Unless you work in “the biz,” chances are you haven’t heard of Amira de Vera. That’s because it’s her job to make sure you do know about the people you have heard of. Being a publicist means being the one in the background, pulling the strings and making things happen in the entertainment industry. And that’s exactly what makes Amira one of the Women We Love. She works harder than 90% of the people I know, and she does it all with limitless energy, a big smile, and a great pair of shoes.
Amira has also recently joined the ranks of the blogging world with http://www.amiradevera.com, her own lifestyle and fun stuff blog highlighting entertainment and Toronto living. Check it out.
How did you get started on your current career track?
It’s funny because I actually fell into my career by accident. I was living in Ottawa right after I graduated university and I was working part time job after part time job and I didn’t really like any of them. It was then I realized that I didn’t want that kind of life. I wanted to wake up everyday and be excited for work. So I packed up my bags and made the decision to move to Toronto. When I got there, I literally printed out a hundred resumes and applied to as many jobs as I could. Of course I had some sort of direction, I knew I wanted to work within the fashion, event planning or entertainment industry. So when the opportunity to volunteer during Fashion Week came about, I took it. It was there where I ended up meeting a publicist who owned their own PR company. I interned for her and realized this was my calling, and I haven’t looked back since.
What gives you the most satisfaction about being a publicist?
One of the things I value most about my career is the ability to showcase one’s talent/gift to the whole world. Our jobs as publicists is to tell people’s story through a powerful channel, the media and when I get to do that for someone’s work that I truly 100 percent support and believe in, it is very gratifying. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing someone who has done great work within their field and having people know about it.
I have always had a great support system around me and they constantly motivate me to do better. My clients motivate me as well and inspire me to do great work. It’s always a win-win situation in my line of work because when they’re happy, I’m happy… when they look good, then I look good too.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
It’s over said but work hard and remain humble. There are so many people that only see the outside of what I do as a publicist. They see the glamour of the parties, the photo shoots and so forth, but behind all that is a lot of hours of preparation, a lot of hard work. Sure, my job does have its perks but you have to be able to remind yourself that you’re there to work first and foremost and that it’s not about you but your clients who you represent. It is also easy to get lost in all the glitz, so remaining true to yourself and who you are is important. I also believe in remembering to have fun. Sure there’s a lot of demand, but I always remind myself of how lucky I am to be doing what I do, so I enjoy every single moment of it.
If you weren’t doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
I am a big movie and television person, so I definitely see myself working within the film & TV industry. I also love planning events and parties, so something in the event planning business would be a ton of fun!
Definitely his intelligence, sense of humour and his ability to carry on a conversation. That’s very important to me. In terms of looks, I always notice their smile, their eyes and their arms.
What gets you interested?
If they are very personable and are genuinely interested in speaking with me, then I’m definitely all ears. It’s not just about the flirting, but if they actually want to get to know me.
What keeps you interested?
Intelligence. If I can have a conversation with a guy for hours then he’s definitely a keeper. Sense of humour is also important! I’m super goofy and I love laughing and if a guy can share that with me then he’s someone I definitely want to hold on to.
What’s your number one deal breaker?
Loud, Obnoxious guys are a deal breaker… if that is my first impression of you then it’s buh-bye from there! First impressions are everything, make it count.
To stay in shape, what’s your basic diet look like?
I eat everything in moderation. I never deprive myself of anything. I LOVE sweets like chocolate,candy, cake, ice cream etc. so I allow myself to have treats once a week and I eat pretty healthy. I am a pescetarian, so no meat.
What sort of fitness plan, if any, do you follow?
I work out 6 times a week as much as I can. Having a busy schedule is sometimes hard, but I never let that stop me. At the end of the day, there is always time to work out. I dance at City Dance Corps (www.citydancecorps.com), it’s great way to stay in shape and then for the days I’m not at the studio, I work out at the gym. Occasionally, I also love doing yoga and Pilates, they’re a great way to tone!
What’s next for you? What’s your next big idea or project?
I love doing what I do, so I see myself doing this for a long time. However, I would love to have some side projects eventually with other interests. Perhaps a clothing line, or start a magazine, maybe even open up a restaurant… I don’t know, we only live once, so sky is the limit!
Favourite workout: Ballet Boot Camp at City Dance Corps is one of the best ways to tone, I highly recommend it!
Favourite recipe: I don’t cook but my boyfriend makes the best stir fry in the world! You’ll have to ask him for the recipe!
iPhone or Android: iPhone forever!
What are you driving: I live downtown Toronto, so when my boyfriend isn’t driving me around, I cab or take public transport! If I did own a car, I would drive a Range Rover or a Bentley… dream cars!
One thing guys should know when talking to a beautiful woman: Be polite, respectful and classy.
One quirky thing about you that never turns up in interviews: I have a weird obsession with giraffes… like absolutely LOVE them. If I could, I would totally own one as a pet. I guess that’s pretty quirky??
Hang out with Amira online:
All images by Tony Felgueiras