Smart Divas (at least we think so)





GETTING TO KNOW US:
Our interview with online Web site Smart Diva. It was so nice to be on the flip side-- answering the questions =)


1. Tell me all about you. Where are you from? What makes you tick?
Markette: I am originally from Los Angeles and I moved to DC for a job opportunity right after undergrad. I liked DC so much; I decided to stay for a while and went to AU for grad school. As for the things that make me tick? Multimedia storytelling, reality TV and People magazine. The entertainment industry is such a huge part of where I come from (my mom used to work on The Montel Williams Show when it was based in L.A. and my older sister used to work on Access Hollywood and now she works for a movie studio) – I think it’s in my DNA to be obsessed with pop culture.

Vanessa:
I am from Texas ( I always say ya'll) and though I may be a southern gal at heart, I was actually born in Puerto Rico, lived in Mexico, England, and Argentina. I am of Spanish and British heritage. My mom's from England and my dad is from The Rock of Gibraltar. This may be the reason I love to travel--that's what makes me tick! Other things that make me tick are playing tennis, spa days, mani-pedi's, eating out at different restaurants in the area, watching documentaries or any movie based on a true story, hot sauce (Cholula or Texas Pete) and of course hosting and producing The Traveling Talk Show.


2. What inspired you to want to do something like this? College degree relevant or?
Markette: I was working as a Web producer, but I really wanted to learn the elements of broadcasting and visual storytelling and transform my career from behind my desk to on-camera reporting. That’s part of the reason I went to AU’s Interactive Journalism graduate program. From there I began working as a news reporter for a radio station and then a TV station in Maryland, but my heart was really in entertainment reporting. Opportunities are scarce for entertainment reporters in Washington, so this summer; Vanessa and I reconnected after not seeing eachother for 2 years and we thought, 'Why not create an opportunity for ourselves?' I knew Vanessa had the same passion and drive that I have, and that we would work really well together, so one day last summer we just kind of spontaneously started TTS.

Vanessa: After receiving my master’s in Interactive Journalism from American University here in Washington, D.C. I had the knowledge and tools to do what I have always had a passion for: journalism. Journalism to me is about listening and learning. You meet people from all walks of life. I wanted to do something fun with it and I certainly knew that I couldn’t be sitting down in an office all day so that’s where The Traveling Talk Show came in (with a title like that I knew I wouldn’t be sitting down anywhere!!) I think that it’s not necessarily about having a degree or not but rather about being in a learning environment where you can make mistakes, and be around motivated individuals who share your same passion. I met Markette @ AU and well the rest is history.

3. How did you get started? What was the final push?
Markette: We had already decided that we wanted to start a show together, so we just started going to events and taping them. It didn’t feel like a push, it felt more like we were jumping forward into an adventure.

Vanessa: Washington, D.C. is such an amazing and vibrant city. There are so many great things to see and do here. DC is rivaling other cities like New York and Miami when it comes to fashion and entertainment. Markette and I realized that DC wasn’t getting the attention and coverage that it needed so we decided to produce and host our own show covering all things entertainment. We have been everywhere from fashion shows, to America’s Next Top Model Auditions, to movie premiers, to showcasing a local mural done by art students in the community. Markette and I wanted to do this, there was never any final push. We knew what we wanted and made it happen =) There are always going to be hurdles and challenges to overcome, but then that's just life!!

4. How and how long was the planning stage?
Markette: The planning and process of creating TTS was really organic. We were kind of like, ‘Do you want to do this? Yeah? Ok, let’s do it!” And that was it, we’ve been working on the show ever since.

Vanessa: We started the show last July. Our idea was to bring the audience fast dynamic pieces that could be watched on the Web as well as on television. Our main goal was not to be sitting down in a studio on a couch with long tedious boring interviews. We knew that it would be so much more fun and interesting of a show if we were near the action and around all of the energy and excitement. This is where learning everything we did at AU has become invaluable. We used our multimedia skills to shoot, edit, and produce EVERYTHING.

5. Who else makes up your team? Editing? Camerawork? Great quality by the way!
Markette: There’s me, Vanessa and our production coordinator Arika. We all take turns doing the camera work and I edit the shows together in Final Cut Pro.

