Writer / Editor / Storyteller
Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
WHAT DO YOU DO?
This could be social media content, blog posts, long form storytelling, journalistic writing, or something else entirely.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I produced The Moth, a live storytelling series, in San Francisco and Berkeley for several years, which gave me a keen sense of which elements of a story are relatable, grab or alienate the audience, and help get a bigger message across. I also worked in communications, PR, and social media management with nonprofit clients devoted to end of life care, criminal justice reform, and food assistance, among others. Between the live storytelling and the nonprofit communications work, I like to say I’m a professional amplifier of good causes.
How do you stand out in your field?
In addition to the writing and editing skills required, I’ve found that others in my field lack the complementary skills that make content successful online, get the message across, and connect with the right audiences. I’ve taken courses or sought out mentors to teach me email marketing, data analytics, photo editing, and journalistic writing, and applied the skills I learned in each to build readership, analyze engagement data, and successfully pitch reporters new stories.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Right now, I am freelance writing for a publication based in the Bay Area, and am covering art in Los Angeles.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I like writing thoughtful, informative content that includes first-hand sources or interviews to capture the essence of the topic. One example of the type of writing I create is a guide for first-time storytellers performing at The Moth, which I wrote for Broke Ass Stuart. I also wrote this piece on behalf of a coworker, based on interviews I conducted with her at Code for America.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
My language skills. I minored in Spanish and Chinese, but haven’t been actively practicing them so I’m not as confident speaking in either language anymore. I’ve started going to Spanish language meetups, but have not found an opportunity to use my Chinese.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
The news. Working in nonprofit communications meant I moved from cause to cause based on where I felt the greatest need was and where my skills could be useful. Now, I read the news and everything’s on fire and I can’t decide to focus my attention on immigration, healthcare, women’s rights in the workplace, reproductive rights… the list goes on and on.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would have them research and surface interesting upcoming events in the art community that I could attend and cover in my freelance writing work.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I wish I could have told myself not to worry so much about carving out a clear, linear career path from the get-go. So much of the richness in my career experience has been from the opportunities I never would have predicted: being asked by a neuroscientist to edit her book on the fight-or-flight response, covering an art exhibit on an 80s punk band, giving a presentation on the power of hugs… These opportunities pushed me and broadened my experience, but if I had tried to hold myself to a narrower path, I would have missed out. I still feel that tension, but wish I could have figured out earlier to worry about it less.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would love to pick the brain of someone who knows how to give a really skilled, deep interview. Not just someone who asks the questions, but who has the soft skills to build trust and really elicit interesting, thought-provoking, vulnerable responses.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Writing, editing, blogging, crafting content for social media, interviewing people for profiles or ghostwritten content, event coverage/journalistic writing.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Ideally, we’d meet up in person or via video chat first to discuss big picture: the person or organization’s mission, what the project is, what the objectives are, and how I would fit into that. Then I’d independently brainstorm, craft some sample copy, and get sign off to run with it. We riff back and forth as needed via tracked changes in Google Docs until the content is in stellar condition and ready to ship.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My starting rate is $35 an hour, but it depends on the project, particularly how many hours of background research are needed to familiarize myself with the voice of the existing content or any industry-specific language.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email is the best way to reach me. I would like a brief overview of the organization, the timeline, and any industry-specific language I should integrate or avoid (some criminal justice nonprofits, for example, don’t use the word “victims” to describe people affected by violent crime).
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Walk new neighborhoods looking for street-art.
This member profile was originally published in July 2018.