|An Authentic Life: Interview with Keri Adams of CTV Morning Live|
|Written by Liberty Craig|
To look at Keri Adams is to see everything that just about any woman aspires to. Certainly she is gorgeous, but she is also intelligent and talented, evidenced by her impressive career in journalism and her current role as Host and Co-Anchor of CTV Morning Live. She is adored by her two beautiful daughters. She regularly hosts events for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. And let’s not forget her recurring role on the critically acclaimed television show Arrow. To top it all off, everybody likes her! By all accounts, Adams is genuinely personable and well-liked, not to mention funny as heck (so says Whoopi Goldberg).
To peer a little more closely is to find that Adams is a real, complex person, living a normal, complicated life that extends far beyond the relative glamour of television. Recently separated from her sports anchor husband, Adams is navigating a new level of “doing it all.” Often, she feels overwhelmed. Sometimes, she feels like a failure. But she is also at a place in her life where she loves her career, her children and, at long last, herself.
Just days before her two year anniversary of joining CTV Morning Live, Keri Adams spoke candidly with Fresh Magazine about the influences that made her the woman she is today, and the mental fortitude required to make it all happen.
The Influence of Independence
“I was born in Edmonton to parents from rural Alberta, as the younger of two girls. It was a pretty normal upbringing until my dad was killed in a plane crash when I was about five. That was a huge game changer for my family, especially for my mom, now alone with her two daughters, figuring out how to manage. She was a stay-at-home mom, which was common then, so she wasn’t prepared to launch into a full-time career. But she was tough. I remember listening to her working nights as a telemarketer to make ends meet, and thinking that I wanted to be independent, have a career and be able to take care of myself. There are so many curveballs that come at you in life, that can rock your world and change everything. It definitely influenced my desire to be self-sufficient.”
Of Farmers’ Fields and Comfort Zones
“I got into broadcast journalism because there are so many amazing stories to be told, and I wanted to write creative stories based on truth. My first job was as a writer on a morning show. I eventually moved to Red Deer, where I stayed for two years. Those were my learning years. I put hundreds of kilometres on my Chevy Chevette, driving to farmers’ fields, hauling my heavy camera equipment through the mud, racing around, filing stories last minute on a typewriter. It was challenging! But I learned to push myself as you can do only when you’re out of your comfort zone. And I loved it.”
A Happy Two-Year Anniversary with CTV Morning Live
“It’s been two amazing years! We have a great team of writers and producers, and the director is fantastic. It’s a long show, which you’d think would be exhausting, but when I’m on the air and the camera is pointed at me, I am completely engaged in what I’m doing. It’s a three-and-a-half-hour, high-intensity adrenaline rush. When the show ends, that’s when I need a cup of coffee! “The schedule is hectic: I get up at 3 am, get to work by 4 am, have an hour of hair and makeup, get dressed, then I have 45 minutes to write as much as I can for the show. When we begin, we probably have the first hour done, and the remainder is being built while we’re on the air. When I’m reading an intro to a story I haven’t seen, I’m learning along with the viewer. It’s fun because my reaction is spur-of-the-moment, but it can be a challenge! That’s where our team is so important. We’re all really engaged, creating a fantastic show that gives our viewers a solid package of news, weather, traffic and entertainment; everything they need to start their day. And it’s personal, too. We are being invited into people’s homes, taking part in their busy mornings while they feed their kids breakfast in their bathrobes. When people say they feel like they know me, it’s such a compliment.”
The Point of Authenticity
“My job allows me to be myself and show a little of my personality. It feels good. You get to a certain point in your life and career where you don’t want to pretend to be anything other than what you are. It’s taken me a long time to get there. The show, my age and my experiences have merged to a point where I have the career that fits me, so I can be the best that I can be. Either you like me or you don’t, but this is who I am. It’s not that I don’t care – I absolutely do – I just want to be my authentic self. If you put yourself out there, I don’t think you can lose. But it’s been a hard road! I probably wouldn’t have said these things ten years ago.”
