[W]alking into the green room at Corus Entertainment’s Harbour Front make-up brushes, hairspray containers and jars of foundations and creams are spread out along the long table set under a wall length mirror with bright lights around it.
Josie Dye’s red-haired stylist, Agata Kubara, is skilfully and quickly teasing and curling her blonde hair before dousing it in a cloud of hairspray while Dye types on her Blackberry.
Flashing a big smile as I walked in, she said “Hi, how are you?” before describing her busy day. “I haven’t even eaten yet. I’m not even dressed yet,” said Dye.
Dye is well known in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area as the host of her own show on 102.1 The Edge, one of Toronto’s biggest rock music stations and one of the hosts of Cosmopolitan Television’s hit show Oh So Cosmo.
“TV and radio is hectic. I don’t rush anymore,” said Dye. “I’ve learned people want to rush you but you’ve got to just take some breaths and do what you have to do.”
Dye got to the Corus Entertainment building at 8am to do her weekday radio station and wasn’t scheduled to finish filming for Oh So Cosmo until 7pm.
After working at the edge for several years, Dye auditioned for the spot on Oh So Cosmo and thanks to experience in front of the camera from doing commercials in her younger years, she got the job.
Dye graduated from Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program class of 2001 and interned at well-known radio station MIX 99.9 before landing her current jobs.
“It’s great for people that want a career in Radio and Television. It gives you a lot of hands-on experience which is the best kind you can get.” Dye said of Ryerson’s RTA program.
The Ryerson Radio and Television Arts program provides a realistic experience of working in the radio or television industries. If you do well in the program, you’ll do well on radio or television and if you struggle, the industry might not be for you said Dye.
Two floors up in the open concept work office for CosmoTV, there are racks of clothing, magazines, props and shopping bags placed throughout the main section. The office area is quiet, as the camera operator, Kal Panchal, films four women improvising a conversation to prelude one of Dye’s segments, Bitch It Out.
Nicole Bergot, the producer and director of Oh So Cosmo, is planning the shots for Dye’s upcoming segment near a big red club chair when Dye and her stylist Kubara walked in. Dye got right to work reading the script for the Bitch it Out segment with Bergot and practising to get the inflection right.
After Panchel got his camera equipment prepared, Dye, Kubara, Bergot and an Oh So Cosmo intern walked to a different section of the office to film. When Panchel motioned for Dye to start, she came alive. “You hear that? That’s the sound of a million women bitching. What are they bitching about? Men,” Dye said.
A few co-workers who were working at their computers were asked to participate in the filming by looking at Dye as she walked by. After just four takes and minor changes, the group moved on to a different section to continue filming the segment.
They walked onto the large glass atrium of the Corus Entertainment building, Lake Ontario glistening through the glass walls of the building.
Dye went through the script for the segment, memorizing each section scene by scene. Occasionally, in between takes, Kubara would touch up Dye’s make-up or cover a section of her hair with more hairspray to keep her look fresh as the day went on.
By far, the most difficult section to memorize was a part towards the end with several long and complicated sentences.
Leaning on a cubicle wall, Dye recited the lines slowly, getting the hang of the long string of words and repeating it like a chant. While, Dye’s memorizing the lines Bergot and Panchel planned the direction of the scene.
After a few takes and only one perfect one, they moved on because Dye didn’t think she would be able to get the line perfect again.
Moving on to the last section of the script, Dye sat down at a desk and put her feet up. “Have we emasculated them to the point of no return?” Dye asked theatrically. “Sorry, too much acting,” she apologized before saying the sentence again, this time a bit more casually.
After finishing the Bitch It Out section, the crew packed up to move on to another location for another segment. From there, Dye and the rest of the crew left to go to Yonge and Sheppard streets to film Josie learning to DJ.
Every day is a learning experience in this industry said Dye. “I’ve learned that [jumping on a trampoline] is a good workout, about getting over fears… oh god, I’ve learned so much. The list goes on and on,” said Dye.
Throughout the day, Dye further honed her on-camera techniques, which is a life-long process. Dye said that in the television industry it’s about “trying to make yourself better. It’s a growing process. You can see your progress and how much you’ve grown.”
“It’s good to learn on a lower budget show to start because you’re doing a lot of the work so that when you’re on a bigger show, you’ve been the PA, you’ve been the on-air person, you know what to do,” Dye explained.
“I’ve been doing this for five years and I’m still learning. Learning different things is one of the best parts of the job,” said Dye before grabbing tea from the cafe, La Prep, to continue another “hectic” day in the life of Josie Dye.