Press and The City

An average day in the life of an entertainment publicist is filled with stressful emails and phone calls w/ eager filmmakers, anxious clients and busy journalists on binding deadlines. It usually begins w/ coffee and ends with a glass of wine.

An average press day usually begins with an actor or actress followed by a full day of media interviews and ends with a full bottle of wine.

This day was the latter.

After months of working the PR campaign for the independent film, Medeas, starring Oscar nominee, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), the press day has finally arrived. It’s Friday, January 16, 2015 and Catalina is in NYC for one day, without an entourage of managers, agents or handlers – it is just Catalina and myself on one eventful journey together.

9:00am – We met at a Paul Fox hair salon in Soho w/ my go-to stylist, Jessica. I quickly brief Catalina on the media schedule and prep her for each interview. Our brief intro gets derailed quickly with my rant about allergies, hospitals, crazy dreams and I realize I’ve slightly scared her so I rush us out for our first interview.

10:15am – Coffee in hand we hop into a cab heading mid-town for our Fox News Latino segment. In the taxi, I am tweeting, texting and emailing, while telling Catalina about my trip to her native country, Colombia. We chat about her roles in Medeas and A Most Violent Year, the lack of strong roles for women in Hollywood and the Oscar snubs, in which she expressed how Oscar Isaac deserved a nomination for his role in A Most Violent Year. A blissful conversation until, “Here we are!” shouts the driver.

10:40am – Walking in, the producer immediately whisks us onto the set. She’s in the chair and cameras roll, I tweet and briefly chat w/ another journalist. Before you know it, she is done and everyone wants photos. On our way out she asks me for hand lotion and laughs when I hand her Benadryl cream. “Okay let’s go, Catalina!”

11:10am – “Taxi!” We head all the way downtown to the NY Daily News office for our next meeting. This time our taxi cab confessions featured family life, home-remedies for colds, NYC lifestyle, LA life, culture, movies and more movies. She briefly chats about her role in TV’s “Falling Skies” as she’s still filming her 3rd season and I express my excitement for her upcoming role in The Godmother with Catherine Zeta Jones. She offers me gum – I decline because I’m allergic, she chuckles.

11:40am – We arrive, the journalist is ready and they take her into a quick photo shoot while I get briefed on the video segment and interview location. Everyone makes sure Catalina feels comfortable in the newsroom and we begin right in front of the TVs. I look at the time and “we gotta go!” I tell the video producer to, “look out for the film clip!” as we run out the door to hail another cab back towards mid-town.

12:20pm – Traffic! Catalina takes a phone interview in the cab w/ New York Magazine blog ‘Bedford and Bowery’ to discuss her role in Medeas. They chat about the film, Oscars, the east village, her upcoming roles and we hop out to the next one.

1:10pm –We are late but luckily the editor from El Diario has been patiently waiting for us at the NYWIFT office and they go right into the interview. I quickly catch up on some emails, send out the film clips, take more photos and tweet, tweet, tweet.

1:20pm – Behind schedule, I call our next journalist and push the interview 15 more min. I pop my head into Duana’s office (NYWIFT’s program coordinator), “Can you believe the Oscar snubs?” “Where is the diversity? Where are the women?” We ranted in the office for a little bit and then I check the clock, “Time for the next one!”

1:35pm – The editor is out the door and I connect our next interview. We take photos and tweet while Lee Hernandez also asks Catalina about the Oscar snubs (insert link here). After the interview, we take photos at NYWIFT, tell everyone to “come to the opening with a special Q&A tonight!” and run out the door.

1:55pm – Phew! We’re on time for our interview w/ Arise TV 360 “okay, we are on!” shouts the producer. We rush onto the set and see photos of Medeas are beautifully displayed all across the wall. She goes on and I take photos while chatting w/ the producer about another upcoming segment, “How about the lack of women in the industry?” I asked. “Yes!” The producer is excited. #Awesome.

2:45pm – One more interview to go. “Let’s get soup” I blurted, Catalina agrees. As a New Yorker, I make a dash across the street like “frogger” when all of the sudden, I hear cars honking, “Oh my god, Margarita, I trusted you!” I almost killed our star. “Sorry, Catalina!” I shouted back while I kept running.

3:00pm – I push our last interview back a half hour so she can eat and get over the trauma I just caused. She hands me an apple and she politely says, “How are you not dead from all your allergies?” We burst into laughter. She takes a call from the Director, Andrea Pallaoro, while I chat with the studio about tonight’s Q&A agenda. I show her the day’s photos, “send me those, please” she says with glee. The phone rings.

3:30pm –Catalina takes her last interview with Disc Dish. They chat about the film, her career and favorite moments, while I tend to email, twitter, facebook, vine, instagram and my soup gets cold but I get the text I’ve been waiting for, “what time are drinks?”

3:50pm — The interview is over, the media tour has ended and now it’s time to part ways. “It was so lovely to meet you, Catalina, I hope today wasn’t too painful.” Catalina smiles, gives me a hug, assures me it was not so bad and jumps for a taxi. Hmmm.

4:15pm – Heading back to the office, I reflect with thoughts in my head: ‘Catalina was so professional and lovely.’ ‘The only drama queen around here is me.’ ‘I only traumatized her twice.’

5:00pm — The day ends with more social media, a left over sandwich in my purse and a bottle of wine waiting at my friend’s house. Aaaaah, it’s all over in a New York minute.

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