BusinessIamA Student Loan Expert here to talk about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program AMA!
Oct 10th 2017 by Betsy514 • 48 Questions • 86 Points
I do stand-up comedy, I write, I act, and I do a podcast called WTF with Marc Maron. My producer Brendan McDonald and I wrote Waiting for the Punch, a book that uses hundreds of interviews from the podcast to help understand what it means to be alive. Let’s talk. (Brendan is here too and he’ll sign any questions he answers with ‘BM.’)
That was fun. We've got to run to a thing. Thanks everyone for talking and asking and listening. If you preordered Waiting for the Punch, thank you so much. If you didn't, go get yourself a copy. We think you'll really enjoy it.
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There's footage of you chasing him all the way to the elevator before ( seemingly ) getting ushered away. If you had somehow made it into the elevator, what would you have asked/ how would you have reacted?
What is your favorite thing about that amazing friend who posted your lion artwork and thus started this whole journey? :)
I met my girlfriend 5 years ago in Cincinnati at your book signing. I want to propose now, but don't know how. Any advice?? See you again soon at Cinci!
Did you have a bit of a drink before playing with the Foo Fighters the other night?
for whatever reasons comments are not showing up - i've messaged the mods - but in the meantime, try replying to this one and see if it shows up.
Hahahaha I debated cramming myself into that elevator...
I would have made sure to give Richard Smith (and his apparent advisor, former Senator Saxby Chambliss) my bag of money and told them to enjoy their $7.25 million contract with the IRS! http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/03/equifax-irs-fraud-protection-contract-243419
He is rather fabulous and an incredible dancer. Plus all those internet points. (Note, cnostaw is said amazing friend). Edit: He noted I spelled his username wrong. I r bad friend.
That's awesome! Are you ready to propose now? Have you talked about getting married? Have you discussed your plans for the future when it comes to things like career, children, and so on? I NEED MORE INFO.
I see, pretty sure her hospital doesn't fall under those guidelines, but thanks for the clarification. Maybe we'll pay off her loans when we retire!
Did he see you?
Hey, Marc, big fan since Thinky Pain, just had a quick question for you. Did you ever find the Beefheart?
Are you sure they aren't a non-profit that meets the public health definition?
At the time, I wasn't sure former CEO Richard Smith saw me because he played it so cool. But in watching video footage later, there is a moment where he looks behind him right before the hearing starts. His face is pretty priceless!
Would you sing a song Noel wrote you if he offered it to you for your solo album?
So when are you and Randy Newman putting out an album together?
i think he needs all the songs he can get himself these days
As soon as he wants to.
How's your mom doing? Loved her in the documentary
How do you think the industry will respond to the Weinstein scandal? Do you feel you behave differently when interviewing male and female guests on WTF?
The industry is responding to it. People are speaking out.
Do I talk differently to men than I do to women? Sometimes, but for different reasons.
One of the biggest criticisms I've seen against your work is that it overly romanticizes physical and mental illness. What is your response to this criticism?
What was going through your mind when you decided to crowd-surf with the Foo Fighters the other night?
Hi Marc, big fan, absolutely loved your work on GLOW! Was there a scene that was your favorite to work on? And, if you were to create your own wrestling personality, who would you be?
Does him being walked on a slave collar by Britney count? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gb7UypwOxI (SFW btw) Edit. SFWish
I've tried very hard to fight against both the stigmatization and the romanticization of mental and physical illness. That's pretty much entirely what my new book is about. And if I've failed, in this book or elsewhere, I'm sorry.
The scene in the abortion clinic and the scene with my daughter were the most challenging and exciting to do as an actor.
My wrestling personality... how about Captain Annoying?
One, I really appreciate you doing this AMA. Thank you.
For a full-time professor, a 4-4 or 5-4 workload is normal and sufficient for them to be full time, even if they are not doing research. So an adjunct teaching that much by working at different schools might be told that it isn't 30 hours?
Anything happened after? Were you banned from ever attending again?
Liam who do you think would win in a fight; Paul Simon or Phil Collins?
Hey Marc. Longtime fan. It was great meeting you at the D.C. show in May.
Do you ever worry you will run out of note-worthy guests to interview? And do you have any plans of retiring the show anytime soon, or this something you can see yourself doing well into your 70's?
Happy to do it - we need to get the word out on this program!
Yeah apparently - i've done a bunch of pslf webinars and that question seems to always come up - there seems to be a real issue with adjuncts not being considered full time by their schools. Keep in mind - you have to be full time by your full time employers definition - the 30 hours is the minimum and only kicks in if you are working part time for multiple eligible employers
I am fortunate to not have had any real interaction with the capitol police, before or after. One officer asked me to take my bag of money off my lap and put in on the ground, but that is it.
However, now that I am public, I would not be surprised if folks will watch me more closely. I am sure we will see soon!
There's no shortage of interesting people to talk to and there's no end in sight for the show. For humanity, I don't know.
What has been your most surreal experience either interviewing someone or on tour? Like an experience that had you wondering, "WTF just happened?"
Thanks in advance, can't wait for my copy of the book to arrive.
(Willy is my dog.) Willy has cancer, and has for almost a year, but he is doing well. He has a great dog life--we live in a wooded area and Willy has a great time chasing after small woodland creatures and barking at the neighbors.
After the President of the United States left my house, I had that feeling.
Am I a bad person for being super jealous of your good fortune and talents?
You're John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down. Why are you on bus for the next eight hours? You could have taken a plane!
Hey LG I just really want to know what song do you usually sing in the shower? x
follow-up to that: will you invite mr trump for a sequel?
I get massive envy as there are a lot of waaaay more talented people out there and I know I got lucky. But hopefully pushes you to do more?
I could've, but it would not have been as fun or as comfortable. Here's my reasoning:
Early in my career, I missed three very important events because of canceled or delayed flights. I understand of course that road traffic can also be a problem, and all kinds of unfortunate things might befall anyone at any time, but so far I have never missed an event while driving from place to place.
When you take 19 airplane flights in 19 days, you spend a lot of time in airports. I like airports, but they're public(ish) spaces, so you can't totally relax in them. (Or I can't, anyway.) The bus is (so far anyway) super relaxing.
There is no Super Nintendo on airplanes.
