Travis Schuster is a Greensboro native and a UNC Greensboro graduate who has written the “Meet the Writer” feature in every issue since the magazine’s inception almost three years ago. Recently, though, he has succumbed to the pull of a larger city and handed the reign’s to AMPLIFIER‘s Danielle Chiasson. What better send off than to interview the interviewer?
So, in the spirit of a fond farewell, meet AMPLIFIER‘s Travis Schuster: the former Winston-Salem correspondent and photographer, as well as local Greensboro musician and friend to many. AMPLIFIER is sad to see him go but is excited to see what a city like Chicago holds for one of our own.
[Danielle Chiasson] How did you get involved with AMPLIFIER?
[Travis Schuster] I’ve known Jen for a fair amount of time, and truthfully I’m not entirely sure how I got involved. I think someone simply said “Hey, Jen is starting up a zine. You should tell her you want to be a writer,” and it just went from there. It has been a tremendous experience seeing AMPLIFIER grow and change in the time I’ve had the pleasure of working with it, and the opportunities it has provided me to utilize and grow in my personal passions are something I will always be grateful for.
[DC] What excites you about AMPLIFIER?
[TS] As a Greensboro native, it has always felt so easy to become cynical, jaded and downright tired of what the city had to offer in my time spent there. As someone who spent years deeply ingrained in the local music scene, I began to find certain aspects to be rather toxic, from attitudes to interactions to the spaces themselves. AMPLIFIER, for me, is something different. It is a counter to the counterculture, a way for people with like minds to have a platform that showcases the best parts of the city in a simple, welcoming and fully unpretentious way. It takes a collective approach to providing opportunities to artists of all mediums, bringing them together in one place to show others the importance of what they have to offer.
[DC] We know you’re leaving, and we’re sad to see you go, but tell us a little about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing there.
[TS] It’s a bit sad to say that I’m “officially leaving,” but in truth, I’ve already left. I moved to Chicago, IL at the end of June to support my wife as she begins medical school. I’m beyond excited to see her dreams realized, as I know how hard she’s worked to get to where she is. Personally, I’ve taken a new “personal oath” of sorts to stop defining myself by the work I do within 40 hours of the week, so I’m going to answer this from my heart and say, “I really have no idea what I’m doing.” Working, yes, but otherwise, life has been an open book and I think that’s alright for now. “Finding myself” feels like a cliché approach to the topic, so I’ll just circumvent the wishy-washy parts of the answer and just say that I’ve pretty much been eating non-stop since I moved. There are donuts everywhere here, and I just can’t stop.
[DC] How did the Triad/N.C. shape you while you were here? What skills did you develop here that you’ll be using now in your new city?
[TS] North Carolina will forever be home to me. It is where the people I love and the things I know best are—it will never not be my most comfortable place. I think, at least in the context of AMPLIFIER, my time in North Carolina bolstered my skills in writing, photography and music. Within those things, I was granted some of my life’s most memorable experiences and points of pride, but also a knowledge of how to better communicate in different situations (much more than I attained in my time spent working towards a Communication Studies degree, ironically enough).
[DC] Who dropped a screw in the tuna?
[TS] Kel, though I wouldn’t have believed it without such a convincing confession.