“Welcome to the paradise of the modern artist.” – An Interview With Tom Toro, ‘New Yorker’ Cartoonist
I met Tom in English class during my sophomore year of high school, and we became acquaintances and occasional friends. Mostly, I had a crush on him. After high school, I moved out of the Bay Area and to the East Coast, where I received sporadic updates on high school friends from my good friend Julia. She mentioned something about Tom drawing for the New Yorker, a piece of information I filed away until I saw this cartoon posted on Facebook.
You guys. It’s raining! WETPOCALYPSE 2014 is currently demolishing the Los Angeles area with rage-geysers of precipitation. Water is falling from the sky. We’d go to Smart & Final to stock up on supplies, but the roads are closed and we have no power so can’t even get our parking-lot gate to open. Should we resort to cannibalism? Should we eat one of the many typhus-ridden cats parading our apartment complex?
I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for just over a year. I track everything. I post my freelance income to my Tumblr every week, and am always taking notes on who’s hiring and who’s paying.
My friend Emily and I first met while preparing to study abroad in Barcelona in 2003. Some of the first things I learned about her were that she loved ice hockey and sailing. After we graduated, Emily took a summer job as the seasonal program director of a yacht club. She took it again the following year, and the year after that.
A Conversation with Katharine Heller About Rollerskating and Filing Cats’ Nails, (aka Being a Professional Actor)
Whenever I order a beer, I wonder what that bartender would rather be doing, if her eyeshadow is actually leftover from a dress rehearsal for some off-off-Broadway play that might get a dozen audience members on a good night. I spoke with Katharine Heller, a former bartender and current actor/comedian/writer/podcast host about this transition from behind the bar to in front of the crowd. As she does in her podcast Tell the Bartender, she entertained me with stories about her comedy punk band Bitch Chicks on the Rag and filing the nails of cats with stagefright, all in the name of acting. We talked about how she pays her bills, the importance of stage combat, and how bartending made her a better actor.
I took my first job like many people do, fresh out of college and sick of working in a coffee shop, fetishizing the trappings of a 9-to-5 lifestyle, the desk, business cards, the quiet self-satisfaction that comes with having a cubicle and health insurance. Mostly, I was scared, and grateful that someone wanted to hire a 23-year-old with no relevant experience to do a job that was salaried and not hourly.
For just over five years, I taught English as a Foreign Language in four countries.
Banking at night from the seat of a raggedy mountain bike, as a 16-year-old living on my own, I taught myself how to game the system. I leaned over my handlebars in the green light of the ATM screen, fed an empty envelope into the hole in the wall, pressed “cash back,” and waited. Every time, to my surprise, the machine ate the empty envelope and regurgitated a $20 bill back at me. With it, I’d buy a large bag of frozen bean-and-cheese burritos. The bank would call later; I’d apologize, say I forgot to put the check in the envelope. The hustle worked only if I did it every now and then, when I needed it, no more than once a month. I never thought to punch in a number higher than 20.
I first heard about Sarah Tedford of Ladybird Poppy when I started dating my husband in late 2008. The two were friends from high school, and he hired her to design a floral arrangement for me when he asked me officially to be his girlfriend. Sarah was just on the verge of starting her own business as a floral designer at the time and now, more than five years later, my husband and I are happily married and Sarah’s business is thriving.
The second I heard Brad’s voice, I knew it was bad.
Darlene and I met while working in the entertainment department of a large cruise ship sailing the Western Caribbean Sea. Darlene danced in the not-quite-Vegas-style stage productions, and I hammed it up on the mic as a host of not-quite-high-concept spectacles such as the Men’s International Hairy Chest Competition and Late Night Adult Dodgeball.
How does one meet such a momentous occasion at such an early stage of romance?