I applied to be a Toronto Star journalist

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Toronto Star application

On Tuesday night, as you can see in the above screen grab of the confirmation message, I applied to be an Entertainment Reporter at The Toronto Star. That could be the end of this blog post. It probably SHOULD be the end of this blog post. But for some reason I’ve decided to tell you how two beautiful girls drove me to submit the application. So if you’re interested in that, read on. Or you could skip ahead to the end, where I paste in the letter I wrote to the Star. Up to you. It depends on how much you enjoy hearing about how my brain works. Or if you’re my mom. Actually, my mom is probably done reading at this point too. But anyway, if only for my own catharsis, here we go:

On Tuesday evening, I walked over to Ginger to get my new regular meal of a bowl of hot and sour tofu soup, mango salad and veggie spring roll. But because the soup has white rice noodles, I still felt lacking in actual nutrients. So afterward, I went next door to Daily Press Juicerythe new cold-pressed juice place that I’ve been frequenting lately. After I took a little taster cup of each flavour, I resigned myself to grabbing a bottle of the greenest one, which apparently is the equivalent of 3 salads, and pretty much tastes like it. Ok, ok. It’s fine tasting. It just doesn’t have the lovely sweetness of a fruit juice, you know?

ANYway… I walked my bottle toward the cash register, and there were two girls ahead of me, talking to the cashier guy. They were deliberating on what juices to buy or something. These girls were stunning. They were both wearing those long, skin-tight dresses that seem to be all the rage this summer. Almost like a waffle fabric, you know? I didn’t pay much attention to them, because they were so far out of my league that my brain was automatically shutting down any thoughts of me ever being friends with them, because imagining such a scenario would be a waste of brain energy.

Eventually, the girls moved over to the side a bit while they were still thinking, so I stepped up to pay for my juice. One of the girls was talking about how she does juice cleanses. Somehow this overrode the “don’t bother” part of my brain, because I’m actually interested in trying a juice cleanse, so I asked if she got hungry during the cleanse. We had a little discussion where one of the girls said she got hungry and the other girl said it wasn’t too bad but after 2 days she got hungry, and one of them told me about how her skin cleared up. I asked if they had gotten their juice cleanses at this place, and they said: “No, we go to Western, so we got them in London.” Now, for those of you who don’t know, Western is known for being the Ontario university with the beautiful people. This is probably why I didn’t go there for school. But anyway, the fact that they go there made sense. And the revelation that they are currently in university (I’m guessing they aren’t professors. More likely they are cheerleaders.) made me realize that they weren’t just way out of my league, they were way out of my generation. But, in my head, I still feel like a young guy. Not that these girls would have dated me even if I were their age. But whatever. I like making new friends. So I left them to make their purchase and I sat down at a table to drink my juice. I could have left and drank my juice while walking. But I wanted to sit there to allow for the tiny possibility that they would join me. They bought a bunch of juices – Maybe they were doing a cleanse – And I heard them ask the cashier if the bottles could be left out of the fridge for a while, because they were going to a movie. As they walked out, they turned to me and said: “Bye!”

Now, the original conversation I had with them at the cash had gone on far longer than I could have dreamed. But this voluntary “Bye” they gave me was the clincher. At the cash, they kind of had to talk to me, because I was standing there. But on their way out, they had no obligation. In fact, I was kind of keeping my head down so they wouldn’t feel pressured to say anything. But on their own, they turned and smiled and perkily said: “Bye!” You know how in that movie In The Line Of Fire, when Clint Eastwood was sitting on the steps of the Abraham Lincoln memorial, and Renée Russo is walking away, and Clint says to himself, “If she looks back, she likes me.” And then after walking away for a while, she turns back to give a quick smile, and he smiles knowingly to himself. Yah, it was kind of like that.

But, ok, let’s get back to the real world for a second. How could any of this have meant anything at all? Weren’t the girls just being polite to me, the funny-looking old man in the juice place? Here, I’ll let you in on a secret: In reality, when an exceptionally pretty girl talks to an exceptionally regular guy like myself, she’s probably just being nice. But the guy will always wonder if maybe… Just maybe… She actually “likes” him. So I sat there, wondering. The cashier guy came and chatted with me about juices for a while. He told me how they started the store. I asked about the legal regulations surrounding dealing with food. But my mind was elsewhere. Finally, he went back to his cash. And I sat there wondering if I should have given the girls my business card, or if I should have taken a selfie with them and asked them to add me to Facebook. Maybe the 3 of us could have been best friends. Maybe one of them would have married me. Maybe they both would have married me. This is what happens to my brain when pretty girls talk to me. I was regretting that I would never see them again. That I would never know what could have been.

Then I remembered they were going to a movie.

