“The Early Show” with Katie DeVito

A CBS producer contacted me this past Friday asking if I would be interested in going on “The Early Show” on CBS to speak about being unemployed and how I’ve been using social media to try and secure employment. Being that I’ve been involved in theatre all my life and even majored in Fine Arts, this was a no brainer. I gladly accepted and did a brief interview on the phone with a CBS producer.

My segment was scheduled to air Monday, April 12th at 8:18am with Lamar Graham, Executive Editor of PARADE magazine (as I’ve been working on the “What People Earn” project with him). Not only was I excited to be on TV, but was thrilled to meet Lamar, since PARADE had given me this fantastic opportunity. View previous posts to learn more about the project. The CBS producer told me a car would be picking me up at 6:15am, I would arrive at “The Early Show” studio at 7:30am with a scheduled air time of 8:18am. Perfect!

I called my career advisor Fred Ball to tell him the exciting news. He was thrilled for me and was more than happy to offer some on-air advice, as he has been on TV promoting his various books before. I’ve been an extra in films, commercials and done live theatre, but a live TV interview was new for me. I promised myself I would go to bed at 8pm Sunday night. Like that really happened. I couldn’t sleep to save my life.  I had every possible question in my head of what they could ask me. Not to mention, what if the car can’t find my house, what if there’s traffic. Reminding myself not to say “um”, “ya know” or long extended pauses if I have no answer.

Monday morning my alarm went off at 4:30am. I was ready to go and hopped out of bed. While the night before I was so anxious and my tummy was in knots, I woke up with a calm about me. I was ready! The car arrived early and was waiting for us, we hopped in the Cadillac Escalade (which was super comfy) and headed off. When we arrived at the studio, we got out of the car to be greeted by an “Early Show” staffer who showed us the way. He brought us into the green room where I met Lamar and the VP of Communications at PARADE Christie Emden. I was brought into hair and makeup and they touched my makeup up a little bit and gave me a nice blowout. The blowout relaxed me. Oh I forgot to mention the whole time I was in the green room, I kept staring at this man saying to myself “that’s the animal guy, what’s his name, he’s always on Rachael Ray”.

Lamar & I in the green room

The green room

On set. Almost show time.

Shortly thereafter we went on to the set. I was surprised how they really make use of all the space in the room. Each wall was set up for a different thing. One wall had a kitchen, another some chairs, another the animal guy (his name is Jarod Miller). We waited a few moments and then Lamar and I were ushered over to 3 chairs. Turns out Harry Smith was going to be interviewing us. Harry walked by and said hi to us, but was doing a segment outside first. He came back in, sat down and welcomed us. I told Harry that this was my first TV interview, to be a little easy on me. He assured me there was nothing to be nervous and I would be fine.

And 5,4, *,*,(finger point). We were on. Harry introduced Lamar and then myself and jumped right in asking me how long I’ve been unemployed. Watch the interview here. The interview was much easier than I anticipated. Once I sat on the couch I was fine. I felt comfortable with all my answers .

 Harry chatted briefly with us after we taped and I tried to convince him to get on Twitter.

(L-R) Lamar Graham, myself & Harry Smith

We went back to the green room for a sec and then were told our cars were there. We walked out, hopped in a car and were sent home. We arrived home around 10:30am. In and out. I’ve received such positive feedback from my segment. I had nothing to worry about. I actually had a blast doing it. With any luck I’ll get another opportunity. Who knows? Maybe professional speaking is in my future? News anchor?

Jerseylicious Red Carpet Premiere

Not for nothing, but this past Sunday, I was looking pretty Jerseylicious as the hubs and I headed off to the “Jerseylicious” red carpet premiere at LUA in Hoboken, NJ. Being that I’m a Jersey girl and a reality TV lover, this was the place to be.

LUA Restaurant, Hoboken, NJ

We arrived at LUA and the place was already hopping. Everyone was in great spirits and excited to congratulate the cast of Gatsby Salon’s” Jerseylicious.” We found a spot near the bar and I quickly realized we were right near all the action. The cast and their families were all around us.  I walked up to a few of the cast members and congratulated them on the show. I must say, the cast really worked the crowd, walking around saying hi to everyone. No signs of Alexa or Olivia though.

