Do you ignore your significant other whenReal Housewives
is on? Is your fridge stocked with Skinnygirl products? Do you root for the Atlanta Falcons because of Kroy Biermann? You may have an addiction to Bravo TV programming.
And with the network's new reality series Gallery Girls, starring two Miami natives, your addiction is about to get worse. Bravo describes it as "a docu-series that follows the lives of seven dynamic and ambitious young women in New York City." But we're already hearing reports that these NYC art scene women are putting the Real Housewives to shame with their catty drama.
Before the show's Monday premiere, Coral Gables native Amy Poliakoff opened up to us about starring on the show, the differences between New York and Miami, and being attacked by her Miami-bred co-star Liz Margulies.
Cultist: It's true you were made in Dade?
Amy Poliakoff: Yep. I grew up in Miami. I went to Gulliver my whole life -- I am one of the few lifers.
How did you end up in New York after graduation from the University of Miami?
My dad is from New York and we have always had an apartment in the city. I would spend a lot of time here in the summer and I quickly learned it was the center of the art world. Then when I studied abroad with a lot of students from Rutgers, it really inspired me to move my life here. I always have a special place in my heart for Miami. My whole family is still there!
What are your thoughts on the Miami art scene right now?
I am so glad I got to study art in Miami while the city's creative scene was growing. It's really great to watch because it's slowly turning into a place that artists and collectors have to pay attention to. Art Basel is just one example.
Art Basel: Just an excuse for a good party?
I love everything about it. I have been going for a very long time with my father because he is a collector. It's just one of those events where all socialites, collectors, critics, fans of the arts and the art galleries from New York to all over the world all come together. Art Basel was some of my first real New York art exposure.
Miami Girls vs. a New York: What is the difference?
A Miami girl is outgoing, open, friendly, a little bit more international, more Latin. New York is just as international, though. Really, there are a lot more similarities between New York and Miami.
If you had to explain Gallery Girls to someone who hasn't seen the 4,000 previews, how would you?
It focuses on seven very different women with seven very different backgrounds, all working in different parts of New York. The commonality between all of us is that we all have a passion for art. Through collaborating, we all learn and grow from each other. You will definitely see our relationships grow throughout the season. For me, it was such a positive experience because I learned a lot from meeting new and different girls.
Why do the show in the first place?
It was a powerful thing to do -- exposing my whole life to the cameras. I did it because I wanted to
tell my story. I wanted people to connect with me because everyone in
their twenties struggles with something. No matter what it is, don't
forget that in your twenties, you become who you are. I think [with] other
women putting their life out there you realize, "OK, I am not the only
one."Bravo is advertising Gallery Girls as a struggle between Brooklyn vs. Manhattan. It seems a lot more like you vs. fellow Miami girl, Liz.
Liz is a very big part of the story. Liz has an interesting background. She comes from the art world with her father being a collector. But every girl has to grow, and Liz is still growing. I hope one day she becomes mature to the point where she's open minded and respects people for who they are and doesn't feel the need to attack anyone. I think that is just who Liz is. The show will speak for itself. The kind of person who I am is that I wont attack her -- you will see her attack me. I think she has issues in her past or issues with who she is that make her act a certain way. I hope the best for her. I hope one day she can get to the place that I am at.
Haven't you known one another since you were toddlers?
We don't know each other since we were five, like she says we have. She went to three different high schools. She had a lot of issues at Ransom [Everglades School]. I'm not sure how receptive Liz is to me and my life in Miami. Or, how mine is to hers. I wouldn't say we grew up together because we actually never went to high school together. Yes, we went to elementary school together. Yes, our parents were both staples in the community. When she came to New York, I had moved here first. She reached out to me because she was looking for new friends because she had moved to a new city. And she did -- she went out with my friends. It's interesting to me that she feels the need to attack other people because maybe its an insecurity thing.
Girl, you were a tad "under the weather" (AKA wasted) on the first episode.
I wasn't that drunk. I had two glasses of wine. When you have someone narrating their attack against you during that time, it makes it seems a lot worse because of the narration.
Your dad pays for your apartment. You work unpaid. It seems you're a tad privileged.
A moment in time doesn't define who you are. The show will speak for itself. You can't judge someone from the first episode. I have a very big heart and that's what I pride myself on. That will show at the end, and you have to watch the whole season. I am getting my eyelashes done and having fun at a dinner party in the first episode. Who I really am comes across on the show but it happens throughout the season. Continue to watch.
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I have seen the first episode. Who am I going to love? Who am I going to hate?
Liz is strong person and is very opinionated. People will want to hear her opinions but she won't be as loved as much. Chantal is really witty. Angela has a lot of confidence. Maggie is really sweet, and sometimes the sweeter you are, you can be taken advantage of. There is a character for every person to relate to, I think. That's what makes the show so dynamic.
What's your advice for girls who want to tackle the art world themselves?
Intern. Education is important but it's almost as valuable because you become familiar with the work place. But you are never going to become very successful at any job unless you stop caring what people think and just believe in yourself. That's really important when you're an intern -- you have to own it.
Gallery Girls premieres Monday, August 13, at 10 p.m.