DP: How did you first start in the Entertainment Industry?
DM: I first started in the entertainment industry by interning at MTV when I was 17 years old. I was going to NYU and simultaneously interning there. I eventually got hired as a production assistant and then a story coordinator/ associate producer. While I was still at NYU and working at MTV, a casting agent I met at a party one night asked me if I would come in and audition for a new show that Barbara Walters was producing. I went in and auditioned against 700 other girls and eventually was chosen as the "young one" on the show. I was only 21 years old and the youngest person ever in the history of daytime television to hold a permanent co-host position.
DP: As one of the youngest women featured as a co-host on "The View" tell me the most important thing you took from that experience?
DM: The most important thing I took from the experience on "The View" was to always listen and become a quick learner. Because The View is live TV you don't get a second take. You have to get it right the first time and be quick on your toes. There is nothing on this planet more exhilarating to me still to this day than live TV. Having the opportunity to sit next to Barbara Walters and have her mentor me is the most valuable work experience I have ever had. She's truly an amazing woman and I am forever grateful to her.
DP: Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever interviewed?
DM: It's really difficult to pick just one. Over the years, I feel like I have interviewed every person on the planet and every one of them has had their own personal traits that make them interesting in one way or another. And depending on what's happening in their lives at the time of the interview, it may make them more topically interesting at the moment than say someone else who may not have been in the news that week. Some people are more fun and playful to interview while others are serious and quite intense. But I'd have to say the one celeb with the perfect combination of all those qualities is Simon Cowell. He's fun, he's serious, he's intense, he's sensitive, he's smart, and most importantly he's real and relatable.
DP: What are some of your favorite fashion brands and describe your sense of style?
DM: I'm definitely a dedicated follower of fashion and I LOVE CLOTHES!! I love a brand called Maria Grachvogel from London. I discovered her about 5 years ago. She has amazing cuts and beautiful silhouettes that are super flattering. I'm also a big fan of a French company called Maje. They have really fun chic clothes that you can dress up or down. I like versatile clothing that can go from day to night. I'd say my sense of style is funky casual chic. I wanna look stylish, but I also wanna be comfortable. I love to get all dolled up high fashion style and work the red carpet, but I also love to just throw on a pair of jeans and a tank top from Zara or H & M with a great pair of Christian Louboutins, Giuseppe Zanotti, or Cesare Paciotti and a great handbag (my old reliable Bottega Veneta) and call it a day. If I come across a new designer I'm into I'll usually tweet about it @iamdebbiem.
DP: You live on the West Coast - but share with the Joonbug readers your favorite East Coast/NYC spots. Also, do you enjoy the difference in vibe when you work/visit Manhattan?
DM: I love NYC. I lived there for almost 9 years. It's one of my favorite cities in the world. A lot has changed since I lived there. Comparing LA to New York is useless. It's apples and oranges and both cities are great for their own unique vibes. I'm fortunate enough to go back east to shoot quite often so I get the best of both worlds. When I'm there I like to stay at The Trump International on Columbus Circle or The Trump Soho. The service is impeccable and the rooms are amazing. Donald really knows how to do a great hotel. I usually like going out downtown (meat packing or lower east side). I like the restaurant Catch and I love Beauty and Essex. Uptown I like Lavo and the bar at The Mark Hotel. But really as far as New York nightlife goes, even the diviest of bars is cool. The energy in that city is amazing. There's always something going on.
DP: Advice for everyone and anyone looking to break into the entertainment industry?
DM: Try to get your foot in the door anywhere to do an internship. That is the most valuable work experience you can have when it comes to being hired by and employer. Work hard and work smart. Don't pass up an opportunity, because you don't know where it may lead. Never stop learning. Stay Focused. And give it 150 percent. Nothing great was ever accomplished with a half hearted attempt.