An Overnight Success

By Briane Nasimok

(TORONTO, ON) – The other day I got a Facebook request from a lovely young actor/interviewer, Katie Uhlmann, inviting me to be a guest on her You Tube series “Katie Chats “

I am no stranger to requests from young woman asking to friend me, especially on Skype where I have been given offers of marriage, sight unseen. Well not exactly site unseen they have included a picture of someone. Usually these offers come from exotic African locations, Asian locals I have never heard of, or Alberta.

Yes, on occasion I write back, but I never agree to open a video link in case they will zap me with some kind of curse or inundate me photos from the Stampede. And how can you say no to a Facebook invitation from a young American woman who wrote “you look cute so I thought I would friend you”.

I believe it has been at least 22 years since anyone accused me of cuteness, and I that they may have come from a relative or drunk or both.

Well after a quick back and forth from my new American friend who I will call Jane – she told me a bit about herself. Jane does missionary work with the poor and less privileged and her quest has a very strong religious component. Looks like they’ll be no other follow up here – unless it has something to do with tithing. And then of course there are the invitations from match.com – a weekly photo from someone in my area who wants to meet me.

However every week it seems to be the same person – she can’t be that desperate! Trust me, whoever you are; you’d be disappointed if we were ever to be matched.

Meanwhile back to my self-promotion interview – I’m not sure how or why Katie got my name and she couldn’t remember what initiated the contact. Was it through my writing for the Windsor Square? Nope. Had she followed my exploits on Facebook or my extensive career in Canadian show biz? Okay maybe she finally got to the “N”s.

Nevertheless after completing over 1,400 interviews with TV and film professions who work in front of and behind the camera, she finally found me. Overnight success doesn’t come quickly in Canada.

Once the appointment was set, I went on-line to check out what I had gotten myself into and saw one-on-ones with friends who had previously been the topic of discussion – actress Ellen Dubin and television executive Dan Lyon to name two.

Well if they could do it…

At 1:30 pm, the appointed time, I arrived at Smithee TV, a small studio in the basement of an agent’s office building in downtown Toronto. Sitting at the desk were Katie and her mom, Joanne – the later is the producer, camera operator, director, and supportive force behind her daughter’s goal of “creating the largest data base of interviews with Canadian talent in the world”. And I’m there to do my little part, to make that dream become a reality!

Katie is a 20-something, personable interviewer. Her energy is magnetic and she makes it quite easy to talk with her. In advance, we discussed what I would like to cover and realized that I would easily fill the 10 minutes slot.

Action!

I have attached a link to the piece so I need not go over every bon mot.

At one point she credited me with creating Smile Theatre, which caused a cut. After a clarification… Action!

When I finished, as Katie and Joanne took down the set (I would’ve helped but union regulations…), I learned that Katie went to Queens University and that’s where she decided she wanted to act. That seems to have evolved into being a host/interviewer as well. This is Canada – you have to have at least three talents to survive in the business.

Joanne wasn’t that supportive at first but then decided to jump on board in a big way, when she realized that nothing was going to stop Katie’s pursuit of her dreams and now Mom seems to be a partner in her daughter’s career.

Before we started Joanne thought that I reminded her of someone – the character of Oscar Madison in the “Odd Couple”- at least the actor who played him. But by the end of my interview I had evolved to Jerry Orbach when he was on Law and Order – and not on the Broadway stage (thank you for the upgrade – no offense to Jack Klugman as an actor or a character).

I am hoping with all this additional press my career may finally get that boost that it so richly deserves – and may get me invited to more chat situations – I’m talking to you Ben Mulroney!

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.
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