I am an editor, writer and digital storyteller based in Los Angeles.
I am constantly looking for stories off the beaten path. I write about social justice issues, the underground art world and everything in between.
Let's tell a story together.
MEET THE PARANORMAL MOMS SOCIETY
Christie Carpenter-Chaidez and her neighbor stepped through the gates of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, equipped with a tiny electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) recorder that they’d bought on eBay. The long-abandoned 82-plot cemetery, set on the edge of a forest in Midlothian, Illinois, is known for its paranormal happenings.
'I LOST EVERYTHING': THE OBSCENE COST OF BEING A WOMAN WITH A CHRONIC HEALTH PROBLEM
Lee Edwards was driving home from work one day in 2005 when a blinding migraine struck out of nowhere. After the ear-splitting pain persisted for more than a month, the then-28-year-old knew something was seriously wrong, but the first doctor she saw prescribed Vicodin and offered next to nothing in the way of an explanation, she recalled. That was just the start of a frustrating pattern that would repeat itself over the next decade of Edwards' life.
MAGGIE ROGERS IS BACK IN HER BODY
On her debut album and the introduction she never got.
HOW INTIMACY COORDINATORS ARE MAKING SEX SCENES SAFE FOR ACTORS
Nude and/or simulated sex scenes have been happening for decades, the difference is now we are paying attention to how they are being handled behind-the-scenes. There are countless stories of people getting drunk before filming simulated sex scenes in order to feel more comfortable or actually having sex to make it more authentic—even some situations where directors would have the entire crew strip down for filming, so the actors didn't feel alienated in their nudity.
WHAT THE HISTORY OF KISSING IN FILM CAN TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES, ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS
Kissing is an art, and like all art forms, the dominant style changes across eras. In movies especially, there are the classics, the rebels and the anomalies that happened ahead of their time. Audiences have been mesmerized and scandalized by this intimate act for over a century.
SLICK CHICKS IS THE LABEL TO WATCH MAKING UNDERWEAR ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL BODIES
Across the board, we have started to hold brands accountable for their environmental impact and their dedication to diversity. Now it is time to do the same with accessibility, whether that means making sure stores have handicap accessible ramps and elevators or designing a pair of underwear that makes every day a little easier.
MEET THE DESIGNER MAKING TIMELESS L.A-CRAFTED SHOES
Brigitte Sharp gave birth to her daughter, Simone on December 16, 2017. The same day her own grandmother passed away. The synchronicity of these two life events gave her a jolt. One whose momentum led her to create Lou, a luxury brand of handcrafted footwear in L.A.
HOW GENDER IS SHAPING THE OPIOID CRISIS
It's time to start talking about the opioid use epidemic as a women's health issue. In light of the Oscar-nominated short documentary "Heroin(e)" I did a deep dive into the data behind gender and opioid use disorder and what makes women more predisposed to struggling with the disease.
HOW MY COLORIST FIXED THE BIGGEST HAIR-DYE MISTAKE I’VE EVER MADE
I went from a deep burgundy red that wouldn't wash out to platinum-blonde hair.
ARE YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS TOXIC?
It’s been almost 80 years since Congress passed legislation to manage the beauty industry, but a new bill that was introduced to the Senate would completely change the way we regulate cosmetics.
MEET VAGABON, THE CAMEROON-BORN MUSICIAN SERVING UP BOLD MAKEUP LOOKS ON THE ROAD
“I feel most beautiful with no hair, looking like every Cameroonian woman who I grew up with,” says Vagabon, née Laetitia Tamko, a rock musician whose buzz cut is customary in her native country in Central Africa.
WHY MICHELLE ZAUNER OF JAPANESE BREAKFAST PRACTICES YOGA DURING SOUNDCHECKS
Any fan of the Korean-American musician Michelle Zauner, who just performed at Bonnaroo as her solo project Japanese Breakfast, knows she draws plenty of inspiration from Karen O—and in no area more notably than her sense of spectacle. Maybe that’s why she climbed on top of a semitruck, clad in a traditional Korean hanbok, a smattering of white eyeshadow, and jet-black wig, to shred her cream-color Fender Strat in the music video for “Everybody Wants to Love You.”
HOW 4 NEXT-GEN MAKEUP LINES ARE SERVING THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY
A closer look at how brands and individuals are bridging the gap between the transgender community and the beauty industry.
