From the launch of her first major Joga headquarters to a terrifying car crash, to say Jana’s year has been eventful would be an understatement…
Jana on Season One
Q: Congratulations on having a full season of The Real Housewives of Toronto under your belt, how does it feel?
A: Despite my health right now, I feel good about the show.
Q: What’s it been like watching this season back?
A: For the very first episode I laughed, cried, shook — every possible emotion that could come from my body came out on that very first episode. To have no idea how it’s going to be edited, that brought lot of different emotions. But then to actually see yourself, and oh my god, it was hard.
I’d say it’s very parallel to how I felt when we were filming. At first you’re a bit guarded and you think “oh do I say this, do I do that;” and then at one point you just surrender. At some point during watching the second or third episode I did the same thing. It is what it is. I signed up for this and made a commitment to be myself, and that’s all I was on the show. [I think] that came out, and I feel good about that.
Q: At what point in the filming of the show do you think you surrendered to the process?
A: Pretty early on. I would say probably by Muskoka [laughs]. There’s something about that weekend; it’s such a tradition with Grego and Joan. It was a feeling of “this is our territory, we’re home now.”
On That Weekend in Muskoka
Q: Then for the show, that weekend in Muskoka really wasn’t your typical weekend?
A: It’s so funny because that weekend, for me, is the only weekend where I get to let my hair down and I don’t have to worry about getting William to baseball or hockey, I don’t have to worry about running my business – I literally just give myself that weekend just to be.
Jana on Her Date Scene
A: Oh my god that was so awkward. I had so many people DM me saying “I’m gay, and I would’ve been a better date!” [Laughs] I [was watching] myself on TV and you could see how uncomfortable I was. That was hard for me to watch, and it was weird for me to watch it with William because he’s like “Mom – what’re you doing!?”…The matchmaker was totally off.
Jana’s OMG Moments
A: There were those scenes with Roxy and Kara… A lot of the information that Roxy would tell us, [you thought] “did that really happen?” There was this whole inner dialogue going on in my head throughout the season where I would think “is she telling the truth?” It just [didn’t] seem humanly possible that one person could say and do all of these things. So when I started to see the season unveil and I actually saw the way that Kara spoke to Roxy and the things that she did, I was like “oh my god it is real!” A lot of the season I was going on my gut instinct for a lot of things because [all] the information just wasn’t available to us. It was a lot of ‘she said, she said.’ When I actually saw it come out I was like “wow, it’s true.”
The sad part about that, and I talk about this with Joan and Grego all the time, is that we have so many people in our tribe and we don’t have enemies. [We would] extend that olive branch over and over again, [and watch] Kara dig herself deeper and deeper into a hole. We continued to try to give her another chance. To see her shoot herself in the foot over and over again was really bothersome to watch back. You don’t wish that on anybody.
Her Relationship With Kara
Q: It seemed like your relationship with Kara started off positively where both of you were putting in an effort to get a feel for each other. Around when did it start to go south?
A: Unfortunately, [it was around] the very first scene just because of how she was speaking to Grego that first night at the procedure party. That very first interaction with Kara my gut was just like… offside. As the season went on there were things that she started to say to Roxy where I was like “oh.” But then when she started to get full-on with Joan… I knew at that point that I had to be that person for Joan because she’s so poised and classy and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. I could just see that Joan was being completely manipulated and I was like “this has got to stop.”
On Confronting Kara at the White Party
Q: You jumped into protective-friend-mode at the White Party, so what was it like watching that night back?
A: Joan had just told me everything that Kara had said in the car ride. I was so wound up by the time I got to the White Party that I was like “okay, no more, this has got to stop.” Then watching [the confrontation at the White Party] back, I was so glad that I did that. I was literally shaking afterwards because I am not a confrontational person. But then to see the scene with Kara and Joan at Gusto I was like “Yes!” I’m so glad; somebody had to say something.
Does She Still Talk to the Other Women?
Q: Do you still keep in touch with the women?
A: Grego and Joan I probably talk to almost every day, that’s just our friendship, and then [I talk to] Ann and Roxy in a group text that goes on once in a while. I really try hard to not partake in any of the off-season drama to be honest. I can’t get entangled in it because since my accident my priorities have shifted. I can’t spend energy on anything negative right now.
