Month: November 2020

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Patrick Moore, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum, Discusses Life, Art, and Andy Warhol

Credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The world of art seems elusive and exclusive to many, but Patrick Moore helps collapse that stigma with his fresh interview with The Sophia News.

If there’s one thing we learned from Andy Warhol Museum Director, Patrick Moore, it’s that life can take us in all sorts of directions. Working as museum director at the world’s largest collection of the late and great Andy Warhol wasn’t a realized dream of Mr. Moore initially.

Credit: The Warhol

Winding Road to the Warhol

Patrick Moore didn’t major in art history of anything of the sort. He got his degree from Carnegie Mellon in theater directing. His first gig was in a space in New Your City known as “The Kitchen,” which was highly influenced by artists in the area. Much of the world done at this location was centered around the AIDS crisis, and this led Mr. Moore to a non-profit—The Estate Project for Artists with Aids—where he eventually became director.

Though the work was impactful and important, it is the type of work that takes a toll, and Patrick Moore burned out. In need of a stark charge, he packed his bags and changed paths once more. In Los Angeles, Mr. Moore became a writer and producer for Yahoo!. It wasn’t until his husband wanted to discover on new horizons that The Warhol came into focus.

…we came upon the idea of Pittsburgh, which I had always loved from my college days.  It was then an obvious idea to get involved with The Warhol as Andy had always been my favorite artist and my background had been in the art world.”

Credit: The Warhol

Success in Pittsburgh

At the Warhol, Patrick Moore thrives. In an age where many feel that museums are dying, the Warhol is flourishing. It’s the careful balance of visual art, film, and music that makes the Warhol a “first day” attraction in Pittsburgh. The five unique floors delight Warhol curators and newcomers alike.

A large part of Andy Warhol’s platform—socially and work-based—was inclusion. Patrick Moore feels that is part of what makes the museum so successful, and what makes Warhol’s art consistently relevant for years to come.

He brought together every possible kind of person, both in his personal life, his creative environment of The Factory, and in his work itself.  These were people of differing economic backgrounds, sexualities, races, genders.  You name it.  It was the mix that made it interesting.  Uptown and downtown was just the start of it.  And The Warhol is the same… We have one of the most diverse staffs of any art museum in America… There’s space for lots of different people at The Warhol and that’s because of the richness of Warhol’s legacy.”

To learn more about Patrick Moore and the Warhol, read the full interview at The Sophia News.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood With Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Quentin Tarantino

Credit: Alexi Lubomirski

In this day and age, there are a handful of names in Hollywood that everyone knows. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen any of their films, you know them by name—Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino. They are Hollywood royalty.

Credit: Alex Lubomirski

This makes their film, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood¸ a sort of royal court, and the court doesn’t end there. The production team and cast is full of stars from Kurt Russell to Dakota Fanning, just as a film about the changing landscape of Hollywood should be.

But landing an interview with the leading men, and the man who spearheaded the project, was an unbelievable get for Michael Hainey at Esquire. The interview discusses the film, their careers, and what it is like to work on a Tarantino set.

Credit: Alex Lubomirski

“[This is] probably my most personal [film],” Quentin Tarantino says about the project. “I think of it like my memory piece. Alfonso [Cuarón] had Roma and Mexico City, 1970. I had L. A. and 1969. This is me. This is the year that formed me. I was six years old then. This is my world. And this is my love letter to L.A.”

It’s a well-documented fact that Tarantino’s process of filmmaking is rather different from many of his colleagues. According Leonardo DiCaprio, those differences are down to the feeling one gets when they arrive to set.

Credit: Alex Lubomirski

“His sets are so magnetic. You don’t walk onto sets like this anymore, where everyone has respect for the process. There’s this celebration of a way of making movies that has slowly become an antiquity in this industry. Quentin puts a tremendous amount of thought into making these characters come to life, making the authenticity of the period come to life. There’s also this freedom—an energy—we feel on his set. It’s become a rarity to have a process the way he has it.”

As the cast and crew have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this project, the project has poured something back into many of them: a feeling of nostalgia. Tarantino and Pitt, especially, recall growing up in the age the film is based, and how the television and cinema shaped their lives. The film harkens back to a style of filmmaking that is very often neglected in the industry these days.

