WORDS Angela Cowan X Photography Lia Crowe
Deespite having more than two decades’ experience behind and in front of the camera, Kristina Matisic is constantly on the lookout for ways to strengthen her skills and stretch beyond her comfort zone.
“In the last few years, I’ve been taking a lot of improv classes,” she says. “I’m always preaching improv to everyone, because it teaches so many valuable skills. It’s scary, but it’s served me very well in my life. There’s nothing scarier than getting up on stage and not knowing what’s going to happen.
“It’s made auditioning much less scary!” she adds with a laugh.
The long-time Kits resident is probably best known for creating and co-hosting The Shopping Bags with Anna Wallner, which ran for seven seasons. Their second show, Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag, was the first Canadian show to be picked up to help launch the Oprah Winfrey Network. Several more shows followed, with Kristina in producing and acting roles, but in 2014, she decided it was time to reinvent.
“We had a great run, but it was time to see what I was going to do for the next 20 years of my life,” she says.
Launching public relations firm Kristina Matisic Creative was a natural next step, and now she works with clients, creating content, offering media training, managing brands and more, while keeping one foot in the media world. With the new shape of the world, Kristina’s had to think on her feet more than ever.
“Things changed drastically in the beginning [of COVID-19],” she says. “Now we’re rolling again, but it’s changed how we work. It’s really a time to be creative in this industry.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Michael Connelly. He’s one of my favourite crime writers. I’d love to experience his creativity and understand where his ideas come from, how he structures his stories (does he know the ending before he starts?) and to learn more about his writing process.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
I’m going to have to say pizza, which I already do eat over and over again (although it needs to be thin crust). So many topping possibilities, it’s hard to tire of it. But good old pepperoni is still my favourite. In second place is ice cream. I want to eat it every day but have to stop myself.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Travel, 100 per cent. (Assuming it was safe to do so.) I’d take a year or two sabbatical and travel to all the places on my bucket list, and do it in style, of course! Three of the top places on my list are Istanbul, Buenos Aires and Bali. With a cool million, I’d also rent a fabulous apartment in Paris along the way and live there for two months.
People who chew with their mouths open. I haven’t been able to stand that since I was a little kid.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
One of my favourite places to do nothing (aside from my couch) is Baska, Croatia. It’s a small town on the island of Krk. We have an old place there that’s been in the family for 300 years. I usually go every summer but have been unable this year, for obvious reasons.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
My resiliency, my tenacity and my ability to reinvent myself. I’ve had three major career changes in my life: from reporter/newscaster to TV producer and host, and now public relations consultant. I’m not afraid of change, and I don’t give up easily.
What makes your heart beat faster?
Getting the part. I audition for small roles in locally shot TV shows and movies (usually to play reporters and anchors) and for commercials. It’s a lot of preparation and a lot of rejection. A lot! But when you get the part? Best feeling!