka. Hollywood’s Big Night Out (okay, we made that up). No matter what you call it, you likely have an opinion on it – from what Angelina is wearing to who wins the night’s big prize, it all makes its way into water cooler talk the next day. What isn’t talked about though, are those artists and films not nominated. So to give everyone their due, we present our top five Oscar snubs of 2012.

Michael Fassbender (Best Actor)

From the moment we laid eyes on his emaciated frame in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, we knew we’d be seeing a lot of Michael Fassbender on the silver screen. His reunion with McQueen for Shame was one of our favourite performances of the year (and not just because his, errr, member appears in the first two minutes). Not only was Fassbender’s performance raw, honest and gritty, he was also naked for most of the movie. Poor guy.

Image source

Verdict: The Academy hates penises, loves baseball (see: Moneyball).

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Best Film)

So, let’s get this straight. The Academy decides to open the Best Film category to include room for ten films, and then they only nominate nine? Not only that, they shut out the final film in one of the most epic movie franchises in history? This film had everything: action, drama, romance, heartbreak, joy – the whole shebang. And it’s not like they haven’t rewarded epic fantasy films in the past (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won in 2003). 

Image source

Verdict: The Academy hates magic, loves animals (see: War Horse).

Bridesmaids (Best Film)

Again, ten spots and only nine nominations. We know it’s rare for a comedy to take the top prize (the last time was in 1960 for The Apartment), but we were shocked that Bridesmaids didn’t even get the nod. This film was hilarious, sure. But it was also touching, well-acted, really well-written and one of the first all-female leading cast films our boyfriends were happy to watch for a second time. At least Melissa McCarthy got her (very well-deserved) nomination.

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Verdict: The Academy hates women, loves Woody Allen (see: Midnight in Paris).

Tilda Swinton (Best Actress)

We need to talk about We Need To Talk About Kevin. Has any film ever made you question the nature vs. nurture debate more? Swinton’s performance as the long-suffering mother of a mass murdering, school shooter chilled us to the bone. We empathized with her the entire film, but also experienced a very acute sense of schadenfreude.

Image source.

Verdict: The Academy hates serial killers, loves goth hackers (see: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

Albert Brooks (Best Supporting Actor)
What can we say? We loved Drive! The soundtrack, Ryan Gosling, Brooks’ villanous turn, Ryan Gosling, the costumes, the 90s throwback aesthetic, Ryan Gosling. Okay, we’ll be honest: we’re less outraged by Brooks’ snub than we are that our last shot of having The Gos at the awards in a tux. Le sigh.

Image source.

Verdict: The Academy hates Ryan Gosling. Period.

Tune into the Oscars this Sunday! Who do you think was snubbed?

Media, Darling: Sasha Tong

After working at MTV in the U.K., Sasha Tong moved to Toronto where she quickly landed a job at eTalk.  She’s been with the show for more than five years and heads up the fashion beat. Tong has been lucky enough to interview some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including everyone from Oscar and Juno nominees to talent at the Toronto International Film Festival; she’s been afforded some pretty crazy opportunities. Tong also now writes a weekly fashion and personal advice column on laineygossip.com.

Twitter: @eTalkCTV

How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
The most important way to grab my attention is with a pitch that’s quick and concise. If I have to read through a novel to get to the point, then I’ve already moved on. I know what will work and what won’t work for the show, so you typically don’t have to convince me. It’s really important though, that you know what eTalk features on a regular basis, so something like “how to wax your bikini line” just isn’t something I can feature on the show. Oh, and if you get my name right on the email, then that’s a bonus.

What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
I always appreciate it when I’m dealing with a PR company that can get me everything I need on a tight turnaround. If you’re pitching me and I like it, I usually have to move quickly, so the more organized and resourceful you are, the more I love you for it. Because time is such an issue, I also find it useful when I can just shoot the shit with the publicist and be straight up. If I pass on a pitch I don’t want to feel like I’ve hurt your feelings.

What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?

Hands down: when I’m stalked. I love a good follow-up email but if you start leaving messages on my work phone and my cell phone, that’s a quick buzz kill. 

My pet peeve
Please, oh please, put the email all in one font. When I get an email and everything is different sizes, I know you’ve just cut and pasted and pressed send. I don’t need to feel special, but paying attention to a small detail like that goes a long way.

Any other thoughts you’d like to add?

Ninety-nine per cent of the time, the publicists I work with are amazing. You guys are talented, innovative and creative. So keep up the good work.