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Zach Sullentrup

(according to Zach Sullentrup)

I can’t believe I’m writing my own damn bio. Unbelievable. Do you have any idea how many people would kill to do this?

[pauses dramatically in anticipation of a response even though I’m typing in a word doc]

...SEVERAL. I’M NOT COMPLETELY SURE OF THE EXACT NUMBER BUT ASSUME UPWARDS OF TWO PEOPLE WOULD COMMIT MURDER (a punishable felony) TO DO THIS. Anyway, welcome to my Paradowski dot com bio. I hope you’re as horrified to read it as I was to write it.

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It goes without saying, but Pharrell stole my hat.

I always knew I’d write a memoir one day. I just thought I’d be disgustingly rich and/or president first.

In the spirit of simplicity—and because I’m somehow convinced I have better things to do than write 1,000 words about myself (reader, I do not)—here’s a timeline so we can get the important, formative stuff out of the way:

1994: Was born with paralyzed vocal cords (OH, THE IRONY) and narrowly escaped death for the first time.

1994-1996: Learned essential motor skills instead of baby modeling (a complete waste of my talents).

1996-1998: Somehow convinced my preschool classmates to clean my toys up after play time while I loitered/hid in the bathroom.

1998-1999: Fought with my kindergarten teacher and attempted to lead a coup because I was fed up with her fascist regime of involuntary coloring (my mother would reward me with multiplication worksheets if I put my big boy pants on and colored without arguing).

1999: Was forcibly removed from a matinee of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace because I couldn’t stop sobbing when Anakin left his mom; got a hit in my first at bat in tee ball but ran straight to third base (to be fair, running clockwise is way more intuitive).

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A seemingly uncertain but well-dressed young me.

1999-2001: Destroyed most of my brain cells playing Pokemon Cards.

2000: Saw my first concert (either Weird Al Yankovic or Aaron Carter depending on which parent you ask); had a meltdown at my older sister’s end-of-season volleyball party because I wasn’t old enough to play yet, forcing my empathetic father to make me “a future volleyball star”/lack-of-participation trophy.

2001-2003: Destroyed even more brain cells playing Pokemon on Gameboy.

2003: Broke my leg in my grade school’s gym playing a dumb sport that I invented.

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Show me a gesture more patriotic than this cast. I’ll wait.

2003-2005: Took piano lessons and spent every cent of my annual birthday money on CDs.

2005: Won a CYC baseball playoff game by stealing home with two outs in the 13th inning while all of the coaches screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOO” as I was the uncontested slowest kid on the team.

2005-2008: Played lacrosse for some fucking reason.

2006-2008: Took guitar lessons and bought even more CDs.

2008: Portrayed Lumière in my Catholic grade school’s 8th grade production of “Beauty and the Beast” (my theatrical debut was received with rave reviews from parents and teachers alike).

Visual proof of my brief but celebrated stint in musical theatre.

2009: Started high school; quit lacrosse because they wanted me to run in the off season; started playing racquetball (less running); played my first rock show in my parents’ suburban backyard.

2010: Got dumped by my first girlfriend over Facebook Messenger after a friend’s birthday lunch at Olive Garden; melodramatically played Weezer’s “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” on repeat for the following 48 hours.

2010-2012: Drove around aimlessly in a light blue Honda Civic drinking QuikTrip slushes and listening to CDs I bought between 2003 and 2012.

2011: Competed and medaled in the National High School Racquetball Championships.

2012: Released my band Tidal Volume’s first EP; graduated high school; was pictured with both the Young Democrats and Young Republicans in my senior yearbook.

Just chilling with a few thousand of my nearest and dearest friends.

2012-2016: Studied journalism at Mizzou because it was the closest thing to majoring in Twitter.

2013: Interned at a local music venue; fell out of a tour bus; was asked by a famous rapper (who will remain nameless for professional reasons) to buy him video games, lambskin condoms, and cocaine; only had the chance to get him two of those things.

2015: Completed my first agency internship and won an ADDY; got too drunk at the zoo (twice).

2016: Graduated summa cum laude in journalism with two minors and two additional certificates despite spending most of my time drinking red wine, writing music, making Jell-O shots, and watching Frasier; immediately got hired to copywrite full-time because no one in HR bothered to read my social media pages.

2017: Released my first solo studio album to universal acclaim; moved out of my parents’ house, much to their assumed dismay; played a sold-out House of Blues in Chicago.

2018: Adopted two dog children; relandscaped my entire yard because I was bored; played two sold-out shows at The Pageant in St. Louis; went on my first solo tour; joined like three other bands.

2019: Remodeled my bathroom because I was bored; wrote my own bio for Paradowski dot com.

Ok, you’re caught up.

Rest assured. When I write for clients, it looks and sounds a lot different than this.

My philosophy for writing is simple: the best approach for any given project/situation/medium is to write in whatever style the project/situation/medium at hand calls for.

Some days, that means avoiding puns and cursing, effectively going against everything I believe in. Other days, it means removing Oxford commas to stay on my creative director’s good side. Today, it means writing a bio so ridiculous that no matter what I do on the job or bring to an internal review, everyone will be like, “uh huh, yep, this tracks.”

I’m not the first writer to invest in this approach, and I certainly hope I’m not the last.

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But a Paradowski dot com bio is different.

It’s a bizarre opportunity to let your freak flag fly and reveal those little-known personal facts that you normally save for date #12 or two truths and a lie. As both the writer and subject of this bio, I’d hate to deprive you, my lovely reader, of that glimpse into the madness that’s gotten me where I am.

Have I lost my mind somewhere along the line? Yes, obviously.

But have I filled that vacant cranial space with something much more valuable? I dunno, maybe.

So what exactly do I offer as a writer? An ego-removed approach to my work that allows me to create without caring what other people think. Unless I need to care what other people think, in which case I’ll adjust, just as my tried and true approach prescribes.

Write drunk, edit sober. Or in my case: write sober, let someone sane edit.
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So yeah, hi. I’m Zach. I heard you need a writer. How can I help?

Also, seriously, why ON EARTH did I play lacrosse??