Lisa Marie Corso, Writer & Editor
Today we are excited to have the one and only Lisa Marie Corso on the blog. We love this lady so much, and the invitation to be featured on here MN Co-Director Ngaio and MN Editor Meg's thinly veiled attempt at interstate best-friendship (I mean, all our ideal weekends involve cooking too much food and reading). She is a writer and editor for The Design Files, a chronic television watcher and a former library monitor. Have a gander below to learn about the importance of interning, the joy of food and her future B&B.
What do you do?
I am a writer and editor, a chronic television watcher and very obsessed with food. I don’t ask people "how are you?", I ask them "what did you eat for lunch?".
In my day job I work as Managing Editor of The Design Files. It is a small team, so when I am not writing, editing or on the stalk for content, I might be also working on our art exhibition series TDF Collect, TDF Open House, commissioning content, or trying not to kill our indoor office plants. Outside of my day job, I do some freelance writing about food, plants and funny things that happen in life.
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
1). Being library monitor in grade three just when primary school’s library system upgraded and got a laser stick to scan barcodes. This job taught me to be super organised, attentive and a lot of random facts that I can still throw in at dinner parties from the Guinness World Records book of records (the most popularly borrow book in 1997).
2). Interning. I did a lot of interning in publishing, book publishing and online publishing. I once carried six takeaway coffees with my arm in a plaster cast. I took my internships seriously and sometimes got rewarded, which eventually led to writing regularly at the time for Three Thousand, Desktop Magazine and Everguide. These internships eventually led me to…
3). My current job and third milestone that led me to where I am today – my job at The Design Files. I met Lucy Feagins (my now boss!) while interning with Penny Modra who was the editor of Three Thousand at the time. Penny pretty much played career cupid and match-made me and Lucy. I wrote a story about the first The Design Files Open House, met Lucy, then a few months later sent her a ballsy email asking for a job. She never replied. So I emailed again. No response. Third time, and she said let’s meet for coffee. The problem was I hate coffee, so I psyched myself up to force drink a coffee for this meeting. The day of the meeting finally arrived and when we were at the café, Lucy ordered an orange juice. That’s when I knew this was the job for me. That was one Olympics and four years ago.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
I could actually write 10,000 words on this, but in the interest of humanity I will refrain. I am currently reading Funny Girl by Nick Hornby, Change Your Thinking by Sarah Edelman and re-reading I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron. Daily I read The New Yorker and The Daily Mail celebrity section, for the perfect high brow / low brow balance.
I am watching the usual circuit of Veep, Broad City and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and always re-watching watching old episodes of Will & Grace. We can all learn a lot of life lessons from Grace Adler, like how to have the perfect curls or wear an early 2000s spaghetti strap top sans bra.
I am listening to The New York Times ‘Modern Love’ podcast, where you can laugh, cry, and cry-laugh within 20 minutes. And I am OBSESSED with making nonsensical Spotify playlists that can transition from from Harry Belafonte to anything from Sonic Youth to Kylie Minogue.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
Be nice and have manners. I also like to tell people bad manners make you age badly, though this unproven fact is thrown in just for drama. When I was an intern my boss told me it’s best to be nice to everyone, because one day the intern could end up being boss. I think it is a good motto to live by, and you can save a lot of money on OLAY by doing so.
What is your dream project?
Something with good food and funny writing. I also have visions of opening a Bed and Breakfast in my mid-forties in Daylesford, so I can write all day in the country but make new friends that I cook poached eggs for daily.
If you could choose to hear any female contemporary present at Make Nice, who would it be and why?
Tina Fey, Meryl Streep or Parker Posey. Or closer to home, Maggie Beer. Tina because she is the ultimate writer. Meryl because I want to learn how to furrow my brow Academy style. Parker because have you seen the genius that is her Instagram? And of course Maggie, so I can ask her if it is okay to use Verjuice on everything.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Some more food writing. Some more eating. And hopefully conquering Couch to 5K.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
"Do what you want to do." One of my older, wiser friends spun out this beacon of truth when she turned 70. It is such simple sound advice but when you apply it to your own life, it’s potently good. Now I can tell people "I’m busy washing my hair that night" and actually mean it! Joking. But this advice makes life way more efficient and honest.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
Yes, way! I am lucky to work with very supportive females in publishing and beyond. The type you can ask career questions, life questions and most importantly feel comfortable asking them: What did you eat for lunch?
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
Publishing is pretty female dominated and I feel we are generally represented pretty well. The only thing I don’t want to see happen is the death of book publishing. The grade three library monitor in me will die knowing other 8-year-olds won’t experience the joy of using a laser barcode scanner or getting sick pleasure out of the Dewey Decimal System.
How can we find our more about your work?