i was trying some new stuff out in terms of graphics so let me know what you think!!!!

As part of my orientation for first year uni, I attended a session on how to make the most of lectures. Some of these tips and tricks are pretty straight forward, and can carry on from high school depending on the type of student you are/were. However, some of these also encourage you to become a more critical thinker, and help to better understand the content you’re learning in your lectures!

FIRSTLY, it is important to know WHY we go to lectures.

  • Lectures give us the essential and practical information we need to know about each subject we’re learning - Typically, lectures give you all the information you need to know for that week, and then you use that information in your tutorials later on.
  • Lectures provide an expert’s perspective of the content - Lecturers are usually well equipped with the knowledge surrounding your subject and provide useful perspectives, ideas and points of view regarding what you’re learning. This helps you to understand stuff more thoroughly, even if you don’t feel that way at first.
  • Following on from the previous point, lecture help to understand difficult concepts - Having someone talk through the information can help sort it out in your head rather than just reading a slab of text. Many lecturers will also use examples and anecdotes to substantiate the content, which not only helps you to understand, but can also be useful in assignments.
  • Lectures also encourage discipline specific styles of thinking - Different subjects require you to think differently eg. languages as compared to philosophy or a science. Going to lectures can expose us to these different thinking styles, which we also may adopt to other subjects should it suit.

PREPARING FOR LECTURES

Before your lectures, it’s important and helpful to have a general idea of what you’ll be expected to learn.

  • Review your lecture outline - This would usually be in your subject outline if you have one. It should specify what you’ll be learning each week. Try to determine what the aims of the lecture will be.
  • Consider how the topic fits in - Think about what you’ll be learning and how it’s connected to your subject. This causes you to think critically about what you will be learning.
  • READINGS - Make sure you read all the required readings before your lectures and tutorials so you can apply them to what you’re learning in class.
  • Make up questions - So while you don’t exactly know what you will be learning yet, you have a kind of general idea. Make up some questions of what you want answered in that lecture. If you have questions that follow the lecture or are during the lecture, write them down so you can ask them in your tutorial.

DURING LECTURES

Now that you’ve prepared for your lecture, what do you do? Let me tell you that it is not to use the free uni wifi to do some online shopping!

  • Make a written record - Write down what you hear, see, feel. Obviously you want to mostly be taking notes of what your lecturer is actually saying, but adding reflective commentary helps to make your notes more memorable of the moment in which you actually learnt the content.
  • Listen for main ideas and clues to details - Your lecturer will be emphasising certain parts of their spiel so keep an ear out for them because they’re important!
  • Copy/create graphic aids - If your lecturer has included them in their slides then it clearly is meant to be helpful. Creating your own also helps you to better learn and understand.
  • Write down examples - Your lecturer may often refer to examples which help back up and explain what they are trying to say. These are important to help you understand and can also be useful in your essays and papers.
  • Write down any questions - Keep these for your tutorials so clarify anything you’re unsure about.

ACTIVELY LISTENING

Actually listening in a lecture can be hard when there’s one person at the front of the room monotonously saying words that somehow sound like gibberish. So how do we make sure that we’re taking in everything we need to be?

  • Posture - Make sure you’re sitting up straight and not slouching in your chair! This engages your muscles, making you more alert and encourages blood to pump more efficiently through your body. Also try to sit in the first third of the theatre, closest to the lecturer to help you engage with the lecturer and reduce your likeliness to get distracted.
  • Look up from your notes and engage with your lecturer - Lecturers like this because it means you’re actually interested, and it can also force you to actually learn something instead of passively looking at your laptop or pen and paper.
  • Anticipate - Try to be at least one step ahead of the lecture. Not literally, but try to think about what they could be talking about next. This means you’re processing what they’re saying and grasping a better understanding.
  • QUESTIONS! - I’ll say it a million times, questions concerning anything you’re confused about are so important because it means you know what you don’t know and you have some intention of figuring it out.
  • Alternate listening, thinking and writing - You’ll have to be doing al three in your lecture so it’s important to master the rotation of them all.

BALANCING LISTENING AND NOTE TAKING

Sometimes note taking can affect our ability to listen to what the lecturer is actually saying, or sometimes we get so invested in what the lecturer is saying we forget to write it down. So where’s the happy medium?

  • Listen for clues - These may be any notes or graphics they put up on the screen, repetition, pauses or emphasis, their tone of voice, or the amount of time they spend on a particular topic. These are good to keep an ear out for as they can help you what to write down.
  • Listen for sign posts - These include words such as “this illustrates…”, “we know this because…”, or “scholars debate…” Lecturers are providing examples, evidence and issues within the topic here, which are important for you to have a better understanding and influence you to really reflect on it later on.

NOTE TAKING

All this stuff about note taking, but why do we actually do it???

  • Helps us concentrate
  • Identifying what is most important
  • Helps embed the content into our memory
  • Improves analytical skills
  • Helps in later assignments for that subject

So how do we effectively take notes?

  • Obvious one, but don’t write everything down! - only what appears to be useful and the key points
  • Examples are really useful to have so take note of those
  • Questions (again lol), thoughts and reflective comments
  • New terminology, references and readings - create a glossary with any new terms you’re unsure of and take note of what your lecturer refers to and recommends that you read because these can extend you in your assessments and exams
  • Determine if the information is available elsewhere - if you have access to lecture slides then copious notes are not as necessary because the information will be readily available. If you won’t be able to get access to the lecture again make sure you have everything you need to know!
  • If the purpose of the lecture is to provide background or context, listen more than you write. This information is not vital to your subject, but having a thorough understanding in your head rather than on a piece of paper is very important.
  • If you are listening to your lecturers point of view on an issue, take note of their arguments and how they structure them. Having an understanding of this can be useful in the formulation of your own perspective on the issue.

Formatting notes seems to be such an important issue in the studyblr community, but really, everyone is individual and we all learn in different ways. These are just some tips that I heard in the session:

  • Leave lots of space - Negative space in your notes can help declutter your mind. Also if you need to write something else down on that page then you have more space!
  • Be creative with your notes - You don’t need to make them pretty, but make them yours so you can understand them.
  • It’s a good idea to write down the title of the lecture and the lecturer on your notes just for future reference.
  • You can make your notes diagrammatic - Not everything needs to be written down in words!
  • Use your own abbreviations
  • At the end of the day, you want your notes to be exam ready so you’re just reviewing them in your SWOTVAC period!!

AFTER THE LECTURE

When the lecture ends, that doesn’t mean you should forget about everything you have just learnt. Reviewing the content is important so our brains don’t give into Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve!!

  • Engage with the material again - Change the format of your notes, or imagine different applications of the information. This helps to have a better and stronger understanding.
  • Compare and contrast different ideas within the content.
  • Ask and answer any of your own questions, or even questions within a study group.
  • Make flash cards or mind maps or whatever helps you learn.
  • Discuss the material with your classmates
  • Try to apply the content to real life or real world issues.
  • Try to review within 24 hours of the lecture and then regular daily reviews for at least 15 minutes.