“Every day is something fun. We have great interviews as part of the show, sometimes with celebrities who join us via satellite or in the studio if we’re lucky. Kim Cattrall was on our show a while ago and I was thrilled to have a chance to sit down with her. Another interesting Canadian was Pamela Anderson. She came late to the interview and indicated that she was dealing with her teenage boys. It made me realize that despite her persona as a sexy, beautiful pin-up girl, she’s a mom and she is facing the same issues as the rest of us. I respect that.”
Single, Successful and Super Mom
“I can’t fairly say that I balance it all; it’s something I struggle with every day. It’s been a really tough couple of years. I’ve separated from my spouse, which has its ongoing challenges. We’ve had to move to a new house. I’m trying to maintain some consistency for my kids, who are the most important human beings in my life. With all of that, plus my career, there’s just a lot to deal with.
“Sometimes I think I need to start popping that herb that’s supposed to improve your memory, because mine is the worst! I have a billion things I need to do… and sometimes things fall through the cracks. As a mother, or even as a working woman, I feel like I’m failing if I can’t keep everything running smoothly. Mentally, it’s a huge struggle. Now that I’m on my own, I know that my plate has even more on it. My ex and I share responsibility for the children – and he’s been great – but I still feel some days like I’m barely making it all happen. It’s not all doom and gloom, but the plate gets full and sometimes things spill off the edges – and when that happens, I feel awful.”
Seeing the Light
“I have started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If I can just get over this next hump, things will be a little bit more in control. I’ll be more in control. My girls are young and they need me so much right now. I try to spend as much time with them as possible, and be as present as I can. I can still hug them and kiss them and they sit on my lap… but they’re going to be teenagers one day and that will no longer be cool! As much as they love me right now, there will be a point where they won’t want to show it. Will it be easier? Maybe in some ways it will. Every stage of life has different challenges.”
“I turned 45 recently. It’s something I’m not embarrassed by; I don’t feel that my age limits me. I want to believe that women can have careers in this industry – or any other – that they can continue to grow as long as they want. It’s completely changed since I first got into this business. If I’m still good at what I do ten years from now, why can’t I continue to do it? I have a lot of years left in me and I want to be able to work in this business as long as I choose to. I don’t want anybody to tell me – regardless of what age I am – that I shouldn’t be doing it anymore.”
False Eyelashes and Rubber Boots
“I don’t feel pressure to change the way I look for my job, but I do want to look as good as I can. When I’m on the air I have amazing makeup, great big lashes, beautiful hair and wardrobe. At the end of the show, I leave the station with my hair and makeup intact… then go home, put on my sweatpants and rubber boots, and pick up my kids from school. The glamorous look doesn’t quite fit with my real life! Outside of work I don’t maintain that look. I dress nicely if I’m going out, but my life at home is very different from my appearance on TV. It’s comfortable and easy – and who has time to put on a full face of makeup?”
Dabbling in Skincare
“I’m a bit of a dabbler – I try different products and see what I like. In general, I just take my makeup off when I’m done the show, and make sure to thoroughly cleanse and moisturize my face each night. I use cleanser, toner, night cream and eye cream. I guess I have it all, but I’m not particular to any products or brands. Whenever I try something new I think: maybe this one will be the magic bullet!”
Fitness that Fits
“I was very fit when I was young, thanks to cheerleading and gymnastics. It’s so easy to be lean and fit when you’re young. As you get older, it takes much more to maintain that level of fitness. Finding something that fits my lifestyle, and finding time—those are my challenges. I’ve tried it all. A new thing I’m trying is hot yoga classes. They’re high intensity and you sweat a lot. I’m really enjoying them and I think I will continue going.”
Feeding the Soul
“On the odd occasion, I might get away for the weekend or for a spa day with my girlfriends, but it’s pretty rare. I think just going out for dinner with girlfriends is great ‘me time’ because it feeds your soul. Sitting on my couch at any point of the day is me time, because it means I’m actually relaxing with my feet up, which doesn’t happen very often. If I have ten minutes to go for a walk, that’s me time. You have to embrace those moments – they’re so brief and rare, but when they happen, they’re amazing.”
PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM: ERICH SAIDE & PRUDENCE GOGH