Killing it at Life part 2: Havilah Brewster

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There are some people who I admire from afar through the veil of social media. I watch these lives unfold in status updates, photos, events, one-liners, songs posted. There are project references, hard decisions referenced, dance parties, loves, likes, encounters. I eagerly await these updates, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I’ve worked with these people on projects, I know these people in person, but mostly I see them and their exploits online, and from here, it looks like they are Killing it at Life. So I reached out, to find out how they do it. I asked some questions, then some follow-ups. Here’s interview number two:

Havilah Brewster, you are killing it at life. Let’s talk about it.

Li88y
What’s your favorite thing about being alive?

Havilah
Everything. No I’m fucking kidding. A lot of it’s total shit. So I guess…drag queens, friends and love. If I HAVE to choose just one, then love. No, drag queens. No, love. Yeah. Love. Or…

Li88y
What’s the greatest thing about drag queens?

Havilah
I appreciate true bravery and a sense of humor above most things. It takes a set of rock hard balls and a quick wit to do what they do. In fact, those things are kind of like job requirements.

Li88y
What’s your favorite record right now?

Havilah
P!nk’s “The Truth About Love.” That’s the honest answer. But I almost lied because I really wish it was something cooler.

Li88y
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Havilah
Say hi to my dog. Then, if there’s a man in my bed, I say hi to him too.

Li88y
How did you come up with the name for your dog? How long have you had her? Where did you get her? Did you always have pets? How is it having a dog in the city?

Havilah
My dog, Madam President, has been with me for nearly 2.5 years now. I purchased her from a very very special breeder in Columbus, OH (judge away… we can’t all be heroes). When I was thinking of names (about 3 years ago) I decided Hillary Clinton had to be her namesake (or is it that my dog is Hillary’s namesake? Whatever). I didn’t like Hillary because it was too “on the nose.” Clinton is too boyish. I stuck with Rodham for a while then I heard the Dog Whisperer call his English Bulldog “Mister President” and I knew that was it! For me, that still counts as naming her after Hillary. I never had anything more than goldfish growing up, so having a dog in the city is the only way I know to have a dog. So, I love it!

Li88y
The last thing you do before going to bed?

Havilah
Read. That’s how I fall asleep almost every single night.

Li88y
What are you reading right now? Do you read one book until it’s finished or do you skip around? Paper or electronic?

Havilah
I’m nearly finished with 1Q84 which has taken me FOREVER to finish (it’s brilliant, just long and too heavy to carry on the subway).

I always read a book start to finish. Unless I hate it, in which case I feel no obligation to go on with it. Like Pride and Prejudice? That book is shit and I stopped after like 2 chapters. Bunch of dithering, man-obsessed girls…booooo. But Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is great! Read the iPad app of it. It’s interactive and fucking stellar.

I read both paper and electronic. Sometimes both at the same time. Like I’ll read the hard copy at home so that I don’t have that bright, unnatural light before bed, then I’ll read the iPad elsewhere so I don’t have the added weight in my bag.

Li88y
Do you pray?

Havilah
No.

Li88y
Did you ever?

Havilah
Yes. I grew up in the church (Christian: Protestant: Brethren) until I was 13 and I continued on as a “Believer” until probably 18 years old. During which time I definitely prayed. But mostly my prayers were more like Christmas wish lists. “Dear God, please let me not get caught smoking outside school,” or “Dear God, please make Blake Hulet ask me to Prom and then dump his girlfriend and then make out with me.” Shit like that. I didn’t do much of the gratitude and soul-searching type praying.

Li88y
How do you like to get intoxicated?

Havilah
All time favorite: Vicodin. But I can’t afford the street price and don’t have a prescription. So, if we’re talking things I can get on the reg – Prosecco.

Li88y
Whenever Ali comes over she says “shall I bring some sparkle?” It’s my favorite too. Especially mixed with St. Germaine… that’s not really a follow-up.

Havilah
A) I’m using that line because it’s brilliant.
B) St. Germaine?? What’s that?! I’m trying it.

Li88y
Do you think you could live someplace other than NYC? Where or why not?

Havilah
I think I could survive most anywhere because I’m fucking tough. However, I’m not sure I could THRIVE outside NYC. I’m not completely opposed to entertaining the idea of moving, though. Sometimes I dream about moving home (Kokomo, IN). I don’t fit in there (like, at all) but it’s where my parents are and it’s quiet and beautiful.

Li88y
Do you feel like you’re killing it? ‘Cause it’s looking great from the outside.

Havilah
::LAUGHS:: (seriously, I laughed out loud at my desk when I read this). My answer to this changes like my taste in length of pants (often and much). Since you asked me to do this interview, I’m solidly in the I’m-killing-it zone.

Li88y
I’ve got this opinion that you’re killing it through what I know of you from social media and a little bit in life and from projects you do. How connected does the offline you feel to the you who is online?

Havilah
What an awesome fucking question, Libby!!!!

This answer will be a bit lengthy and multi-tiered for me as I have many online “personas.”

Overall: I think the “online me”(s) is a fractured reflection of the “offline me” wherein only specific components are highlighted.

For example:
Kokomantis (a character I created based on a large sculpture recently erected in my hometown) is a gentle, kind, positive and silly girl. I am all these things offline, but of all my onlineries, this is often the one I have to dig deepest to tap. [“Kokomo’s Praying Mantis (aka Kokomantis)” on Facebook]

Yes I’m Going To Blog About This (a blog I created a few years ago about dating and other stuff) is my don’t-take-no-shit-from-anybody, tell-it-like-it-fucking-is portion of me. This is super easy for me to access because (probably as a defense mechanism or some shit) I’ve spent more time cultivating and nurturing this side of myself so she lives much closer to the surface. [www.yesimgoingtoblogaboutthis.com]

Li88y
This is a great blog, it’s really direct and forceful while maintaining a personability. Have you discovered any great restaurants during your online dating experiment?

Havilah
Thank you!!!!!
God, I really really wish I could say I did discover some awesome eateries during the online datery period of my life, but I did NOT. Everywhere I went ended up being either bad or not-worth-mentioning.

No brags, just facts: most of the great restaurants I’ve been to, I found on my own. Except recently, I’m seeing this fella who cooks (like… exceedingly well) and has an appreciation for good food, so I’m beginning to be introduced to wonderful places by someone other than Google and the New York Times.

Pedestrian Papparazzi (Instagram) is new and I started it just so I’d have something to do on the train (edit photos). As it’s turns out it’s really reintroduced me to that part of myself who very quickly and easily sees beauty in humans. [@pedestrianpaparazzi]

My FB page (Havilah Hilarious Brewster) is about as close to just straight up “offline me” as it gets. I consider myself, perhaps foremostly, relentlessly honest. I think that’s reflected in my facebookery. I think I’m funny, genuine, honest, thoughtful and smart and I think that’s reflected on my timeline. I also say fuck a lot. Which is also reflected on my timeline.

By sharing some things, I don’t have to share all things.

Li88y
I think this is a huge lesson, that you’re not betraying anything by either sharing alot or sharing a little or by making shit up outright.

Havilah
It IS a huge lesson. It took me a while to arrive at the balance.

So I still have that offline me who only my real friends know. And obviously, she’s a badass.

Li88y
Agreed.

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