I hope that these tips are helpful in your studies, obviously not all of them are for everyone, but be open to try something new!! Good luck and much love, Emmanuelle xx

Giving & Taking Pt.04 (M)

Luckily I was able to find some time to write this. I hope you guys are enjoying the series so far! Feel free to let me know what you think. There is now 3 more parts left in the series. I will continue to post once a week. As always please enjoy! <3

Warnings: Graphic smut, Oral sex, & Sexual Intercourse

Genre: Romance, Angst, Smut, & College AU

Pairing: Namjoon x Reader, Jungkook x Reader

Word count: 2,906

Pt.01 Pt.02 Pt.03 Pt.05

Originally posted by sugutie

A week had gone by since the last time you saw Jungkook and honestly, nothing had changed. Namjoon and you were ‘ok’ and you were still keeping busy with school and work. One of the servers at your job had quit which meant you were working over time. You were exhausted, but you still had a term paper to write. 

Hana had friends over tonight and there was no way you were going to get any work done. All you could hear was giggling and screeching voices coming from the living room. Finally, you decided it was probably best for you to go to the coffee shop and try to get some work done there. Plus you definitely needed the caffeine too. 

On the bright side, the coffee shop was practically empty. You figured on a Friday night college students would much rather be drinking beer rather than coffee. You chatted up the barista for a few minutes before settling down on the table that was tucked away in the corner.  Immediately you dove into the term paper you had been attempting to write earlier. 

You had probably been in the coffee shop for almost two hours now, and your eyes were starting to sting from staring at your laptop screen too much. The cute barista brought you over a refill without you even asking for it. You couldn’t tell if he was flirting or just being nice. Considering there was no one else in the shop he was probably just bored and needed to do something. 

You took this as a sign to take a break. You sipped on your coffee and checked your phone. All you had was a text from Namjoon asking if you wanted to come over to his since he was having a few friends over. That was nearly two hours ago, you figured there was no point in texting him back since he was probably drunk or high by now. 

You were mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed when you heard the little chime on the door ring signaling that someone had come in. You didn’t bother to look up. The barista greeted the customer and then you heard it. Was that Jungkook’s voice? You shot your head up and your eyes made contact with none other than Jungkook’s. He was staring right at you, he gave you a slight smile and ordered his drink. 

Keep reading

onesorryloser  asked:

I love your taste in music, art, books; it's really different from most people I know. Would you recommend some books to me? I'm trying to get back into the habit of reading again and all my friends have read pretty much the same stuff as I have so it's sort of difficult to find new stuff. I like fiction, non-fiction, whatever, as long as it's different and interesting.

ah well thanks. thank you, that’s really very nice of you to say.

these are just a few books i recommend to people in the store pretty often that they usually seem to like

fiction: 

the halfway house - guerillmo rosales. brief but poignant and powerful- i love this book, a must for anyone whose ever experienced substance abuse or institutionalization. if u read it and like it you like it also read rosales’ “leapfrog” which further expands on his upbringing in havana

loving/ living / party going – henry green. i’m a huge henry green fan. his prose is brilliant and this book is remarkable

the collected stories of lydia davis - lydia davis. good introduction 2 her work, she’s a treasure of a modern female voice. not sure how she doesn’t have like, jennifer egan or miranda july levels of appreciation

the rings of saturn – WG sebald (the best of sebalds, he tends to be a crowd pleaser. i’ve got a soft spot for him.)

the question of bruno: stories - alexsander hemon (also a crowdpleaser)

century of clouds“ and “my walk with bob” – bruce boone. these books are what got me back into reading awhile ago, classic & brilliant stuff

not my taste but 20 something vice reading/ tumblr using/ prozac taking kind of readers usually like anything by arthur neresian. “the fuck up” is his classic but “chinese takeout” is probably his best. i think i saw someone describe him as a “po-mo damon runyon” once which is pretty on target if that means anything to you

the hour of the star - clarice lispector, at times a really odd approach to prose but folks usually receive this one well. the best introduction to lispector

cruddy – lynda barry. a very good likeable graphic novel for people into like, alison bechdel or phoebe gloeckner. (see also: “potential” by ariel schrag or “skim” by mariko tamak, among sooo many others i can’t even think of rn)

edmund white’s infamous trilogy, “the beautiful room is empty” being my favorite

waiting: stories - dumitru tsepeneag 

bluets – maggie nelson

locus solus – raymond roussel

woodcuts of women: stories - dagoberto gilb

magnificent joe - james wheatley 

three apples fell from heaven - micheline aharonian marcom

non fiction: 

women of the left bank, paris - 1900- 1940 - recently finished this and it’s fantastic. i kind of obsess over books about women in art movements neglected by history.

safe area gorazde: the war in eastern bosnia: 1992 - 1995 - joe sacco. one of the greatest graphic novels that deals w/ the subject of war

the penguin dictionary of literary terms and literary theory - JA cuddon. honestly just really helpful to have around if you read a lot or want a starting place on how to approach lit with a place of contextualization, penguins guides to critical theory are usually pretty palatable 

violence girl: east LA rage to hollywood stage, a chicana punk story – alice bag. good book about punk that isn’t all about straight white guys so heyy. believe it was published by feral house and amok books- their catalog is worth sifting through

all of camus’ notebooks (volume 1volume 2volume 3) are a total must if you’re a fan of his work. i have a thing for reading people’s notebooks and diaries.

film as a subversive art - amos vogel. if you’re into film you’ve probably already read this but it’s a classic for a reason and i always love getting people into it.

an episode in the life of a landscape painter - cesar aira. aira was one of my first favorite authors so i’m pretty quick to rec most of his work

dreadful: the short life and gay times of john horne burns - david marholick

the tender tyrant, nadia boulanger: a life devoted to music - alan kendall. i’m currently a little obsessed with everything written about boulanger so i thoroughly enjoyed this

osumane sembene: the making of a militant artist - samba gadilgo

poetry:

anything by charles simic. hotel insomnia / the world does not end being personal favorites

anything by mina loy (lost lunear breakdown poems being essential cause she doesn’t have much else but i adore adore adore her)

anything by andre breton. probably “the collected poems” - i’m a nut for french surrealist lit but it’s not for everyone- i think his poetry is more approachable than something like “nadja” offhandedly 

anything by harryette mullen. “sleeping with the dictionary” being her best

anything by aime cesaire – “notebook of a return to the native land” being my favorite and his seminal work

on the imperial highway – jayne cortez

collected poems (1912-1944) - hilda doolittle. a must if you like voices akin to mina loy’s

i’ve been a woman: new and selected poems – sonia sanchez

the book of frank – CA conrad 

eunoia – christian bok (i’m a big fan of almost all bok’s work)

a coney island of the mind – lawrence ferlinghetti

outlandish blues – honoree fanonne jeffers

the unfortunates – BS Johnson

nets – jen bervin (jen also helped compile the wonderful release of rare emily dickinson notes in ‘the gorgeous nothings’ which is 100% worth checking out if you’re a fan)

completed field notes: long poems of robbery kroetsch

the arab apocalypse - etel adnan

the complete short prose of samuel beckett, 1929-1989 - samuel beckett

..

