November 22, 2012

Vancouver Daze #96: Interview – Cheryl Hickey x ET Canada

Vancouver Daze, Volume 96: Interview with Cheryl Hickey from Entertainment Tonight Canada at Shaw TV studios in Coal Harbour on November 19, 2012. Published in Vancouver Is Awesome.

Cheryl Hickey | ET Canada @ Shaw Tower

I met and interviewed the lovely (and very pregnant) Cheryl Hickey, host of ET Canada. She's in town to shoot a week of shows for their annual west coast tour. It was a fun, charming chat with some interesting takeaways.

1) Vancouver is "open, warm, laidback, and beautiful".

Cheryl was excited to see Vancouver despite the horrible weather (I apologized on behalf of all Vancouverites) on day one of the shoot. She gushed about our city's inviting, friendly environment and the gorgeous scenery (even in the rain). In her eyes, it was clear how different Vancouver was from Toronto and thankful for the yearly change of pace.

2) Going coast to coast.

Moving a whole television production from one coast to another is a massive undertaking. Cheryl went on about working with a great production staff of producers, cameramen, and technicians who make it look easy. She, herself, started as a teenaged intern at a local Ontario cable station, working her way from there after college to camera operator, news writer, radio announcer, and eventually television host.

She highly recommended learning everything about media and production and is thankful for that appreciation now that she's in front of the camera.

3) Vancouver means lots of work.

Unfortunately, coming to Vancouver for ET Canada doesn't leave much time to enjoy the city outside of work. She's usually confined to the small radius around her hotel after long shoots. However, she made it out Ki Modern Japanese and Market by Jean-Georges, recommending both.

Shooting on location is full of crazy logistics. Our weather brought some flooding while ETC was shooting in Stanley Park and complicated an already full schedule. From there, it was dropping by The Rush (formerly of the "Urban" variety, see below) for a quick TV segment in between promos and interviews with the likes of yours truly.

Her less pregnant cohort Rick "the Temp" Campenelli was out all over B.C., doing all kinds of crazy things and having adventures with local celebrities.

4) Do things in real life.

I inquired about Cheryl's thoughts on social media and how young people communicate and get their information online. She had a lot of enthusiasm but warned about drawing a line and maintaining your privacy.

She also recommended going offline, meeting people IRL, talking face to face, learning about life, and getting some real experience. I agree, it is called "social" media, after all. Remember to be social and using social networking to supplement and enhance real life experiences.

5) Make it conversational.

Shortly into the interview, I quickly realized who I was speaking to. Cheryl is use to being the one doing the interviews and knows how and where to go with the conversation to make things interesting. My usual tricks and slips to get someone into a informative chat proved not only futile but wholly unnecessary.

I did get quite a few useful pointers about interviewing public figures and people of interest. Don't be over prepared or take away from your own curiousity when researching your subject. Cheryl likes to go into stories well prepared but leave room for interviewees to inform and enlighten her naturally. I was impressed by her zeal and enthusiasm for people and entertainment.

ET Canada is in Vancouver and B.C. all week. Catch their adventures airing on Global TV. Special thanks to producer Sholeh Fabbri.

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