Credit: Alex Lubomirski

“The positive of the new landscape is you see more people getting opportunities,” Brad Pitt says. “But I see something else happening with the younger generations. I was dismayed at how many twenty-year-olds have never seen Godfather, Cuckoo’s Nest, All the President’s Men—these films that are in the Bible to me. And they may not even get to see them. I’ve always believed every good film finds its eyes, inevitably. But there’s a shift in attention span. I’ve been hearing from newer generations that they’re used to something shorter, quicker, big jump, and get out. And the streaming services work that way; you can move on to the next one if you’re enticed. What I always loved about going to a cinema was letting something slowly unfold, and to luxuriate in that story and watch and see where it goes. I’m curious to see if that whole form of movie watching is just out the window with the younger generations. I don’t think so completely.”

To read the full interview, visit Esquire.

Elder Law

Exclusive Interview: Elder Law Attorney and Advocate, Mark Shalloway

Credit: Affinity Law Group

Mark Shalloway is an Elder Law Attorney based out of West Palm Beach, Florida. His practice, Shalloway & Shalloway P.A. has been changing the lives of the elder and special needs communities in his areas for many years, but his work has had a national effect.

As one of the first certified Elder Law Attorneys in the United States, Mark Shalloway is a vocal advocate for proper care of our more vulnerable populations, and has served on a number of elder care committees and boards as both a member and chairman. He works to protect, but also educate the public on how to properly prepare themselves and their families for these more difficult aspects of life.

Interviewology: Tell us a bit about your journey into the legal field.

Mark G. Shalloway: My journey would begin being the son of an attorney. Some of my earliest memories are sitting in a chair at Dad’s office, playing with equipment. Funny thing is, I thought Dad said he was in “lost school,” not law school.

I was never pressured or even encouraged to go into law, but I found it fascinating. As I got older, I found an appreciation of lawyers. They’re the brunt of many jokes, but they help with such a wide spectrum of important topics. I found a compelling calling to be a part of a profession that Dad was a part of, but one that is also so diverse.

What I do day to day is very different from others. My field is different from real estate, criminal defense, tax law, or any number of other fields. There are people with law degrees who hold a political office, or work in a corporation. My journey into law recognized that latitude. I liked that. As a young guy, I didn’t know what path I would take, but I wanted an area where I could chart my path.

I: What inspired you to specifically take on the field of elder law?

MS: I had attended a continuing legal education class. One day in particular, there were a group of panelists looking for people who wanted to serve as advocates for elder communities and homes. I wanted to be civically and socially engaged in my community, so this caught my attention and I got involved.

That experience spun off into folks facing a need to pay for care in those facilities. They weren’t then, but now nursing homes are priced at $10,000. Most of us in middle class cannot afford that. Elder care lawyers look into these problems to find ways to benefit others. That is the heart and soul of elder law.

There were not a lot of books or guides for elder law when I started, and no board certification. Lawyers came together across the country in the early 90s and built this legal field. Compared to others, elder law is a young field. I have the privilege of serving in the charter class of board certified elder attorneys.

The field grew from traditional wills and trusts, to death and tax planning. People come to me looking to help secure life for family after they are gone. Elder law shifted to incapacitation. It turned into, “What happens when I get sick, not die?” So, they have to look into estate planning documents. This deals with diseases like Alzheimer’s or stroke.

We repurposed these documents to help people at home in assisted living places. The middle-class people struggle paying for this added monthly cost—$3,000 to $10,000 a month—for dressing, bathing, helping. Since these people need an aid and not a doctor, it isn’t covered, and we have to look into how Medicaid can benefit these people. We had to learn how to full disclosure shelter these assets with elder law. We can’t shelter every asset, but with planning we can work something out so they can qualify for Medicaid and nursing home care and not be broke.

Credit: Legacy Lawyers

I: Was it always the plan to create your own firm?

MS: I would say I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I learned that with one of my first jobs. I was working at a commercial litigation firm, and I treasured that experience, but it was too stifling. Not only was it the wrong field of law, banking, but it was far too rigid. My undergraduate work was theater, so I wanted to shape and grow my law firm with the creative vision that I had. I would need to be partners in a firm where I could really influence others with personality and culture.

I: How did you come about forming Shalloway & Shalloway with your father?

MS: When I had my experience with that first firm, I reached out to Dad and said “Look, I love where I’m at, but I would either prefer my own firm or to find a firm and become partners. Dad, are you interested in forming Shalloway & Shalloway, P.A.?”