so yeah that’s probably wildly incomplete (i should really start using goodreads or something) but i hope that gave you at least something. and if you have any recs please let me know- specifically lit by writers of color, women, queer people, trans people… i’m always interested in anything outside yr standard old white guy fare. like i can appreciate a foster wallace novel as much as the next guy but having your world limited to only that perspective gets soooo tired zzzZZZ

anonymous asked:

i was replaying the 3ds version of another world recently, and the part when you have to pull the lever and let out all the creatures below you came up. and i noticed for the first time that Lester has to stand kind of up on his tippy toes to reach it, and really struggle with this lever that's probably a quick pull for the aliens, i thought it was super cute. its probably one of my favorite small details in the game, what are some of your favorite small things in another world?

anon, you just pointed out one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE things about the game - all the small, subtle details that you notice the more times you play it. and, as someone who’s played the game easily more than a hundred times, i’ve got a lot of favorite parts.

its incredible to me, the attention to detail in this game. the way lester interacts with this world he’s been dropped into gives you such enormous insight to his personality and traits without him speaking a single word. Buddy has a ton of such moments too. Their interactions with eachother speak volumes with no dialogue. it’ll always astound me, the sheer amount of story, world building, character insight and atmosphere that is jam packed into this approx. hour long game. By one single developer. all this stuff is so easily overlooked by people in the action of the game, but eric chahi put it in anyway. Its difficult to articulate into words how much respect i have for it.

But you asked what some of my favorite small moments are, and so i’ll divulge a few! 

(these are gifs i have made, btw. some are the original graphics and some are the remaster.)

first up will be the lever pull you mentioned. oh my gosh is it ever one of my favorite moments in the game.

this is just the cutest thing ever. like, eric could have easily made lester just pull the lever effortlessly as a matter of gameplay necessity, but no. there’s personality here. there’s like, this weight and realness to it. it really drives home the concept of lester being in a world that’s actually too big for his puny human body. you can see him try to pull it with one arm first, and then upon realizing that he isnt strong enough, he uses his entire body weight to pull the lever, and even stumbling a bit once its pulled. it really gives the player so much context to how big and heavy it really is, and how small and frankly not physically strong lester is. there’s a cinematic element here. this was something that no other game did at the time. stuff like this just takes a whole lot of thoughtfulness, and in games that was not common at all.

when lester uses the special teleporter after buddy.

look at this. look at this boy’s lovably awkward body language here. i love how he was given this moment of “not sure how this works exactly but ..uh.. ok here goes”. he even doesn’t get it quite right the first time and tries again!

i feel like so many games (and any media for that matter) that take place in otherwordly settings seem to forget that their human protagonist isnt exactly all knowing and is going to be unsure of things. they forget to separate the human experience from the alien one. eric doesn’t, and he nails it. this just makes lester seem incredibly human. its moments like these that really let you know that he’s his own character that’s not necessarily meant for the player to fully project themselves onto, but he’s still incredibly relatable. it also lets you know that lester is very perceptive, quick learning and smart and is willing to take chances with new things. it doesnt feel forced or too convenient.

lester will not shoot someone who is unarmed/not a threat.

this part of the game is incredibly overlooked as just “part of the puzzle/gameplay” but. think about it. if you kill this poor guy, youre boned. you can’t progress.

i feel like this was put here deliberately to show that lester will not kill anyone who is not an actual threat to his own life. again, it runs so seamlessly into the gameplay that the player does not feel like theyre being FORCED into making the pacifist choice, here, but still punishes them if they don’t. it just seems like the natural inclination. AS IT SHOULD BE. 

i cant stress enough how important it is to me that lester is, in these moments, painted as a guy just trying to survive, and not a trigger happy violent shoot man like most protags in action games. it humanizes him yet again, and it gives a very “living being” element to the aliens as well. there’s WAY more i could go on about in terms of the context of the aliens and how much world building there is for them, but that’ll be another post i think. 

one more for now - when lester is picked up by the guard and uses.. clever means to get him to let go

this is easily one of the most iconic scenes in the game. probably because it has this lighthearted comedic element to it - again, something that’s very very cinematic in approach, and was completely unheard of in games at the time. these moments were the alternative to cutscenes that rip the player out of the gameplay. the sudden loss of control of lester here adds to his helplessness in the situation, and the player’s inclination to press buttons pretty much perfectly reflects lester’s reaction. its frankly masterful genius in my opinion.

of course, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room of lester obviously realizing that there’s something there on that guard to kick. lmao. again, while being sort of a “dirty joke”, it really does add yet another moment of humanization to both lester AND the aliens. you kinda start to realize here that these big scary alien dudes have some humanlike vulnerabilities. i find it exceedingly interesting that this was included in the game. again, something very very overlooked by most action games of the time and even now. it creates something more complex than lester just being the “good guy” and the guards being the “bad guys”.

and i mean. lester doing his dramatic roll to grab his gun after getting out of that guard’s grip. what a huge nerd. you just know this scrawny string bean scientist saw that shit in a movie or something. again, just. another moment where we catch a glimpse of lester’s personality. but, we also see that he’s not totally helpless or weak either - throughout the game we see what lester lacks in strength, he makes up for in dexterity, and what he lacks in bravery, he makes up for in resourcefulness.

i just. i love lester so dang much. he’s such a good, solid character. 

(which is why it kind of irks me real bad when a vast majority of players totally ignore this in order to fully project themselves onto him as if he is them… as gamers tend to do. 

i find too many older “fans” of another world are too busy always praising this game’s technical achievements and completely overlook its creative ones. so i’m here to pick up that slack. lol)


i sincerely apologize for this post being so long, but that isnt even a fraction of all the moments of the game i absolutely adore. that was mostly the moments that show lester’s side of things - but there are so many more. i’ll probably make more posts about it if anyone’s curious. lmao.

thanks for indulging me on this, anon. everyone knows by now i can’t shut the fuck up about this game so i’m so happy when people enable me. rofl

10

Jaque Fragua, an acclaimed multi-media artist from New Mexico

Tell me a little bit about your background, where you grew up, and what inspired you to become an artist?

I am from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. This is a little reservation about 45 minutes northwest of Albuquerque. I was born in the Santa Fe Indian hospital. I grew up mostly on-reservation, although I have moved on and off to places like Houston, Denver, and Albuquerque.

