I am currently working on my first paid assignment: a profile article on a local figure in the culinary industry. I’ve never written a profile before, so I contacted my colleague Melissa Hart for advice and she recommended I read Susan Orlean’s The Bullfighter Checks her Makeup.
So I checked it out of the library yesterday (that’s a tale in itself) and read the first chapter last night. An interesting article with an equally interesting backstory. In 1990, Esquire asked her to profile Macaulay Culkin for an article titled “The American Man, Age Ten.” She liked the premise, but wanted to profile an unknown ten-year-old instead, someone who, as she put it “was more deserving of that headline.” The editor gave her the ok, and through friends of friends she found a kid in New Jersey named Colin Duffy.
Right away, the book is off to a great start. In my experience, the most interesting people are rarely celebrities. Since they’re already famous, a lot is known about them already, and when you get down to it they basically live the same lives. “Oh, every one wants a piece of me. I never have time for myself. Blah, blah, blah . . .” Who cares?
A random ten-year-old growing up in New Jersey in the early 90s, playing Nintendo and dreaming of living in Wyoming is much more interesting.
Part Two next Friday after I finish the book.