Personal Stories of America at Work

Category Archives: Entertainment

Making a Career as a Belly Dancer

"Like belly dancing, pole dancing has a lot of stigma around it.”

Belly and Pole Dancer Aruna Makes A Career In Fitness Pay Off

From scoliosis patient to fitness fanatic

I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and my given name was Karen Andes. From a young age, I felt I was being groomed for a life as someone’s “lovely country club wife.” That didn’t happen—thankfully! As a young kid, I was very active. When I was eight, I led a pack of girls on bicycles around the neighborhood wearing our mothers’ high-heeled shoes. You could say those were my earliest sessions as a fitness instructor.

When I was twelve, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I was told I’d be in a body cast for a year and be bedridden.

Read the full interview >>

molly | April 05, 2011 | Entertainment, Entrepreneurs, Healthcare, Women | 5

The War-Tuned Musician

Fusion musician Christiane Karam turned to music for survival and teaches social change through song

"Whenever I listened to or played music, I was transported to a world far away from the war-torn world I lived in."

Things were very dark

I came to the Berklee College of Music in Boston when I was twenty-six, excited but also apprehensive about starting over after years working in Beirut. Most students were younger and had lived a completely different life than mine. I had spent most of my life running from my life, and not building something. I felt like I was starting from scratch. Most musicians, by their mid-twenties, had a sound. They had figured out who they were as musicians and were on their way. I started as a freshman at Berklee, with kids who were eighteen.

I remembered back to when I was eighteen and stitching up bodies in the morgue.

Read the full interview >>

molly | February 15, 2011 | Entertainment, Musician, Women | 9

How an unemployed carpenter became a reality TV star

Carpenter Paul DiMeo shines as a minor celebrity who uses major craftsmanship to create hope on the reality TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

"There are many actors who are just as good and never find work creating as they expected to create."

Paul DiMeo, Actor

Los Angeles, California

I needed to eat

I’m reluctant to call myself a star and prefer the moniker “Minor Celebrity.” And in my case, “Minor, Minor Celebrity.” And a lucky one at that. It all began for me back in college where I majored in theater with the hope of acting in dramas and musicals on and off Broadway. Television was always an option, but I like live theater; I get energy from the audience. So I went to New York after college, hustling audition after audition, and quickly realized there was no shortage of talent in New York City. Still, every once in a while, I’d see an advertisement for an audition calling for my exact talents. One called for a thirty-something male, slightly balding, who played a mean piano, sang, played the harmonica, and could juggle. I thought, “This is me!” I showed up early, assuming there were not many people who could do all that. So did about six hundred other thirty-something, slightly bald males. I got a call back but didn’t get the part.

Read the full interview >>

molly | January 11, 2011 | Entertainment, Job Search | 3

The Working Chronicles

  • The Working Chronicles captures an intimate look at work in 21st century America through candid interviews with people from all walks of life and all corners of the country.

    Read More...»

Latest News

  • Have a story about changing careers? We want to hear from you!
    For a short time we are accepting submissions from readers and will publish the top stories on our blog and possibly include in a book.
    We'll accept an autobiographical story or interview with someone else--check out the Submission Guidelines.

Related Links

Categories

Chronicle Archives