When I was just a young child growing up on the reservation, I guess there were arts and crafts. I don’t know what you would have considered it, perhaps traditional (Pueblo) art work. And at that point, I really didn’t know what “art” was. I really didn’t know what art was until I was in college. Although, I knew that what I was doing was a cultural practice more than anything.

As a kid, I grew up farming and where I come from traditional farming is a big thing in the community. I would get into the other things you might find on any reservation… hunting, fighting with other neighborhood kids, laughs

I was just going to say…every reservation is kind of rough. These are rural areas, there isn’t much entertainment, so you have to kind of build it yourself. I was up for all the physical stuff, farming, hunting and what not, but I found a creative side too. I got tired of beating up my neighbors and being beat up. I would just hang out, draw, and at some point I picked up the guitar and started learning how to play all kinds of music. Music was my first passion. And art was sort of secondary, I suppose.

Inspiration wise, I was stimulated just by things I witnessed growing up. For example, there were a lot of different signs, folk art, southwestern textiles, and the kinds of things you would find in a tourist shop on highway 66 or any reservation highway. All this folk art or road art was for the tourists and it makes sense because tourism is the biggest economy in New Mexico today. The whole state is full of Native American culture. The state government exploits Native culture to the umpteenth degree.

Growing up within the actual culture definitely inspired me, but I didn’t realize how much it would fuel the content for what I do now. It just sort of naturally happened. I would visit my ancestral homelands and visit sacred sites. There are miles and miles of wild art, etchings and carvings–marks that really got me inspired to do graffiti. And when I moved to Denver for high school, I continually had flashbacks to the wall art in my ancestral homelands. I like to believe I’m continuing a tradition. It’s not using the same materials but it is definitely in the same spirit.

In Denver I started running around with the rebellious crowd of kids and I was into the graffiti scene, but like I said, music was my passion. I took an art elective my senior year, and that’s where I learned art basics, like history, different mediums, etc. I’ve since gotten a hang of photography, printmaking and other types of contemporary art mediums. I’ve always been interested in burgeoning mediums, such as digital media. This sparked my path in using film, the internet, graphic design, gifs, etc. I really enjoyed conceptual art as well, I still do. In retrospect, I felt graffiti could evolve into something more conceptual. I started bombing in ‘99 and during that time, there was a big movement in street art. Traditional graffiti had been around for a long time already, but stencil art and wheatpasting gained popularity in the late 90s. It was an interesting time. There was the San Francisco Mission School art movement, with Margaret Kilgallen, Juxtapoz magazine, OBEY, and other forces of underground inspiration that I stumbled upon.

So fast forward to now, all of that underground material is popular, very hip, and mainstream. But back then, it was just sort of this… really crazy sub-culture. I was viewed as crazy for liking it or knowing about it.

After high school, I moved to Seattle and that didn’t work out. I decided to go to the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

What made you take that decision?

I moved to Seattle for music school, but the scholarship fell through in the last minute and the only college that would accept me was IAIA– unlike other colleges you can apply a month before it starts. I don’t know if they still do that though. So I applied and I got in. That was 2004. And then the Indian art world opened up to me. I was just so perplexed at how there was this whole other genre of art that existed alongside contemporary art, complete with it’s own rules, social hierarchy, heroes, and money. At this time graffiti was also a whole other category. But now graffiti is considered “art” and is within the genre of contemporary. But as far as Indian art, it’s still on the fringe of what you may consider legitimate art by Western standards. I feel like it’s more of a curio or it’s just decorative.

Tell me about that a little bit more. In terms of defining native art and this constant struggle between the traditional versus the more contemporary native art?

There is always that tension between tradition and contemporary or modern. And that is not only with the art work itself, but with the culture, the people. There is this ebb and flow, this push and pull between what is considered, I guess, right and wrong.

Like I was saying, there is always this argument between what works, what we can progress with and what we want to hold on to. And I think that’s why Native art as a whole is relevant–it is not moving so fast, it’s eternal. We don’t adopt new technology and test it blindly. A lot is at stake for Native culture because of our sensitive history. A lot of Native communities don’t want to jump the gun and try out a new method without the proper due diligence. But this is also a flaw because it inhibits our creativity, and the possibilities of solutions. I feel that healing involves letting go and making mistakes and understanding the strength in failing. Healing really is a faith based action and most Native communities lack the confidence to take risks and make mistakes, even if there is a bright future at stake. Native communities rather be ignorant of perpetuating the suffering and continue to just get by. It is a regression or a de-evolution of our own progress. Although, I do believe we have to be careful of what we get ourselves into. We are still super sensitive.

Do you make it back to Pueblo very often? Do you have family back there?

Yeah. I live most of the time on the road, so if I’m not home I’m somewhere else doing a mural or project. But it’s my community; it is naturally where I feel most comfortable. But it’s discomforting when I realize that the community isn’t doing as well as I would like it to be. It is pretty demoralizing to hear about the abusive environments, murders and DUIs. So sometimes it is hard to be there, but these challenges give me energy to continue my work, keep doing something that changes that environment. I always have something in the works. I am always keeping the balance between staying on the reservation and staying active externally. And of course, I have a lot of family in Jemez and others who have migrated to start new tribes in other parts of the world.

How many people live on the reservation?

There are around 3400 members, and about 2000 live on the land.

If you could just tell me a little bit about the specific things you are working on right now.

Right now, I just finished a show in Phoenix called #NATIVEAMERICA. Simply, it’s about imagery that continues to colonize us. By creating fine art out of these visuals and emphasizing the images ad nauseum, it creates the opposite effect. Sort of like Warhol’s soup cans. This is a big project. It is actually the first installment of the larger project. I had only 20 or so paintings for this show. But I want to increase it to 60 art works. It’s imagery that I have been wanting to share with the world for a long time. I’m trying to bring the show to different cities and see how it’s received. I’m always trying to push the idea of what Native America is and who is a part of it and who wants to contribute. I want to make it more interactive and engaging.

- April 2, 2013 native X interview

Here’s a new interview from the Diary press tour. There’s some old stuff but some new stuff too.

Though he’s quite good at it, Alexander Skarsgard is a last-resort actor. “I was trying to figure out what to do and was worthless at everything, so I was like,’” he breathes out, defeated, playing his capitulating twenty-something self. “‘Alright…’” Skarsgard is sitting cross-legged, wearing funky socks and no shoes, in an armchair in New York’s Crosby Street Hotel. It takes a certain kind of jeu d'esprit, and physical agility, at 6'4" to sit cross-legged in an armchair, but the Swedish actor is delightfully goofier than you might expect of Eric Northman, the 1000-year-old Viking vampire that catapulted Skarsgard to instant superstardom as the lead in the cult hit True Blood in 2008.

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Clubby Goes To Brooklyn

A friend and fellow comic found me on Facebook (an easy place to find people who often have to be in states where they don’t know anyone) and he was bummed out. He had just bombed hard.

