Tori Chickering O’Connell was born in New Jersey to parents that cultivated a loving, safe, and creative home environment where comedy, music, and dance were a central part of the daily furniture of growing up.
There is no question that this nurturing environment set her on a path to a creative career of being a journalist, producer, documentary filmmaker, comedy writer and published author of two books Nookie Town and Family Values.
In this vibrant two-parter, we cover Tori’s upbringing and the influence of her parents, infusing the importance of having fun and not giving a damn.
Tori’s discusses the importance of gratitude, having a ‘why not me’ attitude, and how in her early career, this attitude landed her a job at MTV, as she applied her creativity and embraced life’s uncertainty and ambiguity with gusto. Tori reflects on using this attitude in the time of Covid19, and we discuss how new models are emerging in comedy, music and the arts during the lockdown.
We cover her extraordinary experience of making a documentary of some of today’s most lauded comedians 20 years ago before they were famous.
And we dive deep into how the serendipitous personal experience of becoming a divorcee in Jersey led to the idea for her first novel, NookieTown, and covers her second book, Twisted Family Values.
I hope you enjoy the fun, frivolity, and freedom of not giving a damn with Tori Chickering
What We Discuss
Tori’s parental impact
Glitter balls and dancing on Saturdays
The experience of her youth
The importance of fun
The impact of her grandparents
Living in a household of love
Freedom and life force of not give a damn
Being outspoken and out there and the bullying that resulted
The importance of Halloween costumes
The connection of dis-ease to disease
Her ‘let’s do it’ attitude
An early love of song and dance
Having a sellout show at the Edinburgh festival with New York, Sex, Killing and Shopping
Having start over attitude
You Can Do it attitude
Great Day in Harlem
The evolution of NookieTown
The idea behind Twisted Family Values
Her upcoming novel
Fun, accountability and social risk
VC Chickering – author’s site (with loads of fun links to buy books and procrastinate)
@vcchickering – author’s Instagram
Tori Erstwhile & The Montys – author’s band’s YouTube channel
Links in the Show