Media, Darling: Maggie Wrobel

Maggie started at the Globe and Mail in 2005 as a copy-editing intern
on the night News desk.

She was also part of the team that launched Globe Life (the
paper’s daily lifestyle section) in 2007. She worked as the production editor in the Style section for
five years before moving to her current position as assistant Arts
editor in the newly merged Life & Arts section in March of last year. In her current role she assigns and edits Arts stories both
short and long, with a particular eye to popular culture and music.

Image source: Maggie Wrobel

Twitter: @maggiewrobel

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what
other careers were on the horizon?
In grade six, I wanted to work for the United Nations. By
the end of university, I was getting set to move to Africa and work for a
non-profit. But I’d always loved reading and writing, and spent several years
as a writer and editor at my university paper (UWO’s The Gazette).
 So, when I landed a summer copy-editing
internship at The Globe and Mail, I jumped on it. Eight years later, here I
still am.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
In the audience for Saturday Night Live‘s 43rd
anniversary special.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t pretend you know what someone is talking about when
you don’t. I don’t believe in ‘fake it till you make it.’ I think asking
questions is important – it shows you’re curious and willing to learn. I’d pick
genuine enthusiasm over bravado any day. That said: read. Read everything. And
then read some more.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own? 
The New York Times and New York Magazine are both leaders
in our field and offer much inspiration, especially in the ways in which
they’ve embraced digital content.


Newseum.org is a must-visit every morning, offering PDFs
of front pages from all over the world, and always leads to much surfing.


And I admit it surprised me, but Twitter has a great
rhythm for daily news, both high and low-brow.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I had a lovely interview last year with Laura and Kate
Mulleavy, the visionary sister act behind Rodarte. They were gracious,
interesting and genuinely down-to-earth.
As for bad interviews, they do happen, and for many
different reasons. But there’s always a way to make a story great. You just
have to find it.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was a young, eager up-and-comer, a colleague (now
friend) once told me she noticed I nodded a lot in meetings. I thought about
it, and she was right.
 I was trying to
seem encouraging and enthusiastic, but quickly realized that having a bit of a
poker face can actually be much more effective sometimes.
 Staying aware of your body sounds like a
silly thing, but the way you are perceived – even physically – can have a huge
effect on your career.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Always, always be kind. It can be hard to put yourself
into other people’s shoes, but it is essential to at least try.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know who you’re pitching to and what they do. Read
mastheads, stay on top of Twitter and, if you still don’t know, ASK. You’d be
shocked how many people still think I’m the travel editor, a post I held for
less than two months more than four years ago. (For the record, the Globe’s
real travel editor is Domini Clark, who gives the world’s best advice on
everything from banking to, ahem, body language in meetings.)
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Anyone who gets me what I need on deadline becomes that
day’s hero.
I hate?
Short-sightedness and pasta salad.
I love?
My job!
Also: the J. Crew catalogue, BarreWorks (the only
happy-making gym in the world), Moleskins, brunch and watching the tiny
inflatable Raptor bounce at Raptors games.
Reading?
Always.
Best place on earth?
A diner on Saturday with a stack of pancakes and a new
magazine.
Dinner guest?
J.D. Salinger! I’d probably nod a lot.
Hero?
I am lucky to have many. My mom is the strongest woman I
know and my dad the nicest man. My friend Lori Mastronardi is an amazing
wordsmith and has the incredible ability to always see the good in people and
situations. I also get a lot of strength and inspiration from hip-hop, be it
coming-up stories like Kendrick Lamar’s or the unapologetically upper-class
rhymes on Watch the Throne.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these
days)?
 I make a mean playlist. My day would not be the same
without Rdio for BlackBerry.
Pool or ocean?
Both, preferably within walking distance of each other.
Voicemail or email?
 Email. Or lunch.
Theatre show or cultural event you’re most looking
forward to this year?
The Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip has all the makings of a
killer time. Can’t wait. (Ed. note: we agree!)

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




Fave Five: Natalie Portman

In this new feature, we will profile five of our favourite things in a given category. What we feature will vary according to our whim, but we’re always open to suggestions.

Our inaugural post centres on the filmography of Ms. Natalie Portman. Around this time last year, you couldn’t open a magazine, turn on a TV or read a blog without hearing about Portman’s astounding performance in Black Swan. It’s been nearly a year since her Oscar win and the new mother has practically disappeared from view. As we don’t like to put anyone in a corner, we decided to honour her award-winning year with our five favourite Natalie Portman movies:

1. Black Swan

Directed by Darren Aronofksy, Black Swan is a psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet. The film co-stars Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel, and was the site of Portman’s introduction to her baby-daddy, Benjamin Millepied. Portman underwent a year of rigorous ballet training to transform her body into that of a prima ballerina, though many people may best remember the film for her sapphic love scene with Kunis.  

2. Leon: The Professional

A mere 13 years old at the time of shooting, Portman’s debut performance is arguably one of her most badass to date. Leon: The Professional tells the tale of Mathilda, a young girl whose entire family is massacred while she’s out shopping. She takes refuge in her strange neighbour, Leon’s apartment, where she learns he’s an assassin and begs to be taught his trade. The film tracks their quest for revenge and the birth of their unlikely friendship. Their relationship verges a little into Lolita territory, but it’s Gary Oldman as a two-faced cop that will really creep you out.  

3. Closer

Closer is a dangerous love story about four strangers and how their lives become complicated when their relationships begin to intersect. Portman plays Alice, a tough-yet-vulnerable stripper, alongside heavy-hitters Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. This role has been touted as Portman’s first foray into more “adult” roles, due to the sexual nature of her performance.

4. V for Vendetta

We take back what we said earlier, THIS is Portman’s most badass role of all-time. V for Vendetta is a dystopian film set in a futuristic Britain, where a fascist government controls its powerless population. Early in the film, Portman’s Evey Hammond is saved by a masked anarchist named V (Hugo Weaving) and becomes his unlikely ally. Most people will remember this film for two things: “Remember, remember the fifth of November” and Portman’s shaved head.

5. Saturday Night Live

Okay, so this might not be a movie, but this SNL Digital Short is the funniest thing Portman has ever done (we are trying to forget No Strings Attached ever happened). Basically, this is all you need to know: Natalie Portman + rap = magic. Enjoy!