There’s nothing worse than bombing for a comedian. It’s all the self doubt you constantly feel after choosing this insane profession concentrated into one series of excruciating moments you have to live through in real time. It’s a complete rejection of the sum total of your creative efforts by the very people you are trying to please. And the best part? Stand up performance has an effect where it feels like time slows down. You are making so many decisions in lightning fast intervals that it seems like minutes take five minutes. So you get to experience this rejection of your life’s work for twice as long as it took.

Whatever you’ve done in the past doesn’t matter when you’re bombing. Life is only the present moment. And in the present moment, you are terrible. That is why we have such dire names for the act of bombing. The most common in 2014 is “I ate it.” The “it” is kept vague, so the listener can imagine whatever would be most horrible to them. Sometimes you go for specificity. “I ate shit.” The Spinal Tap-esque “I ate a shit sandwich.” “I died” “I took a shit up there.” In the HBO special “Talking Funny”, Jerry Seinfeld talks about a set that “went right in the toilet.”

So when a comedian comes to you with a bombing story, your heart goes out to them. A little bit of you feels how awful they felt by osmosis, just hearing about it. Even comics who are deliberately edgy and provocative hate bombing. Sara Silverman may have material that part of America is bound to find offensive, but SHE thinks its funny, and feels bad when the audience she has presented it to disagrees. Anthony Jeselnick knows that half the tables may hate his dark jokes, but he wants the other half to love them, and when they don’t, he feels as bad as anyone does who just failed at the thing they have been working on their entire life. Even in horrible situations where you are almost bound to fail (and I disagree with Mr. Seinfeld when he says there are no bad audiences, of course there are) it sucks. I bombed hard in a corporate banquet hall in Canada. After-wards I could tell myself that the lights were on, the people were eating and didn’t know there would be a show, and I was in the center of a massive room with no stage, and it would all be true. But my mouth went dry and my armpits turned into lakes while it happened regardless.

“It’s worse,” my friend went on. “I bombed in an alt room. I always bomb in alt rooms and it’s fucking me up!” This is a real and consequential worry in today’s comedy world. As the great Moshe Kasher says, “your act has to be smart enough that you do well in an alt room, and strong enough that you do well in a club.”

My friend went on, “A lot of the people I started with ran the room and I just felt like a road hack asshole.”

If you are not a comedian or an aspiring comedian, those last few quotes may have been incomprehensible, at least the parts that weren’t about feeling like an asshole, to which anyone can relate. An “alt room” is the 2014 shortened jargon for a room that features “alternative comedy,” a 90’s term first coined for the comedy of Patton Oswalt, Janeane Garofolo, Blaine Capatch, and other like-minded comics who were going against the tired formulaic cable-television mode of the comics of the late 1980’s. And a “road hack” is a damning comedy insult describing comedians who take lowest common denominator unoriginal comedy to bars and comedy clubs outside of major cities.

He went on, “What do I have to change to do well in alt rooms?” It’s a question I get asked a lot. And rightly so.

In 2014 I did standup comedy at the Meltdown Show in the back of a comic book store on Sunset Boulevard, at Whiplash at the UCB improv theater in New York, at the Littlefield Theater and Canyon Gallery in Brooklyn, at the Hot Tub show in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Theater in Portland, and the Grawlix show at the Bug Theater in Denver. You cannot get more “alt” than these shows. I don’t say this to brag. There are at least 300 comedians who can all say the same thing. I mention it because in the same year I made most of my living in standard comedy clubs in places like Kokomo, Indiana, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I did essentially the same act I did in Brooklyn. Are there certain references I don’t bother with in the Midwest? Sure. I have a bit about hipsters that I don’t do outside of big cities, but only because the reference would be obscure enough to them to make the bit a waste of their time, just as I wouldn’t do in depth material about Los Angeles in Montreal. But are there pandery bits I would do in Indiana that I would hide from the city folk? No.

But man did there used to be. When I came up as a comedian, from about 1998-2002, there was a TON of stuff I wouldn’t do in a hip comedy room if I was given a court order. I let the whims of the front row of Best Western hotel bar crowds dictate what I did every night. If they liked it, it was in. Did it matter that I got in to standup because of the avant-garde comedy of Monty Python, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, The Christopher Guest movies, The Larry Sanders Show, and Mr. Show with Bob and David? No. It mattered that I didn’t want a day job, these were the gigs I got, and I didn’t want to lose them.

I was good at it too. I hit my punchlines about Atari graphics, being high, hand jobs, and how some song lyrics don’t make a lot of sense. I sold my embarrassing bumper stickers that said, “You’re a Gayrod.” The bit was about being called that as a kid, and wasn’t on its face homophobic, but even at 25 I was smart enough to know that might not be why they were buying it. And smart enough to feel guilty about it. But not courageous enough to cut the bit. I was following guys who cracked bullwhips, did nothing but shit on their marriages, and made more Lorena Bobbit, 4 hour erection, and Monica Lewinsky jokes than Steven King has stories about writers in danger in Maine. And they would KILL. I wanted to survive.

I wasn’t the only one who felt I had a hacky act. The one room in the city that could be called “alternative,” a pool hall showcase called the Elevated, didn’t book me for years. To my scene, I was a “road guy.”

The only thing that saved me was a room in Chicago called the Lyons Den. Much has been made of this legendary open mic, so instrumental in the careers of Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Kinane, TJ Miller, and Hannibal Buress. But the comedy there, and in its predecessor, Mark Geary’s Red Lion, was smart. It was informed by a city perspective. I would perform there once a week (I may have made my living in Cracker Barrel country, but my apartment was in Wicker Park.) I always felt intimidated by the other comics’ inventive jokes and pressure to equal them. I could comfort myself that those jokes would die in Wassau, WI, but I knew they were doing what I wanted to be doing.

Pete Holmes described the environment of the Den as “our little version of the Shire. We were all happy Hobbits creating jokes for each other. Then we would go out on the road in the Midwest and it was like Mordor. You’d come back and just hope you didn’t get any Orc on you.” I had a ton of Orc on me. One of the big ones you meet at the end of “Fellowship.” When I came back to the Den every Monday, I felt nervous and intimidated by the burgeoning comedic voices around me. I would pare down my act, and leave out the “dumb” jokes. And what hurt more was knowing that my Chicago comedy peers had the same influences I did. I was pandering.

Eventually I found a way to make about five of the Den minutes work enough on the road, and to my good fortune, those minutes became the sets that would allow me to win the comedy portion of CBS’ “Star Search” in 2003. That got me to L.A.