The premiere was organized by The Hip Event in Montclair, NJ and they assured me that the cast will be answering questions in the press room. About half an hour after being there, we went into the press room, each cast member spoke to each person from the press. I had already thought about what questions I would ask. I wanted to be original and fun, like my Blues Traveler interview. Enough of the “what are you wearing, what do you think of the Jerseylicious v. Jersey Shore” business.

Jerseylicious Cast Gigi Liscio, Anthony Lombardi. Tracy DiMarco, Gayle Giacomo and Christy Pereira (l-r)

First up, Anthony Lombardi, who owns the Anthony Robert Salon in Verona, NJ.  Anthony and I already chatted it up a bit earlier and I knew he was a totally down to earth guy. I’m not one to brag, but before Anthony and I started the interview he told me that my husband and I were his faves. I’m not shocked, we’re Jerseylicious too. We were there to have a good time and watch a fun show about our home state, Jersey baby.

Anthony said he’s proud to be from Jersey and that’s what makes him Jerseylicious. “I’m proud of everything the State has to offer. I love everything about this State, I’m a Jersey boy at heart and I wear it on my sleeve and if that makes me Jerseylicious, so be it” he stated. When I asked Anthony what Jersey celebrity he thought had the best style, he took off his hat, displaying his shaved head and said “I gotta say Bruce Willis. He’s another Jersey boy that lets it all out there, he made it big and he’s not afraid to say he’s from New Jersey.” Anthony always uses a little Bay Rum on his head after shaving and says it feels fantastic.

Christy the salon manager, who is also Gayle’s daughter, came over to speak with me next.  She is proud to be a Jersey Girl and said “I think all us Jersey girls have our own style and originality. We’re loud and bold and not afraid to say what we want to say.” Christy’s favorite NJ celebrity is Bon Jovi. “Even for a gentleman, he has great hair, he always looks great. I love the fact that he’s never too dressed up. He’s my all time favorite.” Christy’s go-to style product her Gatsby hairspray.” I can’t live without it” she said with excitement. Who knew the Gatsby Salon had their own product line? I sure didn’t. At one point during the night I was able to chat it up in the ladies room with Christy. We talked about Twitter and I offered to give her a Twitter 101 lesson if she ever wanted. I told her it’s a great tool to market the company and herself.

Gayle Giacomo, Gatsby Salon owner, says she really likes style and has always liked to look nice. “I want to be the best I can be, even at 52. I think our women in Jersey care about what they look like, it means a lot to us.” She really looked beautiful for the premiere. Jon Bon Jovi would have agreed, he’s her fave Jersey celebrity. Her favorite products are the SkinCeutical line and Kérastase for her hair.

Another new addition to the salon, Gigi is full of personality and said that her hair and nails are what makes her Jerseylicious. She is proud of her nails and stressed that they are real and she cut them down recently. She stated “being Jerseylicious means being well put together, feeling good about yourself and being confident.”  For cosmetics Gigi loves MAC and for hair she likes Chi hairspray, Kérastase and Goldwell.

Last but not least, I had the opportunity to chat with Tracy who was looking super stylish in her leopard print dress and teased out hair. I asked her what makes her so Jerseylicious and she said “I think that I don’t take no for an answer, I don’t let people tell me what to do. I mean I’m my own person, I’ve never followed anyone in my life.”  She discussed her role on the show and said she’s pretty much the “I don’t take anything from anybody kinda girl”. Tracy said we will see that and how Olivia tries to push her around but it doesn’t really work out for her. Like Gigi, Tracy said her hair is the most Jerseylicious thing about her.  She is a self-proclaimed tease queen. “Tray tease that’s what everyone calls me.”  Jerseylicious is about personality and, being friendly and nice to everyone, she said. “I mean it’s the greatest place to be, Jersey, and everyone needs to stop hating on it.” Hear Hear!

Asking Tracy what NJ celebrity’s style she adores she stated without hesitation “Bruce is pretty up there”.  Being that my husband is a huge Springsteen fan, and Anthony already stated he loves Bruce Willis’s style, I needed to clarify. My husband was eagerly awaiting an answer.   “Bruce Springsteen or Bruce Willis? If you say Springsteen, my husband is going to be very happy” I said. “Oh yeah I was saying Springsteen. Who doesn’t love Baby Bruce?” Tracy replied. So now we know who my husband’s favorite Gatsby Girl is, Tracy, without a doubt.