I've always liked road trips. Some critics of my books might argue that I like them a bit too much.
I won't invite, but if he requests it and wants to play on the same terms as President Obama, sure.
Did you ever have any moments where you thought "I need to go and get my job back"?
how many turtles does it take to make it all the way down?
I grew up on Manc council estate in the 90's... Oasis was very much the soundtrack to my childhood!
Putting music & football to one side, what do you miss most about Manchester?
Good work on the album btw Liam, you absolutely fuckin smashed it!
hey marc how are your cats? i hope theyre good
Not that job (not that they did not treat me well, I just was unfulfilled there). But yes, constantly dealing with self doubt, long term planning and asking myself whether its safer just to get a 9 to 5 again.
It takes more than all of the turtles.
Seems like you are doing this for the best of reasons, then. Enjoying the daily grind, while squirreling away when you can (re: long term planning).
Isn't that the fledgling artist's dream? For one day to not need "the job" to sustain your creative output?
You say luck, but talent and hard work are best buddies. In my experience with music, it is a ton of hard work to satisfy the brutal criticisms I have of my work.
My question: how do you know when you're done with unpaid works, i.e. your own creative works?
I met you at a meet up in Rotterdam, when you where finishing TFIOS and living in Amsterdam. I knew you from Vlogbrothers and I hastily bought a book to get me an autograph. I've since read them all and love them.
Question: Will you please reveal the secret writing spot in Amsterdam you talked about? The one where one other nerdfighter found you, but kept it secret. Or did you reveal this already?
Are you enjoying the creative freedom of being on your own as opposed to being in a band?
Best advise you’ve ever gotten? Worst advise you’ve ever gotten?
Its tough, sometimes something you love doesn't resonate with other people. Stuff I have found a little lacking has sometimes sold really well! I think its good to leave an artwork for a few days or longer and see it again with fresh eyes.
It was the top floor of Amsterdam's Central Library. Sarah and I went there to work each day during our months in Amsterdam, and I rewrote most of The Fault in Our Stars there. Still my favorite library!
Best advice was when I asked Paul Reiser, "How do you get started in comedy?" I asked him that when I was in college. He said, "Well. You've just got to do it."
Worst advice was "Cocaine will help."
I, uh, have a friend who seems to qualify as a state employee with 3 years on the clock so far. I've poked around a bit and not found anything to sign up for. Is the arrangement to wait until you've been employed 10 years at a qualifying job, keep paying what you owe on time, then ask for forgiveness? After 7 more years I will this friend will still have a stonking big balance.
Obvious question: how'd you do it? How did you make your way to that perfect seat without getting kicked out?
Have you thought of creating a Youtube channel for additional revenue?
Do some time lapse videos of a creation. Or tips/tricks on creating a piece.
Just something to create additional revenue.
Hi John! (And Hank too!) Congratulations on the new book, I can't wait to read it once I've finished my final university exams in a couple of weeks.
Firstly I just want to say thank you for being so awesome and for all the great things that you have done over the years, you make me proud to be a nerdfighter.
What do you find the most challenging part of writing a book?
Made you look, Brooke
Liam, is Robbie Williams was a type of beer, what would that beer be? As you were lad
do you find that interviewing musicians helps with your own guitar playing, and do you ever ask for pointers from your guests, or do you just leave them to it? Also; what sort of guitars are you playing these days, any new gear to talk about?
Thanks for the podcast and for doing this AMA!
LOL - please tell your - ahem - friend - that they can start the PSLF process - and should start it - now. Submit your employment verification form, which can be found http://www.asa.org/pslf/ at the top of that page for all your, i mean their, past employment. once you do the loans will move to fedloan servicing if they aren't already there. You CAN submit all of your proof of employment at the end but it's not recommended. Doing it now and again annually ensures that the PSLF servicer is keeping track of your payments. Once you make your 120th eligible payment, you submit the other form that is on that same page to get the balance forgiven
Credit for the perfect seat goes to a very dedicated intern, who was first in line for the hearing at 7 AM! As for not getting kicked out, I had heard stories from other activists about what is and isn't allowed, and skirted that line as closely as I could. Fun fact: you are allowed to wear costumes, but you can't hold up signs or make a lot of noise.
Yeah I have one! Check it out at www.youtube.com/marcallanteart
Great name-specific sign-off, Brooke.
There's always a point, usually 20,000 to 30,000 words into a new story, where I realize it's bad. Like, really bad. And often when I get to that point, I have to abandon the story--which is a bummer, because I've spent three or six or twenty months on it, and then I feel like, this was all for nothing! I have wasted all this time!
But then sometimes I will get to that point of realizing the story is terrible, and I'll think, "You know, I think I can plow through to an end here. I think I've at least got some idea about the characters." And then I make it to the end of the draft a few months later. I'll still have to delete most of that draft in revision, and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite before I have a book, but if I make it past that point where I realize it's all bad, I can finish.
And then eventually I will understand that none of the time spent was actually wasted, because I had to puzzle through those stories that couldn't work to get to the one that could.
So for me the hardest part is accepting when something isn't working, and letting it go, and starting again.
Yeah, I definitely ask for pointers and they usually give them to me. Every time I do the Conan O'Brien show, Jimmy Vivino shows me some new licks.
I've been playing a Gibson reissue of a '56 Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top.
I think I upvoted you once so am I responsible for your success? And am I entitled to a reward?
I'm a social studies teacher and I use your Crash Course videos all the time. I know you've got like a dozen different Crash Course series going on right now. So my questions are:
How involved are you in the Crash Course program now? Are you mostly handing them off to other experts to design and host?
Are there any plans to bring back the defunct Crash Course Geography series? (Props, by the way, for owning up to the first episode's flaws and pulling the series.)
Do you have plans to extend any more of your series like you did with the second season of World History?
There’s a short recording from 2004 of you singing a song called “Show Me Your Love”. It’s fucking great man. Are you ever going to give it a proper release? Here is a link to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7xPTUJzKqk
If you could give any piece of advice not relating to your profession, what would it be?
Thanks so much for using Crash Course (and for teaching). It's great to hear that it's a useful tool for your students.
How involved are you in the Crash Course program now? Are you mostly handing them off to other experts to design and host?
