Jody is a writer from London. In November 2012, Jody moved to New York City with no job, no apartment, no connections – nothing. She writes about the experience on her blog: New York Notebook
Good things to read.
And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers by Mike Sacks. This book is a collection of interviews with some of the most unique voices in comedy including David Sedaris, Bob Odenkirk, George Meyer and more. This collection of the most successful modern-day comedy writers makes for an exciting and of course, humorous read.
Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told By Its Stars, Writers and Guests. This is the most inspiring book I’ve ever read. Reading about Lorne Michaels’ ambition, determination and refusal to settle for anything less than perfect makes it easy to see how SNL became the legendary show it is. The story is told through interviews with SNL’s performers, producers, writers and hosts from 1975 to the late 1990s.
Food Rules by Michael Pollan. Choosing what to eat in an age where we are bombarded by marketing, unrecognizable additives and unending choice is extremely difficult. The author of bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma presents this smaller, more easy-to-digest list of how to sort through those endless grocery store aisles. Rules include “don’t buy anything with more than five ingredients”, “don’t buy anything your grandmother wouldn’t have in her pantry” and “don’t buy things containing ingredients a third grader couldn’t pronounce.”
Good things to watch.
Waking Life by Richard Linklater. I find it difficult to describe this film, which I think is a good thing. Waking Life is an animated film with a very loose, unconventional structure, which contemplates and questions the nature of consciousness, dreams and existentialism. It’s the smartest thing you’ll watch this month.
Documentaries. I used to think documentaries were boring until I worked at a documentary production company as an intern and found them to be the most honest and interesting depictions of the human experience. A good entrance into the form can be through art and culture documentaries. Films such as Helvetica and Urbanized (Gary Hustwick), Shut Up Little Man (Matthew Bate), Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb), Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy) and Waste Land (Lucy Walker) are great places to start.
Live Comedy. If you live in New York, there are so many comedy shows (especially free or cheap ones) that are currently showcasing the future stars of the comedy world. Sunday nights at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg are hosted by 30 Rock writer Hannibal Buress and are completely free. Monday nights at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Chelsea showcase the smartest upcoming sketch comedy (Maude Night) at 9.30pm, followed by free stand-up show (Whiplash) at 11pm.
Good things to use.
Passport. If I hadn’t studied abroad in California during university, my life would be completely different. I met my future boyfriend, worked in the film industry, learned to drive and was able to see some of the world’s most beautiful coastal towns. That year led me to the opportunity to move to New York, a dream city of mine. Traveling not only lets you see the world, it gives you so much insight into your own country and people. Leave your hometown. Now.
Instinct. I don’t think realistically about anything I care about. Everything I’ve ever wanted has involved taking huge risks – leaving bad jobs, moving countries, pursuing my dream career. I’m not the most settled, well-off, established person yet, but every risk I’ve taken has paid off so far. And none of it was logical.
Kettle. I can’t live without tea.
Jody is on Twitter @newyorknotebook