Meet the Intern: Jay Anderson


In the past few months we've been lucky enough to have Jay Anderson join the Centre for Stories team as an intern. Jay is equal parts hard working and easy going, and has been an absolute delight to have around the Centre. We're sure that the term 'cool, calm and collected' was first coined in reference to him... Thanks for being such a legend, Jay!

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?

I'd be a rainbow coloured crayon, because I'm indecisive and queer as hell. 

What are you studying at university and what has been your favourite unit/subject to date?

I'm studying literature, writing and editing at Curtin University. I have done a bunch of weird and wonderful units, so it's a hard pick, but I'd have to say 'Popular Music and Identity' because, without fail, every week we talked about Beyoncé and Kanye.

What does a typical day involve as an intern at the Centre for Stories? What has been your favourite part of the experience?

I come in the morning after stopping at my favourite coffee shop and check my emails, respond accordingly and get stuck into it. For the majority of my time at the Centre I've been working on one major project, so I've been attending to a lot of minor tasks for that. My favourite part of this experience has been observing everyone at the Centre and their commitment to stories, and realising how truly powerful they are. I very recently got to attend an interview the Centre was conducting with two young men who are insanely in love, and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Listening to their story in their adorable apartment in Northbridge gave me a profound appreciation for the Centre's work.

What is your favourite way to consume stories?

I definitely enjoy reading a book anywhere I can, but storytellers are everywhere now. I think its incredible how easy it is to consume stories, especially with the connectivity, for some, afforded by our digital age. But I find that I most enjoy oral storytelling. I've heard especially interesting stories from fascinating people in the strangest of circumstances.

Do you have a favourite story?

For any bookworm this is a particularly fraught question. I always tell people that my favourite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; I read it when I was filled with teenage-angst and it stuck with me. But, back to that interview with that unbelievably-in-love gay couple, I want to say that their story is my favourite. So I have too many favourites to count. They have in common though, a sort of moving. So I'll say that my favourite story is any story that moves me.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I'm pretty big on all forms of art, and I think that takes up most of my time. Music gigs, plays, art exhibitions, films, books—I dig it all—and I try to spend as much time as possible consuming it.

Why do you think stories are important?

Because they're powerful, and they bridge divides and they're a catalyst for social change. I can't express enough how important stories are, but I remember when I was quite young a very good friend of mine told me that we read to know that we are not alone. She may have stolen that quote from someone else but it really stuck with me. Of course, books can be broadened to stories, and I think this will always be at the core of why I think stories are important—because they make us feel less alone than we might otherwise. 

If you could have dinner with any three people (past and present), who would you pick and why?

Tough question. I'm going to go with dead people for this question, because I can pretend that one day I will meet my still-alive heroes. So, Amy Winehouse, because I was obsessed with her music when I was younger (and I still am), Maya Angelou, because I'm a huge fan of her literature, and Edgar Allan Poe for the same reason.