Media, Darling: Rebecca Tucker

Rebecca
Tucker is the online editor for arts and life at the
National Post. She
graduated from Ryerson’s four-year journalism program in 2009, before which
time she was a
Hillside Festival-attending, hemp purse-carrying resident of
Guelph, Ontario. She is an obsessive Anglophile and culinary enthusiast, with a
collection of cookbooks and kitchen gadgets to rival the best of ’em – and
a tattoo of
Pete Doherty (no foolin’).

She is
awful at Twitter, can play exactly two chords on the guitar and will ride a
bike anywhere so long as she doesn’t have to go uphill.


Twitter: @RebeccaTee @nparts 
Did you always want to be in the
media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Not
always. When I was really little until about halfway through high school I was
sure I was destined for the sciences. But as it turns out I’m pretty crap at
math, which precluded me from all the important chemistry and physics
prerequisites. So here I am!
Where would you like to be five years
from now?
At a point
in my life where I don’t labour for any amount of time over tweeting the
perfect tweet. #twitterfail
Any advice for people getting started
in your industry?
Keep on
your toes and work as hard as your body will allow you, but don’t be afraid to
take time off. If you don’t let your ideas rest, they’ll never get stronger.
What are your favourite media outlets,
not including your own? 
I am a
shameless Gawker reader. I love their snark and always fall so short of the
mark in emulating their witticisms. Vulture and AV Club, and I bounce around a
lot between the Toronto alt-press — The Grid, NOW, Exclaim! etc. I actually
just bought myself a subscription to Toronto Life — 99% of the reading I do is
online media, so I’m excited to give myself a regular reason to power down.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Actually,
I think it happened earlier this week – I got to talk to Anthony Bourdain
for the second time. He’s a personal hero for his uncompromising approach to,
well, everything. First time around I was disappointed with how starstruck I
was: I fumbled a lot of bad questions and chickened out of asking a lot of good
ones. This time, I swallowed the lump in my throat and approached it as a
conversation with someone whose writing I adore, opinions I value and passion
for food and travel I admire. It felt good.
Worst?
It was a
job interview. I’ll leave it at that.
  
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Spend
a lot once and you’ll spend less in the long run.” My nonna said it, and I
think it’s a useful thing to remember in a time when everything we buy can be
disposable: consider your purchases and make investments that will last, and
that you will love forever. Nobody owns heirlooms anymore! Besides, you’ll
spend a lot more time and money replacing that Ikea coffee table over and over
than you might on something that you could end up passing on.
That, and
“you can always add, but you can never take away.” Also from nonna,
but this time about salt.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
You get
what you give. Seriously — it’s not just a dumb cliché  From cooking to working
to maintaining relationships — the effort you put in will be reflected in what
you get out.
What’s the most important tip you can
give PR pros?
Make sure
you address your email to the right person. Too many times I receive pitches
addressed to, I’m guessing, the last person the pitch was copy-and-pasted to.
It’s an immediate dismissal.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR
pro? We love to hear about #wins
.
Anything
that ends in food or drink samples, I consider a win.
I hate?
Bad subway
etiquette. It always surprises me when someone uses a seat for their purse or
won’t give up their seat for someone obviously in need, but I see it almost
every day. We’re all in this together, straphangers. Come on.
I love?
British
humour and cheese.
Reading?
I’m
actually trying to get through Anna Karenina — I told my boyfriend we weren’t
going to see the film until I’d read the book. Time is running out, though, and
I’m not exactly a speed-reader.
Best place on earth?
London,
England. See: “I love.” I’m also a shamefully rabid BritRock fan and
I fare better in cold and grey than warm and sunny.
Dinner guest?
When I was
a kid, the whole family — there were nine of us in total — used to regularly
get together on Sundays for dinner. I’d like to do that again, only with all
the spouses, kids and pets that have shown up along the way; it’s quite a few
more than nine at this point.
Hero?
Everyone’s
parents are their heroes, and so are mine for their selflessness, steadfastness
and unflappable senses of humour in the face of all the adversity my sister and
I have dealt them.
Favourite app (or whatever you are
downloading these days)?
I’m
hanging on to a very old phone, so apps are kind of out of the question right
now. I just downloaded and marathoned all of Homeland, however — I feel exactly
the same about Season 2 as everyone.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.
Just no fish, please.
Voicemail or email?
I
literally never check my voicemail. Honest to God. Do not leave me a voicemail.






