Why I Can’t Afford to Write Without Payment

We talk about this a lot. Why is it so acceptable to ask people to work for free? It’s the subject that’s at the heart of a lot of Facebook rants and Twitter storms and, more recently, the New York Times opinion page. You’ve probably read “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!” by now. It’s made a lot of rounds. Tim Kreider’s arguments and advice are sound. The fill-in-the-blank response at the bottom of the piece is useful and explains why you can’t afford to forego pay.  It’s also similar to the replies I’ve sent plenty of people in recent memory.  Mine are typically “Sorry, I can’t afford to work without pay” or “Sorry, I can’t afford to do the job for that amount.”

It’s a simple, and sort of obvious, response to people who give us line after line about how they can’t afford to pay us or can’t afford to pay a remotely reasonable amount for the work. And, for a lot of us, it’s the truth.
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This Week’s DJ Gigs

halloween costume


Tomorrow is Halloween. I will be dressing up as my current favorite cartoon character– Tina Belcher– and heading down to Alpine Village where I am set to DJ at Club Berlin. For those of you in the South Bay, this is a great opportunity to get some Halloween partying done without traveling too far. The party runs from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. Cover is $5 and the event is 21+. For more info, and to RSVP, head over to Facebook.

On Friday, I’ll be playing at Meltdown Comics for “The Doctor Is In: A Tribute to the Show.” This is the opening event for an art show featuring 100+ artists and it is free to attend. More info on Facebook.

What I Learned From Conventions Pt. 1: Confidence

Next month, I’ll be attending four or five conventions. That’s a lot, even for someone who writes about conventions as part of her job. I went to my first convention in 2008 because I was looking for DVDs. I started writing about them because they interested me. I kept writing about them because people seemed to be reading the stories. I thought that maybe, after a year or two, I would move on to something else. I didn’t. Ultimately, writing about conventions became more than a means of getting paid. Conventions became part of my education.

At conventions, I learned a lot of basics of reporting in the 21st century. I learned how to write fast, how to make the most of technology in places where Internet access is sparse and how to survive on very little sleep. I didn’t simply learn how to report at conventions. It’s inside these massive, crowded venues that I learned how to be a better person
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Shadowplay, This Saturday Night


Shadowplay, the monthly goth party I throw with Diana M. and Lawrence G. of Underground, is back this Saturday night. I’m very excited for this event because our guest DJ is Jason Farber. Jason and I have been friends for years. In fact, I played my first big DJ gig at Coven 13 with him. He’s an amazing DJ and a constant inspiration, so I hope you’ll stop by to check out his set.

Shadowplay takes place at the Grand Star in Chinatown. Party starts at 10 p.m. and, if you RSVP, it’s free before 10:30 p.m.  Otherwise, the cover is $8.


This Friday, We Play The Cure at Underground

I remember the moment when I went from liking The Cure to being, like, totally freakin’ obsessed with The Cure. It’s when I heard Disintegration. That happened sometime in 6th grade. Disintegration was an album that probably really did change my life. It marked a personal change, the beginning of a transformation from being an unintentionally nerdy kid to a defiantly weird teenager.

Sometimes I think that the only albums that really, truly matter are the ones you heard when you’re caught in the midst of puberty. You don’t forget the solace found in those albums that accompanied your teenage meltdowns. You don’t forget that Robert Smith understood you better than your fake friends did.
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Catch Up: New Stories for L.A. Weekly , Geek Exchange and Hi-Fructose


Just a quick post to let you know what’s been going on this week.

On Tuesday, Titmouse released the animated short “Pinched” via iTunes. It’s a cool flick and I had the chance to interview creator David Vandervoort for Geek Exchange.

“Animated Short ‘Pinched’ Hits iTunes”

I recently had the chance to visit Abso Lutely Studios, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s production company. While I was there, I talked with Heidecker, as well as Eric Andre and Derrick Beckles, star of the new Adult Swim series Hot Package. Read the story for L.A. Weekly.

“Inside Tim & Eric’s Company, Which Is Pushing the Boundaries of TV Comedy”

On the print side of the spectrum, I wrote about L.A.-based artist Ken Garduno for Hi-Fructose vol. 29. This story is not available online, so if you want to read it, make sure you pick up a copy.

Order a copy of Hi-Fructose vol. 29.

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