Dad worked as an attorney when specialization was rare. In his time, it was much more common to be a general practitioner. He would work in real estate one day, then criminality, then divorce. I started in late 80s, so specialization was starting to catch on. I didn’t know how specialized that would get, and we started together. Early on it was more diverse—I was doing more estate planning and he was more generalized—and as I quickly grew into more elder law, he scaled back anything that was diverse and we focused on elder/special needs law.

I: You’ve worked with a number of elder law committees and boards as a member and chairman. What is the main goal of these organizations?

MS: Each of these organizations fall in different domains. Some are professional bars that help with professional legal development. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)—which I believe influenced me with ethical development, growth, and practice capacity—is made up of lawyers across the country that helped mature the field. I became the chairman in 2008, and I did a lot of travel working in different aspects of the field. I provided assistance to the group and the congress. It gave me a fascinating perspective on the federal level, and I was able to see how other states were working.

At same time, was I had local clients. I was working at Stetson, teaching elder law. In a little over 15 years, they have built up a master’s degree and elder law program for that school, and host nationally reputed special needs conference annually. This has had a profound influence on the special needs practice for clients under 65. We most recently extended to veterans’ benefits advocacy to educate the JAG (Judge Advocate General’s) corps.

Community service and engagement are constituencies we serve and understand, because they need long term care. We get involved in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s communities to gain insight in order to better serve them. We learn and listen to what they go through, and teach what they need so we can advocate better for legislatures and congresses.

Credit: Sami Stoloff

I: What are some misconceptions about elder law that you face in your career?

MS: Elder law is thought to be mostly wills and trusts work. I laugh when others say they are elder lawyers, but are specifically traditional, because elder law focuses on more than long term care planning. People not fluent in the field think it’s a new term for estate planning, but it’s nothing of the sort. It’s recognized by the bar, and it has national certifications and state certifications. There is a real distinction. It is more than a marketing word for wills and trusts, or estate planning.

Elder law is unique in that we define work by the client, not the subject. Divorce and real estate are both subjects, but elder law covers 13 different areas— from guardianship, living wills, and public benefits like Medicaid. We use wills and trusts, but we also use long term care facilities and taxes. I’ve tagged briefly number of subjects that fall under the umbrella. People don’t realize that the field covers over 12 areas.

Florida is known as retirement state, but we ironically only have a little more 100 certified elder law attorneys among the 100,000 attorneys in total. This is not the case for most other specialty areas. I find it ironic, given the amount of retirees.

I: How did you develop these free seminars you host on estate planning, and a number of other topics?

MS: It was organic in that it was out of need and awareness. Part of the reality of legal profession is that I am not organized as a non-profit, so getting law out helps, but education is more important. Speaking is done in many different venues. We speak a few times a month to create education and awareness. This creates an easy forum for someone who does not regularly work with lawyers.

There is intimidation and fear with booking with lawyer. If referred by someone else, that is a helpful resource, but if they need an elder law attorney, there is a lot of worry and fear. What we have found is that by offering the workshop, people can sit in audience anonymously, and the seminar serves as a  free, low-key sample consultation. They can sit in room, hear a lawyer speak, and understand personality. They are exposed to the subject matter and can understand if it will help. If it’s not right fit, they just leave. If they want more, they can follow up. You can go on internet, read articles, but you can learn much more if you show up to a seminar. If that’s all you need, you leave, but if you want more it’s easy to continue.

Credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

I: What does being ranked as one of the top elder law attorneys in the Palm Beach area mean to you?

MS: I work hard to try to establish what I call “objective credentials.” How does one measure what makes a good lawyer in the mind of client or referral source? I could stand on roof and say I’m good, but as a resource how does someone establish what makes a good lawyer? One standard of measure is bar certification. You have to maintain certification so knowledge is updated. Another is various reviews, where they give you a rating, or superlawyers, where other lawyers who have worked with you can give reviews. It is humbling. Reputation is easily damaged if you’re careless. I know I’ve got to earn it. It means the world to me. It comes from values my parents raised me on.

