Jun 13 2011

Grown-Up Gigs: Daily Show talent coordinator / Knitting extraordinaire Beth Shorr!


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Meet Beth Shorr. When we started tweeting after the Etsy Success Symposium (you can follow her here!), and I read her bio that stated “daily show talent coordinator by day, etsy shop owner by night“, I mean….how could I *not* feature her here? It was impossible. The force was too strong to resist. Enjoy!

1. What did you wanna be when you grew up? Well, my mom tells me when I was really little I wanted to be a street sweeper.  But my earliest memory is wanting to be a dolphin trainer at Seaworld.  I sent them a letter asking what I needed to do in order to become one and they mailed me back a giant package of information – I found it so overwhelming I decided maybe this wasn’t for me.  Once in high school, I was involved with the school newspaper and thought I wanted to be an entertainment journalist.  I went to college thinking that is what I wanted to do but it didn’t really work out that way either!

2. You’re the talent booker for The Daily Show and also run your own Etsy shop, bshorr handmade designs. Can you tell us (in as much or as little details as you want!) how that, um, happened? :) I’m actually the Talent Coordinator – I assist the woman who books all of the guests in addition to assisting Jon Stewart.  So I’m a slash at my day job too – is there such a thing as a triple slash?!  I interned at The Daily Show when I was in college at NYU and was lucky enough to get hired when I graduated, this month marks my 10th year at the show!  When I was home for the holidays prior to graduating, my best friend & I were with her mom at Michaels Craft Store and wandered into the yarn section.  We thought we should try taking up knitting or crocheting, so I bought a small teach yourself how to crochet book (really it was more of a pamphlet), some supplies and headed back to NYC.  With the help of a college friend and my little instructional pamphlet, I learned how to crochet! Once I started at The Daily Show, a co-worker expressed interest in learning how to knit so we shared an hour lesson one night after work at a local knitting store and I quickly became obsessed.  I knitted or crocheted practically every night and soon was making gifts for people – baby hats, adult hats, scarves, etc.  After awhile my friends started to encourage me to try and sell my stuff but I wasn’t sure how to do that and I wasn’t convinced people would buy my stuff!  I kind of brushed them aside and continued to knit & crochet as I had been doing, purely a hobby.  Then in 2006 I lost my dad to cancer and it felt like my entire world imploded.  Aside from going to work, I pretty much stayed in my apartment, stopped going out socially with friends and immersed myself in knitting (and TV and music!).  About a year later, I started to emerge from my self-imposed black hole and needed to put my mind to something – I discovered Etsy and opened up my shop!

3. I talk a lot about being a Renaissance Soul on this blog, as I’m one and about 90% of my clients are, too! Because of that, I always talk about how you don’t have to “pick one thing”, and love to see examples of that (like you!).  How did you/do you deal with the people that say you can’t do it all? And did that voice ever come from within? I’m the type of person where if someone tells me I can’t do something, I do everything in my power to prove them wrong.  I think I’ve been this way my whole life – I’m very stubborn!  Also, it’s hard for me to just do one thing at a time, I always find myself multitasking – so no, that voice never really came from within!  There are, of course, always moments of self-doubt.  And in those times I turn to my friends or family for support, which usually does the trick!

4. How the heck do you “balance” your two careers? (I put “balance” in quotes because I don’t really believe in it, but everyone knows what I mean when I say it!) Haha yeah, balance is tough.  Lists are very important in helping me achieve any semblance of balance… I make lists for everything and nerdily look forward to crossing off accomplished tasks!  Sometimes I can get lost in just thinking of everything I have to do, but making lists and prioritizing the order in which I do them is key.  I also must say I couldn’t even attempt these two careers without the support of everyone at The Daily Show.  Seriously, they are all so awesome and encouraging!  And while my day job is in a very creative environment, I don’t necessarily have a creative job – nor do I seek a more creative position at the show. Opening up my etsy shop has been a great outlet for my creative side – at this point I feel like it’s impossible to do just one or the other, both sides help to balance me out!

5. If you can have your present self give your old self – the pre-”slash” self – advice, what would you say to her? I feel like everything I did in high school was to get into college.  Then everything I did in college was to get a job once I graduated.  While I achieved my goal and got a great job, I missed out on things like studying abroad because I was afraid of missing out on an internship.  Because of this, I would tell my pre-slash self to throw out the roadmap to life she thinks she wrote out so perfectly – she’s just got to live it and trust that things will fall into place.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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