Have you ever watched a coming of age film where the lead character is a college-age sorority/fraternity recruit who is kidnapped in the middle of the night, only to have the most exhilarating and fun night of their lives?
Last week, this happened to me.
Well, in full disclosure, I was called a week in advance – not kidnapped in the middle of the night – and was told that I would be headed to New York City for an exclusive, secret event, hosted by Diet Coke. But in my defence, to this “old” millennial it felt like a wild ride that was both harrowing (packing economically) and exciting!
I boarded a plane along with other members of the Canadian press, bound to the “City That Never Sleeps” with the growing anticipation of what was to come. It had been well over a decade since I had been to New York during my days as an awkward, braces-clad pre-teen with a bad fake Kate Spade that I sourced on Canal street.
Needless to say, as our crew pulled up to the Standard Hotel in Chelsea, I got pretty excited. As some of you may know, this is where Solange Knowles confronted Jay-Z during the infamous “Elevator Scandal” of 2014, setting the stage for the most epic visual album of all time, by our Queen Bey. I was shocked that no one else on the trip found it quite as thrilling as I did.
After exploring the High Line and the Meatpacking District, I returned to my hotel where we were informed that we would be headed to a loft for the North American launch of the new Diet Coke. New packaging would be revealed and four flavours – Zesty Blood Orange, Feisty Cherry, Ginger Lime and Twisted Mango would be featured for us to try since it won’t be available until February in Canada. The venue was a spectacular loft along the Hudson, complete with soaring ceilings, a plunge pool filled with balloons for the occasion and a patio – exactly the type of place that would have housed Andy Warhol or Samantha Jones.
The best part was that Notable Life had the opportunity to sit down with Claudia Oshrey, aka @GirlWithNoJob, as she was the host of the event. Claudia met me in the loft, overlooking the other guests. Upon hearing that I was Canadian, she promptly broke out her powerful vocals and sang the national anthem for me to enjoy – both the English version and put her own unique twist on the “French”! Her answers to my questions were not only hilarious, but also thoughtful and insightful.
We know that you are a huge Diet Coke fan and it is your drink of choice. What do you love about it and what makes you the most excited about this re-launch?
CO: I grew up breastfeeding Diet Coke. My mother drank it and when I became old enough, I drank it from a baby bottle. It literally runs through my veins. You know how sometimes brands don’t align well with your lifestyle and you know that you’re not the right person to tell their story? That’s not the case here. Diet Coke is my life. I wake up thinking about Diet Coke.
Wow – that is amazing! I knew that you were a fan, but did not know that it’s engrained in your lifestyle. With all of the new flavours that were launched today, which do you think will be your favourite?
CO: Well luckily, I was able to taste them a while ago. So, I have been able to put some thought into it. And I would have to say that after they assured me like a million times that the original recipe would not change, my second favourite flavour would have to be Feisty Cherry. It reminds me of my sister. She is feisty!
You strike me as feisty too, no?
CO: You have NO idea how much feistier my sister is. It’s like, crazy!
Speaking of feisty, what is the secret to keeping your feed sarcastic and cheeky without being offensive?
CO: You know, I try to just look at each post before I post them and if I find that it is both funny and positive, they won’t be offensive. At the end of the day, I just try to be nice. And you can be humorous and cheeky at the same time as being nice.
That’s a great way to look at it. Kindness is key. There must be people who are not millennials who do not understand your job – like parents. What do you say to people when they ask what your long-term plan is?
CO: I get that all of the time! I try to explain to them that social media is not going away and I have branched out into a number of different streams to diversify. I have a podcast and I am on YouTube. I started this career by watching trends and being ahead of the curve and so long as I keep doing this, I will be okay.
Speaking of your podcast and YouTube channel, what, if any, is the next medium that you plan to dive into? Any television or film in your future?
CO: Well I have been on a couple of television programs lately and I just signed with CAA to represent me so there will for sure be other avenues that I will continue to explore.
As someone who is highly scheduled – what are some habits/rituals that highly scheduled people should have or know about?
CO: Hmmm… well, I watch a lot of TV. I literally watch everything and if I don’t have my TV programmed to PVR, there is NO way that I will be able to catch up. So, my advice to people is to keep their PVR organized because it will literally change your life.
I would never have thought of that – that is awesome advice! What is the best advice you have ever received?
CO: Definitely to be nice to everyone. Because when you think about it, would you ever want to work with someone who is not nice? Like, no one will want to be around you or work with you so you should always be nice and it will get you so much farther.
And last – and most important – question. Now that you have been to Canada, how would you describe it?
CO: I was shocked that Canada was so cool! Like, it felt like a smaller New York and it was a great place to be. Everyone was nice and we had so much fun. And now I know your anthem so well.
Mind singing it again for me? I’d love a little refresher!
CO: “Oh Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command! Oh, Canada, we stand on guard for thee. Oh, Canada, we stand on guard for thee!”
**This article was sponsored by Diet Coke
This interview has been edited for length.