Interview

Nomadic Performer Interview Series: Sarah J. Halstead

Nomadic Performer Interview Series: Sarah J. Halstead

Sarah J. Halstead is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer, and comedian. After more than a decade living in Miami, Florida, working sales for champagne company Laurent-Perrier, she decided in early 2015 to switch jobs and pursue a performance career and drove cross-country to Los Angeles. Halstead had received theatrical training in New York City two decades earlier, and over the past year she has booked both television and theatrical stage roles. Screen credits include turns as schizophrenic murderer Sheila Labarre in Deadly Sins on Investigation Discovery and as wholesome 1950s housewife Jean Carpenter in TV pilot Life in Kodachrome. Stage credits include turns as Kristine Urich in A Chorus Line and as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray. Halstead also makes time to forge a stand-up comedy career, working both open mics and larger comedy venues around Los Angeles.

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Nomadic Performer Interview Series: Ben Kronberg

Nomadic Performer Interview Series: Ben Kronberg

Ben Kronberg is a Brooklyn-based comedian and musician originally from Colorado. In 2013, he had his own Comedy Central Half Hour special, and he has appeared on late-night network shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and Last Call with Carson Daly while also regularly touring across the country. His habit of referencing a small joke book during sets inspired filmmaker Scott Moran to interview Kronberg for the web series Modern Comedian, for which Kronberg also composed the music using his iPhone and guitar. Kronberg later used his iPhone to create a music album titled Just Songs, which he recently played live at American Beauty Bar NYC as part of a weekly open-mic showcase organized by friend and musician Tim Pourbaix.

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Kent Avenue Interview Series: Andreea Waters

Kent Avenue Interview Series: Andreea Waters

Andreea Waters is a photographer and author who, originally from Romania, is now based just north of New York City along the Hudson River. Her favorite photographic subject is surfing with a focus on the sport's mood, atmosphere, and art. In 2016, she collected her photographic work on the topic into a book, Surf NYC, with visual storytelling emphasis on (among other locales) the oceanside community of Rockaway Beach. The forward was written by New York surf-community activist and SMASH founder, Tyler Breuer.

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Nomadic Performer Interview Series: Stanford Reid and Maayan Oppenheim

Nomadic Performer Interview Series: Stanford Reid and Maayan Oppenheim

Stanford Reid and Maayan Oppenheim are multi-instrumental musicians who organize and play as part of the #PowerOurPlanet performance showcase each week at Hell Phone in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The show provides a live venue for poets, comedians, hip-hop, and folk musicians, with Reid often accompanying performers using his saxophone and other instruments. #PowerOurPlanet also serves as a larger movement, with an emphasis on innovation and creativity aimed at uplifting humanity. 

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Lisa Marie Basile and Joanna C. Valente

Talking Paper Interview Series: Lisa Marie Basile and Joanna C. Valente

Lisa Marie Basile and Joanna C. Valente are the founding editor-in-chief and managing editor, respectively, of Luna Luna Magazine—described by its website as "a conversation, dreamer's diary, lit magazine & confessional," with content generally divided between dark and light sections. Basile (who also serves as Luna Luna's creative director) is the author of Apocryphal (Noctuary Press, University of Buffalo), as well as chapbooks that include Andalucia (Poetry Society of New York). Valente is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press), and a forthcoming full-length collection, Marys of the Sea (ELJ Publications). She founded Yes, Poetry in 2010, and has a forthcoming chapbook, Xenos (Agape Editions).

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Mark Rosewater

Talking Paper Interview Series: Mark Rosewater

Mark Rosewater is Head Designer of Magic: The Gathering for Wizards of the Coast, holding that title since 2003. He has been involved with the creative direction of the popular card game for 21 years, and during that time has been involved with the creation of 14,000 unique cards. He regularly shares his experiences and advice about the game within an ongoing blog called Making Magic, while also producing a behind-the-scenes photo comic series about the game's production, called Tales From the Pit. He recently spoke with Nomadic Press about his literary influences, Magic's new Shadows Over Innistrad expansion set, and his collaborations with previous Talking Paper subject Nathaniel Holt for the Magic-themed video series Walking the Planes

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Melissa Gurney and Chris Carr

Talking Paper Interview Series: Melissa Gurney and Chris Carr

Melissa Hunter Gurney and Christopher Carr are the co-founders of Brooklyn-based publication GAMBAZine, describing it as "a provocative literary magazine created to inspire passion and thoughtfulness outside the politics of mainstream publication." Gurney is publisher/editor, while Carr is creative director, and both are on the lookout for underexposed writers and visual artists from around the world. The publication gives those writers and visualists an opportunity to perform their work for an audience by holding regular artist salons in Greenpoint (GAMBA Z's Artist Salon at Lucky Luna) and Bushwick (The Island of GAMBAZini Presents at Hell Phone), while also using their events calendar to help promote events organized by local artists like Stanford Reid (#PowerOurPlanet at Hell Phone) and Jessica Reidy (The Bridge Between Writing and Yoga at Sacred Sounds Yoga), as well as Nomadic Press.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Walter Bernstein

