Today’s Notable Young Professional is Vancouver-based TV host and producer Natalie Langston, one of the city’s most recognizable faces in the world of entertainment, lifestyle and events. You’ll want to read on to find out where she sees herself in five years…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
If you have Novus TV, you’ll see me on channel 4 hosting their most popular show, “City Lights,” an entertainment, lifestyle and events-based look at the city of Vancouver. I thrive on chasing down the next story and bringing out the lighter side with a flare for entertainment news. I get a natural high from finishing a fantastic interview and producing all my own stories and content that give me the creative control and challenge I crave. When I’m not covering the hottest events, hitting a red carpet or interviewing celebrities and industry professionals, I bust out a pony and kicks covering the latest and greatest fitness fads and fashions that really work with quick and simple workouts on the go.
Why did you start working at your company?
Right out of high school I worked at CFTK TV in Northern BC, where I was put to the challenge and thrown into on-location interviews, some weather and a few desk reads. It was there I realized in myself that lifestyle, entertainment and health was a fit for me over hard-hitting news stories, and the fast-paced environment gave me such a rush that I was instantly hooked.
While I was in my first year at BCIT in 2009 I juggled working on camera with Novus TV and an internship at Global BC, where I was lucky enough to work with someone I admire greatly, Global’s Sports Anchor, Squire Barnes, during the 2010 Olympic Games. I loved being amongst all the Olympic fever, on set at interviews, frantically researching athletes bio on our way to the next interview, and cutting together commercials, promos, and content with some of the best editors in the biz before going to air every night. I can say that what I have cultivated of my interview style has come from him.
From there I met ET Canada’s Erin Cebula, who took me on some of the first and most high-profile entertainment shoots I had ever been exposed to and led the way to an internship with Entertainment Tonight Canada. All of these experiences prepared me to take on what I have and make career decisions I never saw coming.
I have been working at Novus TV for the past five and a half years now and am proud to say I am the youngest and now longest working host at the network. I have many projects on the horizon, including a new weekly column in the Westender called “Fitness on the Run,” which launched this Thursday, October 2nd, where we take on the latest fitness fads, fashions and quick and simple workouts for people like myself who are constantly on the go.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day would be after finishing a fantastic interview or nailing a page of links on camera that give me an intense natural high, knowing all the research, hard work and memorization totally paid off. I’m so grateful to be doing what I love. There’s something special about being in a room with the people you are interviewing to discuss their work, art or passions while eliciting so many different emotions from funny, to serious, to strange, to emotional. I love bringing that out in some of the most successful and creative individuals this world has to offer.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
When I’m a little fried and brain dead I hit the gym and sweat it out. It clears my head and I refocus myself. When I’m extremely exhausted, rundown and have no time for my friends or family, that’s when I know something is really off and I need to take a day’s break to reconnect with the people that matter most to me. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the rat race, hustling and focusing on what’s next instead of what’s right in front of me.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
A national brand with international reach. Network, cable and streaming syndication. Lifestyle, health and fitness focused.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Not to let people get me down or let other people’s opinions affect me negatively. My circle has become more selective over the years and I have cultivated a group of friends I am so proud of that allow me to feel great about myself, lift me up and support and congratulate my successes, which in turn silences all the negative chatter!
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me is happiness. Money is an added bonus when you wake up in the morning so blessed to be doing what you love.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
One of my career highlights has to be interviewing Stan Lee at the 2012 Fan Expo in Toronto. I’m a huge fan and I was lucky to get the only interview of any media outlet over the entire expo. We just had a conversation that flowed and felt so natural, like we had been friends for years. He is such a pro in every way and when I sat down with him I could instantly pick up his genuine, kind nature and his charismatic charm.
Now to find a way to collaborate with him…
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Keep at it, stay focused, diversify yourself, and work hard. When you think you are working hard, work harder – that would be my advice. And gain as much experience as you can in all realms of this industry. I find only then that you can really accumulate an appreciation for every single person you work with that make up your team. Every production is a team effort; you certainly can’t do it alone. And keep in mind there is always an opportunity to network. You never know when you’ll meet that right person with the right job opportunity for your skill set. Timing is everything!
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Chambar hands down is my new favourite place to wine and dine in Vancouver. There is such a great atmosphere and vibe that this spot has and there is an intimacy about it that makes you feel like you’re amongst friends at home. When I’m in Toronto I always hit up Terroni on Queen – the food is amazing – and Hemingway’s in Yorkville, with the only year-round patio that is still hoppin’ during the freezing cold winter months!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “me” time?
At home with my PJs on and hair up. Sleep is my “me” time!
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
That’s easy: Montreal – the culture, the people, the food, the fashion, the nightlife. That city is incredibly alive and absolutely stunning. I fall in love with the architecture and the culture every time I’m there. Dressing for the market on a Sunday is an occasion and I’m very drawn to that. The only downside is the shopping is unbelievably fabulous, so I spend way too much when I’m there.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Spice Up Your Life – The Spice Girls
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
That’s a good question. I can’t imagine not reporting and being in front of a camera. I imagine I would be pursuing my dance career. I started at the age of three and I was an accomplished professional dancer for many years. Being in front of an audience is a part of me and performing is an innate passion.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I like to volunteer my time with Dress for Success Vancouver, a Canadian charity that helps empower women in to the workforce. The feeling I get once we outfit a woman for an interview or her first week in her new career path is unlike no other. I am proud to say I work with such an amazing organization.
I’m also a member of the Vancouver Opera Young Patrons Society and I support the Ladies Who Lunch Network, a global premier business and social networking group for female entrepreneurs. I am working towards a partnership with the SPCA and the Big Love Ball as well. Giving back gives me a sense of purpose and it feels amazing to help and shed light on those in need.
What to you is notable?
Notable to me is drive, diligence, composure, integrity and compassion with a versatility to achieve and live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I strive every day to exhibit these qualities, to constantly diversify and carry out what I preach. Carving out your own path in this business takes strength and determination that are admirable and notable to me.
BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
It took me a while to convert from the BlackBerry as I loved having a keyboard for writing shoot schedules, but the iPhone apps are great for my always buzzing brain!