After spending seven years at Revue, narrowing down my top moments for the anniversary issue wasn’t a simple task. If we wanna crunch some numbers, I’ve attended dozens of concerts, managed around 300 writers and minions, wrote (probably) a million words and had at least 25 people barge into the office to ask if we were a pizza place. (We weren’t.) That was just a long, masturbatory way of saying, “I’ve seen some shit.” And yes, that includes literal shit, which I will divulge on later.
Revue was my home, my family, my creative outlet and an incredible launching pad for my career. Being part of the 30th anniversary issue is special to me. I’m proud to be part of the magazine’s history. It’s still surreal to know that thousands of people saw my ideas and words every single month. Even more surreal is going through memories — and there were lots of them — to pull out my top moments.
Ryan Phillippe and 50 Cent crashing our office
There was a short period where Grand Rapids was a prime filming location, thanks to hefty tax credits. Detours, camera crews and celebrity spotting were ordinary, which is why I like telling this story. People — especially my East Coast friends — find it hard to believe that 50 Cent and Ryan Phillippe ran into the office, where it was only me and a minion. We all looked at each other, every person as confused as the next. They said, “Hey,” and walked back out. Later, the director had to come in and apologize. My boss asked me why I didn’t ask for a photo. Um, because when celebrities burst into the office, my first thought isn’t, “Hey guys! Let’s get a photo!”
Purchasing a blow-up doll for work purposes
OK, this one is tougher to explain than I thought. Creative Director Kim Kibby and I came up with a grand photoshoot idea where we would capture a writer going on a “date” with a blow-up doll. I’ve since moved and can’t locate the issue or figure out WHY we did it, but it happened, and Kim and I spent a good chunk of our afternoon blowing her up and making sure she was appropriately dressed for her big date.
Escorting people out of our stairwell
Ah, here’s where we get to the literal shit. One of our offices was extremely clandestine. Its entrance was down an unmarked stairwell, the building lined with tinted windows. Due to it being so nondescript, people took it upon themselves to take senior portraits, engagement photos and bathroom breaks in our stairwell. Yes, human feces that we were responsible for cleaning up. Now that I think about it, I’m a little pissed I never got a “human waste” bonus from the company.
Interviewing Kathy Griffin
By the time I turned 25, I had racked up an impressive list of entertainers interviewed. In seven years, I had interviewed so many people, I can barely remember a tenth of them. My most memorable, though, was one of my comedy idols: Kathy Griffin. I prepared for this interview unlike any before. My questions had to be good. I needed to impress Kathy. By that time, I had gotten used to interviewing entertainers. For Kathy, though, my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. I was star struck. Of course, Kathy was a professional. She was punctual, charming and gave me plenty of good soundbites.
Access to music festivals
Guys. I had a job where I could get into music festivals FOR FREE. Granted, I had to do work while at the festivals, but it was work I loved. For a few years, I was going to so many that I could rank each festival’s press tent (Lollapalooza was the best). These opportunities allowed me to see incredible acts like Lou Reed, Charles Bradley, Soundgarden, Depeche Mode, Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips and more. I don’t know how I got so fortunate, but I never questioned it.
Creating lifelong friendships
The hardest part about leaving Grand Rapids was leaving the people that are in my life because of Revue. I didn’t just make friends, I had a family. To this day, I still text my former colleagues on a weekly basis and check in on former writers and minions. Without Revue, I wouldn’t be friends with Nick Manes — who writes for Revue’s sister publication, MiBiz — and can you even imagine what a tortured life that would be?!
So, there you go. Currently, I live in Philadelphia and am working as the vice president of customer engagement for PiperWai Natural Deodorant. (@LindsayPatton for updates and dank memes if you’re on Twitter.) Despite years and miles between us, I still can’t seem to get away from Revue. I’m OK with it.