Vanessa: Thanks! We really strive to bring the best quality we can to our show. Markette and I usually start by bouncing back and forth different ideas for the show and since we write, edit, host and produce everything it really allows us to be very creative and have fun with it. We have an amazing production coordinator-- Arika Lawrence who joined our team a few months ago, and more recently we have joined the DC50tv.com home of the CW. There is so much work going on behind the scenes. It has been so challenging and so rewarding at the same time.

6. Describe your Talk Show persona vs. real life persona. Do they get along?
Markette: What you see on camera is what you get in real life. Since I write everything I say, and we only cover events that we are genuinely interested in, I really don’t have to act or pretend. And I must say, the creative freedom has been so wonderful. I hope that comes across to our viewers, too.

Vanessa: I think that my Talk Show persona vs. my real life persona is the same. I just try to be me. I’m not trying to be anybody else. You really can’t fake it. The audience is too smart for that anyways --so all you can do is be yourself.



7. So do you get to keep any clothes?
Markette: Well, we dress ourselves! This, BTW, is really hard when you’re on a budget -- thank goodness for stores like H&M and Forever 21 that have really cute clothes and great prices. But for our fashion episode, we did have a local designer, Aidah Fontenot, gracefully offer to style us from head to toe. She made us look awesome!

Vanessa: Ahh clothes. My one true love =) Being on-camera takes a lot of work. I wish I could just roll out of bed and look amazing, but that’s so not the case. I have learned so much about what NOT to wear on camera and what colors and styles best suit me. (For what NOT to wear please refer to Episode 101 of TTS) The same goes for hair and makeup. And yes the perks are always nice. Markette and I interviewed amazing local designer Aidah Fontenot that wanted to outfit us in her gorgeous custom made dresses for the show. We had so much fun getting fitted for the show and the dresses were tres chic. But the rest of the time we dress ourselves.


8. What has your favorite episode been so far? Strangest?

Markette: It depends, we have only done four episodes, but I think the episode that we dedicated entirely to local fashion designers was my favorite. I never knew before working on that episode what that D.C. had such a dynamic fashion community.

Vanessa: My favorite episode would probably be the first one because I can look back and really see how far we’ve come. This happened so organically and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to executive produce a show. It’s a lot of hard work but I love seeing the final product. I am so proud of all of our episodes. I loved the fashion episode because we had so much fun hanging out with all the models and designers backstage. I don’t have a strangest moment but the scariest for me was when I went skydiving. We plan on doing another adventure episode very soon so stay tuned!


9. Do you ever get nervous?
Markette: All the time. I never know if people are going to like it, if I’m going to come across well, or if the wind will blow my hair away just as I am about to tape. That’s why it’s so nice to have a co-host, co-produce and partner in crime to have my back and look out for me. It’s so scary putting yourself out there, but then it’s rewarding when people tell me they love the segments and the show.

Vanessa: I think having a little bit of nerves and butterflies are a good thing, it keeps the energy and adrenaline flowing. I have interviewed a lot of different celebrities since I started my career as an entertainment host --You just have to be yourself, be prepared, and bring good energy. So it really doesn’t matter if I’m interviewing a local member of the community or a celebrity --the nerves are always there, but it equates to fun energy.

10. What are your ultimate goals with TSS? Where do you see TSS in 5 years?
Markette: I think we both agree that we want to take TTS as far as it will go. I would love produce TTS full-time for a national audience... and eventually worldwide!

Vanessa: Our goal is to continue to learn and grow and of course keep producing high quality content. Markette and I have so many plans for the future. We have done so much in such a short amount of time--- so the sky is really the limit! I think we make a great team and will continue to showcase all the fabulous things happening in and around the area. SO STAY TUNED!!!!!!


--Vanessa xoxoxo

Lauren Conrad Book Signing



We had so much fun interviewing Lauren Conrad during a stop at the Borders in Fairfax, Va. on her nationwide book tour. She was warm, friendly, down-to-earth, funny and -- no huge surprise -- adamant about not talking about the drama from her past.

