Kate Wolff always knew she was funny, but when her classmates growing up told her she was going to be on "Saturday Night Live," she laughed and informed them she wanted to be a teacher. Well, life is funny sometimes. Teaching wasn't the dream job Wolff envisioned, and although she still teaches middle-school art, she's trying to make it in the brutally tough New York standup scene. In the basement of the Village Lantern where she produces a weekly show, Wolff talked about getting paid, incorporating her son into her act, and the process of toughening up for the stage.
How did you get here?
I went to college [...]
I don't know a single person who wouldn't benefit from reading Sheila Heti's new novel, How Should a Person Be?, a rumination on art, friendship and the other major questions of existence. This "novel from life" features a character named Sheila, who lives (as the author does) in Toronto. In the beginning of the book, Sheila's friends Margaux and Sholem, both painters, decide to have an "ugly painting competition," to see who can create the ugliest painting, a process which proves more difficult than expected. In the meantime, Sheila struggles with the challenges of her friendship with Margaux, her inability to write a commissioned play about women, and a [...]
Dun-Well Donuts, a shop founded by Christopher Hollowell and his friend Dan Dunbar, sits just off the Montrose L stop in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Every day, the pair offer an array of different vegan donuts (flavors rangefrom Tangerine Basil to Maple Bourbon), and they currently make every single one themselves. The shop opened last year. Hollowell was on his way to a postbac program at Columbia when he and Dunbar decided to drop everything and make donuts. Earlier this year, the New York Daily News called them the best doughnuts of 2012. Over a blueberry frosted one, Hollowell talked to me about the decisions involved in opening the [...]
It may feel like "Girls" has been on the air for months already, but the series actually doesn’t premiere on HBO until April 15th. Its creator, writer and star is Lena Dunham, about whom, if you’re reading this, you probably already have an opinion—although it's difficult to come up with an opinion or observation about Dunham that she has not already anticipated, heard or joked about herself. Her 2010 feature, Tiny Furniture, released when she was 23, was just added to the Criterion Collection. Now there's "Girls," a comedy about four 20-something women puzzling out adulthood in the city, executive produced by Judd Apatow. Dunham and I met recently [...]
Tony Dekker, frontman for the Toronto-based indie folk band Great Lake Swimmers (that's him on the far right), grew up on a farm in Wainfleet, Ontario. While he's spent the past 12 years in Toronto and touring across North America and Europe, the songs he writes remain heavily influenced by the outdoors—and Great Lake Swimmers have a history of recording in unusual, out-of-the-way locations. But for their fifth album—the spare, beautiful New Wild Everywhere, out April 3—for the first time the band recorded many of the songs in what Dekker calls "a proper studio." I talked to him on the phone when, having just returned from a month-long [...]
Heather Donahue, best known as the actress from The Blair Witch Project, has written a book. Now this happens all the time, the once-famous-people-writing-books thing. And often the result is some cookie-cutter “memoir” of which the kindest remark you might make is that it has paid some deserving freelancer’s rent for six months. But Heather Donahue’s story caught my eye, regardless, because her book, Growgirl, was said to be about her quitting acting to grow pot. Medical marijuana, of course, all sanctioned by California law, but pot nonetheless, and, being self-interestedly attracted to stories of people who do about-faces in their careers in their early 30s, I was intrigued. [...]