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Media, Darling: Briony Smith

Briony Smith is the writer and stylist
behind
The Grid’s fashion page. She was previously the fashion editor of
blogTO. Briony has also contributed to publications like ELLE Canada, LOULOU, Toronto
Life
, and glow. She recently appeared as a stylist on MuchMusic, and was named
by
Flare magazine as one of the Top 10 Best Dressed denizens of Fashion Week.


Photo courtesy of Flare, by Max Kopanygin.

Twitter: @TheGridTO
Website: thegridto.com 


Did you always want to be in the media? If
not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I still remember the day my dad told my
10-year-old self what a masthead was—and my immediate obsession with getting on
one someday! (Other careers I toyed with, believe it or not, were cop,
obstetrician, lawyer, and librarian.)
Where would you like to be five years from
now?
Writing, editing, and styling stories and
packages that make people say to their friends, “Hey, I read the best piece
today.”
Any advice for people getting started in
your industry?
Don’t. You will have to work ten times as
hard as everyone else, all the time. Forever. If you can handle that, and still
feel that passion for fashion, journalism, the arts? You’re in the right place.
What are your favourite media outlets, not
including your own? 
Vanity Fair, HBO, The A.V. Club, The New
York Times
, iwantapounddog.blogspot.ca.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
For crush factor (at the time), Will
Arnett. I behaved in a terribly unprofessional manner when I conned him into
repeating a line from a treasured Human Giant sketch.
Worst?
One musician scheduled a phoner immediately
after his dental surgery, while another actress scheduled the call during her
brief limo ride to the airport and kept barking what I should and should not
focus on in the piece. Oh, and Hawksley Workman.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
A common refrain in the Smith household was
“Life isn’t fair.” My corollary to that might be: “Failure isn’t falling
down—it’s not getting up.” Jesus, that sounds like something on one of those
inspirational posters. This quote from U.S. congresswoman Debbie Wasserman in
last October’s Vogue did, however, strike me recently: “I might not convince
you that I’m right, and I might not always win the day or be successful on
everything I set out to accomplish. But I’m never going to lose because I got
outworked.”
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
The usual things: Try to be kind. Smile
more. Work hard. Dress well. It’s the little things. This, too, shall pass.
What’s the most important tip you can give
PR pros?
We know our fevered, last-minute emails
for products, images, and interview requests can be annoying, but super-prompt
replies are what make me really love some PR people—and loathe others.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro?
We love to hear about #wins.
I cheer every time a PR gal sends me a
high-res, off-figure, on-white image just in the nick of time.
I hate?
Leggings as pants. Snobbery. Getting up
early. Sore feet. Bad TV. Bad style.
I love?
French 75s. Kindness. My friends. Work
ethic. Similes that give you chills. Trinity-Bellwoods. Great style. A
well-dressed man.
Reading?
Best place on earth?
Under the covers. Or maybe Thailand.
Dinner guest?
Louis CK. Karl Lagerfeld. Peter Kaplan. And
the Davids: Chase, Milch, and Simon.
Hero?
Roger Ebert.
Favourite app (or whatever you are
downloading these days)?
Flixster, Shazam, and Instagram.
Pool or ocean?
The sea! It’s one of the great loves of my
life. (Full disclosure: I’m from B.C.)
Voicemail or email?
Email. Never, ever voicemail. Don’t call
me. Ever.


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.



Media, Darling: Carley Fortune

Carley Fortune is the editor of The Grid’s
life section, where she handles stories on fashion, real estate, parenting,
retail and food, which makes her very hungry. Occasionally, she writes about world
issues, like finding an apartment and saving money, but mostly she sits in
front of a computer thinking of ways to get the word “woot” into display copy. She’s
been working in magazines for six years, previously as the associate online
editor at Toronto Life.

Did you always want to be in the media? If
not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No, but I’ve been a lover of magazines
since a very young age. I wanted to be a florist, a vet and a marine biologist
when I was little. In high school, I seriously considered becoming a lawyer,
but decided to go to journalism school and see if I could make it in the
magazine biz.


