This week’s person to know is Liem Vu, a reporter with The Morning Show.
A typical day?
I roll out of bed at 3:45 a.m. every morning, shower, and zip off to The Morning Show studios by 4:30 a.m. I write my scripts, pitch social media stories, and chug a ridiculous amount of tea before going live for three hours at 6 a.m. On a breaking news day, I’ll be live from the scene of a strike, shooting, or fire.
How did you get started in broadcasting?
When I was working at The Toronto Star, The National Post, and The Globe and Mail, I started realizing that I was more of a visual storyteller. I would always file video reports along with my print stories. While I was in-between contracts, I did a six-week stint as a current affairs correspondent with MTV News. And that pretty much cemented my love for broadcast journalism.
You’ve started reporting for ET Canada as well… how’s that been?
Being part of ET Canada’s live team has been one of the best experiences I’ve had this year. As a social media correspondent, I got to chat with viewers and give the lowdown on the trending entertainment stories of the day.
Namedrop! Any interesting celebrity stories?
Last year, I did a behind-the-scenes shoot with Duran Duran for The Morning Show and got a chance to meet Simon Le Bon and John Taylor. When I film, I get pretty methodical about getting the perfect shot. In this case, I was so focused I accidentally stepped onto stage before Le Bon did and the audience roared. I was ordered off the stage, but not before I got a glimpse of what it was like to be a rock star.
Best advice you’ve received?
“Even if you’re assigned a lighter story, always treat it like front page material.” I got this little pearl of wisdom while at The Toronto Star. It always reminds me to put 150% into anything that I do.
Landing a job is a daunting task for many young media professionals coming out of university – what’s been your secret?
There’s no insider secret unfortunately! Success in this business is a mix of luck, hard work, and hustle. My only advice is to network and seek out internships. I spent about 4 years working for free before I got my first paid gig.
If you weren’t a broadcaster, what would you be?
Chasing my dreams of resurrecting my barbershop singing group The TemptAsians. I’m not kidding.
A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?
El Almacen on Queen St. W. It’s a yerba mate café where you drink tea out of gourds and catch up with friends. They also have killer empanadas.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Toronto is becoming such a foodie city that I can’t pick just one! My current go-to spots include La Carnita and Julie’s Cuban.
Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
West Queen West in the summer. Parks, fashion, and food. Need I say more?
Least favourite thing about Toronto?
Traffic and gridlock! Luckily, I don’t need to drive thanks to our public transit system.
A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?
Marie Elizabeth Asuncion. I interviewed her for my Masters thesis a few years ago and she’s such an inspiration. She’s a concert-level harpist and a regular public speaker who shares her experiences battling schizophrenia. Our city is changing rapidly for the better and she’s playing a big role in that by breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness.