Thank you for visiting my personal site. As a reward, I have a story for you.
When I asked Tom Hamilton about his brother’s time in Afghanistan, his place in the Occupy Philly movement and how those themes come out in his music, he eagerly replied.
After 30 minutes, my allotted time for a preview story about an upcoming show, Hamilton asked, “Can I call you back?” He had to take another call and answer the questions of another interviewer.
Hamilton, the lead singer of the Philadelphia-based American Babies, wanted to continue our conversation, he said, because our discussion was more interesting than most interviews.
I had researched his music, his life and asked him to-the-point questions about his career. Hamilton said most interviewers ask him only about how he started playing, how long his band has been around and what they have coming out next — information I had found in the band’s online bio.
I have letters of recommendations from editors like the Indianapolis Star’s Jenny Morlan, who after my internship sent me a text to say, “You were the best intern EVER.”
But the letters of praise that feel more poignant come from my sources. Musicians like Hamilton, self-published authors like Laura Gibson and photographers like Katie Basbagill thank me for thorough interviews that get to the root of their passion.
Artists like Cheryl Oldenkamp, athletes like Scott Jensen and musicians like Todd Partridge tell me I told their stories in a true and honest way. These are the people who make my job interesting and worthwhile.
I strive to tell stories that don’t just touch the surface of individuals’ lives but go deeper and expose their individual personalities.
These are the stories I’m most proud of, and these are the letters of recommendation I hang in my office.
For the past eight months, I’ve worked at an alternative weekly. As the only full-time reporter for the publication, I write anywhere from five to 10 stories a week in addition to editing, planning future issues and managing social media.
I write about everything from previewing upcoming concerts to profiling local semi-professional athletes. I’ve written more than 150 stories during that time, and my position has helped me hone my interviewing skills in a way that keeps musicians — who probably do as many interviews as I do — calling back for more.
I fill my stories with detailed descriptions, crucial information and anecdotal reconstructions that not only engage readers but accurately represent my sources.