(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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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??