Talking Paper Interview Series: Walter Bernstein

Walter Bernstein is a New York City-based screenwriter whose burgeoning career scripting films and television programs was interrupted in 1950, when he was blacklisted for being a member of the Communist Party. At age 96, he lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side, but was raised Jewish in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. There he grew up watching films at the local Century and Albany movie theaters, where his first cinema-going memory was the 1928 silent picture The Noose, starring Richard Barthelmess. After attending college at Dartmouth, where he joined the Young Communist League, Bernstein was drafted into the U.S. Army, and worked as a correspondent for its official magazine, Yank. In the midst of World War II, he infiltrated Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia to interview Marshal Josip Tito. He also posted stories from Tehran, Tel Aviv, and Cairo while covering the Middle East.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Nathaniel Kressen

Talking Paper Interview Series: Nathaniel Kressen

Nathaniel Kressen is a Brooklyn-based novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and co-founder ofSecond Skin Books. He is also a core member of the Greenpoint Writers Group, which meets at Word bookstore on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn. His latest novel is Dahlia Cassandra, which focuses on a pair of teenage siblings in Idaho who depend on each other, until two strangers arrive in their town -- and features evocative cover art created by the author's wife, Jessie T. Kressen. The novel is the follow-up to Nathaniel's independently released debut,Concrete Fever, which was a bestseller Strand Book Store in Manhattan.

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Artist-to-Artist Interview Series: Sol Bailey Barker

Artist-to-Artist Interview Series: Sol Bailey Barker

Rohan DaCosta and I had the pleasure of Interviewing British artist Sol Bailey Barker about his solo show "Wyrd Then : Weird Now" currently on view at the London gallery, The Koppel Project. Due to our cross-Atlantic time difference, it was 2:00 AM Pacific time when we spoke to Sol whilst he ate his breakfast, the warm morning sun lighting up his South London flat. As Rohan and I smiled with sleepy eyes down the Skype portal into another man's morning, it became apparent that this action resonated with the rigorous excavation of time and space at the heart of "Wyrd Then : Weird Now."  

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Leon Johnson

Talking Paper Interview Series: Leon Johnson

Leon Johnson is an educator, artist and chef focused on ways that food, art, life training, culture and pleasure intersect. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Johnson recently moved to the Bronx from Detroit, where he founded and ran Market Studio Kitchen, and co-evolved Salt & Cedar Letterpress with his partner Megan O’Connell and sons Marlowe and Leander. It was also in Detroit where he began organizing a roving series of curated crafts & baking events called Book & Bread, where participants learned to bind books and bake bread around a table. He brought the concept to NYC, working with past Nomadic Press interview subject Ksenya Samarskaya to hold Book & Bread in her studio at 475 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg.

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Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Shira Erlichman

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Shira Erlichman

Born in Israel and based in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is a nationally acclaimed poet, singer-songwriter, and visual artist. Passionate and prolific, Erlichman is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has shared stages with TuNe-YaRdS, Mirah, Coco Rosie, and Andrea Gibson. She has been awarded two residences: the James Merrill Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center and the Millay Colony Residency. She is finishing up her first book, Odes to Lithium. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed Reader, BUST Magazine, and Winter Tangerine Review, among others. Her upcoming album, Subtle Creature, will be released in August 2016. Of her work, poet Ocean Vuong says, "Shira shows me that the mind's sanity is relative, but its beauty is total." In this interview, Erlichman shares her journey navigating Bipolar Disorder with brutal and intricate honesty.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Katarina Hybenova

Talking Paper Interview Series: Katarina Hybenova

Katarina Hybenova is the founder of Brooklyn culture website, Bushwick Daily (B. D.). Raised in post-communist Slovakia, Hybenova's background is in business law, but an interest in photography led her to start a picture blog that evolved into Bushwick Daily. In addition to the site's day-to-day coverage of local restaurants, bars, music venues, art shows, and neighborhood news, Hybenova summarizes each year's ten most-read Bushwick Daily stories in an annual article. The two most-read stories of 2015 involved sightings of the musician Bjork, and the opening of outdoor bar Nowadays. Bushwick Daily has also produced a magazine, Bushwick Notebook, and a collection of short stories edited by site contributor Dallas Athent, titled Bushwick Nightz. In December 2015, Hybenova read from her upcoming memoir at local bar Hell Phone as part of the Nomadic Press performance showcase, Bushwick Stories. Nomadic Press recently interviewed Hybenova about Bushwick Daily, and her thoughts on the neighborhood's cultural life.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Lauren Bilanko