I picked up the rest of my juice and headed to the movie theatre. I know, this is insane. But, the movie theatre was on my way home anyway. Scotiabank Theatre was, anyway. For some reason I had been picturing them going to Dundas Square, in the other direction. But Scotiabank was closer, so that made more sense. I’m not sure what my plan was, but I decided to head up the escalator at the theatre. Then I walked a circle around the popcorn counter. In case I saw them somewhere. I hadn’t thought any further ahead then that. I don’t think I would have even said anything to them if I’d seen them. But it didn’t matter, because of course I didn’t see them.

So I gave up and continued home. But for the remaining two blocks to my condo, I stewed about what could have been. And I grew sad about my life. “Why am I not a rich, famous Hollywood star who every girl wants to talk to? Bradley Cooper’s dating a younger supermodel. Sean Penn dated Scarlett Johansson.”

I felt the same hollowness I felt last year when I was on a plane to Israel one seat ahead of Bar Rafaeli (a supermodel who used to date Leonardo DiCaprio). Just before the plane took off, my friend Tony mentioned on my Bar Rafaeli selfie on Facebook that Bar had been on the Howard Stern Show recently. (The story continues after this selfie.)

 

And so I lay there in my Air Canada Business Class “pod” for 12 hours, unable to sleep because I was yearning to have my own radio show so I could ask her to be on my show. I swore that when I got back to Canada, I’d turn my life into something extra special. So when I got back, I called Humble Howard, whose radio show I’d been on a lot, and asked him how to create my own show. He said it would be hard to make any money and it was hard for even him to get listeners and he’s a known name and he didn’t think it was a good idea for me. And that was that.

So now, here I was this past Tuesday, back at my condo, again feeling like I needed to take a step to live my dream of entertaining the world. I needed to channel my angst at the loss of another completely imaginary relationship into some kind of creative project. Then I remembered that sitting in my inbox for the past week or two were several emails from LinkedIn with “job openings that might interest me”, one of those jobs being Entertainment Reporter for The Toronto Star. The time was now. I clicked on the link and quickly banged out an application letter. Maybe I should have spent days crafting the letter to make it so hilarious that it would go viral. But I needed to take immediate action to improve my life. So I clicked send. And that, dear reader, is the point of this post. And perhaps it is also the point of life. I don’t know what I mean by that, but it sounds profound, and I need a pithy way to end this post. Now, here’s the letter I sent to the Toronto Star:

Hi! I’m not a traditional “journalist”. But – and not to sound too Liam Neeson about it – I have a particular set of skills that you may find interesting.

First, I’m an excellent writer, as evidenced by my copywriting and screenwriting awards. I wrote a couple of comedic columns for Strategy Magazine and I wrote some personal tales for The Ottawa Citizen.

But I’m also passionate about being on air. I’ve hosted on Newstalk 1010, filling in for Jim Richards. I’ve told stories on CBC’s DNTO. I starred on Come Date With Me Canada and Judge Karen’s Court. I’ve been a personality on Humble & Fred Radio and the “guy expert” on What She Said Radio.

I hosted an eco beauty product review show with journalist Vanessa Farquharson:

http://www.youtube.com/GoodReportTV

I ran for MPP, Mayor (for which I got 201 votes, only 1 of which was mine), and will soon run for MP.

My eco, comedic and political exploits have been covered in the press, including twice by The Toronto Star:

http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2009/08/22/josh_rachlis_inconvenient_habit.html

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto-man-composes-youtube-ode-to-elizabeth-may

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/10/03/the_candidate_with_the_singing_campaign_flyer.html

My Facebook, Instagram and YouTube videos are very popular. My CNN iReport page – http://ireport.cnn.com/people/JoshRachlis – has lots of views and got me messaged by the producers, who love my work. And I used that platform to ask a question of Seth Rogen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGV1mdUNXFQ

I’m a graduate of the Second City Conservatory, so I’m great on my feet. I love interviewing people. I have a passion for the world of creativity and entertainment. And I would love to cover the Entertainment beat for you.

I’ve done my own little stealth entertainment reporting. For instance, I tried to serve dessert to Jessica Chastain after I talked my way into a swanky TIFF party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK52MqwQrlc. But I’m sure I’d have better luck with a Toronto Star badge.

Let me go out on your behalf to get stories about celebrities with my mic and my iPhone. You’d have epic content for your website. And I could also put my adventures and interviews into writing form for you. Which I guess is called “writing”, if I want to be succinct about it.

I’d also love to cover Lifestyle stories for you. The whole world fascinates me, and I know I can find the funny and interesting in any topic. But, first and foremost, if you give me a chance to talk to Jessica Chastain again, I know I can get a good quote from her about pastry.

Sincerely,

Josh Rachlis

Toronto Star Entertainment Reporter

(Ok, I just wanted to see what my name looks like with that title under it. Turns out it looks good.)

 

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