Q&A

60 Seconds with Mishna Wolff


60seconds 
Mishna Wolff
Photograph courtesy of Jeremy Donner

Got a minute? Comic author Mishna Wolff discusses her new memoir, I'm Down (out this week), the intimidation factor of double-Dutch jump rope, and the problem with getting a paycheck for modeling.

Q: Your memoir focuses on your experiences growing up white in a predominately black neighborhood. What are the benefits of growing up with such duality ?

A: I don't even think duality is the right word, because I grew up post-civil rights, when there was no more clear lines between acting white, acting black, and being black. Those things all started to shift and become a lot more...not fixed, the opposite of fixed. A lot more fluid? More mobile.

Q: So are you, in fact, down?

A: That's obviously subjective, because anyone who has to say, 'I'm down' clearly is not. But I definitely relate to black culture. The challenge of the book was not making generalizations.

Q: Have you learned to double Dutch?

A: I happen to be a relatively risk-averse young lady. I think the idea of jumping in front of two whiplike objects moving as fast as two hands can possibly turn them did not appeal to me.

Q: You have performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and have a career in comedy. Is it easier to be a comedian with an audience or a satirist with blank pages?

A: I don't think I have the best delivery in the world. I feel much more confident when I deliver here in my office and then you receive it there in your office.

Q: Didn't you work with Janeane Garofalo when you were coming up as a comedian?

A: She helped organize a show called "Eating It" on the Lower East Side, and I performed there a couple of times, but I can⿿t claim a real connection to Janeane Garofalo. If I thought about my comedy crew, I started with Demetri Martin and a lot of people more famous than me. Ed Helms from The Office was in my crew. I definitely came up around some of the great comedic minds of my generation.

Q: And you also once modeled? How did that come about?

A: One day I was walking down the street back in Seattle, and next thing you know I was living in a models' apartment in New York.

Q: That must have been very exciting, especially for a young girl?

A: Yeah, but I finally had enough money and I still couldn't eat anything!

Vanessa Rothschild


READ MORE 60 SECONDS INTERVIEWS >>

Details Newsletters
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Subscribe to Details
Newsletter Sign Up
  • Get the latest in men's style, grooming, diet, fitness and pop-culture trends every Wednesday. See Sample
  • Get the most popular articles, blog posts, and slideshows of the past week every Saturday. See Sample
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
AROUND THE WEB
Powered By ZergNet
Subscribe to Details

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest in men's style, grooming, health, and pop-culture news every day.
Will be in accordance with our Privacy Policy