Specifically refusing to talk about Heidi Montag and The Hills (she said off camera that MTV asked her not to), the reality star turned New York Times best-selling author instead chose to dish to us about everything else, including her book being turned into a movie, what it was like being a guest judge on Top Model, her new clothing line and whether or not she'll expand her Kohl's collection and start designing for boys, too.

Speaking of boys...

One of her biggest fans at the event was actually a guy. LC's No. 1 "man fan" said he drove all the way from Clinton, Md. to get his copy of "Sweet Little Lies" signed. With sweaty palms and his camera phone set snap the money shot, he was actually trembling with excitement as he waited his turn in line.


We were a little excited to be there, too...


So you'll have to check back soon to see how our exclusive video interview turned out. For now, check out more photos from the book signing on our Facebook Fan Page.

xoxo,

--Markette


P.S. - Special thanks to our production coordinator Arika Lawrence for helping us shoot video and snap pics behind the scenes!

Book signing with Lauren Conrad: Behind the Scenes



LAUREN CONRAD EXCLUSIVE:
video

Vanessa and Markette were front row and center at Borders in Fairfax, Va. where they chatted with the lovely LC @ her book signing for the second book of the series titled "Sweet Little Lies"

Check back for our exclusive interview with La Lauren for all the juicy details about her #1 NY Times best selling book and so much more...



Lauren Conrad, Ceviche, and I heart Apple



LA CANDY AND SWEET LITTLE LIES:

This Saturday M, and I will be interviewing hotty pototty Lauren Conrad The former star and fashion icon of The Hills. Ms. Conrad has been touring all over the country to promote her series of books LA Candy and Sweet Little Lies. (There are 3 books in her series) We have so much to ask Lauren and I can't wait to hear what she has been up to (besides being a #1 NY Times bestselling author, touring the country, and working on her clothing line) Geesh the girl works her butt off. And yes I am on TEAM LC nobody likes that Kristin girl, and nobody watches The Hills anymore now that Lauren has left the show. So what questions do you think we should ask her? I think I'll ask her to give me some tips on how she perfects those signature cat eyes with her black eyeliner . If you like her fresh beachy make-up watch this youtube video and give yourself a clean fresh look too.


Ok, so if seeing that pic of Lauren in her bikini made you feel a little less than stellar about your own body, don't fret-- I have the perfect recipe that is light, healthy and perfect for the summer to help you shed those pounds. I make this all the time (I'm still a heffer though because I wont give up on chocolate and baked goods j/k) So do as I say not as I do.

HOT BOD RECIPE OF THE WEEK:
Ceviche packs some serious flavor to those taste buds, you can always change up the recipe if you get bored, and it's healthy =)

Ceviche Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare, 3-4 hours to let sit. Always use the freshest fish possible. Make the same day you purchase fresh fish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs of firm, fresh red snapper fillets (or other firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh seeded tomatoes
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Dash of ground oregano
  • Dash of Tabasco or a light pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Tortillas or tortilla chips

METHOD

In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for several hours, giving time for the flavors to blend. Check out that recipe and millions of others from your I-phone. And if you don't have an I-phone then get one!! And if you are not a Mac user then become one. It's that simple =)

I-PICK APP OF THE WEEK:

This FREE APP offers thousands of recipes from hundreds of talented chefs. Use the spinner and select the dish, ingredients, and prep time. You can plan your dinner out ahead. It's Free and so very cconvenient. And remember "An Apple a day keeps the doctor away." You can't say that about a Window.






What to Wear, What to Wear...





Whenever me and Vanessa decide to go to an event, the first thing we do is call each other and ask, "What are Your Gonna Wear?" Now if I had $650 to drop on a pair of heels, I'd probably be TTS-ing all around town in the Peep Toe Pumps from Shoecrush.com pictured above.

But alas, like most regular folk, I just throw on something I already have in my closet, which can be a slippery slope down hill. Take for instance this LIME GREEN purse and Flower-Power 70s mash up:
...and this RED BULL cut-off situation we have going on here:

Has it really been that long of a winter? Is style still hibernating in your closet? I dunnoHey, it happens to all of us... but I'm on a mission to find the most well-dressed everyday people and explore the notion of pure organic street style existing outside of old reruns of Sex & the City.

