April 21, 2016

20

Today I am 20. The Crucible, in which I play Mary Warren, opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre three weeks ago, March 31st—also the eight-year anniversary of this blog. I have a lot of trouble comprehending that writing Style Rookie led to writing for other places, then starting Rookie, then being able to audition for plays that I love and to be inside of them for long periods of time, which is an inexplicably wonderful way to live a life. But I am really really really insanely thankful for all of it, and many of you have followed for a LONG time, and that means a lot. Right now, I'm very slowly writing something that I hope will effectively articulate the strangeness of the way these all overlap—the fictions we get to try on via diary/blog-keeping, and acting, and personal style. But that's a longterm hermit project. I just wanted to mention it because in my attempt to briefly list recent stuff I've been up to, I may sound callous, but: None of this goes unexamined or unappreciated.

Since my last update:

I went on tour for Rookie Yearbook Four and got to meet Rookies across the U.S. It's always surreal and the very best heart-nutrition to see long-time readers and meet new ones! Here are some photos of it all.

Recent Editor's Letters for Rookie about stuff like: GloryAssemblyPotentialTruth or Dare, and Cult of Personality. In my letter for the theme On Display, I also wrote about David Bowie.

Back in the fall, Bowie commissioned a series of videos set to songs from ★ by Insta Mini Series, and you will find me in some of them.

I am also hanging out with the coolest/cutest girls in the world in the video for Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Boy Problems," which Petra Collins, Rookie photographer and personal partner-in-crime, directed.

For the online magazine ILY, I wrote about how liking movies too much can cause one to dissociate from real-life events such as love. Shoutout to movies, love you movies!!!!

Some brain-expanding interviews I have conducted—
For Rookie: Adrian Tomine, Carly Rae JepsenJoanna NewsomHailee Steinfeld, and Danai Gurira.

For Interview: Winona Ryder, high priestess of my DVD shelf.

For Studio 360: Ben Whishaw, who plays John Proctor in The Crucible and is a magical person.

I also interviewed Olivia Bee for Studio 360. She is crazy talented and has taken photos for Rookie since the very beginning, and now has a stunning book out with Aperture called Kids in Love, in which I wrote a thing or two (two).

I got to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, Call Your Girlfriend.

I was in an episode of Scream Queens, dressed in homage to Rosemary Woodhouse and having SO MUCH FUN. Here is Jamie Lee Curtis ruining my life:

And while we're at it, here's Ben ruining my life in The Crucible:

I gave a tour of my apartment in this video for Nowness + Apartamento.

I wrote some + edited a round-up of feelings about the two-year anniversary of Beyoncé's self-titled album over at BEAT.

I was featured in CR Fashion Book and beloved Rookie illustrator Mithsuca Berry did the artwork. (Photo by Sloan Laurits.)

I was shot by empress/emperor Inez and Vinoodh for Vanity Fair while Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" played on a loop inside my head.

I was on the cover of a zine Rookie illustrator and world wonder Kati Yewell started, called Noisy Kids. She interviewed me and took photos where I am swimming in my documented spirals I mean diaries.

I was also on the cover of Polyester Zine, interviewed by the brilliant Ione Gamble and shot by Eleanor Hardwick, who I interviewed eons ago on this blog and who's also been at Rookie since day one. It was SO SPECIAL to finally meet her and work together; the internet to IRL is amazing!!!

If you've read my blog or Rookie for a few years you know how much I love Seth Bogart or even that my friends and I weaseled our way into his 18+ shows in high school. I got to sing on the song "Barely Legal" from his new self-titled album, which is a huge treat all-around; here is a tiny clip of it.


