A Special Interview with Writer and Comedian Sam DiSalvo
Sam DiSalvo has a really cool career. Sam is a writer, works with big publications, and is a comedian for fun. Sam literally gets to express her thoughts in every aspect of life. From serious writing to making jokes about everything, there’s diversity and creativity in Sam’s day.
I was privileged enough to have Sam spend some time answering questions for our aspiring writers, freelancers, and people that just like cool stories.
Interview with Writer and Comedian Sam DiSalvo
Thank you so much Sam for taking the time out of your day to answer some questions for our young adults. Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Sam DiSalvo. I’m a writer and a comedian. For my day job, I’m a freelance copywriter. I make contracts with companies to write social media ads for them. I also write articles for websites on personal finance and skincare.
What kind of education did you receive prior to starting your career?
I got an English Writing B.A. at the University of Nevada, Reno.
You have a really interesting career and an awesome side gig, where did you start your career and how did you end up where you are?
In college, I worked at a news station where I’d interned in high school. I was a video editor and news producer. It was a cool job, but I knew I wasn’t passionate about it and was searching for something I really loved doing.
I started doing standup comedy my senior year in college and loved it. I kept working at the news station to save money before moving to San Francisco to work at another news station, but mostly to do standup comedy in a bigger city. I only knew news stations, so I just used that to get to a bigger city.
After a year working 2am-11am at the station, I quit news forever. I worked as an executive assistant at a tech company and did standup at night. One of my friends doing standup was a copywriter and an intern position opened at her company. I became an intern again five years out of college, but it paid off because I actually really liked copywriting. I’ve now been copywriting since 2017.
Do you have any cool stories you can share about your career or life that came up along your journey?
In my 2nd year of copywriting, I worked on an online scavenger hunt for Imagine Dragons. Our client was actually the company that makes phone glass, Corning Gorilla Glass, and they wanted to appeal to a younger demographic, so they paired up with the band. We made these crazy complicated puzzles for Imagine Dragons fans online.
We had a site where they could enter their answers to the scavenger hunt. They’re super smart and hacked our site. That sucked. We rebuilt it overnight and luckily, we outsmarted them for a little bit.
The fans who cracked the puzzle got entered to win a VIP trip to Vegas to see the band at a small concert. The fans were so grateful and thankful for the contest. It almost made up for the fact that they hacked our site on the 2nd day of the contest.
That’s amazing! Where do you see opportunities arising for somebody young looking to get into your industry?
For copywriting, opportunities have only grown since I got into it. Every company needs someone to finesse their communications. Ad agencies are also frequently looking for interns. Most likely, if you do well at the company and you like them and they like you, you’ll get promoted to a copywriter after your internship, or they’ll at least keep you in mind for future opportunities. And, always ask around.
So many times, I just posted I was looking for a job and someone knew someone somewhere. Drop your pride and say you’re looking for a job. Most of the time, people want to help and they’d rather work with someone they know and like then search for someone out in the wild.
For comedy: just do it. Go to an open mic and bomb (or do well!) and just keep doing it. There’s really no shortcut beyond doing it as much as possible.
Showing up at an open mic will definitely build your character, wow does that take guts! Considering personal finance, as we are teaching our youth what real people do, do you have any personal finance principles that you follow or that guide your decisions?
Save, but save FOR something. Saving for potential disaster kind of puts a tinge of terror around putting money away. Sure, you need to save for a rainy day, but also make sure you’re saving for something you can really enjoy. You’re allowed to spend money just for fun.
Spending money for fun was something I did as a young adult, which brings me to my next question. If you could go back to being a teenager, what is one thing that you would change about your decision-making knowing what you do now?
I truly just did everything my friends were doing. I valued my friends more than anything. I think that’s great—to a point! I wish I’d done more things I personally wanted to do that appealed to my interests without the fear of thinking my friends would judge me. If they’re good friends, they won’t get upset that you’re happy.
In that case, what is one thing every teenager could do today to begin a successful financial future?
This is so boring, but: take advantage of 401K [or RRSP] options if your job offers them. I got really lucky and all of my college jobs had some sort of retirement allocation option even for part-time workers. If not, just put away around 3% of what you’re making (if you can afford to) and start a Roth IRA.
When I started freelancing, I didn’t have enough money to put away for retirement, but I was still on track for savings since I had that money in my IRA from high school and college jobs.
Great idea. Boring usually works! Do you have any advice you would like to pass on to any teenager reading this?
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way!
Thank you Sam, it’s great to hear that from somebody that has jumped on these opportunities. For anybody looking to do cool things or funny comedy, please keep up with Sam on her website.
By: Robert Puharich | May 19, 2022 |