work. I wasn’t there and moving in and out of relationship with my kids. There’s no
stability. I was there and suddenly gone.
The irony is that in spite of his geographical challenges, Alan has been extremely successful
in the screenwriting arena.
Ayad Rahim (journalist): Location Does and Does Not Count
The wages have substantially decreased for journalists. Ayad supplements his income by
selling books, is currently working on developing some rental property, and recently
returned to graduate school (2012). He notes that location is not critical for him as a writer.
However, the geography of straddling two cultures (Iraqi and American) has influenced his
identity and work.
Ayad prefers staying in Cleveland because of extended family including a sister, parents,
nieces and nephews. There is an emotional, familial connection but not a job-related one.
jimi izrael (writer): Geography Not As Critical
Because of his children, jimi feels compelled to stay in Cleveland. Currently, he is seeking a
full-time teaching job to make up for the radically reduced freelance wages. I asked if
geography made a difference with his freelance? “No, not for me it hasn’t. With Internet,
you can send copy all over the world.” He still works on the weekly NPR show “The
Barbershop” with Michel Martin and notes, “It’s produced in New York and I record it here.
I do live from WCPN. My geography hasn’t had a whole lot to do with my career. There
are places with more opportunities but I have to be in Cleveland because of my children.”
Recently married, he would consider moving to Washington DC if the right situation
presents itself.
Laura Paglin (filmmaker): A Challenge Finding Actors in Cleveland;
Cleveland is a Great Backdrop for Documentary
Laura started working on fictional film and saw that the recruitment of acting talent was a
significant drawback when it came to living in Cleveland. Laura says:
I kept learning from my mistakes. That’s where I didn’t realize that being in Cleveland
was such a liability. It made it easier to live because you can teach part-time and live
in a pleasant neighborhood especially with the housing prices. The problem was
with actors. I went to New York for auditions. We found a really good character
actor Seymour Cassell but the idea of being in Cleveland for a month was difficult. I
was so naïve. I think it was a confidence thing. I should have gone on to the next
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