She might be a ‘Native New Yorker’, but Lisa Barlow is a Salt Lake City, Utah resident and is poised to make a splash as one of ‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ (premiering this Wednesday on Bravo). This bi-coastal businesswoman is direct, stunning & has absolutely no problem letting you know what’s on her mind. I sat down for a chat with one of the newest members of the Bravo family, and whether it’s her family, her faith, or her friends, Lisa Barlow is fully prepared to tell you how she feels.
Michael Cook: Okay Lisa, the first question is going to to be one of the most important; where is the VIDA Vodka? (Barlow owns VIDA Tequila and is poised to release a vodka).
Lisa Barlow: (laughs) The vodka is being made in Seattle and I am so excited about it. In the interim we have our delicious tequila available!
MC: How does it feel to be an actual Real Housewife of Salt Lake City?
LB: I love it, I absolutely love it. It pushes you, it is real life. When you are with your girlfriends you have a little bit more time as to how you are going to process things and how you are going to react. The thing that has been fascinating and where I have learned a lot is how I react quickly to everything. I don’t get to take a pause, I don’t get to say “lets do that over.” You are reacting in real life and going 24/7. I have loved the whole process and really enjoyed doing it.
MC: Socially, religion, like politics before it, was something that usually was not discussed publicly, until now. The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City definitely does not shy away from discussing each castmates relationship with their faith. Do you think that is fair to say?
LB: I think you hit the nail on the head with that. You have got individuals practicing one religion and then there are different religions. Mary is Pentecostal, I am Jewish my heritage, Mormon by choice, Meredith is Jewish but not religious, you have Jen that is converting to Muslim, Heather who is probably conflicted about the religion and Whitney who wants nothing to do with it. I think a lot of things come into play here. Culturally, I am not LDS (Latter-day Saints), I did not grow up in the culture, To me, that part of it is foreign, but the religious side of it I think is pretty amazing. I love that the missionaries knocked on my parents door, I love that my mother had been praying for them. I love the life that I have being LDS, but I also understand, and I think it comes from your environment that you grow up in, that everybody is amazing and whatever people choose to do is up to them.
I think religion can put you in a box sometimes; I am a rhombus, I don’t fit in a box. Religon is so personal and you have to find the way that you practice your religon that makes sense fror you and what’s good for you and your family. Being very inclusive is super huge for me too. I think it’s really important that you be like Jesus; even if you believe he’s the rebel rabbi or the savior, you be like Jesus and you treat everybody awesome.
MC: Sometimes one thing people can find challenging on a reality show is issues getting unnecessarily inflated. For example, Heather continuously indicating that you act like you “don’t know her”.
LB: Yes, and especially because it’s…random (laughs). Heather did not know me, and you will see that as things unfold and you will get to see Heather didn’t really know me. I met Heather a few years ago and she can be super fun and funny. She has her story to tell and I have mine.
MC: What was it like bringing your family along for the journey of being a Real Housewife. Notoriously, showcasing your family can be challenging for some people. Is there anything you said from the beginning was full stop, and a definite “no go” zone?
LB: No, not at all. When I started the show, my husband John was super supportive of it. I am a Sagittarius, so I am brutally honest. I always think I am doing everyone a favor by saying something like “do you want me to tell you the truth because that’s what a good friend does?” I think John and I are very open and direct with each other and our kids have that kind of relationship with us. I think one thing that was a little challenging is that my son Jack turned sixteen today and was filming when he was fifteen and a half. He got his learner’s permit, and was driving with me on- camera with me for the first time with full reign and control of the car. With me being a Sag mom, I was not as sensitive that my son gets up at six in the morning for school and sometimes when he comes home from doing sports I’m like ‘get mic’d up, come on”, I probably could have been a little more patient.
MC: It certainly sounds like you are not just in touch with what makes you tick, but what makes your family work well as a unit.