Where would you like to be five years from now?

Still in magazines. Still in Toronto. Much
larger pay cheque. Or, I’ll retire to the countryside and edit cookbooks.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Lose the attitude. Listen. Share your
ideas.


What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 

I love Slate and The Atlantic online. I
listen to Slate’s Culture Gabfest and the James Beard Foundation’s Taste
Matters
podcasts. I’m a magazine addict and one of my favourite things is to
spend time in front of the newsstand and see what stands out. I often pick up Bon
Apetit
, Esquire and GQ; I wish there were equally awesome women’s publications.
My partner and I subscribe to the New Yorker, New York, Toronto Life, and
Saveur.


Best interview you’ve ever had?

When I was at Ryerson, Colin Mochrie let me interview and shadow him for three
days for a class assignment. He was so open and generous with his time, and I
was able to write and report a proper profile. I learned a lot from that
assignment. 



Worst?

A couple of friends and I fake interviewed Joffrey Lupul at a party. I stood
staring at him with my mouth agape. It was horrifying.


Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Be careful, your mouth is going to get you
in trouble one day.” I just haven’t really followed it.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?

Be prompt. Work hard. Say what you think.


What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know the publication. Obviously, The Grid
is focused very tightly on Toronto, but I can’t tell you how many travel and
national stories I’m pitched.


Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.

Hmm… I recently went to a fantastic beauty
trend seminar held by MAC. It was a small group of people in a nice setting, it
was fun and I learned a lot.


I hate?

Public spitting, bad manners, men with long
fingernails, chipped nail polish.


I love?
A home-cooked dinner, Toronto restaurants, red
lipstick, Manhattans, Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer, my girlfriends,
loungewear, my fiancé’s smile, Slate’s Mad Men recaps.


Reading?

Ruth Reichl’s Not Becoming My Mother.


Best place on earth?

A dock, anywhere.


Dinner guest?

Pippa Lord, who runs the website Sous Style
and is the photo director for Elle. She just seems like a really smart, stylish,
spunky Aussie chick.



Hero?
My parents. And Eve Best in Nurse Jackie.


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?

Truthfully, I’m obsessed with the
calorie-counting app MyFitnessPal. I gained what I call
“The Grid 10” in my first year at the magazine. There’s always delicious,
bad-for-you food at the office, but this helped me get rid of it.


Pool or ocean?
Ocean. Chlorine gives me a rash. But I grew
up on a lake and love freshwater the most.


Voicemail or email?
I don’t know how to check my voicemail. 

Media, Darling: Fraser Abe

Fraser Abe is a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer based in Toronto. He’s mainly known for his work with Toronto Life, but his writing has also appeared in The Grid, the Toronto Standard and SharpForMen.com. In his downtime he enjoys being a misanthropic curmudgeon yelling at kids to get off his lawn.

