Carrie Doll's First Love:
We Get the Details


October 3, 2020

Words by: Erin Slobodian

Photography by: Tatyana Semenova

We ask the former television news anchor about her life, her joy and her first love.

She has a face and a presence that most Edmontonians will recognize immediately. She’s a storyteller and a skilled conversationalist. She’s a pianist, a mother, a wife and a sister. Carrie Doll spent two decades in the television industry and you likely know her from her years with CTV Edmonton. She now has a consulting company, a podcast and lots of memories to share with us about her life.

Most people will remember you for your impressive career as a television reporter and news anchor. We’d love to know who you see when you look in the mirror.
A Mom, a wife, a girl who listened to her intuition, believed in the power of a dream and knew she had the capability to create her own reality.

What was your favourite Edmonton television moment?
It was moments of humanity, where I knew I made a difference, connected with people, served our viewers and perhaps touched a life in some way. It’s impossible for me to pick one but a few favourite memories include broadcasting from outside the RCMP detachment in Mayerthorpe following the deaths of 4 RCMP officers and taking a moment to walk inside the detachment with Daryl McIntyre and express our condolences to the members there. I will never forget the looks on their faces. Watching open heart surgery on a little boy at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ivan Rebeyka pioneered a technique that opens closed heart valves. The surgery saved the little boy’s life and countless lives since that time. Emceeing fundraisers and looking out into the audience and seeing thousands of people support the cause. Carrying the Olympic torch in 2010 while pregnant with my daughter. Running through streets that were packed with people cheering. It was surreal.

Storytelling and its power to connect seems to be a major part of your latest career move, Carrie Doll Consulting. Would you please talk to us about how storytelling has impacted your life?
I think my broadcasting career really started when I was in grade 3 and competed in speech competitions. I remember giving a speech about my grandmother that was filled with stories about what she taught me and how she impacted my life. People in the audience were crying as they were listening and that experience opened my eyes to how powerful stories can be. I learned quickly that if I wanted to connect with someone or I wanted them to  understand my point, I would tell a story about something I had experienced or learned, that perhaps they could relate to. Stories create connections, they allow us to feel, and when we feel, we don’t forget. For 20 years as a television news anchor, I was a professional storyteller. People watch the news to hear the stories in their city, their community and their world. Stories have always been and will continue to be part of the fabric that makes me, me!

We love your podcast! Tell us about your vision for The Inner Circle with Carrie Doll.
Thanks for asking! It brings so much joy into my life! When I left CTV in 2014, I started my consulting business. I did a lot of coaching but I knew something was missing. It took the death of my Mom to bring clarity to my life. When you go through loss, it often helps you get clear on what you really want and need. I remember sitting on a beach in Costa Rica and thinking that something is missing from my work. I felt unfulfilled. At that moment I could almost hear my mom’s voice say to me, “Tootsie (that was the nickname she gave me) you need to get back to your first love and that has always been the interview.” She was right. Nothing brought me as much joy as being able to interview someone when I was on television. At that moment, I knew I had to start a podcast and the Inner Circle with Carrie Doll was born. I believe that every voice needs and deserves to be heard. As women, I love to support other women who have powerful journeys we can all learn from. My goal is to share these stories with the world. There are important lessons in each one. When someone trusts me with their story, it’s an honor and privilege because it’s like they are sharing a piece of themselves with me.

With the interview being your first love, which one does your mind automatically go to when asked which is your favourite – so far, and why?
Oh gosh! How do I even choose? Ok, I don’t know if this is my favorite but it is one that is a career highlight because I learned so much from the experience and it was a huge victory for me because it was a massive challenge. I looked fear in the face, stared it down, and won. It was the night I interviewed President Bill Clinton in front of 10,000 people at Rexall Place. I still don’t know why I was chosen but I remember when my boss said they wanted me to do it — my first reaction was “why me?” followed by, “I can’t do that..what the heck do I know about interviewing a former President?”. I was so scared but I knew I had to face those fears, dig in, lean on my TV audience for question suggestions and do the hard work. The scariest part was working with Clinton’s EA Dianna — a lawyer from NYC who tried to put the fear of God into me by telling me, “If Clinton likes you, you can ask him anything. If he does not, God help you on stage!” It was an unforgettable experience. Clinton spoke for 45 minutes before I interviewed him and by the time I got onto the stage he had answered my top 12 questions!! I pivoted and by the second question I
managed to break the ice with him and the interview blossomed like a beautiful flower.

I ended the interview with some trivia questions, which his Executive Assistant told me ABSOLUTELY do not do! I did anyway, and that’s when he really connected with the audience. My final question was, “What could possibly be left on your bucket list?” Clinton responded with: “The most important thing; I just want to be a Grandpa!” The night was a massive success and for me a lesson in this: don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid to not try!

So it comes as no surprise when the founder of the custom menswear operation in Edmonton explains that his focus is on customer experience and inspiration. 

If you could interview anyone, living or not, famous or not, who would it be? And what would be your most pressing question?
My brother Jack who was hit and killed when I was 7 years old by a drunk driver. I would want to know what heaven is like.

What is your #1 rule or tip for anyone conducting an interview?
LISTEN! You can’t possibly get great answers if you are doing all the talking, which a lot of interviewers do. I always go into an interview having done my prep with a list of questions. I get my next question based on my interviewee’s last answer. If I am actively listening, you know what it should be because they will give you clues about what they want to talk about and how deep they want to go!

If you could give your 20 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Stop stressing about what other people think, all the small stuff and trying to be perfectly polished all the time. Perfect doesn’t exist. Real does. It’s about progress, not perfection. Also, I would tell myself to stop comparing myself to other people. Comparison is the thief of joy!

We’d love to hear about something that most people would be surprised to learn about you!
I love music. I grew up in a very musical family and I play the piano and guitar. I have my Grade 9 in piano from the Western Board of Music and my Theory 4. My challenge is that I “hear” the music before I read it. I can hear a song on the radio, sit down at the piano and figure it out in about 15 minutes. Because I play by ear, I often miss a lot of the little things, like some sharps and flats. Still the essence is there and playing and singing with my daughter Allegra who is also very musical brings me so much joy and stress relief!

What is your favourite go-to self-indulgence?
A massage! For me, there is nothing better than a deep tissue massage. Whenever we go on holidays, or a couple times a year, I decide to treat myself and head to the spa and get a massage.

What does “success” look like to you?
Success means living your purpose. If you are, your heart will always be full, and you will never work a day in your life.

What brings you joy?
I love travelling with my family. We have created so many incredible memories with the trips we have taken. It’s so rewarding to see a place through their eyes! Also, I love champagne and when my husband and I share a bottle, along with a great conversation that brings me a lot of joy! Exercise and the sun are drugs I rely heavily on. When I can combine them both, and go for a run or workout outside in the sun, that brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. Oh, and there is one more thing. I love to shop and I love clothes — both fill me with so much damn joy!

How do you define luxury?
When your heart is filled with so much gratitude, you want for nothing. When you have an attitude of gratitude, you are surrounded by luxury.

What does “Luxuria” mean to you?
It means freedom of mind, body and spirit. You no longer worry about what you need to make you happy because you are living it.

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