‘Q’ hosts Tom Power on ‘Just Chatting’ with celebrities IG News

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Meeting the man behind the sound of your daily commute in Toronto is a surreal experience.

Tom Power, host of CBC’s wildly popular “Q,” sounds just as velvety when interviewing megacelebrities on the radio as he does on the air. On Zoom with a subtle Newfoundland accent, Power seemed right at home in the recording studio as we talked, waving to CBC staffers as they passed by the office. In seconds, it became clear: The friendliness we hear from him on “Q” is not an act.

We have something in common, I told him. The two of us interviewed “Friends” star Matthew Perry last year. Power liked his book and liked interviewing him even more; With a grin, he joked that I should post Perry’s phone number on Reddit to make a few bucks.

Interviewing an interviewer is both a relief and a unique challenge – we are both aware that the best interviews come from organic conversation rather than a candid, question-and-answer style conversation.

“I remember talking to Michael J. Fox and instead of feeling like I was interrogating him… I just let myself laugh and laugh with him,” Power said.

“Maybe it’s all internal, in my mind, in my mind, but around that time … people started talking about the kind of interviews we were doing. They were. They were richer. They were emotional, real at times, and we were often just talking.”

“Q” viewers quickly saw Power’s talent for interviewing, and so did CBC executives. Soon, networks implemented changes to shows to fit the changing media habits of listeners.

“Q” is still a radio show and will remain in its normal 10 a.m. time slot on CBC Radio One, which Power has called up while traveling around the country meeting more listeners, but the weekday morning show has been discontinued. as the first podcast, with a greater focus on in-depth, intimate interviews. The podcast will stream on CBC Listen or wherever you get your podcasts.

“I’m told this is the first time a major daily radio show has gone podcast first,” Power said. “But it’s still a radio show! There’s also just a podcast that goes out every morning. Pretty exciting.”

An average day in the life of Power is busy — it’s no wonder. He is one of the more well-known faces of the Canadian media. But his schedule is also carefully balanced. “Q” explores the importance of mental wellness in his 2020 series, “Sound of Mind,” and Power attempts to develop habits that nurture his own well-being.

“I wake up, I meditate,” he said. “I’m a big proponent of meditation and mindfulness has been a big part of my life. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I prop myself up with a pillow on my back, meditating for 20 to 25 minutes. If If I don’t do that, it’s a worse day. (I was tickled when he said he also reads the Star’s First Up newsletter first thing every morning; it’s his favorite of the morning news stories.)

When Power arrives at the office on Front Street West, an average day can take many unexpected turns between pitch meetings, researching and drafting interview questions, and recording material for a show. Whereas Power used to use written notes as a “road map” for his interviews, he no longer does: he prefers when the conversation develops naturally.

He said, “I just want to be as present as possible.” “I don’t want to think about the next thing I’m going to ask… I have the luxury of just chatting and being quite intensely present with someone for about 30 or 40 minutes at a time. And then back to work.” Begins again.”

When the power shuts off early in the evening, he usually rides his peloton — “embarrassing, I know,” he laughed — before getting home from a little work.

There is also a new obsession with power, he said.

Snooker game.

“I really love snooker. I got into it during the pandemic. I go to the annex billiards hall and I just play snooker with a friend, or sometimes I just practice and it’s my job.” Nothing to do with it. I’m not very good at it.”

After a snooker session, Power gets a “restless six hours” of sleep and then starts the whole day. He also listens to a “tremendous” amount of music, and creates a monthly playlist to document his tastes at any given time.

“I think of it as a diary,” he said. “You go back to those months and you ask yourself, ‘I was listening to ‘California Dreamin’,’ I wonder why?’”

Power, a member of the award-winning folk group Dardanelles, also makes music whenever he can.

“Every Sunday in Toronto, I play a traditional music session with friends who have no interest in what I do for a living at best. We just play. It’s a huge part of my life.” part. I was a folk musician before, I’m still a folk musician, I still play traditional music. And I still have to do that,” he said.

“If I don’t get to play a little bit at the weekend, it’s not as good a week mentally.”

While his work can be stressful, Power recognizes the great value of “Q” as a springboard for the arts across Canada. This is perhaps one of the more personally rewarding parts of his role at CBC.

“Incredible things are being created right now. Incredible visual art, poetry. We have a responsibility as CBC to showcase those artists.

“I love it when someone comes up to me at a bar and tells me they heard a writer or actor or director or musician on ‘cue’ and they didn’t know about them before … and they immediately ( bought their art). Or when I talk to artists who say they got more Instagram followers, or sold more books or got more streams. It’s so meaningful.

And how to spend time with big names like Adele and Sarah Polley?

“The stuff they talk to me about is the same stuff everyone goes through. They’re insulated from feeling vulnerable, feeling insecure, feeling like they can’t get up in time … these artists share a lot with us because they Huh us,” he said.

“They’re not made of anything else. They’re not sprinkled with stardust that we don’t have… Sometimes I talk to artists and they express something I’ve felt too and it Blows my mind.

“And because of that, they deserve pity. And compassion. Like all human beings.

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