I: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

MS: Easily the gratitude that I am blessed to receive when I am able to help family or individual who is going through most difficult season of life. When families reach out they are middle, not rich, some are pro-bono, but most are middle class. The middle class fall through the cracks because they don’t fit the requirements for benefits, and they are not very rich. They work hard—they could be teachers, or doctors, or journalists, or other good, hard working people who have saved and are facing Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, or have a spouse or child with special needs. They can face these diseases for years—for the rest of their lives—and that can impoverish you. If we can do Medicaid planning, that can help.

We get thank you letters, and cookies, and pictures. I don’t know where else we could make a livelihood and still make such a positive impact. I love coming into work and making a difference— to shelter the asset so that a person in a home can pay for a private room, or duty aid, or have a van and wheelchair lift. To me, that is not wicked debauchery and self-indulgence, it’s being a human being. If you can have joy and the lift take you wherever you want, you can’t do if you’re paying $10,000 at nursing home. But if Medicaid and savings can do that for you, it gives you a little sunshine. That stuff gets us this gratitude.

Kathleen Turner: Hollywood, Luck, and Rage

Credit: WTOPBo

Kathleen Turner is a woman that, nowadays, you may not recognize her name, but you recognize her face, and more likely than not, her raspy voice. Those who grew up in the 80s, however, know her for her many diverse roles in movies such as Body Heat, Peggy Sue Got Married, and The Jewel of the Nile.

Her battle with rheumatoid arthritis and an addiction to alcohol put an unfortunate left turn in her career. But even in the face of difficult circumstances, Kathleen Turner refused to quit her passion. Perhaps her screen-work is not what it once was, but she has had a long and vibrant career in theater over the past many years. In a recent interview with Vulture, Kathleen Turner reflects on her life and work, but not without her iconic “steel and sass” that made her so appealing in the 80s.

The interview begins with a clear example of that non-conventional, yet strangely appealing attitude. The interviewer begins by addressing the differences between Elizabeth Taylor’s depiction of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Kathleen Turner’s interpretation. With no hesitation, Turner claims that she “[doesn’t] think [Taylor] was very skilled,” and that she was “lucky she got to do the play…and show the humor in it…”

Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Credit: Mercury News.

It is clear, in just a couple of questions, that Kathleen Turner does not care about appearing too crass or forward. Turner is unapologetically herself—a rare and beautiful attribute for stars in Hollywood, and more impactfully, women in Hollywood.

What else, aside from luck, has driven your career?


Where does that anger come from?

Injustice in the world.

How does rage show up in your work?

In my cabaret show I use this passage from Molly Ivins… “Beloveds, these are some bad, ugly, angry times. And I am so freaked out. Hatred has stolen the conversation. The poor are now voting against themselves. But politics is not about left or right. It’s about up and down. The few screwing the many.” She wrote that over ten years ago and it’s no less true today.”

Among social and political opinions, Turner discusses the injustices she faced even as a household name in Hollywood. Many of her male cohorts, such as Michael Douglas and Jack Nicholson, seemed to view Turner as a trophy to be won, an “unspoken assumption that women were property to be claimed,” she says. The presumptuous culture and vapid air led Turner to live her life away from Los Angeles.

Along with her sass and supposed difficulty to work with, Kathleen Turner feels that it is partially there not being a “Kathleen Turner type character” that caused Hollywood to turn away. While creatively, playing such a wide range of characters was exciting and rewarding, Hollywood “never put her work together” and it ultimately was not “good for her financially.”

Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Jewel of the Nile. Credit: The Ace Black Blog

Despite being one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood, Turner reveals that she never studied acting. Different acting techniques and method acting seem unnecessary to the legend, who says that if the information she needs on the character is not in the script, “it’s not a good enough script.” Even her master class is called “Practical Acting,” where Turner claims “You just shut up and do it.”

At an age where many actors and actresses turn away from the stage lights, Kathleen Turner is still going strong. She describes herself as a tree “where the trunk is strong enough, and the roots are deep enough, that [she] can branch out in any direction.” Branch out, Turner certainly does, and it seems that she will only continue to flourish in the years to come.

To read the full interview, visit

Sean Penn and His Controversial Debut Novel

Credit: WallsDesk

For over 35 years, Sean Penn has been a star people across America easily recognize. Be it a result of his five Oscar Nominations and two wins for Mystic River and Milk, his directorial ventures, his ties to actress Robin Wright, or perhaps a scandal, Sean Penn is a man who as truly established himself as a righteous force in Hollywood.  