I am involved in the same way I was always involved, which is mostly in helping decide what we cover, overseeing projects, and some hosting. (There's a new literature series hosted by me that will start up next month.) They were always mostly written and designed by people other than us, and that's still the case. The channel is definitely DEEPLY dependent upon the brilliant team of people who work on the channel.
Are there any plans to bring back the defunct Crash Course Geography series? (Props, by the way, for owning up to the first episode's flaws and pulling the series.)
There are plans, but not for 2018, because I think we've set the upload schedule for next year. As we learned, it's an extremely challenging topic, and we don't feel like we've cracked it yet with the right writer, curriculum consultant, and Crash Course producer combination yet.
Do you have plans to extend any more of your series like you did with the second season of World History?
I think we'll continue to do 10-12 episode of literature videos per year, and we are looking toward doing more "seasons" approaches, but if we go back to World History, it probably won't be hosted by me. I think it's important to get new voices and perspectives in that conversation.
Decide whether or not being hard on yourself is proactive or completely undermining.
What's your stance on Chewbacca's personhood?
Hey Marc, love to hear you talk with musicians, what have you been listening to lately?
I've been listening to Night of the Cookers. It's Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, live.
Hey Liam, big fan here. Simple question, other than football, what's your favorite sport?
Have you considered going to England to do interviews? I would like to hear Charlie Brooker, Richard Ayoade, Graham Linehan, the Pythons, the League of Gentlemen guys, the Mighty Boosh guys, etc.
Also, why don't you do the live WTF shows anymore?
I did it early on with Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Harry Deansway, Adam Bloom. I'd do it again.
The live shows are a big undertaking and were done initially as premium content. They don't really honor what we do anymore, though they are entertaining.
Hey Marc, huge fan of the podcast and your standup.
What's your least favorite city to perform when you're on a standup tour?
not seen Whitey for ages. I'm sure he's buying and selling things
City of Florida
Hey Marc, glad you’re doing well! I’ve got three of your prints in my house, including the one that started it all - Portrait if Hong Kong. Love em all!
Speaking of which, how long did it take you to paint portrait of Hong Kong?
you mentioned several times pre-release how nervous you were about all of us reading Turtles. How are you feeling now?
Hi Marc, I read the Denial of Death after your recommendation and it was great. What other seminal books would you recommend everyone reads in order to understand themselves and life in general?
p.s. Boomer Lives!
Thanks for the support! About two weeks! Mainly because I had to redo it twice. I didnt like the first two versions haha.
Mostly just very relieved, to be honest.
Publishing this book was very different from any of my previous experiences. There were almost no reviews until the day of publication, and the publisher was (understandably) very worried about leaks, so only a few people had even read it before maybe a week ago.
So I just didn't know what people would think of it. I don't think I realized how worried I was until Tuesday morning when I read the New York Times review and just started sobbing.
Of course, I understand that not everyone will like the book, and also that's okay! But it was a huge relief to know that early reviewers did.
The Big Book
What's Pizza John's favorite pizza topping?
Hi Liam, The new album rocks, thanks! Can’t believe ‘Come Back to Me’ wasn’t a single, what a nice surprise! If you could have been a fly on the wall for one moment in history – which moment would it be?
How did you decide on the common threads to pull together from the interviews, and how difficult was it to condense? Was permission from anyone an issue, or do you already have the rights to the whole interview?
Thanks again, you were the first podcast I listened to before I went down the podcasting rabbit hole, and your interviews have meant a lot to me! (Also great episode on the Turnaround and Lovett or Leave It).
I'm not picky when it comes to toppings. I just want to eat pizza.
Just, like, don't do anything weird with it, okay? Don't try to tell me that this unrolled burrito is a pizza, or that this turkey sandwich on pizza dough is a pizza. I just want to eat pizza. Regular pizza and lots of it.
the moment john lennon went up in a helicopter with the maharishi
BM: The threads came together after re-listening to everything and pulling out the good stories. Then it was assembled like a puzzle and the themes became obvious.
Two people requested their material not be used.
I got checks but they were in the amounts of money that was garnished from me.
What's an average workday like in that field?
If not their names, could you share their reasons?
The total amount garnished? or just recent amounts. I'm sorry to ask so many questions but you are a true unicorn if you've had loans recently discharged under borrower defense.
Well, in August I broke a story with a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter that helped lead to renewed Wells Fargo hearings (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/31/business/wells-fargo-testimony.html).
Then, I worked all of last weekend writing policy reports and letters that Senators used to question the Wells Fargo CEO on Tuesday (https://www.brown.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/brown-opening-statement-at-banking-committee-hearing-on-wells-fargo).
Then on Wednesday I put on a costume, made silly faces, and broke the internet. Hard to say how that averages out! But it's a great gig.
BM: One person did not want the material to be used outside of a one-man show starring Billy Crystal.
The other person had a lot of lawyers and managers who did not think it was best for Donald Glover to participate at this time.
Hi Liam, Love the new album. I bought it on vinyl but unfortunately couldn't get tickets to see you.
Anyway, my question is after the immediate success of As You Were, will you still be making your own tea?
Marc and Brendan,
Thanks for the countless hours of entertainment over the years. I have to drive about 3 hours round trip a day for work, so you've definitely kept me sane during those mind numbing drives. I find myself going back and re-listening to a lot of your podcasts. I do this a lot with guests who I was not familiar with beforehand. So I was wondering, who is a guest that you weren't very familiar with, or was unsure of that really surprised you during your interview?
Will you be using the Monopoly Man getup for future public appearances (including as a subversive protest, but also, say, in court)? Relatedly, how do you recommend others to become as badass as you?
Huge fan, you honestly inspired me to start standup at my local open mics and while I'm not good still it's some of the best times.
Would you ever be willing to star in another Marc themed tv/Netflix show? I love Glow but it doesn't quite fit the same roll Maron filled in my heart.
Man this is a tough one. Because depending on the outcome, you may nor may not get back what you pay now - but then again - you might not get approved at all so then you have all that interest as you stated. You can request the forbearance be removed without affecting your BD status - but let's try and figure out whether you should or not. Do you want to share with me details of your application>? No personal details but the school, what claim you made and what type of evidence you submitted. You can PM me if you don't want it out there. I can try and give you my gut as to whether it stands to be approved or not and then maybe we can decide whether you should keep the forb and bank the payments every month just in case - keep the forb but pay the interest - or lose the forbearance.
