Interviews

An Interview With Kristen van Ginhoven, Who Started a Theater Company to Benefit Women

Five years ago, Kristen van Ginhoven was an actor and graduate student in theatre education living in Western Massachusetts. Then she went and read a book called Half the Sky. By the time she closed the cover, she had decided to start her own nonprofit: the Women’s Action Movement Theatre. I spoke with her on the phone about the repercussions of reading humanitarian journalism, the practical steps she took to get her organization going and what she’s had to give up in order to pursue a career in nonprofits and the arts.

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The Business of Creative Careers: Joseph Scrimshaw

“I knew on a rational level that write/perform-for-hire jobs would pay very differently based on the company hiring you to do the work. But it’s still a shock on an emotional level to remember there isn’t agreed upon value for a lot of creative work.”

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The Business of Creative Careers: Molly Lewis

I wanted to talk to Molly about how she runs her creative career, including her touring expenses and whether she can predict how much money she’ll earn every month.

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An Interview With Someone Who Got Fired for Not Having a ‘Hunger for Marketing’

Not long ago, a friend told me he’d been fired from a West Coast marketing internship for not having a “hunger for marketing.” I asked him what that could possibly mean, which turned into a far longer story about post-graduate floundering, awful-seeming marketing software, and the perils (or subtle benefits) of showing one’s utter lack of enthusiasm in the workplace.

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How Cosplayers Do Money

To make her Senator Padmé Amidala costume, Torrey Stenmark spent $560 to buy costume pieces like silk—which she then hand-dyed—as well as the freshwater pearls that adorned the senator’s headdress.

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A Fractured Skull, a Lost Sense of Smell, and a New Job

This summer, my friend Rachel Bailey was working as a waitress in Athens, Ga., doing social media for some restaurants, writing when she could, but not as much as she wanted—just scraping by in a town where it’s easy, sometimes even fun, to just scrape by. But she wasn’t having fun. She’d been out of college a few years and had imagined something more for her 20s. She was feeling anxious, stagnant and just generally crappy about life. And then she hit her head in a piggybacking accident and almost died. And then things got better.

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Life After Shoe College: Interview With a Cordwainer

Part Two in a series of interviews with people who have found hands-on, creative work through doing an apprenticeship.

Shoemaking, or cordwaining (the official term), is a craft that has been largely erased from mainstream shoe production over the past 30 years. Only 2% of the US shoe market is produced domestically, and as of 2011, there are only 1,460 shoe repairers and shoemakers practicing in Canada.

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How to Make Your Own Shoe Line

In my quest to become MacGyver (the short, Asian female version), I plunged into the shoemaking world a few years ago and took classes in the New York City area. I made some very nice shoes: black leather mules, brown boots for the hubby, summer toe ring sandals for me, and black dress shoes for the hubby again. These really nice dress shoes made me puff up in pride as many Facebook friends liked photos of the finished product—shoes I made with my tired, sore, little hands in a hot, dusty studio in Brooklyn.

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Tales from the #NightShift

These “Humans of New York“-style vignettes – excerpts from #NightShift, an Instagram essay —  are killer. Here’s one in its entirety:

“My mother was the night baker before me,” she says. Kelly’s 27. She started baking donuts when she was seven. It was a punishment. “My mom was the night baker,” she says again. “If I was, you know, ‘naughty,’ she took me with her.” If Kelly was naughty, she went to work with her mom and made donuts. She did that for years. She quit. She came back. She’s been working here a year-and-a-half. Night baker, like her mom. She takes her smoke breaks out front, because there’s no camera out back. “We’ve been robbed before,” she says. Man walked in the back door. Emptied the safe. Kelly wasn’t working. “I’m just lucky,” she says. She’s quitting again in two weeks. She’s going to be a security guard. “Fifteen dollars an hour.” The sum makes her marvel. She won’t mind the hours. She doesn’t really like people who work days. “The night shift, I’m wired for it,” she says. She’s a natural. She’ll come back for coffee, but she doesn’t eat donuts anymore.

Other professions represented include Taco Bell manager, road-worker, CVS employee. As the author/artist says, “I saw these people, and I wanted you to see them, too.”

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An Interview With a Friend Who Got Bedbugs The First (And Last) Time She Used VRBO

So, what have you been up to?

I went to Big Bear Lake, California for a bachelorette party. Twelve of us stayed atThe Moose Lodge at 209 Elgin Road, which another friend had found on VRBO. It looked great—cute cabin, moose stuff everywhere, very rustic, close to the lake… And full of bedbugs.

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