All posts filed under: Day Job

gossip tuenight gossip columnist

Why Being a Gossip Columnist is the Best and Worst Job You’ll Ever Have

The elevator was too small for the big personalities stuck inside of it. I had just left a fancy cocktail party at the home of a very famous wedding dress designer and at first I was delighted to find myself trapped in the elevator with two of my very favorite television stars. That was until they turned on me. We were stuck and tensions ran high. It was one of those small elevators, cramped as hell and someone hadn’t put on enough deodorant that morning. Looking back on this night ten years later, I tell myself they were just hungry. They probably hadn’t had bread or sugar in more than a decade. “You’re that gossip columnist,” one carped when it became clear that we would be waiting in the small space together for some time and everyone should settle in and get comfortable. [pullquote]I can tell you without a twinge of doubt, guilt or shame that most celebrities deserve the intense scrutiny that the celebrity press puts on their lives.[/pullquote] I shrugged. “It’s not really …

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Are Journalists Allowed to Be Fans?

When I was starting out my career in the ’90s working as a business journalist, the rule was always be in the background of (and not part of) the story. The first-person voice-y thing was for the columnists — and if you were doing that and weren’t one, you were clearly a novice reporter in her first weeks on the job. Worse, if you were a fan of a subject’s work or their mission, showing your hand beyond a detached view of why their company might be good for society — or, really, shareholders — was a nonstarter. This went double if you were a person in her ’20s covering complex topics. Note that this was before the ubiquity of blogging and disruption. The old order reigned, and it didn’t exactly revere lack of years of experience and naïve exuberance. In turn, neither did I. #Judgy This worldview of mine took a little time to coalesce. One incident that helped it along happened when I returned from a reporting trip where I was trailing an entrepreneur who …

Day Job: I Was a Heroin Ethnographer

“C’mon!” my emaciated companion urged, grabbing my arm and speedwalking me towards a nondescript looking apartment building. We had been waiting across the street for the past 10 minutes, looking for some kind of a signal from the gentleman standing in front of the bodega on the corner. I had been trying to decide whether I was more afraid of the police or an angry drug dealer, but I guess while I was busy being paranoid we had been given the all-clear. “Be cool,” Janet hissed as she hurried me on. At one point Janet had been a successful corporate lawyer, but that was many years and countless bags of dope ago. Today, she was a 45-year-old junkie who lived off the largesse of her wealthy Upper West Side family, in a parentally financed apartment a few blocks from where she grew up. We were about to purchase heroin together because I was working as an ethnographer on a government-funded anthropological study of heroin use in New York City. Most drug research takes place in …

Day Job: How I Became a Voice-Over Artist

When our own Adrianna Dufay isn’t proofreading, writing an article or publishing our weekly newsletter here on TueNight.com, you might find her in a booth with headphones, talking about a credit card. Or a business summit. As a part-time voice-over artist (and former Off-Broadway actor), her own voice is a key part of her profession. I wondered what that might be like (it sounds like the coolest job ever), so I asked if she’d take some time out of her weekend to tell me. How did you first get into voice-over work? I went to graduate school for acting and when I first moved to New York City, I was recruited by a well-regarded voiceover agent. I came here to act in plays, but those downtown gigs weren’t paying the bills, so I hoped to make some money with my voice.  Turns out you have to (or at least I had to) audition A LOT to book voice-over work. The rule of thumb in the beginning was one booking for every 50 auditions. Since my …

Day Job: Novelist, Former Network Exec Lindy DeKoven

Primetime Princess, Lindy DeKoven’s debut novel, centers on Alexa Ross, a female network executive trying to make it in a very male-dominated industry. If anyone would have the background to sink their teeth into this storyline, it would be DeKoven, who spent years as an executive at NBC Entertainment, Paramount/CBS and Walt Disney Television. At one point in her career, she was the only woman with the authority to green-light movies and miniseries. DeKoven has taken her experiences and twisted them into a Devil Wears Prada-esque story that is so enthralling you most likely won’t put the book down until you’re finished. On top of being an accomplished business woman and author, she has served as chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women. Previously, she served on the boards of Women in Film, the AFI Women’s Directing Workshop, and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society. What inspired you to write Primetime Princess? I wrote Primetime Princess because I had a story to tell. That subtext is about sexism in the workplace. I hope it’s …

Day Job: Radio DJ

Who: Maria Milito What’s your day job? I keep people company on air. I’m a radio DJ for the New York classic rock station, Q104.3. My shift is during the workday, 9am until 2pm. How long have you been a DJ? I’ve been at Q104.3 for 17 years. I’ve been DJing a long time. You don’t like to share your age? It’s funny, I have like 20-year-old listeners who think I’m hipper than their parents and their parents are actually younger than me. And then I have people who listen to me and think they listened to me when they came back from Vietnam. But I can’t tell them that I’m not that old. So that’s why I’m always pretty generic about it. Where did you grow up? Hicksville, Long Island. My family is from Brooklyn and they did the big Italian exodus in the ’50s to Staten Island, New Jersey and Long Island. How did you get into radio? I got a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from New York Tech in Old Westbury. …

Day Job: Baby Wrangler

Who: Meryl Salzinger, 40s, from New York City. What is your day job? “I’m a baby wrangler.” What the heck is a baby wrangler? “The person who gets the babies or children to do what they need to do on a still photo or TV commercial shoot, all the while keeping them happy and safe.” How does your job work, exactly?  “A photographer, client, or ad agency brings me in to use my bag of tricks that get the babies or children to do what the ad requires. I try to be the first person a baby or child sees when they arrive so that I can give them a friendly, loving welcome. Then I pretty much run back and forth from the kid to the camera lens to get the expression and position the photographer needs.” How did you get the gig? “For five years I was a photographer’s assistant at an in-house studio for a children’s textbook company. I also produced, styled, and wrangled shoots. After that, I did studio management for a …