I wore this costume to call attention to S.J. Res. 47, a bill some Senate Republicans are trying to push through as a get-out-of-jail-free card for Equifax and Wells Fargo. Hopefully all this attention has scared them off from taking that vote, but if Mitch McConnell does another push, Monopoly Man will absolutely rise again!
Given the great support, I am also open to using Monopoly Man for other causes. And I am not limiting myself to this one character - creative activism takes many forms, and you need to fit the character to the protest.
Hey Liam, absolutely loving As You Were, Come Back To Me is a belter. That aside what I wanna know is what’s more important the shoes or the jacket?
PS. Don’t ever change, see you in Notts/Manc x
Outside of Keith Richards, which guitarist had the biggest impact on you during an interview?
Jimmie Vaughan, which has not aired yet, and Derek Trucks.
If all the Disney princesses had a battle royale style fight to the death who would win?
Just so we're clear here, you do still hate pennies, right?
Hey Liam! What's your absolute favourite song EVER? The one that makes you feel good everytime
Hey Marc, saw you in Lincoln last year.
I remember seeing that you tried to reconcile with Jon Stewart and have him on your podcast and he pretty much threw it back at you, but offered to sit down and have coffee. Now that he's off the Daily Show, have you had any other contact with him?
I reckon Mulan and Pocahontas would be standing on the heap. Unless Jasmine gets to bring Rajah. Then shit would get real.
I still think the continued existence of the penny is a great example of what's wrong with contemporary U.S. politics.
For the sake of this question, are we considering Leia to be a Disney princess? Because she's force sensitive with the reflexes to match, she can use a blaster quite effectively and, if the EU is taken as Canon, she's a Jedi in her own right.
If you could give your 12yo self any one of your books to read, what one book would you choose?
Liam, please answer this important question..
''Who built the moon?''
Hi Marc, love the podcast. What caused you and Chris Hardwick's feud?
I would not want my 12-year-old self to read any of my books, I don't think. Maybe my 14-year-old self. I would give him Turtles All the Way Down first, because I pretty much wrote it for him.
Hey! Congrats on taking a big risk! I'm curious about this because my girlfriend is in a similar boat. She hates office jobs, but is too nervous to do something similar. Do you have any tips on branching out and putting yourself out there?
Have you ever considered writing one of the fictional books that you mention in your novels, perhaps as a short story published online under a pseudonym?
E.g. The Price of Dawn from TFioS: you could release it on April Fool's Day as a tongue-in-cheek over-the-top gory action thriller.
How many tambourines do you have stockpiled at home and what's your preferred tambourine shape? (You were phenomenal on Saturday btw!)
What about Kumail Nanjiani?
To be honest, I would not have given up the years of experience working for a big company. It taught me so many skills about how to run a business, to negotiate and set deadlines for myself that have proven invaluable. Creativity is obviously important but you need to balance it with some of the more logistic and administrative icky stuff that most people don't want to do. But there is nothing stopping her doing it part time now! I waited 5 years before I felt comfortable to jump ship as by that time I had a good idea of how well my art was selling etc.
I actually wrote a little section of The Price of Dawn for a fundraiser for the Harry Potter Alliance! (And I wrote a few pages of An Imperial Affliction for the copy that Hazel reads in the movie.) But I don't think I could ever sustain either narrative voice for an entire novel. It would feel like an impersonation, if that makes any sense.
i have a collection of around1500-2000. Round ones and triangular
We talked about it on the pocast, episode 820. We're good.
When exiting PAYE for different, standard repayment plan, does all your interest capitalize or 10% of the principal balance when you entered PAYE?
What were the non-traditional tactics you used?
Hey Liam! The new album is a fuckin’ rocker! Do you ever think of doing a collab with Richard Ashcroft?
Your conversation with Martin Starr is one of my favorite wtfs. Did you ever take up his offer to meditate?
When you leave Paye or no longer have a partial financial hardship they cap unpaid interest but no more than 10% of what your balance was when you first started on paye. So if your balance was 1000 when you started on paye - and you had 200 in unpaid interest when you left paye - they would only cap 100. You still owe that other hundred, but it stays in the interest field and doesn't accrue interest of it's own.
I printed out little slips of paper that said, "This item was made in a sweatshop. Learn more at [LINK]" and stuck them in the pockets of their clothing. Then I stood outside the store handing out fliers. No costumes on that one though!
I've tried it a couple times, I might get back to it.
What would be the best piece of advice you could give to an aspiring/struggling artist?
Has your opinion on Batman changed over the years? And what about Iron Man?
Hi Marc, huge fan of both the podcast and the Show,
There's a house fire and you can only save one record, what do you pick?
I think the most important thing for me in this whole process was not to neglect the boring admin and "back office" work. Its unfortunate but I think raw talent only goes so far... and as sad as it sounds, being able to brand and market yourself, learn the ins and outs of social media and how the art market sells is so important. When I was first starting out I picked out some emerging artists that were doing really well and I tried to figure out what they were doing to get their work good exposure and sales. So yes, paint, practice and constantly develop your art, but dont neglect that other aspect either.
I like Iron Man all right these days. (Iron Man is an important-ish character in TATWD.) I still think Batman could use his resources a lot more effectively if his goal is to minimize crime in Gotham.
I'd save my cats, because most records are replaceable. Though I do have an original pressing of Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn that I'd probably grab.
What are you happiest about right now?
I quit cigarettes about 4 years ago and have been vaping ever since. I am at that point, like you were a month ago, where I’m sick of the dependency. My question to you is: How do you create wins when quitting nicotine? What keeps you from nicotine, when all you want is a little taste!
Just got Waiting for the Punch in the mail, it’s a lovely birthday present (tomorrow’s my birthday), looking forward to reading it over and over. Thanks for making my Monday’s and Thursday’s go by just a littler faster.
Waffles is the BEST. My SO and I got him from the rescue three months ago and he is now lord of the house.
I'm in a bus with my brother, my wife, and my two kids. There is plenty of Diet Dr. Pepper in this bus, excellent snacks, and passable wifi. It's hard to imagine how I could be happier, to be honest.
