Arielle Mae | Zooey Mae
I started as a staff columnist at Synthesis Weekly in 2008, writing under the name "Zooey Mae" (a tribute to my favorite Salinger novel, Franny & Zooey). Based out of Chico, California, Synthesis was a newspaper (and short-lived nationally distributed magazine), that focused mostly on entertainment and catered to the 21-36 set. Although originally hired to write a weekly column that would review graphic novels and comic books, I shifted my focus over the years to include pop culture in general. Quite honestly, it turned into an outlet for whatever I was thinking about or feeling each week (mostly how bad my allergies were, or whatever James Bond classic had appeared most recently on late night cable). I stayed with Synthesis from 2008 until its demise in 2015, at which time I'd also become the Entertainment Editor.
Although I cringe now at some of the opinions I held, or words I used (I think it's safe to assume that between the ages of 21-29 most people are probably not their best selves), I am grateful to have this published record of my thoughts over the years. It feels like keeping a diary, but more like the fake one you kept as a decoy for when your brother would sneak into your room even though you asked him repeatedly not to, and also scrawled "Get out of my room, fart face!" on the inside cover so he'd know you knew he was invading your space. It's interesting (at least to me), to be able to track my mental and emotional development from a neurotic, vitriolic recluse to a slightly more self aware, anxiety-stricken homebody.
During my time with Synthesis I was lucky enough to interview a lot of people, and found that I enjoyed the challenge of drawing out and framing information from my subjects that would offer others a glimpse into their lives in ways that hadn't been done before. Towards the end of my tenure at Synthesis, I became less excited about broadcasting my own salty opinions to the world, and more interested with what others had to say. I'm simultaneously envious of, and completely in awe of seasoned interviewers like Marc Maron and Terry Gross, and their ability to offer such unique views of each subject. In growing older and realizing that success is not a zero sum game, I've become increasingly curious about the lives of anyone who identifies their driving force in life, and pursues it wholeheartedly.
This curiosity is the driving force behind my upcoming interview project. In the coming months I'll be interviewing a number of women from many different backgrounds, who are employed in many different fields. Interested in being interviewed, nominating someone you feel would be a good candidate, or simply have more questions?
© ZooeyMae 2017