Tuesday, February 18

Cynthia Loyst: "The Social" Momterview

You may also be interested in my "behind-the-scenes" visit to THE SOCIAL, and my latest interview with Cynthia on set!

As a new mom of a nine-month-old son and one of the four co-hosts of CTV's hit talk show "The Social", Cynthia Loyst is a busy woman. Thankfully, she made time to have a chat with me, sharing her views on marriage and sexuality, the success of the new show, and everything in between!

This Mom: How did the Social hosting gig come about?

Cynthia Loyst: This was a project that was rumbling around the building for a while, and around January of last year there was a call put out to some of us to go for an audition. I was around seven months pregnant when I got invited to the audition and I was really excited about it. There were a lot of different people who were auditioning and they tried different combinations of people, but the very first one that we did was with the four of us. {Cynthia co-hosts alongside Melissa Grelo, Lainey Lui and Traci Melchor.} Right from that moment we all felt there was a kind of chemistry and energy and even friction between us, but it was also couched in a lot of affection for each other. There were fireworks right away, and even though we tried a bunch of things and there were several days of auditions, looking back, it seems clear that there was something magical brewing right then.





Cynthia (Photo: CTV)

TM: Congratulations on being renewed for another season! Clearly you knew there was chemistry from the beginning, but did you expect it to catch on with viewers so well? 

CL: For a long time people have said "We'd love to have a Canadian version of 'The View'", and initially when people heard about our show there were lots of comparisons made, simply because we were a group of opinionated women discussing hot topics. But I think since the show has launched, people have noticed how unique it is. 

I think part of what people are responding to is our group dynamic - we are all very different personally and professionally. There's Melissa who is married and pregnant has a news background, Lainey is married but childless by choice and a gossip maven, Traci is a single mom of twins is an entertainment reporter and me, the common-law married new mom, who is also the resident sex and relationship expert. We all bring really distinct things to the table. But the most important aspect of our show I think is our interaction with the audience. The fact that they can weigh in, in real time, on our conversation and send it in a whole different direction makes them an essential part of the show. {Viewers are invited to interact through social media during the live shows, and members of the studio audience are encouraged to have their smartphones out during taping.}

What surprises me the most is the immense diversity in the audience, both the one sitting in front of us every day, and the ones who are watching at home. It seems to transcend age brackets and cultures. Families come together, women come in and say "My boyfriend got me tickets for the show", gay men are coming in with their partners, it's a really interesting cross-section of people, and I think that surprised me more than anything else.


Traci, Cynthia, guest Elisha Cuthbert, Lainey and Melissa (Photo: CTV)

TM: I have a really hard-hitting journalism question for you here: how is your wardrobe selected every day?

CL: {Laughs} We have an amazing stylist named Alisa Krost and she is an artist! She's given the task every day to come up with a look that not only works for each one of us individually, and we all have very distinctive personal styles - and personalities that go along with those styles, I think - and also trying to make it a cohesive look where there might be flavours of the same thing in there. You'll notice there might be a theme, like yellows, or yesterday there was a Spring feeling going on, and every single day she somehow pulls this together and makes us all feel as comfortable as we possibly can. 

TM: You’re very open talking about sexuality {she's the former producer and host of Sex Matters and SexTV}  but is there anything you won’t talk about on television, or topics that have had you tongue tied on the show?

CL: Not really...although Lainey is much more comfortable talking about poo than I am, for sure! We did a topic about our different bowel habits and we had little plasticine bits that were supposed to represent what our "situation" was like, and that wouldn't be my first choice of something I'd like to communicate to the public and people I don't know...or people I do know! For me, as you mentioned, sexuality is really important and I think people need to get a dialogue going, especially in this day and age. Not only do some people not communicate with their partner abut what their needs are, but it starts at a really young age when parents don't feel comfortable talking to their kids, and then kids don't feel comfortable talking to their parents, so where are they learning about sexuality from? The internet, their friends. There's a lot of bad information out there, and we know that knowledge is power when it comes to any subject, so I love that this show has also given a forum to talking about sexuality in an intelligent and measured kind of way. We're also sometimes playful about it as well, which I think is important. You can't always make a subject that is supposed to be light and loving really heavy. So I think there's balance on this show that again is reflective of our audience. 





Lainey, Melissa, guest Evangeline Lilly, Traci, Cynthia (Photo: CTV)


TM: Walk me through what a typical workday is like for you.

