At age six, I wanted to play professional soccer when I grew up. At seven, I dreamed of becoming an editorial cartoonist. At 15, I considered politics. At 20, I finally started heeding suggestions that I should write about music for a living. At some point after that, the idea of working for City Pages -- a paper I'd picked up and scoured since my teen years -- came into focus.
At no point did I predict all of the factual corrections, the thousands of publicist emails, and moving eight times in a decade. But on my last day as City Pages' music editor, here we are.
I interviewed for an internship at City Pages in the summer of 2004. Then-managing editor Michael Tortorello sat with me at Corner Coffee and we discussed the tasks of an intern while drinking iced tea. Then, what felt like an eternity passed.
Hell-bent on not living with my folks anymore, I latched onto the first concrete internship offer that came my way. I fled to Brooklyn and began a mostly data-entry opportunity with CMJ, a magazine that puts out college radio charts and hosts a yearly music festival in New York. A few weeks later, Tortorello called me to say I could start the City Pages internship whenever I wanted. Oops. A part of me assumed I'd never get another chance to work here.
My stay on the East Coast lasted seven years -- five in New York and two in Florida -- and I coveted dozens of jobs at different publications. Plenty of them seemed like dream opportunities, but the reality of oft-unglamorous work and long hours made that rose-tinted Almost Famous idea drift further way. Fortunately, something more concrete took shape in its place.
People never fetishize all the desk work when you tell them you have a music-writing job. The dream job version is meeting rock stars, writing album reviews, and getting free concert tickets, but then you wake up to some transcription and maybe even a date with the film projectors at the Minnesota History Center.
The deadlines, proofreading, photo editing, research, spreadsheets, invoices, and fact-checking aren't memoir material, but they're a vast improvement over my past jobs landscaping yards, explaining class-action lawsuits, and moving pallets of groceries.
Luck and patience brought me back to my home state of Minnesota in 2012 for this job. The past three years have been far more fulfilling than any dream. Many of my favorite parts have been the disasters, the unfollows, and the brutal online comments. They've textured the scoops and cover stories, and served as a reminder for how hard you have to fight for what you're passionate about.
A dream job is the one you want to have, or the memories of the one you used to have. Your actual job is far more visceral, and it's who you are while you're wide awake (or semi-conscious, at least).
The closest part to that whole "dream job" fantasy has always been working alongside the inspiring and generous talents in the City Pages office, and getting high on the dedication of the Twin Cities community of musicians, writers, photographers, venues, radio stations, publicists, managers, and fans.
Thank you, everyone.
It'll be exciting to bring something new to the community when I start at Go 96.3 in April. When you're surrounded by so many others who believe in keeping this dialogue going, the dream lives on long after the job is done.
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