Though I’ve (hopefully) become a weekly fixture to keep you entertained with your morning cup of Coho coffee or while waiting at the bus stop, this was not the case a mere 12 months ago.
The deadline for next year’s managerial positions is today, so I’ve been wondering – what happens after an arts editor comes to the end of their term? Where do they go once they clear the piles of press releases and un-reviewed albums off of their sticker-laden desk and leave the cozy confines of 25 Lower Freeborn?
The best answer to this question would be to take a look into the past, so I started with my predecessor, the music connoisseur Nicole L. Browner. From 2007 to 2008, Browner manned MUSE in its last year as an eight-page insert.
After handing the torch over to yours truly, Browner spent a summer interning at La La Media, a digital music start-up based in the Bay Area. She left the dirty five-thirty after another quarter for San Francisco, where she is currently working retail and acting as news director for The Bay Bridged, a non-profit local music site.
Before NLB, there was Melanie Glover, who held it down for the arts desk from 2006 to 2007. Now publicity manager at the Davis Art Center, Glover spent her last quarter in fall 2007 working as a publicity assistant for the UC Davis theatre and dance department and as an editorial assistant for Sactown Magazine. She then interned at The Sacramento Bee, where veteran journalists asked her, “Why are you entering a dying industry?”
For 2005 to 2006 arts editor Rachael Bogert, who founded the Search Party student musician contest, writing was always a key element post-Aggie. After a year abroad and writing for the student newspaper at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Bogert interned for the UC Davis Magazine. Like a handful of other former Aggies, she joined the staff at the Sac Bee, where she experienced the highs of 12-hour workdays in the newsroom doing what she loved – as well as the lows of McClatchy shares and staff cuts. Bogert is currently a technical writer for Entertainment Partners in Los Angeles, and writing and editing on the side.
Aaron Davidson managed the arts desk from 2002-2003. After graduating with an English degree in 2005, Davidson has been writing ever since, but after numerous short-term stints – including gigs at 7×7 Magazine, Zero Mag, SF Station and other online venues – the one constant media outlet has been his blog. Now, Davidson is a marketing manager at a casual gaming start-up.
So what does all this mean for little ol‘ me?
The key pattern found here is being independently creative – all the old artsies I talked to do additional writing on the side of their “real” (read: paying) job. Glover believes that journalism is going the way of freelancers, and Davidson warned that “current journalistic aspirations are dangerous.“
Still, even with the industry heading the way it is, I’m glad to be able to secure at least a couple of more weeks in a newsroom. But, as Bogert pointed out to me, college is transitory – a look into the decades of archived Aggie papers is testament to that.
One thing that isn’t quite as fleeting? Un-updated contact lists, apparently. I still receive press releases addressed to Beth Rose Middleton (1999 to 2000) and John A. Martins (2000 to 2001), both arts editors before I even knew what a byline was. There’s also a business card from 2004 tacked onto the bulletin board by my desk that reads, “C.M. Caskey, Arts & Entertainment Editor Proffesional Dick.” I can only wonder which former Aggie is at fault for that typo.
RACHEL M. FILIPINAS has one thing to say: Schmeckle. Ask her to elaborate and reveal her middle initial at firstname.lastname@example.org.