CL: Right now I get up around seven in the morning, but I've been up already about four or five times in the night. I'm going through a teething phase I guess, since Jaya has two little teeth budding, or maybe it's sleep regression, who knows? I'm officially up at seven when the baby gets up and basically I bring him into the bed, my partner and I will cuddle with him and I'll feed him, and we get a little playtime together, and then I'm out the door an hour and a half after that. I get to work, I get into makeup, and then as soon as I'm done makeup I pump because I'm still breastfeeding. Everyone on our staff knows the sound of the pump, the look of the pump, what I look like when I'm pumping because I've lost all perspective on what is too much! We meet with the producers who tell us what's going to be on the show and we go over the production packs, and later on we get our segment one and two which are more of the newsy things we're going to talk about. I get my hair done, I go to wardrobe at some point, then we go through blocking, I pump again, we talk to producers again and then we pretty much go to air. As soon as the show is done, we either go out on field shoots or sometimes have time in the office, and then I race home to go be with the baby. 

TM: You've been with your partner Jason for more than 13 years, but I read online that you are 'anti-marriage'. Can you elaborate on that?  

CL: It's not that I'm anti-marriage per se. When we first decided that we wanted to have a wedding, I think it was based on this idea of bringing together people in our lives who were important to us and having a celebration. The only way you do that is through a wedding, right? Then we started thinking about who would conduct the ceremony, and I didn't want a stranger doing it. Neither of us were religious so we weren't going to do it in a church. We started looking into getting someone we knew to do it, but it's a big ordeal here. It's a very difficult thing to do in Ontario, so we considered going to City Hall first, or hiring someone just to do the signing of the paperwork, but then we started asking ourselves "Why are we doing this? What does this mean that is different than our current situation? We are common-law, we co-own our house, how does this impact us in any other way? Why are we working so hard to make this fit?" and we realized it wasn't reflective of us. We wanted it to be true to us, we wanted our friend to marry us, we wanted to write our own vows, and we didn't want to sign something that was a legally binding document. It didn't feel romantic, quite frankly. So we just decided to do it our way. We feel that we are just as committed and as 'married' as anyone else who has a legally binding document.







Cynthia and Jason (Photo: Richard Sibbald)


TM: So you did have a ceremony?

CL: We did! We went to The Distillery in Toronto, which is the place where Jason had proposed to me, and also where he had both my engagement ring and band designed by a jeweler who's there. It's an area where we spent a lot of time going to dinners, and it really connected to us so we thought it was an appropriate place. We brought our family and friends together and had a party! 

TM: Your son's name, Jaya, is so unique. How did you choose it?

CL: I found choosing a boy's name really hard. I knew I was having a boy, and Jason works in film and television as well, and he was travelling at the time when I started looking at names, so I was on my own. I came up with a whole list of names like Zachary and Jeremiah. Jason came back and said "These are all so biblical, and that's not really us," so we both started to look at our family names. I'm Italian on one side and German on the other, and he's Malaysian and Hungarian so we started going through websites and we just happened to be looking at a list of Malaysian names and Jaya was there. I'm not sure that it was the same pronunciation we chose {rhymes with Mariah} but that's the way we wanted to pronounce it, and we thought "It sounds like this baby, like our baby", and it immediately clicked as soon as we said it. It means "victory".




Cynthia and Jaya (Photo: Kari Loyst)


TM: How would you complete the sentence "this mom loves..."?

CL: I love red wine. Did I say that ahead of my son? I am in love with my son. I have the total breastfeeding, oxytocin haze where I'm completely in love with my son. I love New Orleans, the hot, sweaty, sexy, down-and-dirty aspects of that whole city, I just love it. Anything MAC. I love my MAC products. And I love a great pair of heels!





Jaya (Photo: Kari Loyst)


*******

Cynthia was also sweet enough to ask about my girls (she thinks their names are beautiful - and I actually told her their real names, not their blog pseudonyms!) and also asked if parenting is still as daunting when they get to seven and five. My answer: there's always going to be an aspect that's daunting at every phase, but everything gets easier when you can sleep through the night!

Plus, she was willing to give me a quick professional tip that I needed at the time of our interview - which I promise to share with you all if a certain opportunity pans out.

You can find Cynthia and the entire gang at The Social on CTV weekdays at 1:00 pm (check local listings), and on The Social's website. If you can't catch the show live, do what I do: PVR it, and watch while on the treadmill every night. Very motivating!

Cynthia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cynthialoyst
Cynthia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthialoyst

Thanks for the great chat, Cynthia!


3 comments:

Sally said...

Kate, what a great Momterview. You are rocking these! Cynthia came across as a totally regular person (well, plus the awesomeness of having someone else do her hair and make up every day- lucky gal), and was humble enough to ask your parenting advice! Wow! I love that she acknowledged regular people things like snuggling baby in bed, and pumping between professional obligations. Excellent job!

Anonymous said...

Cynthia of all the four ladies on the Social Panel ~ you are my absolute favorite ~ kind, thoughtful, intelligent and so very well researched in your *subject answers... *Clasic Beauty, goes without saying!!
The other ladies ~ have a fair amount to learn (yet) give them time...
My kind regards, Brenda Marie (( Vancouver ))

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree she seems to be level headed, knows what she wants . Loves her little boy , pretty and keeps herself slim.