Cast Spotlight on Erin Skibinski

by Tracey on April 22, 2015

You might remember Erin Skibinski from our 2013 Chicago cast where she talked about being the “Perfect Mother.” We are honored to have her grace our stage again on May 3rd!


Zero Dollars, That’s What I’m Banking On

by Erin Skibinski

I recently volunteered career day. I kind of used it as preparation for Listen to Your Mother. You see it has been awhile since I have been speaking in front of people on any regular basis, and I thought why not try my hand at the toughest crowd possible: Junior High Students.

I was so eager to talk to these young minds about writing. About how it is not just a career path, but a life skill. I wanted to share the wisdom of being a strong writer will get you far in this life no matter what you decide to do. I talked about how writing is the great communicator. I talked about how lucky they are to grow up in a digital age of information at their fingertips and how there will always be a need for people to write this information, synthesize this information, and come up with new ideas. I talked about how there are fields in writing that have way higher than average rates of growth. I talked about how every career needs writing. I talked about my path to writing and my spiral notebooks filled with journal entries, and stories, and jokes. I talked about all the books I had read. I even made some of these kids crack a smile.

I was on fire.

I was about halfway through my 4th presentation of the day. when a girl raised her hand. She seemed a bit unimpressed with my “YAY WRITING” attitude.

I called on her. In a tone that I can only describe as: totally over 7th grade already she stated a question with a confidence I have been looking for my entire adult life. “Starting salary.”

I put on my adorable happy face, and said, “Well, it depends on what kind of writer you want to be. I mean there are so many careers in writing we haven’t even gotten to yet.”

This young woman was on to me. “For an author or a blogger like you.”

Just like trying to hide Zayne leaving One Direction, there was just no use in hiding this anymore, I broke the news, “Zero dollars.”

I know. I know. I felt terrible for letting in her in on this reality. I also felt embarrassed for myself, and for all writers (I refuse to use the word aspiring anymore)


Zero dollars.


Lying in bed later that night, I was thinking why do I feel guilty about doing something I feel passionate about. Is it because I am not making huge amounts of money yet (come on late night talk show host who needs a writer and sees my Tweets)? How is this different from anyone else?

Just like a physician whose love of science and research who spent years in school and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to finally attain her dream job.

Just like the business executive who spent time interning for not even college credit to learn the ropes before achieving a career of his own.

Just like a future senator volunteering hours of time serving on community boards.

Every dream has an upfront investment. The hard work, the time investment, the passion. The notes, outlines, Tweets, the reading, research, sketches, jokes, essays, submissions, rejections, the texts to myself, notes on my desk, and countless blog posts. It will pay off.


That’s what I’m banking on.


Erin, we have a strong belief that it WILL pay off for you!

There are only 11 days till the Chicago show and if you don’t already have your ticket, you should really do something about that tendency towards procrastination.

Tickets on SALE HERE.

Cindy Fey April 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

Here’s what Cheryl Strayed says: “You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. You have to pay your electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

Melisa April 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

I love that, Cindy! (and Cheryl! LOL)

Erin April 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Thank you, Cindy! I needed to hear that!

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