Twitter: @fraserabe
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No, I worked on Bay Street doing Bay Street-y things. After I decided the only thing I liked about the business was after-work drinks on Thursdays at the various patios (including many a mis-spent evening at Vertical), getting laid off was the push I needed to apply for an internship at Toronto Life. That was in 2009 and I haven’t looked back since. Except, you know, when I realize it takes money to do things.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d love to be living in New York and writing for GQ or Esquire or something, but I think if I re-read this in five years and I’m still in Toronto I’ll be depressed, so let’s just say still here, but making decidedly more money.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Unpaid internships get a lot of flack, but I think they’re the best way to learn and to meet people in the business. My writing was pretty rambling and incoherent when I wrote for She Does The City (I wrote a sort-of gay sex column called Homo Arigato Mr Roboto) and my internship really helped me polish my work. It’s also really great to know how to fact-check and what goes into making a magazine, even if you want to work online or, I’d guess, in PR. Also, check your expectations. This job isn’t even close to glamourous. Find a rich husband (I’m still looking, fellas) if you want glamour or Balenciaga tote bags.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
This is a tough question for freelancers, since I’ve written for Toronto Life, The GridSharp and the Toronto Standard (all amazing outlets, of course). But I like Gawker (they’re snarkier than I could ever actually be in print – though I probably come close in real life), the AV Club and anyone else who would like to pay me to write for them. My new favourite magazine right now is Wired – they do great stories with fun charticles like “What’s In Pop Rocks”.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
I don’t do a lot of proper interviews, but during TIFF I talk to celebrities for nanoseconds. This year I peed with Gerard Butler. I also had a great time chatting with Aaron Levine and Michael Williams from A Continuous Lean for the Toronto Standard when they came to Toronto for the relaunch of the Club Monaco on Bloor.
Worst?
If only I had interesting stories to impart. I’d just say generally when people give one word answers it makes writing something pithy pretty difficult.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think Carley Fortune (torontolife.com associate editor when I was interning) was a really great mentor, despite us being the same age, and she really helped my writing. I used to submit 500 word posts, but now my work is a lot more succinct. I’ve also got to give thanks to Matthew Fox (torontolife.com‘s editor) for giving me a chance to cover TIFF my first year, when he’d only seen me write for one other outlet. Jen McNeely from SDTC, who I met as a summer student a thousand years ago, gave me my first writing gig and introduced me to Matthew. And if you’ve never worked with Veronica Maddocks, try to. She is the most thorough researcher I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and an amazing teacher.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Oh, I don’t know. Who has their own personal mantra they repeat in front of the mirror every morning? I guess just be nice to the people who serve you food and drive you places.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Learn people’s names. Everyone on Twitter seems to hate that and I can’t even count how many people think my first name is Abe. Follow up with a personalized email if you (for some strange reason) actually want me somewhere or want me to pitch a story to some outlet. It’s hard to care when your email is so obviously a form letter (unless you’re sending emails about free wings – keep those coming).
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins. 
All of my best experiences with PR people have been because they’ve taken the time to try and know me and know what I actually write about. A less formal approach is always appreciated, I like when we can joke about other stuff while still getting work done. I also am always appreciative of PR people who realize most of us don’t have time to respond to every email we get.
I hate?
Lots and lots and lots of things. Read my Twitter, I’ve probably written about something that irked me within the last 24 hours.
I love?
Walks on the beach, dinner by candlelight, macarons with my New York Times Sunday crossword and a Starbucks Venti half-caf moccachino, being facetious.
Reading?
I just came back from a vacation where I read American Pastoral by Philip Roth (Dawn Dwyer reminded me so much of Betty Draper I feel like Matthew Weiner must have stolen her from Roth) and Bossypants by Tina Fey. Right now I’m reading Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. And I love to read this little indie drawn art series about these kooky teenagers from a fictitious town called Riverdale.
Best place on earth?
Well I just returned from Turks and Caicos, where I ate lobster and swam in turquoise water every day so let’s say there. And of course I love Saturdays at Fly. Look for me next time you’re there, I’m the one with his shirt off drinking Rev.

Dinner guest?

Ina Garten, but she has to cook us a roast chicken and bring her cadre of fabulous gays.
Hero?
Gambit from the X-Men. Maybe Wolverine.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Instagram is fun, but let’s be real. Scruff.
Pool or ocean?
Pool, provided there are no screaming children.
Voicemail or email?
The only person that leaves me voicemails is my dad. And Kevin Naulls (but he prefers to be called Big Kev), when he tells me “we need to talk about last night”. He tricks me every time – I guess I should stop getting black-out drunk.

Media, Darling: Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson is a film critic and columnist for The Grid (Eye Weekly before that). He also writes about movies regularly for the Toronto Star, Cinema Scope, Movie Entertainment and Artforum.com. He won a Western Magazine Award in 2006 for his music columns for Swerve Magazine in Calgary, and is the author of Showbiz, a novel.

He teaches film criticism at the University of Toronto, programs for the Kingston Canadian Film Festival and plays keyboards in the Toronto band The Two Koreas. You can read his blog at jandersonesque.com

@jandersonesque

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I always loved writing but discovered in my teen years that scribbling record reviews was a great way to get free music, too. I never really believed that there was a career in writing about whatever art works or cultural ephemera I was most (or least) enthusiastic about – after two decades or so, I still have a hard time believing it. If this all hadn’t transpired, I would have comfortably slid into a life in academia, which is why I’m happy the journalism has led to some opportunities to do some teaching at U of T.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

Hoping to continue to diversify my career with lots of other endeavours beyond journalism (e.g., teaching, programming for film festivals). I also hope to have found the time to crank out a second novel — hell, maybe a third, too.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?