Tracy is a huge fan of Chi Helmet Head hairspray. She swears your hair won’t move and stay in place forever. “People say oh my hair doesn’t stay. That product, it will never let your hair fall. It’s the best thing on the market” Tracy declared.

We ended up grabbing a drink with Tracy at the end of the night when the place was clearing out. We talked about Bruce (Springsteen that is), the show and more. I was a pleasantly surprised how nice Tracy was. I saw the previews before the premiere, and they make her out to be the not so nice one. But like she said earlier in the night, she’s just a Jersey girl who doesn’t take no for an answer and isn’t a follower. I can respect that. She’s really just a Jersey girl. Since I’m a Jersey girl born and raised, I get it.

Guests watch the premiere of Jerseylicious

Next up the viewing party. There were TV’s scattered around the bar and we all gathered around cheering on the cast and watched the premiere episode. The show is about the re-invention of the Gatsby Salon in Green Brook, NJ. The owner Gayle decided to renovate Gatsby Salon a decade after her husband’s passing, with the help of her daughter Christy, the salon manager. Not only did they want to change the physical look and feel of the salon, by updating it, they wanted to bring in some fun younger new stylists to help with the salons re-birth. The cast is full of bold, bright personalities with tons of style and flair. The remaining episodes will document the lives of the new stylists as they enter a new journey with the Gatsby Salon.

Right before we left LUA, we ran into Brielle Morelli, a Season 2 Jerseylicious hopeful. Brielle is hoping to land a role as a featured cast member for next season. She’s super sweet and we are crossing our fingers for her.

After meeting this super cool, down to earth cast, I am without a doubt a Jerseylicious fan. The show is fun and totally Jersey. How could you not love it?

Make sure you check out Jerseylicious on the Style Network Sunday nights 10/9 c.

Follow the cast on Twitter:

@Jerseylicious
@GatsbySalon
@AntLombardi
@gastbygirl
@Tracy_DiMarco
@mystyle

Originally written for http://www.mrsmonj.com

Photos courtesy of The Hip Event.

PARADE Magazine

Ok, so good things are happening.

Recently my friend Hilary (whom I met through social media) forwarded me an email from PARADE Magazine. They were looking for individuals who are currently unemployed for a story they are working on. PARADE was looking for 5 individuals from all over the country to follow for the next 6 months during their job search. I immediately responded to the email and guess what? I was selected as one of five people whose search will be chronicled. How cool is that? I’m so excited.

PARADE will be providing each individual a career advisor to work with us on a weekly basis to help us find a job. We will each be introduced in the hard copy magazine, as well as online. Following that, we will have weekly conversations with our career advisor which will be documented in the online version of the magazine at http://www.parade.com.  We will also be posting daily status updates on a Facebook page.

I can’t wait. Not only will this be great exposure for me and will help me land a job, but through my daily Facebook updates, I hope to be able to help other individuals who are unemployed and let them know they are not alone. We are all in this together.

I plan to write frequently on the process so stay tuned.

In addition, make sure you check out my friend Hilary’s website http://www.mrsmonj.com and on Twitter @mrsmonj. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be having this experience.  Thanks Hils!

Social media really is a wonderful thing!

Julie, Julia & Katie

I’m inspired!

Last night Nick and I went to see Julie & Julia and might I say what a movie. As you may know, my birthday just passed (August 14th) and Nick mentioned around that time that Julia Child and I share a birthday. Jokingly I said “that explains a lot”. But it really does. Sitting in the theatre with my popcorn and various candies of sorts I realized, my life really mimics that of both Julie & Julia in the film. Everything from the love of cooking to the relationship with my husband.

I walked away from the theatre thinking 2 things. 1 – I should wear pearls more often. They are so classy. And 2 – I should write a cook book. I can’t share everything with you, because then nothing would be a surprise, but I have lots of ideas already. I even emailed a few publishers today. So if you know anyone in the industry, let me know. Or if you have any recipes you’d like to share with me, please feel free to contact me.

I’m so excited about my new venture. Not only is it something I’m passionate about, but it will keep me occupied until I find full time employment. (Sidebar: I have a promising interview next week.)