With the screen being such a prominent part of our understanding of Penn, many did not expect the actor who portrayed stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High a topical and experimental novel.

Credit: Amazon

A New Brand of Limelight

Bob Honey Who Just do Stuff is Sean Penn’s debut novel. The 176-page boook revolves around title character, Bob Honey, who partakes in a number of odd jobs from selling septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses to assassinating the elderly. The plot is non-linear, the narrative is loose, and the satirical tone of the book has produced two realms of thought: some see the story-telling techniques as unique and comic, while others feel it is too undisciplined and a mess of incoherent writing.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Penn discusses his ambitious work, as well as the transition from the world of film to the world of fiction. Feeling burnt out with the movie-making industry, Penn enjoys how writing a novel offered him “freedom from collaboration,” as he, “got to where [he] was not enjoying playing well with others as much as [he] used to.”

However, similar to the story itself, the book did not have a traditional conception. Penn wanted to release the book before the election in 2016, but hadn’t realized how time consuming publishing truly is. As a result, he released an incomplete version on Audible.

Credit: Thrifty Nickel

Some compare the novel’s style to those of Terry Southern and Thomas Pynchon, complex and satirical writers of the 20 century, Penn insists the potential impact other writers may have had on him was never a conscious one.

The influence that a writer can have on you is that you get a sense of how somebody has a freedom with words or something, and makes you want to find freedom with your words… You find a voice like you find a character and it’s not from a movie—it’s from life. It’s not from a book—it’s from life.”

A Complex Novel for a Complex America

It is clear feelings on the book extend from one extreme to the other, but many can agree on one aspect: it is politically charged. “America’s a complex place that’s doing all it can to be without any complexity at all,” Penn says.

Though he vocally disapproves of our current president, when asked about a portion of the story that seems to refer to Donald Trump, Penn insists that “at the end of the day, the book isn’t about leadership in our country. It’s about the culture in our country,” and even if there are some controversial aspects of the story and that people dissect it and point fingers, ultimately, it is fiction.

My business is to be clear that what I leave behind is going to be in sync with what I intended to leave behind.”

To read the full interview, visit

Colin Lane Explains the Iconic Photograph Behind the Strokes “Is This It”

Credit: British GQ

The jump between film and photography is a lateral one that many take one way or another. Colin Lane when to the University of Texas for film, a long way from his New England roots. When he made the transition to a photographic focus, being a band’s principle photographer had not been his goal—but between 2001 and 2006, he achieved just that.

Credit: The Guardian

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Colin Lane explains his most iconic photo, which coincidently, is arguably the most iconic album cover The Strokes ever had.

The Captivating Photo

One slender hand cloaked by a black, Chanel glove rests easily on the lower back of a nude woman, who leans forward and arches her back. The shot is a close composition, and reveals absolutely nothing seemingly “inappropriate” by any means. We see her shape and her smooth skin—nothing more. By simply describing the piece, one would have no idea just how erotic and eye-catching the photo truly is.

The iconic cover. Credit: Colin Lane

Though he had just spent the day at a fashion shoot, the photo was not among those taken in a professional setting. He was at his apartment, wanting to use up the rest of his Polaroids. The woman in the photo is not a renowned model (at least, we don’t know for sure, as the identity of the woman has never been revealed), she is his at-the-time girlfriend.

…when she slid the glove on and bent forward, I knew it was the perfect shot – simple, straightforward, graphic and just so sexy. When I developed it, I stuck it in my portfolio and thought nothing more of it.”

Photography for the Strokes

Fast forward a year or two to early 2001. Colin Lane has been commissioned by the Face, a fashion magazine popular between the 1980s to the mid-2000s, to photograph an up-and-coming band, The Strokes. It was Lane’s first commission, and it was The Strokes’ first real photoshoot. They snuck up to the roof of a building to get great shots of the band against the New York Skyline at sunset.

The Strokes. Credit: Colin Lane

A few weeks later, Lane was called upon again by the band to take a few more pictures and just hang out. Lane brought his portfolio on a whim, and out of sheer luck, their art director called and insist they find an album cover for their first album, Is This It. So, Lane handed it over, and the band picked the photo of Lane’s ex-girlfriend.