Don’t put your eggs in any one basket, make sure to cover your bets and… damn, I can’t think of a third cliché. Anyway, my experience suggests that the wisest thing to do is have lots of projects on the go and not be precious about any of ‘em. You never know what’s going to pick up momentum – it could be your most seemingly practical idea or your looniest, most self-indulgent lark.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Still loyal to lots of print magazines, especially about film and music (e.g., The Wire, Mojo, Entertainment Weekly, Sight & Sound, Film Comment, Cinema Scope). The New Yorker and the Sunday NY Times, too. Like a lot of folks (young ones, too), I can’t read anything but the shortest items online so my existence is still cluttered with paper.

Best interview you’ve ever had?

I’ve had so many good interviews but I’m proudest when I have pleasant, lively conversations with subjects generally deemed to be impossible or downright nasty (two words: Lou Reed).

Worst?
The worst of all time was an especially bored and sullen Jewel, who entertained herself in between her monosyllabic answers by lighting matches and flicking them into an ashtray in front of us. How charming!

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

Keep your head down and keep moving.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
See previous.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Please don’t be mad at me if I make an otherwise reasonable request that may deviate from your plans. I don’t mean to be difficult.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Too many positive ones to mention. Always impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of 99 per cent of the PR people I deal with in Toronto.

I hate?
Rudeness, small-mindedness, Maroon 5.

I love?
My wife and daughter, heavy metal, Stevie Wonder, racquet sports, Scandinavian movie comedies, dessert.

Reading?
Lately: Simon Reynolds’ Retromania, Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, recent tomes on American horror movies in the ‘70s and Hollywood screenwriting.

Best place on earth?
Negril, Jamaica or my backyard.

Dinner guest?
Dr. John

Hero?
John Berger

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Mostly fresh music.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.

Voicemail or email?
Email.

Media, Darling: Karon Liu

Karon Liu is The Grid‘s (formerly Eye Weekly) resident food writer and he considers himself to be the luckiest guy in the world since his main task is to eat. Prior to The Grid, he has written for Toronto Life, National Post, Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun, and his photos have appeared in More, Zoomer, National Geographic Traveler and on TorontoLife.com.


Can you spot Karon’s hand?
In addition to backpacking, stargazing and trying new foods, Karon also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.


What was your favourite class in high school? Why?
Photography class was my favourite because it broke up the monotony of staring at a textbook all day. It was the one class where I didn’t fall asleep. I learned how to develop my own film, manipulate photos without Photoshop and find my way around the darkroom when the red lightbulb would break. I also have many fond memories of hallucinating in an unventilated darkroom full of chemicals at 4 a.m.

How did you get your start as a writer?
After graduating with a journalism degree from Ryerson, I did a few internships and freelance gigs before becoming an editorial intern at Toronto Life magazine. They had just started a food blog called The Dish and I was pitching stories and taking every assignment that was handed to me. I didn’t know much about the restaurant industry at the time, so I had to do a lot of cramming. I continued to write for Toronto Life’s site for the next two years and then I moved on to The Grid, where I’m currently a staff writer.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Hiking in the Himalayas and avoiding work of any kind.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
E-mail.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Sending folders and packages full of press releases, CDs and USB keys. Writers and editors usually throw them out immediately, or keep the USB key and delete all the files in it. If I need additional information, I’ll ask.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise when I’m on vacation, sunset for the rest of the year.

Scent?
Unscented.

Cookie?
My sister’s chocolate chip recipe.

Flower?
Chamomile. Add hot water, some honey and you’ve got a party.

Ticklish?
Yes. It’s why I broke up with Oprah.

Shower or bath?
Moist towelette.
Film?
Tie between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park.

Crush?
I prefer C-plus.

First job?
Working in the stockroom at The Gap in the Toronto Eaton Centre. I believe every teenager should work at least two years in the retail or food service industry to appreciate the value of a dollar and learn how to deal with jerks.

Inspiration?
Books, coworkers, friends, newspapers, an afternoon stroll, pretty much anything can spark an idea for an article, photo spread or what I’m going to have for lunch.