I was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the 2016 Pirelli calendar in the company of my every living hero, and I wrote some about it here:
For the 2016 Pirelli Calendar, Annie Leibovitz chose to photograph women whose achievements demonstrate a different kind of beauty from what the calendar has traditionally showcased. I'm still shocked to be included among so many people who've long influenced not just my work, but how I see the world, and try to see myself. Annie photographed me one year earlier in the pink velvet dress I'd originally bought for prom, in my parents' backyard. At that time, it was still my backyard, too, and had functioned since I was a little kid as a personal photo studio, study, and consistent reminder that I was bigger than I had been the year before, and the year before that, and that this would only keep happening. (I'm still v short, but: relatively speaking.) It was where I learned that as your childhood shrinks around you, so will your sense of wonder, unless you choose to pay close attention to what surrounds you at new heights. When Annie shot me for Pirelli, we were just a few blocks from my new home in NYC. A lot happens in that first year, and not knowing the geography of the city makes every encounter feel totally isolated from the rest of the world, like a castle on a cloud. At the time of this shoot, I was parsing what in this year had seemed significant just because it was new, and then what was enriching. I was exhausted by the sheen, and desperate to develop a kind of discernment which would make me so healthy, so OK with myself, that genuine wonder would return--gravitation towards stuff that isn't just shiny, but illuminates the same sorts of truths I'd learned as a fan of Patti, Yoko, and other women who happen to be in this calendar, too. I decided to cut my hair on the shoot, rid myself of any excess. Annie made me feel completely comfortable, like I was the same person as the year before, but indeed older. Again, still very physically short. My foot is peeking out of that shoe. I urge you to look at the other portraits, all so stunning, bold & nearly impossible to turn away from. They are strongest as a group, but I wanted to share what mine means to me and thank you for following what I do in such a way that has allowed for this to happen.

It feels wrong to write about a play—one of the last things in this MODERN TIME which can't be captured or effectively described to anyone who wasn't there in person—but I am so so proud of The Crucible, and of everyone involved in the production. I talked about that here.

HEY THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!!! See you at the stage door, or at a Rookie event, or if you're ever on the streets of the Big Apple and you're like "who's that girl squinting at directions on her phone and inconveniencing everyone around her?" I just want you to know that the answer, always, is me.

October 7, 2015

2015

Hi! I guess this is now just a place for updates. Most of my work now is on Rookie and I update my Twitter & Instagram with other stuff I've been up to.


Rookie Yearbook Four, the print edition of our fourth year, comes out October 20: 352 pages of beautiful writing and art by young people, plus print-only contributions from people like Amandla Stenberg, Kiernan Shipka, Jazz Jennings, Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, Emma Roberts, Sarah Paulson, Charli XCX, DeJ Loaf, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, Donna Tartt, Shamir, Chloe of Kitten, Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Joy Williams, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Lorde, Tyler Ford, Ariana Grande, Edward Droste of Grizzly Bear, Solange, and Willow Smith. WHEW. See also: stickers, posters, a cut-out diorama and banner, ET CETERA FOREVER. I've never been able to choose a favorite Rookie Yearbook until now. It is our final one (senior year!) and I can't wait for Rookies THE WORLD OVER to see it. (Mr. Burns laugh, but in the name of good things like self-esteem and creativity.)

I'm also doing a tour for the book, reading from the book with local Rookies and signing copies. You! should! come!


More exciting Rookie news: After four years, we have our own office. We also launched a redesign of the site that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.


Acting-wise: This Is Our Youth closed in January. Starting in February, I will play Mary Warren in a 20-week run of The Crucible on Broadway. I was also in an episode of Scream Queens that airs this fall.

Writing: I interviewed Taylor Swift for the cover of ELLE, guest-edited a section of the July/August issue of Poetry Magazine, and guest-edited a Rookie section of the October issue of Nylon. So many talented people of all kinds are featured in both, so take a look! I also wrote the introduction to Petra Collins' book, Babe, which showcases the work of many of my favorite artists.

Here are some recent Rookie editor's letters I am proud of: Acting Out, Trust, Both Sides Now, Give + Take. This is a list of some of my favorite longreads (and long-listens, and long-watches) on the internet.

Podcasts: I talked about my favorite episode of Freaks and Geeks on Rerun, and discussed teenage loneliness on Dear Sugar.

I'm also in a campaign for Clinique in which I talk about confidence and creativity, my two favorite things/biggest sources of anxiety ♡♡♡

The 2016 Pirelli calendar is of clothed women with a variety of achievements, and I am stoked to be one of them, in intimidatingly good company. Here is a behind-the-scenes photo from the shoot with Annie Leibovitz, in which I am wearing my soul in sweatshirt form: GIRLS AT NIGHT ON THE INTERNET.


