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50-for-50 interview: Maureen Anderson, career anthropologist

Maureen Anderson is living proof that the Internet is a multiplier, not a decimator. It’s brought her long-running show, The Career Clinic, to people far outside the reach of terrestrial radio—even 45 affiliate stations’ worth of reach—as surely as it’s helped grow the guest list that makes the show a must-listen. It ain’t all digital hoodoo, though: Maureen works incredibly hard at a job she clearly loves and is irrefutably good at. She has a boundless enthusiasm for helping people see what’s possible, and crafts interviews that always bring out the best in her guests. Add to that a sterling character and a glorious sense of humor and it’s easy to understand why she can command such a big empire from a remote outpost like Fargo, ND.  When did you decide to become a writer? I didn’t. I just always was. When I look back on my childhood, I see a deliriously happy eleven-year-old in front of a pile of index cards and magic markers. I was making notes for a speech contest, and I was in heaven. The topic was conserving our natural resources, and I wrote a song for my introduction: “Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly. But they don’t last long if they try…” It gets worse. I sang those words when I delivered the speech to an assembly of the whole school, because if there was anything I liked better than magic markers it was a microphone–and I was fearless. The judges rewarded my courage with… Read More »50-for-50 interview: Maureen Anderson, career anthropologist

50-for-50 interview: Alice Bradley—blogger, essayist, bundle of funny

Were I twice as prolific as Alice Bradley, I’d still be only half as good a writer. She’s already managed more than I’ve begun to puzzle out—namely, how one writes a blog, multiple columns for various traditional media outlets, a humorous book, and serious (not to mention award-winning) essays, while somehow retaining one’s unique voice ubiquitously. And all this on top of managing a real, honest-to-goodness family—who seem to like her, no less? If I hadn’t been on the receiving end of her graciousness and generosity more than once, I’d have written her off as a myth. Uh, no pun intended. Not surprisingly, she has much to say about truth and its place in writing. When did you decide to become a writer? When I was little, it seemed that there was something dark and frightening hiding behind everything I knew—that there was a thin veil separating my daily reality from what really was. I don’t know where I got this idea, but I have some ideas. I overheard a lot, when I was little. I eavesdropped, and I got scared. I wanted to make sense of it, of what little I understood, so I wrote it down, and made it my own. My teachers were alarmed, I’m sure. Why is this little girl writing so much about death and murder and alcoholism? But then, I was also funny, or tried to be. So pretty much I just confused everyone. When was this, though? Hmm. I think right from when… Read More »50-for-50 interview: Alice Bradley—blogger, essayist, bundle of funny

50-for-50 interview: Bonnie Gillespie, casting director

I first “met” Bonnie Gillespie back in the mid-1990s, when she was writing a (deservedly) popular column for Back Stage West and I was (deservedly) writing nothing but weepy entries in my journal about my non-existent acting career. Soon after that, we become internet “friends” via an actors’ message board; eventually, we became real-life friends who actually do stuff like meet each other for lady-dates at various upscale hamburger joints around Los Angeles. She is one of the smartest ladies I know and the most generous people I’ve met. Also, she is just a wee bit woowoo around the edges, which I am always a sucker for.  When did you decide to become a writer? My mother would’ve told you I didn’t decide; writing chose me. I was a kid actor and when mom would say, “My daughter, the writer,” I would stomp my foot and scream, “MUH-THUR! I am an ACK-TRESS!” But I was always writing. Always. Wrote my first (produced) play at the age of seven. Filled journals with poems and songs and short stories. Submitted pieces to Young Miss and Seventeenmagazines, then The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, all while in my teens. I was a writer before I was anything else, really, but I didn’t self-identify as a writer until I was in my 30s (which is crazy, considering I had been paid to write for decades by then). Who was your favorite teacher? It would have to be Mrs. Stivers, for sure. It’s tough to choose a favorite, as so many wonderful teachers… Read More »50-for-50 interview: Bonnie Gillespie, casting director

Raising $50,000 in 50 days for an amazing group of girls