On Opening a Stunning New Joga Studio
Q: How was the experience of opening you brand new Joga studio?
A: That’s the bit of the show I’m a little disappointed in because we did film all of that, but nothing got aired, which is unfortunate. Opening a new business for anybody is a challenge, but opening it with a brain injury and a broken back is [so much harder]. It’s taken six months longer than anticipated. The accident happened November 12th and I was supposed to open January 1st. While we were building the space everybody needed answers, and there were just some days where I wasn’t able to make those decisions, but I pushed through and it finally got opened. It’s absolutely everything that I ever imagined it could be.
Q: Have you seen interest explode in Joga since the show started airing?
A: Yeah! We’ve had a lot of people across Canada ask if we have Joga [in their city], and the great part is that we do. I’ve been doing this across Canada for seven years, so we have 350 trainers across Canada. What’s great about it is that now we can promote those teachers, communities, and cities even more.
What’s Next for Jana?
A: We’re going to do a proper launch for the Joga House. We’ve done a soft launch to feel the area; we’re in Yorkville so it’s a very competitive space to be in. We’re launching The Joga Code this summer which nobody knows about yet, so I’m really excited about that, I’ve been working on it for two and half years.
Jana’s Thoughts on Season Two
A: When you try something new, it takes a while to get your legs. I feel like now with season one done, the next season I’ll know [more] what I’m getting into. I would definitely say that my experience was a really positive one, but I also think that’s because I went in with a really positive attitude, and I knew what I wanted from the show. It’s a platform, and within that you have to understand the scope of the show. I understood what the franchise is and because of that you’re able to play along with it, as opposed to fight against it.
On Breaking the Conventions of a Typical Housewife
Q: You were the only single cast member, you were expanding a business, and then you had to film – how did you handle that schedule?
A: I literally am that single mom who runs her own business and runs her own house. I have to do everything by myself without a stitch of family; they’re a 5-hour flight away. I’m not a typical housewife in that I have nobody to help me. All the other women can lean on their husbands, even if it’s just for a conversation to chat about the show, or their day – I don’t have any of that.
Q: Who’s your go-to person for that support?
A: I talk to my PR people a lot [laughs], because they become your best friends. They understand my business and my personal life so they help me articulate and navigate. But to be honest, there are some days where I’ll be sitting at home and I’m like ‘oh I wish I had somebody to talk to.” That would be nice.
Jana on Her Support on Social Media
Q: Have you been scouring social media to see the response you’ve been getting there?
A: I wish I was healthier because I really want to be more interactive on social media. But right now I’m just doing the best that I can.
There’s been some really awful people, and some really mean comments, but I either delete those or let the people who like me respond to them [laughs].
Q: Have you had a lot of single moms reach out to you?
A: Yeah, a lot of moms, and entrepreneurial women have been asking to meet for a coffee and to chat about where they can get started. There’s been a lot of inquiries just about how someone can do it all.
Jana on Her Fashion This Season
A: I feel like I’m a little quirky with fashion. I think it comes down to time, and money to be honest. [I look at the other women] and they have endless bank accounts and people to help them with that. Whereas for me, it was something I had to think about that day, but it’s like fifth on my priority list. A lot of the time, getting ready for an even for the show, it was literally thought of an hour before. Fashion isn’t a priority in my life at this time, but given that, I’ve been inspired by the other women.
Is There Anything She Would Have Done Differently?
A: Honestly, I don’t think so. I’m really proud of what I did. Everything that we filmed and did was very true to me.
Is She Down For Season Two?
A: Yeah – absolutely!
Q: Knowing what you know now, do you think you would go into season two doing anything differently?
A: I don’t think so. I would just remind myself to be authentic and to be me… and probably to be more cautious. Like knowing now what I know even about Roxy and Kara… knowing how Roxy is and how Kara is, you have to remember what kind of women these are.
Final Thoughts on Season One
A: I feel like my reaction to Kara would’ve been more justified had they kept the dialogue. I think Joan is even regretting that a bit because it looks like everything is just about this one night, and it’s so much more than that.