20 YEARS LATER, IS AMERICAN HISTORY X OUTDATED OR MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER?
The movie, which was revolutionary for its look at white supremacy in American suburbs, still resonates today — but where does it fall short?
WHAT WOMEN RECOVERING FROM EATING DISORDERS ACTUALLY FACE IN THE NEW YEAR
A feature with Vogue Magazine that looks into new years resolutions for women in recovery from eating disorders. 30 million Americans will at some point in their life struggle with eating disorders. It is a condition that affects all ages, genders, races and socioeconomic classes.
MEET STILL HERE: THE BRAND REINVENTING THE PERFECT PAIR OF VINTAGE JEANS
We are all familiar with the moment of finding a pair of jeans that fits just so. It’s tragically rare. It keeps us coming back to the makeshift dressing rooms of the Melrose Flea Market in LA and weaving in and out of our favorite Williamsburg thrift stores hoping to stumble across the right wash, the right fit, and the right feel. When done well—denim is timeless.
I WANT TO STOP MEDDLING IN MY FRIENDS' LOVE LIVES, SO I GOT AN EXPERT TO HELP
Our twenties are rife with change. Friends start to live with significant others, combine checking accounts with partners, and move cities and jobs every year. It can feel like it our job to save the ones we love from heartbreak or financial ruin (or both), but meddling is not a solution so much as it is a bump in the road.
WHY BELEIVING IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES FEELS SO GOOD
I spoke to a panel of conspiracy theory experts to illuminate the psycology behind conspiracy theories and what makes them so alluring.
DACA REPEAL PUTS MEDICAL STUDENTS IN MURKY WATERS
An in-depth feature with PBS affiliate WTTW-Chicago Tonight on the future of DACA. We are in the midst of a medical shortage and the repeal of DACA could make it much worse. I synthesized data and shot video for this immersive story.
IN ILLINOIS, MARIJUANA LAWS STRUGGLE TO KEEP UP WITH TIMES
An investigation with PBS affiliate WTTW-Chicago Tonight into drug trafficking along Interstate 80 and the changing attitudes in local government. When it comes to the legal status of marijuana in Illinois, the law is a patchwork quilt of a system in transition.
THE SANCTITY OF SELF CARE
A deep dive into the self-care movement and the ways in which women — activists, artists and comedians — are defining what self-care means to them. Multimedia includes illustrated zine, quiz and data graphics.
THE ART AND PERIL OF GUANTANAMO BAY'S TEACUPS
One teacup for every inmate held in Guantanamo Bay. This art instillation is just one part of the Tea Project founded by a veteran turned peace delegate. Aaron Hughes collaborated with artists and activists to honor the detainees, Middle Eastern culture and the tradition of tea.
PART 1: LIGHTS OUT
Part one of a two-part series on Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois and the problematic depictions of inmates in the popular Halloween attraction Statesville Haunted Prison just down the road.
PART 2: LIGHTS UP
Part two of a two-part series that highlights 11 inmates currently incarcerated in Stateville Correctional Center.
DIY SAFE SPACES: THE PHENOMENON OF THE POP-UP GALLERY
Pop-up galleries and performance spaces have started lining the streets of Chicago; from the Loop to the South Side, art has taken up both temporary and permanent residence in hidden spots littered around the city.
THE REAL SOAPMAKER
Local Chicago soap maker Shamus McClain works out of his studio apartment making organic personal care goods. Multimedia includes a mini-documentary the highlights the process of soap making.
CONTROVERSIAL TIF FUNDS USED FOR MARRIOT HOTEL NEAR DEPAUL ARENA
An analysis of TIF (tax incremental financing) allocation in the South Loop area of Chicago. I worked with a team of reporters to FIOA documents and talk with the local community about the new developments in the downtown area.
YOUNG MAGIC'S MUSICAL MAPMAKING
Young Magic came to Lincoln Hall in Chicago to share their audio cartography and soundscapes.
IT STARTED MESSY AND BIG: THE STORY OF THE SPECTACLE
The origin story of The Spectacle is like many we have heard before—it is a phenomenon born of women. Hannah Welever, a Chicago-based cinematographer with roots in Ohio, is one of those women. I sat down with Welever, a co-founder of The Spectacle, to talk about the inner workings of the group and how it has allowed the work of Chicago creators to find a place on screen.