But even in L.A. I was a club guy. That’s what I knew. The sensibility of the club with the two drink minimum, the brick wall, and the audience full of tourists and “regular folk.” That was the crowd I was attuned to, and that was the crowd I twisted myself into a pretzel to please. In L.A. I played the Laugh Factory. In New York, the Comic Strip. Fine clubs. Great clubs. But clubs. The exact scene and sensibility the alt comics were rebelling against. I was pretty successful in this style. You can watch my “Ramen Noodles” bit from the Laugh Factory to observe it. I put on a phony swagger. I make sure my topics are all general and universal. I write what I think they want to hear, not what I want to say. I am proud of the work I did in that period, but it doesn’t accurately reflect my comic tastes or my real self. I could walk the walk in the clubs, but it wasn’t really me. And the club crowds were always going to prefer the genuine article to a Bob and David fan tying himself in knots trying to be Dane Cook. And I was miserable.

My peers were mostly comic actors. Standup was secondary to them. A means to the end of being famous. People who were in it to express themselves, who’s main focus was the art of standup comedy itself, I didn’t know where they were. Except I knew how to find out. Two of my friends from the Den days, the last time the “alt comic” side of myself felt supported, Matt Braunger and Kyle Kinane, moved to Los Angeles. The others, Pete, TJ, Hannibal, Kumail, moved to New York City, and they wouldn’t re enter my life for a few more years. Kyle and Matt hated the idea of getting “orc” all over themselves. Being a road hack was a fate worse than death to them. And they were willing to keep their day jobs to make sure it never happened. They toiled away closed captioning TV shows in the day time, and went out to the L.A. alt rooms at night. They made none of the money I did from standup, but were honing an act that was true to their own vision and no one else’s. I told Matt about my predicament in 2005. “Come to the UCB Christmas Party,” he said. I did, and it was the single best decision I made since becoming a standup. I am now performing only material I am proud of, and have a group of brilliant minds I get to create with all over the United States, and audiences who will follow me where ever I choose to go, and an act that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with the men and women who made me a comedy fan in the first place. An act I can go back in to the mainstream clubs with, and make that same front row in Wisconsin laugh without pandering to them with hack bullshit.

So when someone says “I’m a club guy. How do you do alt rooms?” I think I’m someone you can listen to on the subject.

First of all, I think there is a false reading of the definition of “Alternative Comedy.” It’s partly just because the name is dumb. Alternative comedy? “The alternative to comedy is drama,” said Ali LeRoi to the guffaws of the club guys at the 2000 Chicago Comedy Fest.

There is a disdain between the two camps that an outsider to the world of comedians may not know about. Club comics feel like “alt” comics could only survive in their womb-like atmospheres where they are pampered by too polite crowds. The genius club comic (who I might add does extremely well in alt rooms) Bill Burr had a famous rant on just this topic. They could never kill a club at midnight and are therefore not as good as a club comic, who has chops to survive hostile crowds. This is the same argument the Catskills comics of the late 50’s and early 60’s had about Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, and the other East Village comics, who were the first to write personal material. “They only kill among college nerds. Put ‘em in Atlantic City and they’d eat a dick.” I will concede this point. I have done alt material in A.C. And sometimes dick is on my menu. The other knock on it is that if it’s so “Alternative” why isn’t it more left of center?

“I’ve seen alternative comedians,” says a typical complaint. “They’re not weird. It’s just jokes. What’s so alternative about it? There’s weirder stuff in a club.” They are missing the point. The name comes from the 90’s. Journalists ran with it because it seemed like a parallel to what was happening in music. 1980’s hair bands were out of date. The new bands were the answer to that cookie cutter mindset. They called themselves Alternative (or rather Spin and Rolling Stone called them that regardless of what Mr. Cobain and Mr. Vedder thought they were doing.) So, easy analogy. Kevin Meaney equals Journey. Patton Oswalt equals The Pixies. The Pixies are Alternative Rock. Hello, Alternative Comedy. As you can imagine, this is fucked. And this reading of the term leads to the confusion we face today.

The “alternative” in “Alternative Comedy” didn’t refer to the comedy at all. “It referred to the venue,” said Dana Gould, who is as wise and knowledgeable as a thousand rabbis, and one of the godfathers of the original 90’s alt scene. “Our shows were not at comedy clubs,” he told me. “They were at bars and restaurants and black box theaters and rock clubs, and anywhere they would let us put on a show.” They were alternative to the Comedy Store and the Improv, where the two drink minimum and the Zagat guide walk-in, and the standards of the Leno show, still dictated what was on the stage. When club comics approach the alt scene and don’t see the crazy out there performances they are expecting, some of it stems from this mistake. It is true that smashing watermelons and talking out of a puppet’s mouth are actually further from “regular” standup than most of what you would find at Whiplash, even though Gallagher and Dunham would never be called alternative. That’s because it’s not what’s on the stage that’s the biggest difference between club comedy and the alt scene. In fact, on a modern bill, there will be quite a bit of crossover between the two worlds, no matter what building you are in. Marc Maron famously starts his nights in L.A. at an alt room, and finishes them up in the Original Room of the Comedy Store, the blueprint of the modern club. It’s not who’s on stage who puts the alt in alt comedy. It’s who is in the seats.

Let’s go back to the East Village in the early 1960’s one more time. There’s an audience of college nerds and bohemian hipsters. They’re socially liberal. They like jazz and political folk music. They like smart comedy. They are watching all three in a small basement club in lower Manhattan. In between jazz acts they watch socially conscious and intellectually daring comedians who are writing personal material about their lives. As the Long Playing Record makes listening to entire performances at home possible for the first time, they make stars out of Richard Pryor and George Carlin, and the modern standup comedian (as opposed the the 1940’s Borshct Belt man making mother in law jokes that someone else wrote) is born. This left of center intellectual audience sticks with comedy through the boom in the 1980’s and they launch the careers of Steve Martin, Stephen Wright, Bill Hicks, and Emo Phillips. But then the intense sexism and homophobia of the 1980’s and early 1990’s turn them sour on stand up. Eddie Murphy yelling about “faggots” is the first blow. Then Sam Kinison screaming about “whores” and yelling at Africans for being poor, capped off by Andrew “Dice” Clay filling stadiums with comedy that was not only reactionary, but also stupid, proved that there was nothing left in standup for the hipsters and nerds and lefties and they pulled out. Good bye.

They were a huge part of the standup audience. Perhaps the most integral part. They were the people who made the entire thing possible, sitting there in the East Village and following Lenny Bruce as he traveled the American consciousness. Take them out and you get a crash, just as if you took whiskey drinkers out of country music. They were the people who loved this thing most, and they were gone.

They didn’t stop wanting to laugh, but the brick wall and the microphone represented a place where they weren’t welcome, and the ideas they heard coming out of that microphone were not worth buying two drinks to hear. So someone had to come along and make comedy for them. And they weren’t gonna do it in the clubs. So back to the theaters and bars and East Village music clubs it goes, as Patton and Janeane and Dana and Paul F. Tompkins and Maria Bamford replace the beatnik comics of the 1950’s.

