Notebook

Getting to Know Callie Rae O'Reilly from Pirate Toronto

Callie Rae O'Reilly is the second #girlBOSS we sit down with this month to celebrate International Women's Day within our Toronto community. She likes frank conversations, blunt feedback and brutal honesty. She reminds us to stand up for ourselves in the face of adversity and to constantly remind yourself- that you are enough. Callie is the only female director working for her company so she provides valuable insight into building a workplace environment that is both empowering and fair for everyone.

Tell us about what you do.
I'm a Track Director at Pirate Toronto. Pirate is a creative audio production company that helps brands find their voice so they can be heard. My job within that is to direct voice talent, castings, music and sound design for TV and radio commercials.
I also work on the CBC radio show Under the Influence.
Under the Influence is a beautifully crafted show that is, in the host’s words, “a backstage pass to the closed world of advertising”.
I’ve been working on Under the Influence for about 5 years now. I edit the show down by 30 seconds every week for its Sirius XM airing, and also edit the promo clip played by the CBC.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you do?

I grew up in this world. My dad was also a director (and a copywriter) in the industry that I’m now in.
I learned about career building through the eyes of someone who whole-heartedly loved what they did. My dad works harder than anyone, and he genuinely loves every single day.
I found (and find) this so inspiring. From a young age, I set my sights on having that kind of career one day. A career doing something I loved. Something I would learn to be great at.
My dad built the career, the studio, the life that he couldn’t find anywhere else.
Having witnessed something like that, I refuse to settle for anything less.

What’s your favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of the day has surprisingly become the morning - but this has only been the case for the last 6 months. I used to be a night owl. I would relish every last second in bed in the morning. My mornings were rushed. No buffer time between home and work.
But I recently made some adjustments.
A few months ago, if someone told me they loved the morning I’d roll my eyes. No one loves the morning.
But I’m an anxious person. Stress-free mornings are crucial for me. They help me set the tone for the rest of my day.
I started setting my alarm earlier. I’ve gone from waking up at 7:45, to 5:45-6am. Sure, it’s not a massive difference, but the change it’s made to my day is immeasurable.
I get to Pirate about 40 minutes before 9am. I sit across the street, I read, I drink iced coffee, and I relax. My mind clears (or clears as much as it’s going to - as I said, I’m an anxious person). Once 9am rolls around, I’m ready to go.

When you have a bit of free time to yourself, what are you doing?
Time to myself usually means time with my dog, Dexter.
Or reading.
Or writing in a Moleskine- Any thought I have throughout the day I like to jot down- no matter its worth. I keep all of these journals and when I step back I can see a clear history in the formation of who I am today simply by flipping through my thoughts and doodles from past years. To an outsider these little black books may look like the scrawls of a mad woman- but to me they show me how far I've come and how I've gotten here.

What are the most played songs on your iTunes library?
Hey Bulldog - The Beatles. Followed by 10 other Beatles songs. Anything by the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Jack White and the Arctic Monkeys. Music is another huge source of inspiration and solace. You will rarely find me without my headphones in.