Online mavens Anastasia Tubanos and Marie Nicola, better known around the www as Nat & Marie, are content curators who eat, breathe and sleep in the digital realm. Their hit Wednesday night ‘Internet Aftershow’ was a trailblazing initiative, and the two buxom beauties work tirelessly to keep their audience informed of all things buzz and meme-worthy. Find out more about these web wonders and Huffington Post columnists in today’s YEDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Nat & Marie is a fun, interactive and unscripted live-stream talk show. Every Wednesday night at 9pm (EST) we stream around the world as an ‘Internet Aftershow.’ We definitely are the sassiest sweethearts to ever take a byte out of the world wide web – pretty sure no one will argue that. We do interviews with online cewebrities, have live music, do viral video competitions, find the coolest stuff online and check out trending topics all around the world. Our audience can talk to us live via Skype (username – NatandMarieSHOW) or via social stream (on Twitter, Facebook, etc.). It’s a good time!
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Marie: We started it because we have a genuine love for online media and the tenacity to make our own project happen. In the realm of online start-ups, going out there with a live-streaming online talk show was a pretty bold move. No one was doing it – well, not like we were – and being the first definitely had appeal, as did producing an interactive show exclusively for the web.
Nat: Agreed, it definitely spawned from our love for the internet’s randomness and the booming growth of the online medium. As well as the desire to create a product that was cutting edge and daring, something I personally find the industry in Canada tends to shy away from (though it’s been getting better). Although we came from different backgrounds (me coming from a broadcast journalism background having launched 10 online video series, and Marie being a brilliantly innovative marketer and having hosted one of Canada’s most popular web shows), our experiences and passion for the digital media space organically evolved into this concept that enabled us to curate the newest/funniest/most random/newsworthiest gems from the web and share it with our friends (and the world!) We’re both researching fiends, communicators and fans of the theatrical, which is why launching a live video broadcast was really the most logical solution for us.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Marie: The most challenging part…wow, it’s all pretty challenging since everything’s new. But, my latest challenge is getting folks to tune into us first because we tirelessly source content and, proudly, we aggregate a lot of it first. Everyone has their own entertainment mix online and it’s understanding those patterns to try and make Nat & Marie apart of that mix. So when it comes to the best part, for me (besides sitting on that couch with Nat every Wednesday) is seeing the discussion about our show carrying on after airing. When our audience talks about segments, RTs us, or shares content that we post online, that makes it for me. Life is good in those moments.
Nat: Best part? Doing the show live with Marie every Wednesday. When that record light finally comes on and it’s time to blab about everything we’ve lined up that week, it’s the most satisfying feeling in the world. Chase producing the guests and musical acts comes as a pretty close second though; chase producing has always been one of my favourite things to do and the guests add such a richness and spontaneity to the show. Most challenging for me? Doing the show without a cocktail.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Marie: Why worry about tomorrow? Let’s live in the now and do the best we can so we can have no regrets later. If we do things right, then we’ll be the definitive online pundits for online entertainment and culture. Nat, what do you think?
Nat: What Marie is really saying is she doesn’t want to give away all the details of our steps towards global domination. In all seriousness, I’ve got to agree with her. Marie and I have a pretty expansive and ambitious vision for how we’ll permeate cross-platform with various extensions of our brand. But most important is to do the best we can in the present and love every minute of it. Our genuineness has opened more doors and opportunities for us than we ever anticipated, so I say, let’s stick with it, Marie!
What does success look like to you?
Marie: I imagine people who are truly successful wake up happy every day. That feeling after something really wonderful happened and you wake up in the morning and you remember it. Well imagine that feeling, repeated every day.
Nat: Success to me is waking up every day genuinely excited for working on something you’re passionate about and are invested in. Success is having a product that people are buzzing about and a legacy when you’re gone. Success is doing something you love and making a livable income off of it. And success is doing all of this and still balancing time for yourself and your other passions.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Marie: Ask anyone I grew up with or my family and they’ll tell you it was George Stroumboulopoulos coming on our show. Without a doubt. I never considered being a presenter before I saw him on MuchMusic and now look. For me, he legitimized the long hours, hard work, personal sacrifices and going against the grain to produce an online show.
Nat: I’ve been fortunate to have a few memorable milestones in my career I’m quite proud of. But within the era of Nat & Marie, I’m going to have to agree with Marie: George Stroumboulopoulos coming onto the show was pretty epic.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Marie: Just do it. If you want something, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible. The only person who can stop you from doing anything is you. So ignore the haters, cut loose the drama, focus on your own stuff and get ‘er done!
Nat: Yup, that’s pretty much it. If you are passionate about it and have the tenacity to make it happen, then go for it. You don’t need to wait for someone to give you the opportunity if you have the means to make your dreams a reality on your own. I also find a trusted peer-to-peer network to share your lessons/successes with, as well as more seasoned professionals offering mentorship and guidance doesn’t hurt.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Marie: Kind of can’t wait until we can do more. We’ve sponsored Twestival, wore ‘staches for Movember, and we’ve done a lot with Red Cross Canada including having them on the show. Charitable work is so important, I used to be a full-time fundraiser in arts and culture, so giving back is embedded in my psyche.
Nat: Marie pretty much covered it. We’ve had the opportunity to partner with some great causes (Twestival and Red Cross were definitely memorable episodes) and I can’t wait to wear a ‘stache again for our Movember episode this year. I’ve also been a judge for the Mississauga Independent Film Festival for the last two years, an organization that helps independent filmmakers learn the business side of “Show Business” and provides a forum for independent Canadian filmmakers to showcase and celebrate their work.
What is Notable to you?
Marie: I think our entire team is Notable. Honestly, Matt, Rob, James, Tanya, Tim and Camille do so much for every show and they are always there when we need them. They come up with new ideas and really just make sure the show is on track.
Nat: With an answer like that, can I really get away with saying anything other? Ditto.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Marie: Blackberry…but I tell you I have such a love/hate relationship with it right now.
Nat: iPhone all the way. I just traded my iPhone 3 for the new iPhone 4S and I am so enamoured by it. Plus, I’m an uberfan of Instagram, and it’s just so much faster with my new iPhone!
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Marie: Ride my bike to the office and do yoga in the studio on Mondays. If anyone wants to join us, they’re welcome to – no joke. Our instructor is amazing!
Nat: High-intensity interval training hurts so good, swimming balances it out, and going out for a night of dancing with the girls always keeps me energized (and rather sassy, I might add).