And until then, I'll just keep snapping photos from an inconspicuous corner in Starbucks with a great street view.



--Markette




Jimmy "Jumbo" Johnson, The Intimidator, and Angelina



JIMMY JIMMY:

So I had a little case of insomnia last night , I knew that espresso I drank at 11:30 p.m. was going to cost me. And yes, yes it did. I paid the price by watching one of Jimmy Johnson's infomercials for the male enhancement pill Extenze.


I hail from Texas and as a "Texan" we are bred at a very young age to believe that "Everything is bigger and better in Texas." But seriously Jimmy you are taking this to a whole new level. I know you are not a three- time Superbowl championship coach anymore, and well the economy is currently not at its best, but how strapped for cash are you?

I hate the very last part on the vid where he says, "So if you want the maximum performance edge every day, I say go long with ExtenZe {throws ball} I do." Then tilts his head to the side and gives you the weirdest creepiest look... ahh Jimbo what will you do next. Actually Jimmy if you're reading this, DON'T ANSWER.

THE RIDE: THE INTIMIDATOR:

The Intimidator 305 Thunders Into Virginia April 2010!

Track Length:5,100 feet
Maximum Height:305 feet
Lift Hill Angle:45 degrees
Length of First Drop:300 feet
Angle of First Drop:85 degrees
Fastest Speed:Excess of 90 MPH
Ride Time:3 minutes
Airtime Humps:6 including S-curve transitions
High Speed Turns:3 at ground level
Investment:$25 million




The TALLEST and FASTEST gravity driven roller coaster on the East Coast screams along 5,100 feet of steel track at 92 MPH! At a whopping 305 feet tall, Intimidator will be the BIGGEST and BADDEST steel roller coaster in the Mid-Atlantic and on the East Coast! Markette and I will be filmed on the roller coaster April 4th, so come join us =) I hope we make it out alive. How do I get myself into these things?!!!


CELEBRITY DOPPELGANGER:

It's time for our Celebrity Doppelganger here on our weekly blog segment. This isn't Facebook it's a blog --so we can have it every week =) Oh and I am kind of embarrassed to admit that I actually wikipedia'd (it's not misspelled, it's a verb) the word Doppelganger (I know you Germans would be pissed) but sorry had no clue what the exact definition was. Click HERE to find out. If not take a peek at our look-alike of the week. I interviewed this gorgeous gal at Fashion for Hope (she is a model I know what a shocker) and the resemblence is doppelganger for sure. Can I say that?

Which one is Tiffany?
(Angelina Jolie) (Tiffany Claus)


This is Tiffany Claus who lives right here in the District. Tiffany's modeling and look- alike career began when Tyra Banks talent scouts found her images on myspace. The were so impressed with her natural resemblance that they asked her to fly out to L.A. to appear on her show. From there she decided to pursue her career as a professional look- alike and has been the most sought after Jolie impersonator worldwide.For the look-alike segment I usually use a sight called MY HERITAGE that runs face recognition technology and shows several celebs that you resemble. But I thought CLEARLY there was no reason to use the site for this week's pick.


These are both pics of Tiffany Claus

www.tiffanyclaus.com

--Vanessa

Buff Body of the Week


You know you have a buff body when...
You know you have a buff body when you're not afraid to show up half naked in Times Square to flaunt it for the masses. That's exactly what this week's Buff Body did.

I happened upon him while in New York City for the weekend. It was 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. All tattooed and oiled up (and with presumably nothing else to do) he had tied an elastic resistance band around a telephone poll and proceeded to do bicep curls right on the corner of Broadway. So, of course, I did what everybody was thinking. I approached him and asked what the heck he was doing. In response, he just smiled and murmurred something along the lines of, "Can't stop...won't stop... get it, get it."

Now that's what I call insane dedication (or maybe just plain insane)! Either way, he wins the first ever TTS award for fitness.

-- Markette

P.S. - If you would like to nominate a more reasonably ripped Buff Body for next week, then send a photo and workout details to thetravelingtalkshow@gmail.com.