Tag Archives: Jayne O’Connor

A Very Vouched Thank You For a Very Vouched Birthday.

26 Jul

Man oh man, it’s hard to believe it’s been a week since the 2nd Very Vouched Birthday party at the Goatfarm. I’d really like to take a moment to say thank you to all of those involved. (There were a lot of people involved!)

First-off, a tremendous thank you to the hardworking team at the Wren’s Nest and their high school editorial team for volunteering throughout the evening’s festivities! Without their help the event would have disintegrated into chaos! Most notably I would like to thank my partner-in-planning, Jessie Matheson, the organization’s Education Director. Her visionary work with the Wren’s Nest  brought  great focus and energy to the festivities, and her assistance in matching our readers with their reading selections was absolutely indispensable.

Speaking of indispensable…


Answer: Probably sad, somewhere crying!

They drove all the way down from Indiana [and up from Tallahassee] to help out with the event and party hardy! That is dedication! That is friendship! They ran the table without a hitch! I am eternally in their debt!

photo 1

Notable things that pertain to this event that start with the letter “G”:



Here’s a fact: Vouched Atlanta would be a shadow of what it is if it weren’t for the  unending support and assistance that we’ve received from the good folks at the Goatfarm over the course of the past few years. Their crew is a total dream to work with — taking care of all of the production that goes into the venue for our readings (staging! press! chairs! lights! sound! booze!). Even better – they really, really believe in Vouched. It’s a total honor to be affiliated with them. I’m excited to continue working with them in the years to come.

photo (1)

HUGE thank you’s to champions of literature Matt Bell and Blake Butler for highlighting the evening with their work and words, and for supporting independent literature with more passion and fervor than any other authors I know. This was mentioned at the party, but… my first two book orders for Vouched Books Atlanta were for How They Were Found and Scorch Atlas. It’s been really amazing to watch Blake and Matt’s writing gain momentum over the past two years. Hosting them both was a humbling honor.

photo 4 photo 3

THANK YOU to Myke Johns and Jayne O’Connor for co-hosting throughout the evening. You charmed everyone’s pants off!

Many many thank yous to the local authors and tutors who read the work of the KIPP Scribes: Sue Gilman, Patrick Shaffner, Jessie Matheson, Rachael Maddux, Johnny Drago, Julian Modugno, John Carroll, Terra McVoy, Thomas Wheatley, Jason Mallory, Jamie Allen, Myke Johns, Brooke Hatfield, Lain Shakespeare, Bruce Covey, Amy Herschleb, Molly Dickinson, Jayne O’Connor, Amelia Lerner, and Amy McDaniel. You really brought the stories to life and it meant so much to the scribes in attendance to hear that!

Maybe one of my favorite parts of the evening was revealing the GORGEOUS 2nd Vouched Birthday poster designed by Lacey Valentini and screen-printed by Brett Andrew Miotti of the Peregrine Consortium. Lacey has designed the bulk of our promotional collateral over the past two years and is solely responsible for the visual identity and brand that Vouched Atlanta has. The poster stands as a tribute to that. If you weren’t able to order or purchase one at the event – don’t worry! A limited number are still available for purchase. You can do that here.


Thank you also to the evening’s sponsors, whose contributions and donations really brought the community together: Scoutmob, Creative Loafing, BURNAWAY, Marmalade Bakeshop, BANG! Arts and Promotions, Atlanta Movie Tours, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Dad’s Garage, The High Museum, The Inman Park Squirrel Census, Wonderroot, and MOCA GA.

A heartfelt thanks to the artists who so generously donated their artwork to our silent art auction and to BURNAWAY for their assistance in organizing it: Brooke Hatfield, Lydia Walls, John Carroll, Bethany Collins, Nathan Sharratt, and Jessica Caldas.

Thank you to the local organizations who helped spread the word! BANG! Arts and Promotion, Scoutmob, AM 1690, Creative Loafing, Common Creative, ArtsATL, BURNAWAY, Criminal Records, Write Club Atlanta, Scene Missing Magazine and John Carroll for our third awful interview.

Last but not least, thank you to the Atlanta creative community at large for your unbridled enthusiasm for words. You make everything worth it.

Awful Interview: Jayne O’Connor

17 Apr

Jayne Says

Behold, Jayne O’Connor! You may recognize her lovely face from HYDEATL, the organization VouchedATL co-organizes the Holiday Hangover with. She’s a real treat, this one.

