As much as I have appreciated the ample warning, I feel like I’ve been breaking up with The Reader and you gorgeous Reader readers for months now. I don’t know how to quit you. For real. Making things even weirder? I’m not really going anywhere…
That is to say, I have decided (for now) to keep using The Reader’s site to post reviews. You can still find them at thereader.com/culture/movies/ or on the Facebook page and Twitter . So what’s even changing? Well, you won’t find my reviews in print, and nobody is paying me. The former is likely to concern no one, and the latter means I guess we’ll see how much I truly love doing this.
And I have. I have so very much loved doing this. I have absolutely cherished being a film critic for this paper. All these years later, my tum-tum still gets full of winged insects when I’m addressed as a credentialed movie writer. I am aware that I am still a movie writer. It may sound silly that the “credentialed” part hurts to lose. But it does.
It’ll also hurt to lose this community. Being part of The Reader ecosystem has grown me as a person. Goodbye to all the great editors and my fellow writers. Goodbye to the people I meet who say “Oh, I’ve read your stuff.” Goodbye to all the odd, undefined, unrecorded perks that come from having this gig. I have lost track of how many great films I’ve seen because some PR firm got our publication’s name on a list. I’m still open for screeners, you lovely press hacks! I’ll just be reviewing them on behalf of myself, not a charming little alternative news outlet.
Speaking of that, goodbye Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). They were kind (and maybe foolish) enough to give me an award for Arts Criticism this summer. My failure to defend that title won’t be due to a lack of interest but because I am no longer a candidate. Unless y’all give out “Lone Wolf” awards or “Last Critic Standing” trophies? In all seriousness, it is unquestionably the highlight of my film-writing career, even if I’d trade “going out on top” for The Reader not going anywhere.
But we don’t get our druthers. If we did, I wouldn’t be saying my goodbyes. They’re hard, you know? I thought getting started was the hardest part, finding this outlet and my voice. Nah. Having done that, having gone from a verbose doofus to…an older verbose doofus, saying goodbye is infinitely harder than getting going.
And it’s time to go now.
Someone reverse “The Muppet Show” theme song, as it’s time to turn off the music and shut off the lights. Goodbye to a job that saw me through virtually every adult life change a person could experience. Goodbye to a role that has come to define me.
You know where to find me, at least for now.
Unpaid Lone Wolf, (sorta) signing off.