I’m beginning a new career on August 8, and it may be a confusing choice to some. Rather than clog Facebook or Twitter feeds answering questions, I’ve answered them here.
Does this mean you won’t be a journalist anymore?
Journalism is in my blood. It’s less a career, and more a lifestyle. I’m going to tell stories no matter where I work or what my job title happens to be. What this does mean is I won’t be a (primarily) local journalist anymore. It’s been my longtime goal to produce more national features and work on a few personal projects like Bly.
Does this mean you failed at journalism?
What does ‘journalism’ mean these days? Is it a title or a degree? Is it anyone with a camera? I tend to think of journalism as an attitude. Storytelling, of course, is at the heart of both journalism and PR. This job will enable me to keep writing and shooting video as much or as little as I want on the side. I’ll be interviewing, shooting and writing about theater professionals on a regular basis. I’m also going to work in a theater, which has always been one of my longterm career goals. I’d call that success. :)
Does this mean you never want to be a full-time journalist again?
That’s a tough call to make, but something tells me journalism will always be a part of my life, whether that’s full time or part time. I’ll never unlearn these skills: reporting, interviewing, researching, writing, editing. I’ve always wanted to teach journalism (and theater) at the college level, and I’ll be doing that in the fall as an adjunct.
But what about your degree?
My masters degree is in Arts Journalism. I will absolutely be using that degree in this role. I believe an arts journalist exists to tell stories about the arts – in whatever form they choose – with the hope of beginning a conversation. With the hope that the arts will continue to THRIVE.
Does this mean freelancing isn’t a sustainable lifestyle?
There’s a lot of ways I could answer that. Here’s your assignment: freelance full-time for a year (like I did this past year), and then we’ll chat. Freelancing is a terrible, wonderful thing. Sometimes, you need to add a new set of tools and experience. That’s what I am doing.
What will you do at Syracuse Stage?
I’ll be handling public relations/press, planning special events, social media management and community engagement.
Where will you live?
In Syracuse. As much as I love Rochester and it’s breaking my heart to leave, the “community engagement” part of my job means I need to live in and know my community.
Why Syracuse and not NYC, Boston, Chicago, etc.?
Because they asked first. ;)
Will you still teach journalism at Roberts Wesleyan College in the fall?
Yes! And I’m pumped. Just submitted my textbook requirements to the bookstore, holllaaaaaaa. (Are you a junior/senior student? Take my class! Are you an alum? Did you know you can audit my class!?)
When are you moving?
In about two weeks, friends. I start at the Stage on August 8.
Can I see you before you move?
I hope so! Drop me a line.
Can I help with anything?
I’m car hunting! Send leads my way. I’m also accepting coffee date and packing party offers.
Does this mean the end of “Weekenders?”
Not even close…
What will Pete do?
Hopefully, he’ll still marry me and move to Syracuse in October. Until then, he’ll be in Rochester and you should patronize The Little Theatre’s events if you want to see him. (Shameless plug for you, P.)
Can I still send story ideas to you?
If you are based in Rochester, and you recently sent me a press release or story idea, I have passed those along to an appropriate editor. I won’t be writing locally after July 30. If you have a more national story that’s based in Rochester or Syracuse, please contact me! Email is best: leahrstacy(at)gmail(dot)com.