Jayne is a mover and a shaker here in Atlanta. She’s constantly in motion – like a shark! She’s in charge of things! For instance: the Music Room’s monthly variety show The Show from Below. Jayne’s first collection of work, When You Meet the Devil Tip Your Hat, will be published by Safety Third Enterprises this year. TONIGHT she will be reading with John Carroll, Gina Myers, Cristen Conger, and Winston Blake Wheeler Ward at the Goatfarm.

So, Jayne… what’s it like to be famous?

People are constantly coming up to me and saying things like,“Hey!!!! You didn’t pay for that!!!”
“My name is Todd. Welcome to Applebee’s. I’ll be your waiter.”
Or, “Didn’t  you vomit in my car the other day?”

I always tell them,”Look, deep down,  I’m just a normal person like some of you. I just want to be treated like everyone else, only slightly better.”

I kid.

Depending on how you look at it I would either be the best famous person or the worst. I fall down all the time. I fell just sitting on the couch watching TV the other day and now I have a black eye. Do you know how much money pictures of celebrities falling go for? I would be a paparazzi goldmine. Plus, my driving makes Amanda Bynes look like Danica Patrick, and I definitely would have some Lindsay Lohan/shaved-head-Britney Spears/Mariah Carey-Total Request Live- type of  meltdown, if I haven’t already just  as a semi-par citizen.

My friend asked me once if I would rather be rich or famous. At the time I chose fame because I had ideas about being influential and making a mark on the world.  After seeing Behind the Music i am terrified of fame, and I figure that even if I was Trump-rich (he’s still rich right?), with my poor fashion sense and low standard of living I could always pass for someone with a normal or poor pay grade. I could avoid all the pitfalls of being incredibly wealthy while still reaping all of the benefits.

And I am also terrified of becoming a meme one day.

Oh! Double question. 1. Which meme already in existence best ‘gets’ you and 2. If you were Trump-rich when he was richest rich, what would you do with all of them fat stacks?

I am going to answer the second question first.
This question sent me into a labyrinth of fantasies. I wish I could say that I would be totally responsible, invest, or at least save it but that is a lie. I would spend some time throwing it in the air and dancing under it, but mostly I would just buy crap. I have a deep seeded love for spending money and a high propensity for decadence.  I wouldn’t buy a lavish house or car (remember- low standard of living) but I would spend weeks or months at a spa. I would pay people to do all of the menial activities I loath, invest heavily in my eccentricities, and probably get into some functional form of animal hoarding. Maybe for a day I would pay a band to follow me around and turn my life into a musical
And a pool. Summers in Atlanta are brutal.

That brings me to the answer to question number one…

Brilliant! What songs would be needed for the band’s repertoire as they follow you around? You know, your life soundtrack? Five songs at least with explanations, plz!

I think they probably would go:

“No No No (Pressin’ The Snooze Again)” To be played while I fight with my alarm in the morning.

“What Yo Got? (Gross Gross)” To be sung while my dog eats a sock, panites, pants, or any number of disgusting and unspeakable objects from the bathroom trash can.

“It Ain’t Fucking Romeo and Juliet” to be played whenever I am around my ambivalent boyfriend. (This is a Dance Number)

“This Again.” To be played at work.

“Ewwww. What Did I Just Touch?” Self explanatory.

“This Again. (Reprize)” To be played as I ride home in traffic.

Obviously “This Again” is the big hit- but “No No No” is the fan favorite.

 All great choices and all have especially confrontational titles. Do you consider yourself confrontational?

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY!!!! *pounds chest.

Yeah, I probably am. Unlike nineteen year old Jayne, I am not proud of it.

Why not?

Well, I think that a lot of the time it makes people look bad. Plus fighting feels bad and bad things can  happen. You never know who you are dealing with and how quickly things can go crazy.

At a bar in my younger years someone tried to put a cigarette out in my eye after I confronted him about his lewd hand/mouth gesture. True Story.

What did you do? Do you flash back to that moment every time you smoke a cigarette?

I repulsed him with my superhuman jumping and screaming skills and knocked his hand away. Then I told some sexest bouncer who did nothing.
I don’t really think about it that much. If anything flashes back to that moment it is probably when I see that lewd gesture.

What will you do if someone makes that lewd gesture at you during the reading on the 17th?

I know quite a few lewd gestures myself. If that doesn’t work I’m a big proponent of public shaming.