Talking Paper Interview Series: Lauren Bilanko

Lauren Bilanko co-owns and operates fantasy games outlet Twenty Sided Store (TSS) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In April 2016, she and co-owner Luis Chato will celebrate five years of serving customers from their storefront at 362 Grand Street, and providing a friendly backroom space to players of Magic: The GatheringDungeons & DragonsSettlers of Catan, and other games. Those loyal customers generated enough word of mouth to earn TSS the title of "Best Game Shop in New York City" from the Village Voice in 2014. Following a store expansion, Bilanko collaborated with Nomadic Press to present The Backroom Theater music / reading / film showcase in December 2015 within the refurbished gaming space. In advance of the TSS five-year anniversary, I interviewed Bilanko about her business, some of the popular games she sells, and the enduring popularity of tactile games crafted from paper and cardboard.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Harriet Poznansky

Talking Paper Interview Series: Harriet Poznansky

Harriet Poznansky is a visual artist, writer, and musician from the UK. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her artistic practise predominately gravitates toward painting; however, she also makes electro / classical music and writes short stories. She is represented by London gallery The Koppel Project, a creative hub bringing together a contemporary art gallery, project space, cafe, and Phaidon bookshop founded and directed by Gabriella Sonabend and managed and co-curated by Hannah Thorne. Poznansky's most recent past exhibitions include a solo show at the Nomadic Press Oakland Workspace in November of 2015. Her work can also be seen in the East Bay Review and was featured in the Nomadic Press annual journal, Sate (2015). Along with Katie Hayward and Sarah Roberts, Poznansky's work can be seen in the group show "Pandiculate! The Joy of Stretching," on display at The Koppel Project from March 15 to April 7, 2016. Ahead of that show, I interviewed Poznansky about her work, the Koppel Project, and working with Nomadic Press.

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Kent Avenue Interview Series: David Alan Harvey

Kent Avenue Interview Series: David Alan Harvey

David Alan Harvey is a Brooklyn-based freelance photographer and publisher of Burn Magazine. After a youthful internship with National Geographic, he received a graduate degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and began his professional career at the Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas. Yet it was in Virginia, where he was raised, that Harvey would shoot two important early-career series: one a personal project that challenged the segregation lines of his Southern youth, the other a professional introduction to a long and productive career with National Geographic.

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Kent Avenue Interview Series: Kirk Edwards

Kent Avenue Interview Series: Kirk Edwards

Kirk Edwards is a Brooklyn-based photographer whose schedule often takes him far afield for international fashion and commercial work. Raised in Iowa, he earned a business degree there, before changing course to a successful photography career in New York City. He gained experience as an assistant to photographers such as Jorg Badura, Steven Klein, and Mark Seliger, before forging his own solo career. For the past decade, he has lived and worked out of the apartments at 475 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg—part of a younger generation in the building's renowned photographic community that Nomadic Press has chronicled in this series. Among the topics Edwards discussed was his recent work with musician Mr. Hudson, photographing the Sundance Film Festival, magazine shoots with athletes, and a personal project inspired by his wife's talent for hula dancing.  

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Bill Bayer

Talking Paper Interview Series: Bill Bayer

Bill Bayer was a long-time photojournalist for newspapers in New Jersey and Massachusetts, starting in the late 1970s. Among them was The Jersey Journal in Jersey City, where he was hired as photo editor in November 1988, and shot thousands of pictures for stories around Hudson County.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Ksenya Samarskaya

Talking Paper Interview Series: Ksenya Samarskaya

Ksenya Samarskaya is a Brooklyn-based typographic designer who has headed up branding and typeface outfit Samarskaya & Partners (S&P) for the past four years. Among other clients, the company has worked with brick-and-mortar businesses on finding just the right style of typeface for lettering that appears on signs, windows, menus, business cards, and other written material seen by potential customers.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Joseph Bennett

Talking Paper Interview Series: Joseph Bennett

Joseph Bennett is a Los Angeles-based artist and animator. While working by day for NYC advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, Bennett began using his nights to animate what would eventually become a three-part animated saga that entwines Norse mythology with grotesque fantasy tropes found in paintings by artists like Frank Frazetta. Titled Odin's Afterbirth (see below for the full video), the project was partially inspired by his viewing the trailer for 2009 film Valhalla Rising, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Now combined into one 14-minute movie, Odin's Afterbirth will screen on Saturday, December 5, at a fantasy-themed reading/music showcase at Williamsburg games purveyor Twenty Sided Store, co-organized by Nomadic Press. I interviewed Bennett ahead of that event to discuss the making of Odin's Afterbirth, and his affinity for giving his computer-edited animations a hand-drawn look.

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