October 20, 2014

For the unacquainted:

Hi! I'm editor-in-chief of Rookie, a website for teenage girls that I founded in 2011. Every year we put out a book that compiles the best content from that year of the site. Our most recent is Rookie Yearbook Three, published by Razorbill. It is just over 350 pages, and in addition to loads of beautiful artwork and writing are print-exclusives like stickers, valentines, a Rookie pennant, and contributions from the likes of Dakota and Elle Fanning, Shailene Woodley, Lorde, Grimes, Kelis, Sia, Broad City, Bob's Burgers, and more.
They are my babies, and they can be adopted here.

I'm currently acting in This is Our Youth at the Cort Theatre on Broadway until January 2015. How can you even stand the unabashed enthusiasm of the trio below?
Photo by Brigitte Lacombe
Here's an ad that will tell you some of the nice things people have said about it:


Other recent developments: I was on the cover of magnificent, ad-free The Great Discontent, as well as New York Magazine and Nylon. This is Our Youth playwright Kenneth Lonergan wrote something about me for Vanity Fair, and Annie Leibovitz took the accompanying photo in the same backyard where I used to take pictures every day after school for this blog. Here I am babbling on about all this lunacy:


♡✿♡✿♡

December 3, 2013

current events

LONG TIME NO TALK. Here's what's happened since last spring:


Rookie Yearbook Two is out! It is the print edition of our best content from our second year as a website and I am crazy proud of it. This one was a real labor of love -- I flew to Montreal twice to work with Drawn & Quarterly in person, and what you see in these pages came from two suitcases full of my clothes, trinkets, jewelry, cut-outs, record covers, journals, et cetera times infinity. It is so hugely satisfying to have put our contributors' amazing work into a tangible form, exhaustively designed and obsessively detailed. There are also a bunch of extras you can't get on our site: letters to our readers from Judy Blume and Mindy Kaling, an interview with Mindy by Lena Dunham, pages from Grimes' sketchbook, and enough stickers to make you swoon. Here are two videos of tiny previews of my favorite spreads, and two reviews that made me feel like, cool, yes, we put this out into the world and other people feel the way we do. More important than what a buncha fancy GROWN-UPS think, though, is that our readers like it, so thank you to anyone who's come to any of the events on our book tour and shown the love. I'm rubber, you're glue, your enthusiasm bounces off me and sticks 2 u.


I was asked to share my "big big world" at the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Writers Festival and mostly talked about fangirling, the anxiety of influence, and being happy instead of putting pressure on yourself to be some tortured artist. I love Neil Gaiman's "make good art" speech, but I wanted to talk about what happens when you can't make good art, and about how fulfilling it can be to appreciate other people's art. If you prefer to watch the FIRST-EVER DELIVERY of this thing, the Sydney one is here, but I've embedded the slightly-updated Melbourne one above.


I tackled my love for Taylor Swift in a 4000-word piece for the Believer. A nice Tumblr user scanned the whole thing. I HAVE NEVER STRUGGLED SO MUCH WITH WANTING TO GET SOMETHING RIGHT. This love is difficult but it's real.


Last August/September, I filmed a supporting role in Enough Said, real live goddess Nicole Holofcener's recent movie. (Early readers of this blog will remember lame references to musical theater. In the words of KP, This is a part of me.) It's out in theaters now! I'm really proud of it and still shocked that I got to work with such funny, wonderful humans.


I am on the latest cover of BULLETT, accompanied by a piece by Fiona Duncan. As you can see, my hair is also shorter. I'm not much taller.


Finally, this month's theme on Rookie is Forever. My editor's letter went up tonight, and it's already been hugely validating to see the response from those of you who feel similarly about this period in one's life. I mention in it that Petra gave me a book of her documentation of our shared adolescence, and above is the cover and last page.

The past few years have been dauntingly magical, with many thanks to supporters of Rookie and of the other odds and ends listed here, and I'm just at an interesting time right now in figuring out what's next. Thanks for sticking around, coming by for a first time, what have you -- I know I said last spring that I was trying to let go of my need to document, but I figured out in writing the Forever letter:
"Reflecting and archiving is not the same as dwelling in the past. It is not anti-living, but a part of life, even a crucial one. We do this to highlight one thing above others, so that a special moment can take up more space in our brains than an inconsequential one; so that, by plain math, our personal worlds contain more good things and fewer bad ones. Or more interesting things and fewer blah ones, since you have to record the bad, too."
Much more to come.