Q. What is Wake Up to a Break Up?
Wake Up is a web-based tv show for women going through a break-up who are looking for comfort, inspiration and comic relief. It’s a place where girls who are in “relationship transition” (read: mourning, extremely pissed off, or getting over it with the pool boy) can come to find kindred spirits, reasonable advice, or just a little perspective. Hey, we’ve all been there.
Q. Aren't you married? What do you know about break-ups?
Good point. As an actress, I am very familiar with rejection. In fact, I get rejected regularly. Which is probably the reason I’ve learned not to take things too seriously.
On a personal note, I spent most of my 20's obsessing over relationships the way most girls my age did (and probably still do). Mostly, I obsessed over my then boyfriend, Chris Brown. We dated for 5 years and broke up dozens of times. In fact, the reason I moved away from Los Angeles to New York was because of a "That's it! It's OVER!" break-up with him. It was clearly an ill-conceived epiphany. We have now been married for 12 years and have two adorable little boys.
Q. Why did you create Wake Up?
As an actress, I finally realized that I needed to give myself permission to create my own show. Even though I have an excellent agent and audition frequently, I got to the point where I was really sick of relying on others to decide whether I got the job. There are really three reasons why this came to be. First, as a former host and reporter on Plum Television, I wanted to leverage my strengths: listening, asking insightful questions, and my on-camera skills. Second, I’ve always been fascinated with the psychology of relationships, particularly romantic ones. Finally, the momentum of web-based television is really compelling; it’s a growing entertainment venue I wanted to be a part of.
Q. How did you partner with 800 flowers.com?
I had worked with 800 as a Host of their entertainment website, celebrations.com so we already had a great relationship. Jim McCann of 800 flowers is a brilllant, innovative thinker and there is a natural fit between sending flowers, chocolates and teddy bears to someone who is going through the pain of a break-up. In fact, many women I know actually send themselves flowers. And what better time for a little boost than during a break-up. When our relationships go sour, we need insight and advice. But we also need these little moments of levity and indulgence more than ever.
Q. Who helped you with Wake Up?
I surrounded myself with help from the best writers I know: Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles and Wife in the Fast Lane, and Kerri Devine, an award-winning freelancer who is also very funny. Our design company, White Design Studio, is fantastic and based in my hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio.
I also enlisted my old 8th grade boyfriend, my first love, to pitch in with kiss off lines guys give girls! The comedians on my site, Philip Galinsky and Mary Crosbie, I met in improv classes and immediately recognized them to be super talents. You will definitley see them on SNL some day. My co-host, Anthony Tomari, and I have such much fun working together and we are very supportive of each other's career. Sean Cassels is an excellent producer I met while doing Hosting for PlumTV.
Finally, we turned to some experts in this space such as noted psychiatrist, John Jacobs, MD and author of All You Need is Love… and Other Lies About Marriage — as well as other authors, to help guide our more serious viewers and content surfers.
Q. What advice would you give girls going through a break-up?
To remember the healing powers of time. Virtually everybody eventually gets over their breakups, usually with valuable lessons and great ex-boyfriend mockery or self-deprecating stories for cocktail parties.
Also, remember that relationships — and life in general — involve conflict. We all have things we need to work on. If you are so hurt by the loss of your relationship that you feel you need professional help, by all means seek it.
But if you are just looking for some relevant advice and a place where you can share stories and maybe even a laugh or two with others who have been through the same thing, then this is a place you probably want to spend some time.
Q. What are your goals for Wake Up to A Break-Up?
Personally, hosting and producing a show like this is a rewarding creative outlet for me.
Ultimately, as a web personality, I hope to parlay the “Wake Up” brand into something that has even greater durability and relevance. We have plans, already underway, to extend the “Wake Up” brand into new content areas such as parenting and politics.
In the meantime, I remain fascinated by the opportunities. In my past life, I worked as an Advertising Manager for iVillage in its infancy. A lot has changed, even since then. Given the You Tube phenomenon, it’s clear that online video and internet based television is a big and emerging web trend with a ton of momentum. The acquisition of Wallstrip by CBS is just one example of how mainstream this is becoming. We’re playing in that same space. And while that space continues to evolve, we’re busy having a blast!