Interview with Monica Hamburg from “Your Dose of Lunacy” and “Me Like The Interweb”

I think–and I might be lying–that I first came across Monica’s humor blog after reading a comment she’d left here. However I ended up  on her site, I soon found myself  impressed by the technical quality of her writing and the fact that she’s freaking hysterical, so decided  to start commenting on her blog semi-regularly.  When I came up with the idea of doing an interview series it didn’t take long for me to realize that she’d be a great candidate for inclusion. One mildly astonishing positive response to my email later and we had this. Enjoy!

I can see you have a lot of irons in the fire. Your online bio would indicate that you’re something of a Renaissance woman, with work activities encompassing writing, acting, public speaking, and social media consultancy. What’s your preferred kind or kinds of work? What are you happiest doing? What would your dream role or project look like?

I like the spin you put on my life. Others might call me scattered – but I’ll happily go with your assessment. It’s hard to determine what I like best, because I enjoy all these things for different reasons. I love the speaking because it’s fun to teach people about the internet – something I am tremendously passionate about. And I think it’s a good place to inject humor. (One of my favorite teachers, is also a tremendously funny guy – with a dry wit and the same sense of frustration about how things “ought” to be.) I think it’s easier to learn – and absorb – when things are fun.

Coming up with ideas, researching and marketing in creative ways, is something my work in social media allows – so I get to feel smart. I certainly enjoy acting but I didn’t enjoy the lack of control that went with pursuing that as a career. That said, I do some YouTube stuff, and perhaps an independent project will come along that I can fit into.

I guess a dream project would involve something creative where I could participate in a number of things – including act/write/promote online – and work with a great team.

The fact that you work in a number of different roles and cross-media must mean you’ve learned a lot about how different industries work. What advice would you give to people who want to make a living writing? Acting? Public speaking?

I do think that’s true – I am able to see elements from different angles. In terms of advice: I think you need to take responsibility in terms of marketing yourself. Find unique (but non-deranged ) ways of promoting your work and establish yourself as a brand, so that there is more potential of people knowing who you are by what you’ve done. Network online and in real life, even if by nature you aren’t “that type”. Like everything, it gets easier the more you do it – and you find ways of meeting the right kind of people for you. By doing that, you establish yourself, and feel less like your in a supplicating for a job and in greater control of your path.

Given that I never made a living acting, asking my advice on that is akin to asking a convicted felon how to stay out prison. That said, I offer the following: Have a very, very strong idea of who you are. It may not always help get you roles, but it will keep you more sane. Also, I am convinced that the internet can help you market yourself – but again that comes with really understanding who you are – not who you want to be or who others peg you as.

I particularly enjoy reading your humor blog at yourdoseoflunacy.com. I’m constantly surprised at the stuff you turn up there, and usually long before I’ve seen it anywhere else. What prompted you to start the blog up? What are your strategies for finding fresh material? What plans do you have for the blog in the future?

Thank you so much! I really love writing it. I actually started the blog because I had made the decision to go into technology in some capacity and I understood that having a blog was essential. I had no idea what I would write about. I had a few stories about my (many) wacky encounters and figured I’d write about those and perhaps a few other things (rants etc.) Soon enough, I realized that weirdness could actually be the theme.

I started another blog for the business stuff and focused the initial one on oddities in general – sometimes my experiences, but most often about strange items I come across on the net. I don’t have any specific plans for the blog itself – for now, I’ll be continuing, overall, with what I’ve been doing. (See next answer)

As for how I find these things, I’m not always sure. I am brutally unobservant when it comes to details about most everything – I would make the worst witness. The other 8 witnesses would say “The getaway car was a silver Honda with a white midget driver in a red cape and I’d be the one stamping my hand on the table positive it was a Blue Jeep with a sumo wrestler wearing a tux. On the other hand, I have a strange ability to notice the weird things and I tend to read everything from the instructions on canned products to minor details on advertisements. I happen to find many other items by accident, by researching another topic. It’s amazing how much oddness you can turn up when you spend a large part of your life lurking on the internet.

Do you have any upcoming or ongoing projects you’d like to take this opportunity to discuss/share?

Great timing on that question! I recently read some excellent memoir-type books – A.J. Jacob’s “The Know it All” and David Sederis’ Me Talk Pretty One Day – and, in a moment of extreme arrogance, I got to thinking “You know, I have funny stories too… ” So I’m working on an E-book now. I’m not sure what form it will take, but it’s an exciting project.

On a semi-personal note: I was reading your resume and OH MY GOD you were really in Underworld: Evolution—you played the newsreader, right? That’s one of my favorite films. What can you tell us about that experience?

That’s hilarious! Yes, I was the Hungarian newsreader. The experience was great – albeit it nerve-racking. I was terribly nervous since my mainstream acting jobs were few and far between and I’m a perfectionist. One of the funny things was getting my makeup done for the role. The makeup gals immediately assumed I was playing a vampire (I’m a pale girl) and when they realized I wasn’t, I think they spent considerable time trying to make me look less like the undead.

I waited in my trailer to be called, trying to convince myself that I wouldn’t screw up. When they brought me onset, the assistant director told me that Len (Wiseman, the director) would come right down. I guess I had gotten used to directors being somewhat older and maybe director-looking (I think a beard used to be de riguer). Instead, when he came down, it was all I could do shake his hand not say “Uh… uh… Wow…” Simply put, he’s gorgeous. Intimidatingly so.

Luckily, everyone on set was really supportive. For those who haven’t seen the film, one of the characters watches me on tv and then throws up violently. Everyone’s a critic.

Anything you’d like to say in closing? Shout outs? Parting thoughts?

Shout outs:

1) Just want to thank the hilarious people who read my blog – and often make me laugh with their responses.
2) And big thanks to my amazing boyfriend, loving friends and the wonderfulness of the Vancouver social media community. I am forever grateful for how quickly they welcomed me into the community and how incredibly supportive they’ve been.

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14 Responses to “Interview with Monica Hamburg from “Your Dose of Lunacy” and “Me Like The Interweb””

  1. Richard
    July 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    Wow, what a great variety of jobs, i’m jealous.

  2. Utang
    July 5, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    She’s a woman of substance. Good luck on her future blog endeavors.

  3. Kato
    July 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    I am one of those who frequent her site. Sweet potato! Love you to death!

  4. Mio G
    July 7, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Let us know when your E-book is out. I’m your no. 1 fan!

  5. ToddinCanada
    July 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    monica = intelligent, funny, and good looking. some things never change.

  6. Monica Hamburg
    July 13, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    Awwww! Thanks so much guys!!! And thanks for the interview, CEB!

    • admin
      July 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

      Hey Monica. Sorry I wasn’t able to email you to let you know the interview was up as I was out of town for a week or so. It looks like you found it without any trouble, regardless. Thank YOU for taking the time to answer the questions so eloquently. Stay awesome.

  7. Bim G
    July 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    She looks gorgeous and very spontaneous with the interview. You’re a great catch!

  8. Battlefield
    July 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    I’m your no. 1 fan. Care for an autograph? lol

  9. Monica Hamburg
    October 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Thanks, Bim & Battlefield!

  10. Daniel Paul Edward Tyson-Young
    March 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    I Can Not beleive you wear in underworld.
    You have to buy it of ebay now and send it to me.
    I rmember watching that when I was a latish teenager.
    I found it quite parculiar, I can’t beleive that I did not see, nor hear, nor even recogonise you !!!!

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