Hi! I follow your instagram and the progress pictures you post. Every now and then you post a semi-finished picture that seems quite perfect to me, but then there's always more that you post later and I'm always amazed at how much detail that can be refined. How do you determine whether a piece is finished or not? Do you ever get concerned about under/over-doing it? When's the exact moment you tell yourself it's time to stop?
Congrats on the show, and Waffles is darn cute :) p.s. speaking as a soon-to-be veterinarian ;)
Will there ever be a film for Looking for Alaska?
Hey Marc, what's your favorite Coen brothers movie?
Waffles approves of this post. Thank you for following me and yes! I have that problem evaluating my own work as well. I sometimes share early stuff with friends and get opinions. Sometimes ill do little side studies to see what works. But I think generally you get a good feeling of when something is done. But just in case I sometimes leave an artwork sitting for a week or so to see it again with fresh eyes.
I don't know. The movie rights to LFA were purchased 12 years ago by a studio. They own those rights, and I can't get them back, and so it's not my decision. At the time, the sale of the movie rights was incredibly important to us--it allowed Sarah and I to move to New York so that she could attend graduate school--and so I don't regret selling them, but it has certainly been a long and often painful process over the last 12 years.
That said, there are many new people working at the movie studio in question, so things may be changing. One never knows!
Two other things on this front: First, I think there is something magical about a book that only lives as a book. Harry Potter will forever to me be Daniel Radcliffe, but Holden Caulfield isn't anybody to me except for my Holden Caulfield. Books I love that live only as text feel mine in a way that movies just can't.
Secondly: I got incredibly, lottery-winningly lucky twice in Hollywood. With both The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, I felt respected throughout the process of making and promoting the film. I felt like my work was treated carefully and seriously, and I was lucky to work with genuinely wonderful people. That is rare for authors in Hollywood, and I am very grateful for those experiences.
I'm kind of a Barton Fink guy, though No Country For Old Men is right up there. Fargo is great, their tightest movie.
I work for a government agency and I qualify for PSLF. My husband does not qualify. We have $120K of loans combined. Is there any way that we could pay combined and take advantage of my PSLF on the combined total?
Have you had many news organizations or people reaching out to you after the fact? How widely were you recognized by people who knew you?
Do those rights extend to a play or other live action experience off screen? Is there any sunset on those rights at which point you could push the issue? (Yes I know IP laws in this country are a pita, but here's hoping)
hey man its 5:15am here and ive been waiting just to ask you 2 things
do you think youll ever do a show in new zealand? (the south island to be percise) . youre my favourite stand up comedian and ive always wanted to see you live. you could come down do some shows and have a vacation
do you know of the band my morning jacket and could you please try get one of the members on the podcast? the singer jim james would be brilliant. your one of my heros, there my heros, so you doing a podcast with one of them would be amazing to me.
thanks man i really love your stuff. your latest special was fucking great by the way
If you have a Direct Loan spousal consolidation, you can do pslf for your portion of that consolidation - not his. If they are not consolidated you can only do pslf for your portion. There is no way to use your employment to get forgiveness on his loans.
I have been doing non-stop press since Wednesday! The amount of attention has been overwhelming, but I am very happy that I seem to have made this very rough week easier for some folks. And of course I am excited that people are paying attention to S.J. Res. 47 and supporting the CFPB arbitration rule.
Strangely enough, many folks who know me personally did not recognize me in costume. Every day, I get several texts from people who just figured out it was me! I imagine some folks will only find out years from now.
There is a sunset on the ownership of their rights: It is the heat death of the universe. :)
We've had lots of lawyers look at it. They own the rights, and will forever. (So it goes!)
I might come to New Zealand.
I know the band but I don't really listen to them. I'll give it a try.
What kind of training have you had, or are you self taught? Just checked out Instagram, man and I love your work.
how much star wars fanfiction did you read as research for tatwd?
Oh hi Marc,
What unique advice would you have for a recent college grad English major who wants to avoid the mundane 9-5 day to day week at all costs?
I am self taught! Part of the enjoyment for me is learning new things and discovering techniques. I read a lot, watch youtube videos, attend workshops etc. I just started oils a few months ago and absolutely loving it now! Thanks so much!
Quite a bit! I'm most familiar with Harry Potter fanfiction, but I also read a lot of One Direction fic, because in an earlier draft, Daisy and Aza were into 1D. (I kept some 1D easter eggs in the book for fellow fans.) But once I moved it to Star Wars*, I did read quite a bit.
I really love fanfiction. A lot of it is excellent.
- There were a bunch of reasons I did this, but mostly because the first line of every single movie in this futuristic space opera series is "a long time ago," and the book is very concerned with whether the past is, in fact, in the past. But also, I think Star Wars is this wonderful shared mythology for contemporary humans through which we can look at questions of self and personhood and community and etc.
How big is that cat? Can you put a banana next to him for scale? Thanks
Hey John, I've been a long time fan, I started watching Vlogbrothers in 2008 and still pop in from time to time to see what's new. Is it ever strange to you that the people who started watching you in the beginning are grown ups now with their own lives? Do you think your audience changes every few years? And how long do you think the blog brothers will go on?
Your meaning-of-life interview with Jason Segal is something that has suck with me ever since I heard it. Of the interviews you've done, aside from Obama which was epic for being Obama, has there been any conversation that's stayed with you ever since? Or really changed your perspective on things? Also, thanks for the work you do and for the bravery in your transparency.
He's a big boy. When Im done answering questions ill try get a photo for science. Edit: the final link at the top has him pancaked on a chair now if that counts.
Thanks for the question. There are some people who've watched consistently for six or eight or ten years and still watch every video, and that's wonderful.
But the vast majority of people who watch regularly now weren't doing so eight years ago, and the vast majority of people who were watching regularly eight years ago aren't now. And that is also wonderful.
Like, I am overjoyed when people find something in our work that makes them want to stick with us over many years.
But it's also awesome to me if you really loved our work at some point and then went on to love a bunch of other things but still think back on your time with us fondly. I have those bands/projects/people in my own life, and I'm grateful for the role they played in my development as a person and a writer and so on.
