Each week at Embrace Disruption we introduce you to an influential person in the digital, blogger, arts, culture, film, or media world! Every Thursday, you can check back at EDPR to find out who we think is particularly amazing at ‘embracing disruption’ within their respective industries.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to the talented Paul Aguirre-Livingston, freelance writer and one of our favourite arts and culture columnists at The Grid.
1. What’s your official job title, and where did you go to school?
I am, once again, a freelance writer, etc. after recently ending a marvelous two-year stint as an arts and culture columnist at The Grid magazine. I studied at York University, where I majored in journalism and French.
2. Elevator pitch. Describe yourself in a nutshell (or sea shell, or any shell for that matter).
I’d say I’m a nut without a shell. Former – and recovering – magazine editor. Digital native. Lover, not fighter. Fearless, finally. Limitless, thankfully. Conscious, reluctantly. Last month, I packed a suitcase and moved to Berlin, Germany.
3. Why did you pursue what you’re doing now? What was the inspiration?
I was talking about some horrendous date when an editor at the York student paper got wind and asked me to write about it. Then I switched majors, and never looked back. But, really, it wasn’t until I stopped caring about trivialities like money and understood that beyond my basic needs – wine, bicycle, smoked salmon, books, Nutella, cheap afternoon movies – I didn’t need much to pretend to feel “happy.”
4. What is the best part of your day-to-day?
That I don’t have to explain “day-to-day” since, for me, there really ins’t one.
5. What’s the most challenging?
“Why hasn’t this cheque come yet?”… or fielding ridiculously PR requests. (No, I have no immediate plans to become a mommy blogger for hip, urban gays.)
6. If you took a look in the cliché crystal ball, what do you see for yourself?
A screening of Frances Ha – finally! – that I’m headed to after I finish these nifty questions. Otherwise: writing, reading, loving, losing, maybe a book, maybe a movie. To use another cliché: “Blank canvas.”
7. How do you embrace disruption in your work and personal life?
I endure. Or I karaoke. I don’t usually feel all that “disrupted” within my work context, except maybe at this particular transition, but my personal life is totally used to it.
8. What is the most memorable moment in your career?
I was recently asked to contribute an essay to an anthology of stories about the ‘modern family.’ My contribution (about fictive kin – Google it) is by far the most therapeutic thing I have ever written. The book will be published in spring 2014.
9. Tell us what you see yourself doing at 65 years old.
Still writing. Tweeting haphazardly like Cher. Not on Facebook. Not teaching. Finally getting those abs I always wanted but never cared to work for. (I’m counting on you, bio-engineering!)
10. Just for fun: if you had to pick one app in the whole APPVERSE, what would it be?
My favourite new discovery – and interim best friend – is probably Duolingo, a language tutor app that has been helping me with my German until I start formal classes (sigh) next month. The exercises are great, and it’s pretty comprehensive with oral and written components. Ah, technology!
Follow Paul on Twitter @pliving.
Also, please check out his website to see some of his fantastic (and cheeky) work: http://pliving.me.