“Taking America’s Temperature one interview at a time.”
Letter from the Editor
“Meet me by the fountain”, I said.
He agrees, “Yes, we’ll go to that little French place”.
It’s 1pm, harsh light in mid-town, he and his beret rush over. “Wait! Like this! Drop the purse, chin to me. Yes, like that. Keep doing that…”
I in my floof & grown-out purple rush over. I drop my bag, <snap snap snap>. We giggle. A guy in work boots at the fountain smirks at us, laughs while finishing his street Gyro. Stomps the foil.
The Beret & the Floof giggle at their absurdity.
How can New York be dead if we’re here?
“Taking America’s Temperature one interview at a time.” with Janel Koloski
I’ve always been fascinated by people and their unique narratives. I am dangerously curious and want to try everything. We only have so many years on this planet, so it’s impossible to try everything unless you are lucky enough to experience a slice of life through candid conversations daily. I’ve hosted for The Travel Channel, NowThis, and Thrillist and fell in love with energetic interactions and the wealth of knowledge you can gain in just a few minutes from interviewing someone.
I’ve been talking to strangers boldly since I was three, so it should be no surprise that I interview random people on the street across America with my show 6footBOOM. The idea started as a joke between my boyfriend and I, and six months later, it blossomed into full production. We roll out a red carpet, stand 6 feet apart, I interview strangers with my 6 ft. boom mic, and he captures it all.
The questions have been revolving around positive aspects of the pandemic and the city we are interviewing in, but ultimately I want to know what makes the interviewees unique. The goal of the show is to connect people by showcasing different perspectives, personalities and encouraging empathy. If you talk to someone long enough, you will have more in common than you think.
My brother has autism and uniquely communicates with the world. Many people fear interacting with him because they are unfamiliar with his form of communication. I’ve spent most of my life guiding my brother to appease social norms and disarm the general public encouraging them to interact and gain understanding. Besides my natural curiosity and bubbly nature, I’ve always had a burning desire for people to connect and have more empathy. Empathy requires much vulnerability and slightly more energy than many individuals are comfortable with, but I genuinely feel it is a cornerstone of human existence. Closing yourself off from people and perspectives you don’t inherently understand limits your life. You don’t have to put on a cape and save the world. Empathy is much more straightforward than that. Meet people with an open heart and consider what it would be like for you to experience what they are experiencing. We are all human and connected, making our way through the epic journey of life.
The Few. The Proud. The Inoculated:
Stop with the Vaccine Photoshoots.
With Nate Patten
It’s not really any surprise that theatre people love seeing themselves on camera. And there are many situations in which I would say it is entirely appropriate-more than appropriate, in fact- to host a photoshoot of yourself. Your college graduation. At your Opening Night. On the day of your release from prison. But when I think about times when you should not be wearing makeup and surrounded by lighting equipment, there is one place that immediately jumps to the front of my mind. And that is at your Covid vaccination. And if you think that I’m making it up that people are doing this, then wash a Xanax down with a White Claw and open your Instagram.
I should preface this by saying I’m not sure why we have adopted this fashionable trend of sharing staged photos of your inoculation and publicly documenting them like it’s your Bat Mitzvah, but my social media is currently flooded with perfectly lit, cropped, and edited photos of people in the vaccination chair proudly holding (boasting?) their vaccine card like they’ve just received the Congressional Medal of Freedom. Now before anyone cancels me, I’m in favor of the vaccine. In fact, I’m as excited to get it as I am for the next season of Ozark (Wendy is just out of control, you guys). And I actually think sharing the information that you’ve received the vaccine is profoundly important to its dissemination. We want to further the scientifically correct narrative the vaccine is our way out of this mess. I’m just not a fan of vaccine photo shoots. How did we get so broken as a society that this looks like a good idea?
One particularly egregious post I saw contained a strapping, young actor whose name has been removed but I will call Tucker. Tucker was holding his vaccine card and wrote a caption that read: “I did it for my family. I did it for my friends. I did it for the gays. #BidenHarris.” Wait…you did it for the gays?? Congratulations on the vaccine, Tucker, we can now socialize with you. Not that anyone would want to after this post. Tucker is acting as though he deserves the accolades of having served in Afghanistan. Here’s another one from a young artist named “Denise”. She posted this caption with a photo of herself in full hair and makeup getting injected.
“I never thought this day would come. Today I take one step forward for science.
(a long poem with no author listed)
Stop. Killing. Trans. Women*”
*a hand clapping emoji followed every one of these words
Now first of all, I must say I agree with Denise. We need to stop killing trans women. If you’re reading this, and you are someone who kills trans women…STOP. I’m serious. But this raises more pressing questions: are there people on Denise’s newsfeed that are regularly killing trans women? Because if there are…unfriend them, Denise. And call the police. I don’t want anyone on my newsfeed that has killed a trans woman. Or that has killed anyone for that matter. I’m not a psychopath. Every cloud has a silver lining and this one is that thanks to Denise’s vaccine parade, we can now all finally deduce that it’s not ok to kill.
Another good one from someone named “Crystal”.
Today I got the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Let’s do this. #Broadway #YourVoteBringsTheLightsBackOn #FinallyOutofQuarantine
This brings me to a truly urgent call to action; a real emergency. If anyone is reading this and knows Crystal, can you please let her know that it’s ok to leave your house? I’m really, really worried about her because from the sound of her Instagram post she has been locked in apartment since March 2020. This would also explain the current mental state that led her to photographing her Covid vaccine.
Social media is a drug, and we are using it like heroin or cocaine. It’s an escape from reality, a way to mask our problems, a simplification of something complicated and, more than anything, it’s really addictive. We are feeling a societal pressure to document every moment of our lives by creating an alternate universe where things are what we want. What does this have to do with getting a vaccine? I have no idea. But STOP. KILLING. TRANS. WOMEN. – NP