From then, until 2006, Colin Lane became their regular photographer. He toured with them, shot the lead singer’s wedding, and became friends with them. When things began to unravel between bandmates, Lane moved on to other acts—such as Kings of Leon, Beck, and many more, but Lane says, “nothing has ever compared to the Strokes.”

It’s a shame, because they were incredible: even when they were on top of the world, they never became jerks. To the end, they always were welcoming, intelligent and humble young guys who deserved their success.”

Popular song from The Strokes’ first album, Is this It.

To read the full interview, visit

Exclusive Interview: Chuck Cady of Top Cleveland Court Reporters, Cady Reporting

Credit: WebFeat Complete

Chuck Cady has been the primary owner and operator of Cady Reporting since 1981. The Cleveland-based firm is a family-owned business that has been a major part of cases in the area across all areas of practice, no matter how large or small. Because of their longevity and dedication to customer service, Cady Reporting has become a staple of not only the Cleveland legal scene, but the Ohio legal scene.

Interviewology: What intrigued you about the field of court reporting?

Chuck Cady: Getting a ringside seat to what fascinates so many people– the goings-on of court cases.  You get a slice of so many aspects of life and education.

I: How long have you been with Cady Reporting?

CC: I began with its prior iterations in September of 1981.

I: Is there a specific aspect of business that you would say your firm does better than others?

CC: Like so many services, it can become easy to be commoditized.  I think the best way to stand out and that we stand out is being pleasant to work with and making people feel that we’ll happily go the extra mile to take care of their needs.

I: What led you running your own firm, as opposed to working with another?

CC: Our buyout took place in January of 1999, and at that time I had been with the firm for 18 years, so it seemed like a natural transition.

I: How does acting as a court reporter for a specific field of law—say, criminal—vary from working in a different field—say, maritime law? 

CC: Because we deal in terminology in creating a written record, knowing the terms in a specific field is vital to making sure the transcript properly reflects the intended meaning.  And for the information to flow well to the fingers of a court reporter, it has to flow through the brain smoothly, with little or no hesitation.

Since you specifically asked about maritime law, one of my favorite examples of requiring familiarity with terminology is knowing the term fo’c’sle, pronounced “fokesul,” which is a shortened form of “forecastle,” a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors.  That one can throw you for a loop, especially spoken with a thick Canadian accent. And that is a very big part of our challenge, understanding not just the terms spoken but many times with an accent involved.

Credit: Fremont College

I: Since you first became a certified court reporter, how has the field changed in regards to technology and culture?

CC: It has changed very much so.   In the past we needed our steno machine, paper, a Dictaphone, and a typewriter.  As with pretty much every field now, it required computerization, along with the necessary software for creating the transcript, as well as allowing attorneys to use a real-time feed if they choose, either in person or streamed remotely.  And our firm, like most others, couldn’t operate without a dedicated IT person for security and know-how.

I: You’ve referred to the firm as a family business. Do you think that connection has a direct influence on your quality of service? 

CC: Yes, it absolutely does.  Our name is on the door.  We need to back that up.

Credit: thoughtco

I: What are some aspects about court reporting you think people misinterpret?

CC: That it’s an easy job merely because we’re sitting there quietly doing our job, (or, at least, we should be),  and, therefore, the pay doesn’t seem commensurate with the job skill. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The completion rate in reporting schools is around 7%, and I feel one of the reasons is because people underestimate the skill involved.  They have no idea all the gears whirring away in the court reporter’s brain and sometimes their stomach as they strive to deal with a fast-speaking expert witness with a heavy accent, or just a very fast deposition where people are not aware of making a good record.

A pianist has the opportunity to practice his or her piece many times before a performance.  Imagine a pianist having to play the notes in front of an audience as the notes are streamed across their eyes, never having seen them before.  The court reporter has to do the very same thing with words streamed into their ears and transferred to their fingers and keyboard at a very high rate of speed, and no one tells us what they’re about to say before they say it.

I: What do you think it takes to be a good court reporter?

CC: Besides having the requisite skill level, it takes good attention to detail, which requires a high level of caring about the transcripts that you produce.  It also takes good people skills and discretion to know how to conduct yourself in a way as to do your job well without being intrusive.  Most reporters I know are total perfectionists; they fret over whether they should use a comma or a semicolon. As a sort of bottom line, I have yet to find a situation that doesn’t fall into one of the two basic vital categories for success: professionalism and communication.