Who? You'd be amazed at how many people go through the drive-through naked. Would you like fries with that? My first job was at Burger King. It kicked off a number of character-building jobs that eventually led to my professional writing career and fully-clothed clients.
A job in the Pathology department of the local hospital was fun. One assignment included filing extremely gruesome photos of dead folks. Imagine the photo of the guy who buried an axe halfway in the ground and threw himself on it. Very dramatic. Mind you, I couldn't get into R-rated movies at the time. To this day, I love hospitals.
During college, I moved into a funky South Street apartment. I spent an ill-fated month working at Uno's Pizzaria. Aside from the fact that the cook did crack in the alley and unusual items ended up in the food, I was the worst waitress in Philadelphia - ever. I quit before they could fire me.
I went on to check IDs at a night club in Society Hill. Sometimes I filled in as a "shooter girl." This involved wearing a black bodysuit, a bandolier of shot glasses, a holster that carried a gin bottle and, if memory serves, 7Up. With my hand held over the glass, I would bang the concoction on the patron's back until it fizzed. Due to the numerous rapes in the neighborhood, our manager required us to take cabs home. After the short ride, I was greeted by my doorman - the homeless vet who slept inside my foyer. He worried about me. While attending Temple University, I learned just as much about the human condition as I did about communications.
Junior year, I landed the best pre-career job ever. I worked as a receptionist at swanky beauty salon, where I received free services. The angels had smiled upon me. Good pay and even better stories. One involves the F.B.I. and another a patron's bondage fetish. I'll tell you about both over a fizzy 7Up and gin.
Senior year, I managed to fit 20 credits a semester into two days so that I could work more. My 35mm camera had became an appendage while studying radio-television-film. After graduating, I took a freelance gig photographing an engagement party for a family who I'm fairly certain inspired the Sopranos. With that short-lived career behind me, I was introduced to a newspaper editor who was looking for a sections editor. I showed him my Temple News clippingsand that's when I became a journalist. I had been writing my whole life, but it had never occurred to me to pursue it professionally. Do what you bleed.
Just as I was leaving the newspaper biz to freelance, a large pharmaceutical company offered me a fabulous communications position with equally fabulous pay and the opportunity to travel frequently to London. It was tempting and a defining moment. I turned it down and have no regrets. Although, it would be nice to take a trip across the pond for some fish and chips with a pint. Do you have a travel assignment for me?
In my mid-30s, I made good on my college major and started auditioning for local TV ads. I saw an open call for a textile expert with TV experience. Hoping that watching lots of HBO and an extensive Google search of cotton counted, I showed up and landed the gig. I spent the next 13 years on QVC, the home shopping network, representing home decor products. Working alongside entreprenuers, celebrities and inventors never got old. During that time, I opened a salon and spa based on my good memories. What was fun in college - isn't necessarily fun in your 40s. I sold it fast.
Right about the same time, the archdiocesan child sex abuse cover up hit the news in Philadelphia and I began a website for enraged Catholics, victims and advocates. Local and national news outlets asked me to provide commentary. Putting my media knowledge to work for an important cause is fulfilling to say the least. I also had the opportunity to go back to Temple University as an adjunct instructor in communications. It was Dead Poets Society without the suicide and no one called me "My Captain." I will never forget my students or the experience.
Now, I live in Mount Pleasant (Charleston County), South Carolina with my husband and son. My daughter is making me proud as a communications major at Penn State. I'm currently working on part two of this bio.
What? I love books, TV, old movies, Italian food, alternative and baroque music, honeysuckle, the ocean, the moon, hot fudge sundaes with extra everything, my family, our dog and our cat. Best (and Bravest) Trip Taken: A Snow Mobile Safari Tour of Yellowstone National Park. It has got to be the most beautiful place on Earth. Proudest Accomplishments: My kids, my first newspaper series, my first spec script, teaching at Temple University and advocating for child sex abuse victims.
Where? Born and breed in Philadelphia, I've recently died and gone to Charleston, SC with my family. Both cities have equal parts of my heart. When? I've been living the free in freelancing for 20 years.
How? I've accomplished everything with the support of family and friends, but have been motivated by lesser individuals - class reunion attendees, Sister Marie Terese (an English teacher who repeatedly told me I would fail and my skirt was too short) and my id, ego and super ego.