Amy Schiller is the genius beyond the amazing Beyonceder Tumblr. If you don’t know what Beyonceder is, you will now–it’s only the best website ever, especially if you want to learn the Passover story, but with Beyonce lyrics.
Besides creating this genius mash-up, however Schiller is a voracious writer (who often writes about feminism and things like American Girl dolls at The Atlantic)–and is also currently working on two books, all while finishing her Ph.D. in political science. Clearly, Schiller is a pretty smart, busy lady. This is why I was so thrilled I was able to interview Amy about why she created Beyonceder, what she’s up to, and of course, what her favorite TV shows are.
This is what she said:
What actually inspired you to do the Beyonceder website? It’s kind of amazing. Do you think memes are a new way people are expressing themselves?
The idea just clicked as a Portmanteau in 2014, and once I had the pun I just started looking at lyrics and thinking about Passover moments they might correspond to.
Memes are obviously huge as a medium, all communications are moving more and more pictorial and video, where Instagram and Snapchat and emojis are starting to supersede…you know…words.
You’re working on two books right now, so I’m curious when you started writing? How did you persevere through all the rejections?
I started to consider myself a writer in 2011-12, when I started publishing articles more regularly at places like The Atlantic and The Nation.
What makes you think I’ve gotten rejections? JK! Well, what helps me as a writer is having a lot of projects at the same time, from article and book pitches, to teaching classes, to memes that become e-commerce lines, etc. So, I can always feel like something has momentum, that I can feel proud of at least one professional accomplishment that week. It’s like a diversified portfolio for my ego.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
The first thing I do in the morning is ignore my alarm.
What was your favorite children’s book or young adult novel growing up?
“The Giver” by Lois Lowry is an all-time favorite.
What TV show have you binge watched?
I’ve binge-watched “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” repeatedly. Best show on TV.
Who are you, in one sentence?
“The chattering class’s rising darling.”
Biggest pet peeve:
I don’t have pet peeves. I have things that send me into a viciously judgmental rage.
If you were a Jewish holiday, which one would you be?
This is actually challenging. The holidays I love the most don’t reflect my personality (love Sukkot, hate camping). I would say Shavuot, for the all-night learning stuff and the agency of accepting the Torah, but if Shavuot could include meat I’d really be set. I guess now I’m landing on Shabbat. Yup, Shabbat. Carnivorous, musical, intellectual, a balance of exuberance and relaxation.
What’s the best thing about yourself? What’s the worst?
The answer to both is the aforementioned viciously judgmental rage.
More reading time. This remains the same in adulthood.