LB: I am the exact same as I have been since their birth; I hope a little better than when John married me, but I am super consistent and honest with myself. I am probably more honest and hard on myself than anyone else is, so I think they are used to that. I have a lifestyle and entertainment marketing company outside of the liquor company so they have been exposed to so much from such a young age; I think it just feels really normal to them. They go to dinner with celebrities and they really don’t think anything of it, they just think they’re awesome. I think sometimes my kids are more enamored with our neighbor who’s company does the animation for Pixar and Minecraft and Fortnite games. They think that is so amazing, but I think they both are confident. Henry is a little Sagittarius baby, Jack is a Libra, they are outgoing kids. I love astrology by the way I am obsessed with it. I am always analyzing my family through their different signs.
MC: You and your husband John certainly seem to be ready for whatever being a Real Housewife is going to throw at you…
LB: John is a Scorpio and he is such a Scorpio. I think for us it was good, I know I signed up for it and John didn’t but John has a unique story. He was given up at birth, adopted, returned put in foster care. That creates a whole different level of dynamics in a person and in a marriage. I would always hear “you are amazing Lisa”, I am are one of six kids, five girls and one boy and my parents told me “you’re superwoman” and I believed them. Of course, I have crashed and burned and found out that I am not, but for the most part I feel pretty resilient. Especially growing up around six kids you can take a lot.
MC: Any lessons you have taken from the experience that you have learned about yourself in relation to your marriage?
LB: I think one thing that was interesting for me was that when we were being filmed, one of the producers was like “Hey Lisa, let John talk”. He is super Type A like me, but with me he Is such a gentleman he just lets me go on and on. I learned and I said to him: ”John do I not listen to you?” and he said “you could be better”. I learned a lot about myself; I am so used to listening to everyone else, but at home I am so bossy. I am the only girl in the family also, so it’s “me me me”. I learned that maybe I need to listen to my husband a little bit more. I love listening to him, he is a great public speaker, but maybe I need to have more of a two-sided conservation. We know what we signed up for and we are super comfortable with it.
MC: The boys always fall in love with their Real Housewives and are arguably your most loyal fanbase; prepare yourself for an onslaught of gay male fans in your inbox!
LB: (Laughs). I love it, bring it on! I don’t know if you know this but my grandfather, my dad’s dad was gay. He married two women and died with his kong term boyfriend Keith. For me, I am like, “bring it on, the more the better”!
MC: Being a Real Housewife is almost like being part of a large sorority; have you gotten a chance to hear from any Real Housewives from any other cities?
LB: You know what, I have heard from a lot of other women from other franchises, they have all been so nice. I actually tempered myself with asking for advice because I really wanted to be authentic to the whole process. I don’t ever want to do something that I am doing because it might be a good idea, I am expecting to make mistakes and to learn from those. Emily Simpson from The Real Housewives of Orange County said she does not watch the episodes, she wants to remember things the way that she remembers them happening, so it is authentic to her. Dolores Catania from The Real Housewives of New Jersey reached out and said if I ever need anything, she is there for me. Kameron Westcott from The Real Housewives of Dallas was super sweet, we have some mutual friends in common. I just feel like everyone has been very open and supportive and they are there if we need them and they’re happy to help. I thought that was super cool.
MC: What would the Lisa Barlow now tell the Lisa Barlow that was mic’d up for her first day as a Real Housewife?
LB: Honey get thicker foundation, natural is beautiful, but not on camera (laughs). Honestly, halfway in one of the girls said “Do you have a glam team” and I was like “what?” I grew up in New York and we don’t wear a lot of makeup, I love that gorgeous natural thing, and I love my skin. It was like “okay noted, lets amp it up a little bit”. That is frivolous, but another thing is that sometimes my kids definitely stress me out sometimes when we’re filming, because you know how kids are, you expect them to perform. When you want them to perform they don’t and when you want them to be quiet they’re putting on the best performance of their life. I just go with it and don’t let it phase me, that’s another thing. They’ll figure it out they need to be themselves and I want them to enjoy the process. If they’re grouchy one day it doesn’t really matter.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premieres this Wednesday night on Bravo (check local listings)
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