As for how long vlogbrothers will go on: I don't know. I love the rhythm of a Tuesday. It gives order and structure to my life, and also requires me to make at least SOMETHING every single week no matter what. And I love the relationship we have with our viewers. If any of that goes away someday, we'll probably wrap it up. But for now, I can't imagine my life without the consistency of vlogbrothers.
Any time I talk to someone who's been around for a long time, I feel my knowledge and understanding of life and the past become deeper.
How much upkeep does that gorgeous moustache require?
Not much. I trim it when I taste it.
While you were working full time and selling art on the side how did you find time to actually work on your art? I think a lot of us are very emotionally drained after a long day at work. It seems you were able to continue in the evenings and on weekends. Any tips for pursuing a discipline after workin' for the man all day?
What comes first when you have a new idea for a book: the themes, the intention/obstacles/conflict, the characters, or something else entirely?
Follow up: at what point during writing the book does the title become apparent?
Marc...love ya man!
When do you plan on returning to Iowa City for more existential conversations about Dave Matthews Band?
I thankfully had pretty good working hours so could get back around 6.30pm. It just kind of became a daily/ weekend ritual. I enjoyed it as well! Which made it less taxing. Edit Spelling
On titles: For me, the title often becomes apparent when my publisher is like, "We are going to announce this book next week, and we cannot announce it without a title." Like, I think the title to The Fault in Our Stars was not fully decided until the day before the book became available for preorder. In general, I'm pretty crap at titles.
As for how books begin: For me, they usually begin with characters and a question. With Turtles All the Way Down, the character was Aza and the question was, How do you find a sense of self when you feel like your self isn't really yours?
I like Iowa City. I don't have immediate plans, but I'd go back there to perform.
I have a lot of debt (over 200k) mostly from a degree I did not complete. My student loan payment is very large. My payments are not doing anything to reduce the principle and am watching it balloon. I feel quite hopeless. I have gotten a better job and am sick over the amount my payment will increase when I re-certify next. It will take away all of the leeway in my budget that I spend on groceries and other necessities. Things you may need to know: 1) I have not been able to find a job with a charity 2) my servicer advised against consolidation 3) I did not complete my most expensive degree as a result of domestic abuse and ptsd while still trying to be in school and support myself
I know that I will never pay them off. I am trying to salvage some sort of quality of life. Is there anything I can do? Please help me.
Is there any way to bold these companies liable in criminal court since forced arbitration keeps them out of civil court?
Hey Liam, I noticed that in various instances you sung "There are many things that I would like to say to you but I don't speak Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Spanish.../Whatever"
Do you plan to pick up a foreign language at all, and if so, which one?
Hi Marc. I look forward to the podcast twice a week. What was the moment you realized that WTF had become something special?
Tough situation. You don't have to work for a charity to be eligible for PSLF. Government employment might be something for your to pursue - federal, state, local, even tribal. Otherwise i would just stick to the income driven plan you are on and stop worrying about the balance if you know you won't pay them off - just put some money aside for the tax that could occur once you get forgiveness under the idr plan you are on. if things improve for you financially down the road, try to pay them off aggressively to get them off your back. Also - make sure you are on the best plan for you - this calculator can help you determine that https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/mobile/repayment/repaymentEstimator.action
I can understand how you would feel overwhelmed - but at this point it is what it is. Having a plan - which you do by doing the idr - puts you ahead of many people in your situation. At least you know that down the road these loans will be gone.
Unfortunately, private citizens cannot bring criminal claims. Only state and federal prosecutors can charge people with crimes.
I would love to see more prosecutions of corporate crime. But as it stands now, few charges are ever brought and they mostly result in small fines for the company rather than any prison time for the executives that broke the law. If corporations are people, the rest of us are second-class citizens in comparison.
The two-part interview with Louis CK.
If Ireland win here do I stay in the pub and get pissed or go the club and try and pull?
Hey Marc, big fan of the podcast and your show! I've just got two questions...
Do you have any favorite guests you've had on your podcast?
Fav Beatles Album?
Thanks so much for doing this!
It's really hard to pick a favorite guest. I've been thinking about the Springsteen one a lot lately.
The Beatles Second Album is one of the first records I ever had and I love that album. But I'm going to go with Abbey Road.
Currently working in a pretty uninspiring 9-5 cube job, but your empathetic, insightful, and thought provoking interviews / conversations really add some depth to the monotony. I don’t think I’ll be doing this for long, but in the meantime it removes a lot of the dread and “time wasted feeling" of the day.
My question is if you have any similar outlets (favorite albums, podcasts, movies during travel) that get you through tedious / tough times?
Also any books you recommend?
Love the show and thanks!
I listen to music, I play music, I cook, I recommend the book Dreamland by Sam Quinones, but that's not going to get you out of anything. That's going to get you way in.
I really, really want to learn to draw well. I just don't know where to start. Do you have any advice on where to start? Stories like yours are inspiring. Congratulations!
What Mountain Goats songs resonated with you while writing the new book?
How much marching powder had gone up your nose before the Norton interview?
Got standing tickets for Birmingham in december, can't fucking wait! Legend
My favorite interview of yours was the one with Paul Thomas Anderson. I think your approach in going step by step through his filmography and asking just about the perfect questions got fascinating insights to all of his movies.
My question is have you thought about going about this approach with the other directors you have on with expansive filmographies?
I know that you like to just go at it like a normal conversation, but that one really felt like you wanted the information because you were a fan of his work.
Anyway, thanks for all the pods and everything else you do, you make the day go by a bit faster on Mondays and Thursdays. Love ya.
Practice! As shown in the link above, basically didnt stop since I was 2. And still learning.
I can't pick just one! I listened to early stuff a lot while writing this book. Songs that were on frequent rotation included "Source Decay," "Going to Maine," and "Going to Marrakesh."
i dont do cocaine before a performance smart ass. i wait until afterwards
That's right, but also there weren't that many movies. With some directors who have been around a long time, you have to pick and choose. Because they're not all good. Paul's are all interesting.
What's the best way you've found to you market your work and find clients? Amazing work my friend
What's Bill Gates like in person?
Really enjoyed your talk with Bill Simmons last week, when is he going to make an appearance on WTF?
