Sunday, August 17

Cynthia Loyst: Behind the Scenes at THE SOCIAL

{If you missed it, my Momterview with Cynthia Loyst from a few months ago is HERE. She spoke about how she landed the role on the show, her thoughts about the institution of marriage, and being a mom to her now fourteen month old son Jaya. The interview has held the top spot for pageviews here on This Mom Loves for several months, though it had some competition from coverage of her co-host Lainey's Smut Soiree. Clearly a lot of my readers are fans of THE SOCIAL!}

When I had the chance to go behind-the-scenes at THE SOCIAL, I walked into the co-hosts' office in the morning and Cynthia immediately jumped up and greeted me with enthusiasm and a warm hug. I really do feel like we're friends already, and the more I hear her talk on the show, the more I feel we're kindred spirits. Need proof? She likes to go to bed early. She never really cared for the bar scene, especially when strange guys would try to dirty dance behind her. She used to be a belly-dancer. Fine, we don't have that trait in common, but still..

After the show, Cynthia and I had a chance to sit down and catch up, and I had a few new questions (some mine, some from my readers) to throw at her.





What are your favourite topics to cover on the show?

We cover such a range of topics, but I'm fired up about anything to do with love and sexuality and gender, particularly when we start to pigeonhole people into gendered ideas, though it's hard not to do that I must say. I'm one of the people who often is saying "we can't say all men are x, y and z," or "we can't say all women are x, y and z"...so that stuff kind of gets me fired up.

But then the most random topics will get me worked up. One day when I was riding into work I heard about a Mississauga bylaw that was taking place because a man saw his neighbour's laundry hung up too high, and there was too much of it, so they actually passed a law legislating what types of drying mechanisms you can have in your backyard or how much laundry you can have, and I thought "Oh my goodness, what have we come to in this world?" Talk about first-world, suburban problems, where someone's not harming anybody, except maybe the vision of your perfect home, and they're actually trying to help the environment, and yet you're going to cause such a big stink over this. Now a small caveat: when I actually saw a photo of the laundry when I got to work it was alarming, but I still stand by the fact that I hope we live in a world where we can throw out some of those ideas, especially when it's for the greater good.

Long and short of it, when it comes to love, relationships, family and gender, those are the stories I most gravitate towards.

And what about guest segments? Do you ever get to work and think "Yay! We're doing this today!" or "Oh no! We're doing this today!"?

I have a love/hate relationship with the exercise segments. Right now I am woefully out of shape. {Here I gave her the required "Yeah, right!" look, though I totally understand that there's a difference between being thin and being fit.} I think I'm eating less, or I'm running around chasing the baby, but I actually am the least in shape I've ever been in terms of muscle tone. Whenever I do an exercise segment which is maybe five or eight minutes long I hurt the next day afterwards. That's how pathetic I am right now! I know Lainey and I were rolling our eyes because I think we're in the fitness segment tomorrow and we often feel like we get very winded - they're tough!

I love fashion segments. Erica Wark is our guest stylist on the show - and she, of course, as you probably know just got engaged live on the show - and we love her. She's like part of the extended family of our team, and she's so talented at what she does. Let's face it, fashion is just so fun! On that note too, Matthew is our guest hairstylist on the show, and I learned great ideas from him last week. I'm not one of those people who has ever really looked at a magazine and been able to teach myself a new hairstyle, but I do learn from those segments and there are things I've gone home and tried.






At other shows you've worked on before you've also worn a "producer" hat. How different is it to just be on-screen this time around?

You know, it's been a hard transition for me. I never wanted to be in front of the camera. Part of what interested me about television was producing real people's stories and I was into documentary production for a long time, and I loved getting to meet people and sit down with them in their home and having them tell their own stories. I never felt the need to be in front of the camera. But things change in the world and in a way it was a survival mechanism for me. At the time, there were a bunch of layoffs, kind of like what's going on right now in the world of television, and I made a pitch to someone because I thought my job was in jeopardy, that I could produce and host a show about sexuality. That was my wheelhouse at the time, I was writing an advice column, and it just so happened that it was accepted because it cost next to nothing to do so that's when I hosted Sex Matters on CP24 so I got to do both at that time, the whole thing rested on my shoulders.

But now, I get to take a step back as producers do their jobs. I still sometimes have to remember to, as Traci puts it "stay in my lane," because I'll be thinking in my head about things that should be happening or should be done, or this needs to move on, and I've learned to just let that hat be tossed away. But it's hard! Producers by nature can be control freaks and part of the thing about being on-air is you have to let things go.






Can you think of any funny mishaps or bloopers that have happened on the show?

There are a lot of undergarment mishaps! Some of us are all about the supportive undergarments and layering though some of us...okay, I'll say it, Lainey often doesn't wear underwear! But sometimes we'll get dressed and realize that a bunch of stuff has to change because undergarments are showing, so that happens. It doesn't make it to air!

One time early on when the show first launched I was walking down the stairs and my shoe somehow just came off! God bless Traci, she picked it up and put it Cinderella-style back on me right before I was going to sit in my seat because it was way behind me. I also worry that one of us is going to trip down those stairs. I know we've gotten more confident and cocky and I don't often use the handrail so that might happen, we might pull a Jennifer Lawrence sometime, but it hasn't happened yet!





Before THE SOCIAL started, people (like me!) used to say "I wish we had a Canadian show like THE VIEW". Then when you started, it was made clear that there shouldn't be a comparison, and that this show would be very different. Lately, I've seen at least two American guests come on THE SOCIAL and say "I wish we had a show like this in the States", which makes it seem like you've almost surpassed what they're offering. What do you think it is that sets you apart?

I think there are a few things. I really do think it's our dynamic with each other. I didn't know the other girls very well before we launched the show, and when I first heard this was our lineup I wondered "Are we different enough? Is this going to stand out? Are we going to butt heads?" Then the show started to evolve and I realized we are such distinct personalities so that's what people say to us, that we're very strong, opinionated women and that we're all very different from each other. So I think that's one.

We also very much care for each other, so there's not the same kind of drama behind-the-scenes. We have gotten into some intense discussions but we do really all deeply care for each other, and I think that shows through too, that it's not speaking this story that we often hear where women can't have arguments with each other without having trouble off-camera, so I think maybe people are picking up on that dynamic.

I also think that we're able to let topics breathe. I know from watching THE VIEW more recently, they fire off and go through a lot of topics very quickly and I think it's harder to get in depth into an idea that way.

Plus we also bring our own personal experiences and I think - or I hope - that people really feel they become a part of our lives, through the interactivity with social media as well. People can literally tell us, in the moment, what they're thinking about something we've said and we respond back. I think that whole thing has created a kind of intimacy.

Who's your dream guest for THE SOCIAL?

I've been a huge fan of Prince since childhood. I'm a total dork about him, I grew up on his music and had fantasies at one point in time about being in a relationship with him. He's such an odd bird but I have huge respect for him as a performer. He's so shy and complicated that I would be beside myself but I would love for him to be on the show. Plus maybe I could try on his heels!

Thanks, Cynthia!

Be sure to follow Cynthia on Twitter, and of course catch her on THE SOCIAL weekdays on CTV.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another great interview Kate!
Keep them coming!

Sally said...

What to say, she is stunning, smart and talented. Did you not feel like you wanted to sit in the hair and make up chair too? That's what I'd be looking to do if I ever got near those talented stylists!