Spend some time getting to know Amy Laurent and two things quickly happen. First she disarms you with her down to earth charm and second you feel like you have met your new BFF. She’s so girl next door that you soon forget she’s a successful business woman, author and reality TV star. I caught up with Amy who was more than happy to tell us about her business, her book, her Bravo debut, and how she stays so grounded:
TBB: Good afternoon Amy, and congratulations on Miss Advised. Can you tell us how you became a professional matchmaker?
AL: In my early and mid twenties I worked in a completely different industry. I tried three different matchmakers to find a great guy for myself. I was baffled at the disappointing results. I was adamant that, if I had my own service, I would do matchmaking a completely different way and would achieve great results. I waited two years to act on this “hunch”. In 2005 I quit my job to fully pursue my dream of creating a successful matchmaking service for eligible professionals.
TBB: In your blog you say you have known your Miss Advised co-stars, Emily Morse and Julia Allison, for quite a while. How did the concept for Miss Advised develop?
AL: I’m not exactly sure. I never shot the pilot which I believe Emily, Julia and another girl did a year before we began filming. I just got a call from producers in LA. I was kind of the oddball and last in this thing, but it quickly became clear that we were going to be the fitting trio to what would be a pioneering show in the ‘expert genre’ of reality TV. I actually didn’t know Julia was on the show until I came close to signing the contract with Bravo-I had met her in 2009 when she did a review of myself and 2 other matchmakers-I only knew her through press and media in a purely professional relationship. Of course now, we are bonded and friends. I had heard of Emily through the PR circuit. Julia had apparently gone on her show so had already met her in person. When I finally met Emily, I fell in love with her. She’s a firecracker, that one.
TBB: All three of you live in different regions (NY, SF, and LA) and your stories are edited together. Are you aware of what happens in your co-stars segments before they air?
AL: No, we were all in our own intense worlds during shooting, though there were some late night phone-calls -Emily and Julia definitely were aware of my breakdown with (former boyfriend) AB. We are experiencing 90 percent of what happened to each other as you, the audience, are seeing it. I am glued to the TV with each new episode and frantically emailing Emily with “OH MY GOSH, I didn’t know that happened to you! I can’t believe you said that! Wow, did you see what just happened to Julia?” It’s quite the bonding experience. In fact we don’t get to see footage during or after filming. I caught myself yelling at the TV, literally, as I watched myself break my very own rules. I forgot what it was like to be the person dating. This was a great exercise and journey for me.
TBB: How often do you get to see Emily and Julia?
AL: Usually Julia once a month as she comes to NY or I often am in Los Angeles. Both of us are pretty much bi-coastal at this point, though NY is where my heart is and where I spend the most time. I see Emily every other month, though her cute little self will be in NYC on July 23rdalong with Julia for our appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen! Now that’s going to be a heckuva night! I can’t wait! It’s going to be trouble of the good kind!
TBB: How has your life changed since Miss Advised made its Bravo debut?
AL: It’s a little bizarre but also incredibly emotional for me as I’ve had some women walk straight up to me and tell me how they’ve gone through the same thing with their ex boyfriends. Some women told me they cried watching me go through some of the things I have so far, and of course, like a dork I cried when they told me this. I’m very cold and strong-minded at work, but I think the secret is out, how really sensitive and easily hurt I am. I’m not so afraid to show my flaws nowadays, because I’m finding people like you for being brave enough to be real and own it. There’s a real courage in saying, “I have these flaws, these insecurities”. It was also a little strange to be getting out of the shower at my gym locker room, with only a little towel around me when a woman walked up to me and said, “Are you Amy?” in her bra and panties. That was a little weird at first, but what the heck, this is me- take me as I am. And so what if we’re both half naked chatting it up as if we were fully clothed in a bar? Why not?
TBB: You have a set of dating rules that you say “work” yet you are very open about having trouble applying them to your own personal life. Is there one very specific rule that you have never broken and will never break?
AL: I believe I’ve broken most of them, which is why I know my dating rules WORK. One of my favorite rules, however, is to GO WITH THE FLOW. If they’ve mixed up your reservation at that brand new hot restaurant, and now you resort to the only place with an open table on a Saturday night that happens to be a hole in the wall – well enjoy it. Have fun. There’s nothing more I can’t stand than someone pretentious or high maintenance. Even with my girlfriends – if you’re a diva you’re not going to be the girl I spend my free time with.
TBB: In your blog you mention that you have a book coming out! How exciting! What is the title and when can we buy it?
AL: It’s called 8 weeks to Everlasting. It’s a step-by-step survival guide on how to get through the first 8 weeks of dating someone new. Do’s and don’ts, ‘what does this mean if’ scenarios, and trade secrets I have gained over the past 7 years from the feedback of male clients. We all become a little insane when we like someone, or at least we all have once in our lives. This book regains your confidence and keeps you in control of the situation the entire time. This will be every single girl’s dating bible. You can order it now through Amazon: http://amzn.to/laurent8Wks
TBB: You are good friends with The Bachelor alumnus Lorenzo Borghese, which is getting a lot of attention on Twitter. You have noticed how handsome he is right? Would you match him?
AL: Yes, he is handsome but he’s also like an annoying brother to me. I do get though why girls might think he’s cute, though I would never go there. In all seriousness, he’s a great friend and one of the closest people to me that I can always count on. I value Lorenzo’s friendship greatly. He’s a great guy. And yes, I would match him and we’ve entertained the idea once his summer travels wind down in a few weeks. I know tons of women I already like for him, but I’m going to let him go at his pace. He’s definitely not a player, which every girl needs to know. Lorenzo is a catch for sure.
TBB: Some people are quite upset about your rule that cats are not good pets for the dating woman. Why not? How about dogs?
AL: I’m an animal lover, I love all animals and I used to have two cats myself. However, don’t shoot the messenger, I was only telling women what men have been telling me for 7 years. My male clients confide in me and tell me things they would normally never tell to a woman’s face. Most men don’t like cats, are allergic to cats, or think women with cats come with a stigma. Does this mean if you own a cat, you will be a spinster? Absolutely not, lots of men could care less if you had one. But, a much larger percentage of men DO. My advice, if you don’t already have a cat, unless it’s absolutely dire to get one, hold off. Do I prefer a dog if I were to get another pet? Yes. I don’t have time for one unfortunately, and I still do like cats. Someone mailed a blouse covered in cat prints to the office. I’m going to wear that shirt during the viewing of the next Miss Advised episode.
TBB: What would you like to say to all the single 30-somethings out there who are looking for love?
AL: YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL. IT’S POSSIBLE. DON’T BE AFRAID AND GO FOR IT!
TBB: Thank you for talking with me today. Is there anything else you would like people to know about you?
AL: I am finding out, a great matchmaker I may be, but when my own heart is involved, I am like everyone else I coach. Matchmaking is still what I do best, but I’m not the same person I see as I watch the show. A lot has changed, a lot that I can’t say. You’ll just have to watch! I am glad everyone is tuning in and sharing this experience with me, and I hope some can use it to relate to and improve their own dating lives. Also, a little secret, I don’t know how to cook much, but I’m an amazing crock potter.