When my art first went viral I had a HUGE jump on my social media pages and so I tried to keep the momentum going on my facebook and Instagram over the years. Unfortunately the algorithms facebook use now are absolutely brutal on organic exposure (basically I have to pay for my followers to see my work). But it is still crucially important to have a strong social presence to connect directly with clients. I also submit to art blogs, go to art events and try and be pro-active on and offline.
Very nice, and extraordinarily knowledgeable. I think the Gates Foundation's motto is something like, "Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life." And during the time I spent with Bill, I felt that he was truly, truly dedicated to that idea.
Serious question: are you paid by non profits or is this on your free time? Do you have a full time career? I would like to get into activism but it's hard when you work a 9-5.
Your art is really great and catchy. Do you find other people stealing your stuff to put on mugs and shit themselves?
eta: See you've already answered this. =)
Would you comment on David Foster Wallace as an influence for you and this book?
Loving the new tunes! How does life as a modern rock n roll star compare to the rock n roll star life of the 90's?
Marc - What’s a favorite joke / bit of yours that bombs but personally you still love?
If you are on an income based plan the payments shouldn't be more than 15% of your AGI minus an allowance for family size. You should get on repaye - that's only 10% of the agi minus the family allowance.
This particular stunt was for my day job, as a Campaign Manager working to support the CFPB arbitration rule. But I also do organizing in my free time on other issues. It is very hard to balance work and activism, and jobs in this area are scarce and low-paying.
But that is one reason why I push for entertaining and creative activism! I hope folks can turn this kind of fun protest into a hobby that energizes us rather than tires us out.
When you have experiences that are abstract and internal, it's very difficult to find language for them. Language struggles in the face of pain (especially chronic physical pain); Elaine Scarry in her brilliant book The Body in Pain wrote that pain destroys language. Think of the way you moan or groan when you're in terrible pain rather than being able to find words to express it directly and clearly. When reading Infinite Jest and parts of The Pale King, I felt like Wallace had found some form for my pain, a way of holding it and looking at it, and I will always be grateful for that. Whether and how it affected my writing is harder to say, but as a reader and person, is was a tremendous gift to me.
"If you're ever yelling at a woman, all you should be saying is, 'Why can't you be my mommy? Why are you NOT my mommy?'"
Rarely gets a laugh.
How'd you go from front page to having showings in galleries? Did someone approach you?
what is your favourite literary quote?
What is your favourite type of biscuit?
And what is your favourite brand of tea?
It’s gotta be hobnobs and yorkshire tea for me.
Hi Marc and Brendan
I'm a big fan of the podcast. I'm going to ask a super generic question, since my mind is blanking right now.
Who would you guys love to have on the podcast? (both dead and alive)
I approached them! Leverage online presence into offline presence.
"O Jamesy let me up out of this." from the last chapter of Ulysses.
Dead: Richard Pryor
Alive: Albert Brooks
What needs to happen before you place a saxophone track on your next album? Ps. Will you come to the Netherlands anytime soon? Love ya bud!
What are your thoughts on Canada and when are you moving here?
It's something I ask myself every day.
My thoughts are, what I used to think might be boring about Canada seems very relaxing to me now.
Are you going to add Europe, South America and Asia dates for your tour next year? Please fucking do, As You Were was amazing and there are so many people desperate to see you!
Hi Marc and Brendan, this for both of you guys:
If you weren't producing the podcast, writing, acting, or doing stand-up what do you think you'd be doing for work and where would you be doing it?
That's it. Thank you for the laughs, the introspection, and the honesty in your work. Waiting for the Punch will be on my doorstep when I get home from work today!
MM: I'd like to think I'd be a sous-chef on the way to becoming a chef, but I'd probably be working at a record store.
BM: I'd probably still be working in live television, a job I would not have given up if I didn't have the podcast.
Where is your art for sale? The tigers done in the Hokusai style speak to me.
what is your favourite piece of feedback that you have ever recieved about your work?
What has been your favorite album of 2017?
I've got to go with Villains by Queens of the Stone Age.
One time someone wrote me and said--I'm quoting directly here--"Your book made me feel something I hadn't felt before. Not like I needed to poop or was about to throw up, but something else."
I've always thought that was quite a compliment.
I've been catching up on a lot of old records and ones I didn't know about. I just got the new Replacements Live at Maxwell's in Hoboken. It's pretty great.
What are the chances of seeing some Pretty Green US Stores?
Hello Marc and hello Brendan, first of all I wanted to say thanks for the weekly podcasts, your twice a week treats are what made me start listening to podcasts and I am thankful. Also ironically I think I'm one of the few people who came across you first via your IFC show, which I miss.
Anyways, my question is what jazz music would you recommend to someone like me? I'm fairly young, well at least legal to drink now since the beginning of October, and have gotten into recently. I listen to most of the general and popular stuff, but I think you could send me into a path that I don't want to return from after I get lost in the awe of some great fucking music. So what's a must to listen to? Thank you for reading man, and finally Boomer Lives!
Get Kamasi Washington's Epic
Do you ever look at your art and get captured by how beautiful the work you make is? Is that an experience you can have as the creator of art like I have as an observer?
I just saw the rhino on your Instagram, and I am very picky about the art I like but man.. That blew me away, honestly, it would be the kind of art I would buy once I am fully done with my studies, absolutely stunning!
Hey John! I'm a huge fan and just finished Turtles All the Way Down. The book really moved me and I identified with Aza on so many levels. I too also struggle with OCD; mainly obsessive/intrusive thoughts and contamination fears. You wrote about these issues so accurately. You made me feel like I'm not alone in my thoughts and behaviours so thank you.
How did your experience with mental illness shape Turtles All the Way Down?
Love the new album, you cheeky potato.
What are the chances I'll get to take a picture with you at your upcoming Colorado show?
Also, what did the Penguin say to the astronaut?
Hi Marc! huge fan of the podcast here. Who are your top 5 favourite guitar players?
Thank you! Um, yes and no. I think I get very critical with myself sometimes. A recent artwork I had to redo three times as I just was not happy with it and I guess I wanted to push myself more and more but I had to eventually set it aside. When I looked at it with a bit more of a fresh perspective it was not as bad as I thought haha. But I am really proud of my recent work (Rhino included!) and I think what makes me happiest is knowing I am changing and developing and hopefully getting better.