It’s not the CHEESE of the 1980’s the alt comics rebelled against, it’s the REACTIONARY MATERIAL. The original fans of modern standup comedy had no use for the Rush Limbaugh Revival Meeting that their art form had devolved into, and neither did their 1990’s equivalents. It is no surprise to me that the message of Chris Rock’s “Bring the Pain,” and The Chappelle Show began the modern standup revival. Finally there was something that the people who loved the genre most wanted to hear again. It’s not Kevin Meaney equals Journey that was the problem. It’s Dice Equals Guns N’ Roses’ “One in a Million”

So that’s who’s in the seats at an alt show. The same people who were in the seats at the dawn of standup. Finally. Once again. After we drove them out, some smart comedians in the 1990’s found a way to welcome them back. The college nerds. The liberals. The bohemians. The people who got this shit off the ground. And they don’t want to see it ruined again. They don’t want to see Meltdown become The Chuckle Hut. When you perform for them, just remember the cardinal rule of comedy: entertain the people there in front of you. In an alt room, you are performing for an audience of discerning fans who love this stuff. “The treat comedy like its opera!” said a reverent Todd Glass about the Los Angeles alt scene. Are there some bandwagon jumpers? Sure. You couldn’t sell that many tickets a week to purists alone. But at the core of an alt show are smart, mostly lefty (although there are a fair amount of righty libertarian types too) people who don’t want to be talked down to. They don’t want to be told to “make some noise.” They aren’t gonna respond to “where my ladies at?” They aren’t going to appreciate jokes full of generalities. “All men are this,” “All women are that,” “Black people are this way,” isn’t going to work because they don’t see people as monolithic types that march in lockstep. Basically if a comedian is telling jokes that stem from the idea that beer commercials are right about the human genders, they will bomb in an alt room. Is there crappy comedy that makes alt crowds laugh that actually sucks? Yes! If I hear one more joke about whatever movie just came out and why it is bad, or one more 1990’s comic book reference without a joke behind it, I may knock myself out with my chair. But there is crappy stuff in every genre. Is there a lefty bias? Yeah. Will they entertain conservative ideas as long as you don’t insult them or put them down? Absolutely, as the Christian Southern club comic Nate Bargatze proves every night he goes up at Meltdown or UCB and destroys.

Is there a womb like mentality that makes it too easy to kill? I don’t know. A. I don’t see that as bad. I face enough hecklers on the road I am happy there is a shrine to comedy somewhere where they are not welcome. B. A reverent audience is a great thing. Aren’t you more excited to please the people who care the most about the thing you are doing? I’d be happy to have my music enjoyed at a state fair, but much happier to watch it go over at Carnegie Hall.

What was the joke my friend bombed with? It was about “Chick flicks being like porn for women, and crying at the Notebook being like jacking off.” None of the people in the seats see themselves as what Cosmo and Maxim put out as women and men, and this joke, even with the sexist language removed was not going to ring true in the 2014 equivalent of the East Village jazz club. It was the content of the comedy, not the form or structure, that doomed him.

Club comics unnecessarily fret that certain types of comedy are simply too mainstream for an alt room. Nonsense. One Liners work fine. Ask Anthony Jeselnick. Guitar Comedy? Garfunkel and Oates kill. Impressions? James Adomian does them to huge applause breaks. Magic? Talk to Meltdown favorite Justin Willman. There’s no genre that is inherently hacky if you find a way to present it that is your own. This is the widest and most narrow art form in the world. As long as the people in the seats do one specific thing over and over again, you can make them do it literally any way you want. It’s not the style of performance that will get a club comic in trouble in alt land. It’s the worldview of the comic they are concerned with. The opinions and the style of delivering those opinions is what will get you in trouble there.

Any comic can conquer an alt room. And countless club comics have. Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, Tom Wilson, Ian Edwards, Deon Cole, Dan Levy, Mo Mandel… I have seen all of them kill. As Kyle Kinane says, “you start out comedy behind a fence, whatever fence your scene was, urban, club, whatever, but eventually you grow enough to just step over it.”

In the end, the “new adjustment” that must be made in an alt room, is the oldest rule in comedy. Make the people in front of you laugh. It’s the same rule that got me in trouble pandering to Best Western audiences so long ago. But it’s a different group of people, who care much more about the thing I do for a living.

“Well then, aren’t you just pandering to that front row instead of the Best Western front row?” you might ask. No, because one of the things the front row at Meltdown doesn’t like, is pandering. And for the most part, they’re smart enough to see it. If you treat them as people you don’t already have figured out, as people who might not be like the “typical person” the media presents, you will do fine. Because these people aren’t the “typical person.” But in the end, is anyone? The only thing you won’t sell to an alt crowd is stupidity, lazy thinking, outright homophobia, racism, and sexism. That will fail there. But shouldn’t it fail everywhere?

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Harper’s Bazaar has given Alex a shout-out as their Man Crush Monday (September 14, 2015) and also shared a new interview with him:

#MCM: ALEXANDER SKARSGARD

Alexander Skarsgard on why he loves drag and how to “tuck away the junk.”

Though he’s quite good at it, Alexander Skarsgard is a last-resort actor. “I was trying to figure out what to do and was worthless at everything, so I was like,’” he breathes out, defeated, playing his capitulating twenty-something self. “‘Alright…’” Skarsgard is sitting cross-legged, wearing funky socks and no shoes, in an armchair in New York’s Crosby Street Hotel. It takes a certain kind of jeu d'esprit, and physical agility, at 6'4" to sit cross-legged in an armchair, but the Swedish actor is delightfully goofier than you might expect of Eric Northman, the 1000-year-old Viking vampire that catapulted Skarsgard to instant superstardom as the lead in the cult hit True Blood in 2008. Before that, he had been jobbing around in roles like Zoolandar'sMeekus (you remember him: Ben Stiller’s model roommate who dies in a freak gasoline fight accident), arguably his big rentrée into the performance world after quitting his child acting career, and a central role on the more upmarket HBO miniseries Generation Kill.

Since turning 1000, it’s been one critical success after the next for the 39-year-old actor, who is now dating model Alexa Chung. Most recently, he seduces his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter in the '70s-set, Lolita-inspired The Diary of a Teenage Girl, whose August premiere was the talk of the town when Skarsgard showed up in drag. “It sounded like so much fun, and I got so excited,” Skarsgard says of his reaction when director Marielle Heller proposed turning the screening into a drag queen-hosted night. “Can I also come in drag?” he asked. “They were awesome and said yes. Then I was like, 'Can I look like Farrah Fawcett?’ and they were like, 'Probably not, but we’ll try.’”

Just before heading home to Stockholm to hang out with family, Skarsgard got into the specifics of his Farrah Fawcett-ish costume with us (spoiler alert: “There’s some weird kind of underwear situation where you just like pull it—I’m not going to get too graphic here, but let me just tell you: it’s torture”), working out like Tarzan, and how he ended up in Lady Gaga’s Paparazzimusic video.

