Bad Jobs

January 19, 2011

Long ago but not so far away — this past October at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland — nearly 200 authors and thousands of their fans gathered for the Pacific Northwest’s biggest and best book festival, Wordstock.

In the course of events, seven featured speakers visited our makeshift studio, a conference room so void of character that the black backdrop we hung kind of spruced the place up. All answered several questions about their writing, but we spent lots of time discussing more common matters. Like bad jobs.

Willy Vlautin was the first author we filmed at the show. His bad jobs — one in particular, the first he describes, for the veterinarian — convinced us to explore the topic further. The very last to visit was Steve Almond, who found similarities between the ethically challenged employment of his youth and professional writing that wrapped up our modest inquiry more cleanly than we’d have imagined possible.

Others we filmed that weekend include David Rakoff, Joanna Smith Rakoff (no relation), Heidi Durrow, Jim Lynch, and Sarahlee Lawrence. More Wordstock videos are on the way.

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More Willy Vlautin (official author website)
Richmond Fontaine (official band website)
Think Out Loud interview (2010, audio)
Guardian interview (2008) interview (2008)
Pure Music interview (2008)
Aquarium Drunkard interview (2007)

More Steve Almond
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life (official website)
The Morning News interview (2010)
Vanity Fair interview (2010)
Smith Mag interview (2010)
The Nervous Breakdown self-interview (2010)
The Rumpus interview (2010)
Largehearted Boy interview (2010)
The Splinter Generation interview (2009)
Bostonist interview (2007)
Bookslut interview (2003)
Identity Theory interview (2003)

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