Thanks for reading the book and for your kind words about it. You aren't alone, and I'm glad the book helped you feel it.
I couldn't have written the book if I hadn't lived with OCD for most of my life. But I also couldn't write the book while my OCD was poorly managed, because when I'm sick I can't write (and sometimes can't even read).
I don't want to further the dangerous romantic lie that artists need to be close to madness or whatever to do their work. It's true that people working in creative fields have higher than average rates of mental illness, but so do lawyers. So do teachers. I don't write best when I'm putting myself in danger; I write best when I'm treating my chronic health problem with care and consistency.
So my experience with OCD shaped the book profoundly, because when writing about Aza's experiences I was leaning a lot upon my own. And it was definitely the first time I was writing about something that was in my past but also still in my present, because I still have this and expect to live with it the rest of my life. But I could only write the book because I had a longish period of wellness (thanks to a combination of stability/medication/exercise/therapy).
Peter Green, Jimmie Vaughan, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Keith.
And Angus Young. Just thought of that one.
When are you gonna interview somebody from Phish? Those guys are all huge Zappa fans and have battled their own demons and I bet the convo would be fucking killer
But besides pestering about dream interviews, I wanted to say thanks for letting people who don’t always know where to turn to have a place where they can feel welcome, where they can hear someone going through the same shit they’re going or have gone through. It’s not always the happiest stories but goddammit if they don’t all resonate in some way or another.
im going out for a mexiican and will raise a glass to the man himself
Yeah, as soon as I get done listening to everything they've ever recorded.
Have you done any paintings of Waffles? He looks like a LOT of fun, also is he a noisy cat?
Given that you have previously identified as a staunchly anti-unicorn individual, how do you feel about "Unicorn Tolerance" on the new tMG album?
What's the usual process for getting a guest onto the podcast and how did you get Obama on there?
No not yet but he will be my muse soon enough. He is awesome but has just discovered meowing and likes to talk a lot.
I loved that song, actually. That whole album meant so much to me, because I was a goth kid in the early 1990s. (My first concert was The Cure!) And so it took me back to a part of my past I hadn't been able to visit in a long time. Really great album.
BM: I'd say about 50% of the guests come directly to us and 50% go through the booking agency we work with.
Short answer on the process to get Obama is that the White House contacted us first. Long answer is heard on episode 614 where Marc and I explained the whole shebang. http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_614_-_the_president_was_here
Would you say that other people spreading your art (including professionals/people in the industry) a major factor in becoming successful?
Is there a difference between the book you originally wrote, and the one that is now being published?
Hey Liam, what's your current favourite clothing brand besides your own? Cheers x
If you had Trump on your podcast what would your first question be?
Major factor! I think getting exposure for your art is absolutely key.
I probably deleted 80% of the first draft over the course of revisions, which is pretty standard for me. The first draft of Turtles All the Way Down was completely bonkers. (I mean, the finished novel is still quite fantastical in plot, but it's a pale shadow of its former self in terms of bonkersness.)
What percentage of Turtles All the Way Down did you sign in each colour of Sharpie? Kudos on getting all 200,000 of the books signed!
You are the Stone Cold Steve Austin of music. Who is your favourite wrestler?
Please play Gas Panic in december.
I think the most was green, which was around 30%. Red and blue were next, probably around 20% each. I got really fond of the reddish purple color--Sharpie calls it berry--so that might've gotten another 15%. The rarest color was silver; I only signed about 300 in silver, because I don't like the way silver sharpies glide across paper.
(I spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff.)
big daddy. Old Skool
Would you ever stop doing vlogbrothers? I've been watching since middle school and it's been a big part of my YouTube regimen. I appreciate all that you and Hank do!
Do you like reading on your free time? If so, what's your favorite type of book or material to read?
I'm sure will stop someday, because, you know, everything ends--but I don't foresee that day now. I love the structure that vlogbrothers brings to my life, and I love the connection Hank and I have to each other and to the community of viewers. It's still so fun.
i don't read books, i only read minds
Hi John, who do you currently look up to the most and why? Have you told them that you look up to them?
Good luck on the tour and congrats on the early success of your new book!
What's a good Winston o boogie tune to bang on for his birthday?
I really admire my brother. Don't tell him though.
day in the life
If you could have a lifetime supply of any beer, on tap, in your house, but you could only choose one brand, which brand would you choose?
Just tried to check, but it said, "Update to Continue."
To what extent do you think Aza is an unreliable narrator? I adored the characters in TatwD but found them occasionally flat. Was this intentional - to show us how consumed in her own thoughts Aza can be that the other characters occasionally seem to be dichotomous in falling in and out of favour with her (especially Daisy, to a lesser extent Davis)?
Will Eh LA get a proper release?
She's certainly a poor observer of the world outside of herself, both when it comes to character and when it comes to everything else. That was intentional, and it was important to me, because to me one of the horrors of obsessive thought spirals is that they're intensely isolating. They make it so that Aza can't connect to the people around her in the way she wants, and also the people who love her can't connect with her as deeply as they want to.
My hope was that the reader would be able to see more of Daisy and Davis than Aza could, but it's no coincidence that Daisy and Davis's names are so similar. Aza struggles to see other people, even vastly different people, as anything other than not-Aza.
without a doubt
Hi liam, as you were is awesome, what's your favourite alcoholic drink mate?
Alright Liam, massive fan of the new album.
My dad saw you and r kid live in 95 and said it was the best gig he’s been to. So my question is, what was your favourite or most memorable gig you have been to/performed at?
Stone roses Blackpool
Who is one band that you'd love to open for?
As you were! x
partial to the odd elbow
I believe that I can rock a parka as good as you, however, I cannot decide on which coloured jeans go best with my sand coloured desert boots, black or raw denim? EDIT:spelling
dark blue all the way
Massive fan here, Liam. Who's your favourite Man City player at the moment?
Thanks for all of the biblical music! x
Hello LG, you was rockin at Benicassim fest chief
1, What's your favourite song off the new album?
2, Please can you add more Manchester dates for the tour? I couldn't manage a ticket
greedy soul for me
if kit came out of rkids mouth its gotta be true
id love to do an out and out punk rock Pistols album