I met up with the friendly giant in the Crosby Street Hotel right after the release of Diary, where cross-legged in a chair, wearing funky socks, he told me about the woes of jock when dressing up in drag, Tarzan, and how to be a likable pedophile.

HB: How often do people say, “Earth to Meekus” to you?

AS​: Quite often!

HB: That was your first role in the U.S., and it kind of just fell into your lap while you were on vacation. How’d that happen?

AS: My dad, who’s an actor, was working in Hollywood, and I was visiting him. I’d just started acting in Sweden, and his agent basically said, like, “Do you want to try, do you want to go to an audition?” I was like, “Well, that’d be a fun story to tell the boys back home.” I’d never auditioned out there before, I didn’t have any reference points, I didn’t know what it was like, so I walk into a room, and there’s Ben Stiller. Two weeks later I’m in Manhattan driving down Broadway singing Wham! in a Jeep.

HB: Hell of a first audition.

AS: It was really weird, because when I came back to Hollywood three years later or something, after doing theater in Sweden, I was expecting it to be super easy to get a job. You know, you just walk in in flip flops, meet Ben Stiller, read a couple of lines, and then you fly to New York. But then it hit me, like, “Oh shit, it’s quite competitive out here.”

HB: Did your father’s acting career play a role in any acting ambitions or hesitations?

AS: More hesitations, I guess. As a teenager I didn’t want to be an actor at all. I desperately tried to find other things to do, but I kind of ran out of options, so, like… [Laughs]

HB: You acted as a child and then took time off. What made you want to stop?

AS: I didn’t take time off—it was like, I quit. I was thirteen, and I did a movie that got attention, and I got attention, and I didn’t like it—it made me uncomfortable—so I just quit. And then I was trying to figure out what to do and was worthless at everything, so I was like, “Alright, I’ll try acting again.”

HB: Another one-off that you became quite known for was your appearance in Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi music video. Did you just meet Lady Gaga in flip flops on vacation too?

AS: My friend Jonas Akerlund is a director, and that’s basically it. At the time, True Blood wasn’t even out yet, or it definitely wasn’t a big thing. Lady Gaga had I think one song out before that, so I barely knew who she was. But Jonas is a dear friend of mine, and I was in LA. He was like, “So the plan is you try to kill her, and then she comes back and poisons you, and you die,” and I was like, “Oh! Sounds great!”

HB: In your latest movie, Diary of a Teenage Girl, your character has sex with his age-appropriate lover’s 15-year-old daughter…and yet he’s a sympathetic character. How?

​AS: That was the challenge, and I was really intrigued by that: How do you make him, if not likable, then at least approachable or interesting? It’s to label him as the predatory bad guy and hate him for the duration of the movie, but dramatically that’s not going to be an interesting film. If you don’t feel anything, it’s just annoying to watch nineteen scenes of these characters together. You’re just like, “Get away from her; it’s disgusting.” So I didn’t know how to do it, and that’s a good starting point as an actor, I think, when you’re fascinated but don’t have the answers. One idea I had was to approach him as if he was a teenage boy, in a way, really holding on to his youth, so that even though he’s older than Minnie, there are moments where they’re just like two teenagers in love. It was important to find moments where the connection was real and beautiful, and from which he would have to pull himself out and go, “Stop—what am I doing?” That push and pull makes it interesting, hopefully.

​HB: You really rocked the '70s mustache through and through. What do you think—long-term ambitions there?

​AS: I really enjoyed it and then I had to shave it off the day I wrapped because I was going on to another project. It was a shame—it might come back.

HB: Did you yourself ever have a diary?

AS: No diary, unfortunately. It would be fun to read. Wait, no it wouldn’t be fun—my god, I just realized.

HB: What inspired you to attend the Diary premiere in drag?

AS: We shot the movie in San Francisco and did some scenes with a lot of legendary local drag queens. We had Lady Bear as our casting director for the extras, we had Peaches Christ—they were part of the family making the film, and we all became friends. So [director] Mari [Heller] wanted these fantastic, fabulous drag queens to host a screening at the Castro in the Bay Area, do a number from Rocky Horror Picture Show beforehand, and throw a great after party. It sounded like so much fun, and I got so excited, and I felt like, well how can I be part of the fun? I don’t want to be excluded—can I also come in drag? They were awesome and said yes. Then I was like, “Can I look like Farrah Fawcett?” and they were like, “Probably not, but we’ll try.”

HB: So that was supposed to be a Farrah Fawcett wig?

AS: The wig and the dress and the nipples.

HB: I didn’t see the nipples! You had nipples on?

​AS: Oh, yeah. Great Nipples. Sewn into the dress. It was pretty cool.

HB: How did you feel in it?

AS: Well, I can’t express how much admiration I have for women in general, who walk around in high heels, but, drag queens, oh my god. You have to tuck away the junk—it’s incredibly painful. There’s some weird kind of underwear situation where you just like pull it—I’m not going to get too graphic here, but let me just tell you: it’s torture. And those shoes were killing me. But I loved it. I loved every second of it.

HB: When you’re not in drag, do you get fashion advice from Alexa, or is your look all you?

AS: I like to dress up and put on a nice suit for a party or a special event; I do enjoy it, but on a daily basis I wear stuff that I feel comfortable in, you know?

HB: No sewn-in nipples.

AS: No nipples. I save those for the glamorous Castro premieres.

HB: When you started True Blood, could you tell how big of a cult hit it was going to be?

AS: Absolutely not. That was before the vampire hype. Twilight wasn’t out, and so I was like, “Okay, here we go, a Viking vampire—okay, what?!” I was excited because it was HBO, and I just did Generation Kill for HBO and loved working with them. I was excited about the people behind it, but at the same time, you never know. Everyone on the show was really blown away.

HB: Do you go back to Sweden a lot?

AS: I do. I’ve been based in the states for twelve or thirteen years, but my family is still in Stockholm, so I try to go back there as often as I can. Pretty soon, we’re going to go out to the islands outside of Stockholm and hang out and cook food and drink wine.

HB: In 2016, you play Tarzan alongside Margot Robbie’s Jane. What did it take to get into Tarzan shape?

AS: You know, lifting weights and eating chicken.

Sources:  Interview:  Romy Oltuski for Harper’s Bazaar (x) via harpersbazaarus twitter (x), Photos:  Originals:  Ricardo Dearatanha

Chapter 1 (Baby I'm A Sinner)

Short Summary: Basically a dark bad boy Niall/innocent girl story based on the quote: “Every girl wants a bad boy who will be good just for her, and every boy wants a good girl who will be bad just for him.”

Read whole story here

Word count: ~7k

Watch the official trailer HERE before you read :)

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