by Claire AH
LGBTQ+ Toronto Matchmaker
The day of reckoning is upon us! And by that, I mean that we’re going
to be on daytime TV today! Sofi, Lee-Anne, and myself are guests on
The Goods on CBC and we’re talking about matchmaking as well as offering
general dating advice. We actually shot the episode a few weeks ago,
so we’ve been keeping it a secret until we got the green light. Keeping
exciting secrets is not my forte and it’s natural to want to talk
about how great Friend of a Friend is, but we all did it!
The prep for our segment felt pretty rigourous. We had a long e-mail
chain, met up in person, went through a few revisions, and had
individual and group phone interviews. This all felt like it upped the
ante for the experience, but the group phonecall flowed naturally thanks to
our amazing interviewer, Andrea Bain. She totally put us at ease and
it became less of a series of questions with perfect responses and
more of a conversation about why we do what we do, what it’s actually
like, and what we think people can learn from our work to apply to
their own lives.
Andrea is the author of a really great book called
Single Girl Problems, which takes the idea of singleness and asserts
that it’s not actually a problem to be solved. Even though we’re
matchmakers and we obviously want to make matches, this message is
really important for perspective on dating as well as issues of
self-esteem and even quality of life. Needless to say, Andrea knows
what she’s talking about and it was nice to contend with someone who
could put herself and her experiences into the discussion, instead of
just asking us questions on a list.
On the day of the shoot, we were mostly excited about the makeovers.
We spent what seems like an inordinate time planning our outfits,
making sure that our hair was just right, and finding the best nail
colour to match our aesthetics. Once we got our badges, we were
whisked into makeup chairs and given lewks to die for. If it had ended
at this point, it would have been juuuuust fine. Having a professional
do your eyebrows is almost as valuable as airtime, right? We caught up
with Andrea backstage, took a few deep breaths, and then went out to
sit in front of the live studio audience.
Now, we all have different relationships to this experience. Lee-Anne
is a regular performer in musical theatre. Sofi is a journalist, so
she has a way with words and has experience writing about pretty much
every facet of matchmaking and dating. I do radio and podcasting, so
theoretically I’m good with speaking off the cuff. That said, none of
that is the experience of being yourself on television. We had
varying degrees of pre-taping nerves (EDITOR’S NOTE: 2/3 of the yentas
could have puked from nerves), but it was actually completely
smooth. There were no awkward pauses, none of us lost our train of
thought, and we actually said coherent, useful things. It’s almost as if
we spend a lot of our lives talking about dating and matchmaking!
On top of our comfort with the subject (doing a segment on nuclear
physics would have been a whole different ballgame) we knew that we
could rely on each other. Without getting too saccharine, we’re a
team. We approached this as we approach Friend of a Friend: quite
collaboratively. Even if you meet with only one of us, you get the
benefit of all of our points of view. That’s what happened on The
Goods, too. After we returned our badges, we grabbed some celebratory
cocktails at a nearby lounge and looked out from over the Toronto
skyline. Our first TV appearance was a success… Onto the next?
You can watch the episode online here. Segment begins at 17:00.
by Claire AH