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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sascha Rothchild, Author

Sascha Gabrielle Rothchild loves her name. She also loves cheesy mermaid figurines, frozen yogurt and playing poker. She was born November 15th, 1976 in the swamps of Everglades City, a small Florida town that her parents Susan Berns and John Rothchild landed upon while writing their book Children of the Counterculture. Susan, film editor, stunning beauty and socialite, is the daughter of beloved restaurateur and bootlegger Charlie Berns, who founded the famous and infamous 21 Club in Manhattan. John, once the editor of the Yale Daily News, is an established non-fiction author. 

At 3 years old Sascha’s family moved to the pastel colored ocean bound Miami Beach. She excelled in school although not at the expense of causing trouble. Her defiant teen years are portrayed on This American Life, as well as on their best-of CD Hope and Fear, and on the series for Showtime.

After attending Boston College, majoring in Theater with a concentration in playwriting, winning her departmental award, and graduating summa cum laude, Sascha moved to Los Angeles to begin her writing career. After much waitressing she broke into the business using reality television as her launching pad. Sascha has created, sold and worked on reality and game shows for every major network.

As well as working behind the scenes, Sascha is one of the original performers in the national stage show Mortified. Her lifelong habit of keeping a diary has served her well not only as material to be performed on stage but as source material for her many personal essays and articles. Sascha is published in Simon and Schuster’s Mortified book and also periodically writes for LA Weekly, Women’s Health Magazine, MSN, CNN, LA Times, Politics Daily and Psychology Today Magazine.

Sascha has also turned her relationship failures into priceless material and her LA Weekly cover story “How to Get Divorced by 30,” struck a chord with thousands of readers. Sascha was married at 27 and divorced 2 years later. Instead of crying about it, Sascha decided to write about it giving young divorce a voice.

When Whom You Know caught up with Sascha, her memoir, How To Get Divorced By 30, published by Penguin, was recently released and she was coming home form an exciting book tour which included NYC of course, as well as returning to her alma matter and speaking to Boston College students. Sascha and Peachy were at Boston College during the same time period, and we do know her.  Her original article was optioned by Universal Studios and Sascha is now busy at work writing the feature script.
We highly recommended her memoir:
and are so excited to present Sascha Rothchild as our latest Mover and Shaker! Peachy Deegan interviewed Sascha Rothchild for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your favorite pastel color in Miami Beach and why?

Sascha Rothchild: Pink. It is cheery and bright and screams Miami.

What kind of diaries do you write in, how many do you have at this stage, and do you hand write or type them?

I have about 20 diaries I have kept over the years and they are all very different. Some just simple black journals, others with red sequined covers. My current diary has a blue cover with white flowers. I always write by hand and always with purple ink. This is a habit I formed when I was in elementary school. I just love the way purple looks as it glides on to the page.

What do you like best about Boston College?
I truly got an education. The professors were fabulous and taught me not just what was on the syllabus, but to continue to learn for myself.
What did you learn most during your teenage years?
Drugs and sex won't necessarily lead you to a point of no return. It's OK to make a few bad decisions when you're young.

What are the right reasons for getting married?
You are in love and want to spend the rest of your life with that specific person. It's that simple.

Do you want to tell us anything about your upcoming next marriage?
My fiance brings out the best in me which isn't always easy, but that's what makes it worthwhile.

Do you share the same feelings about cliches that your mother, Susan, has?
I think there is a place for cliches. Symbols mean something which is why they are symbols and they shouldn't just be dismissed because we have seen or heard them over and over again. But I agree that sometimes their use is just lazy. I hate greeting cards that have a paragraph already written inside. Those sentiments feel canned rather than personal.

What is the difference between the writer that is a waitress temporarily that will succeed and the writer that permanently becomes a waitress?
The difference is a ton of consistent hard work, raw talent and the confidence to take criticism. I know lots of people w
ho call themselves writers because they have good ideas, but they never actually write anything down. And others who are great writers but they give up after a few years of rejection. This is a profession that is extremely difficult so unless you are willing to stick to it, and also get better by listening to feedback and criticism, you will never make it.

Did you come to the 21 Club growing up often? 
I did! I remember going down into the private dining room and having lunch with my grandmother, Molly Berns. My favorite item on the menu was the double stuffed baked potato. From the jockeys outside to the kitschy decor on the ceilings I knew the place was magical.

If you go to the 21 club now, what do you like to order there? 
Filet. Yum.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
My father. He worked very hard to become a known and respected author and he taught me to value success.

What are you proudest of and why?  
As Susan says, "It took 10 years to become an overnight success." I moved to Los Angeles a week after graduating from Boston College to pursue a writing career and although I had many opportunities to follow different and easier paths, I stuck to this one. I know my career will always have ups and downs and I'm proud that I can weather both.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
I have had success selling scripts but have not yet seen my work on the big screen. I would love to one day go to the premiere of my own movie.
What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
No awards yet but I hope for a best screenplay Oscar one day. I have been invited to speak on several panels because of my book, one being the Los Angeles Time Festival of Books, which was a huge honor.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
Walking past any construction site. The men hoot and ogle like no where else in the country. It's good for morale.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
David Webb jewelers. Just trying on those incredible rings makes me feel fabulous.

What is your favorite drink? 
Gin martini, a little dirty.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
Gramercy Tavern.
What is your favorite Manhattan book? 

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
A theater on Broadway. My name would forever be synonymous with the energy and excitement of live productions. 

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
Running in Central Park. It's truly like being in the county and the city at the same time.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
Walk for hours and hours and never get bored. 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
I love the Frick museum. The mansion is just as beautiful as what's inside.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here? 
Underrated are the people. New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude when they are actually chatty and personable. Overrated are the diners. Los Angeles has better breakfast options.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it? 
Dress of the Week. I love all the picks and I can see something new and fabulous without having to scour stores myself.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
If there was a 12-step program for frozen yogurt addiction I would still be struggling with the 1st step.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 
Please come visit me at my website

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