THE DAILY INK INTERVIEW WITH “ON THE FASTRACK’S” DETHANY DENDROBIA
Daily Ink: Dethany, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
DETHANY: It’s my pleasure!
D.I: First up- Uh, hold on. My Smartphone isn’t getting a signal.
DETHANY: Oh, my fault. I wear so much metal on my piercings that I occasionally cause interference. I’ll remove a few.
Clank, jingle, clunk, clink.
D.I. Oh! Better! Anyway, in 2010 when you applied for the job as Wendy Welding’s personal assistant, did you know that there was a comic strip based on the Fastrack, Inc. workplace?
DETHANY: I did, and Wendy cautioned me that if I was hired I might be depicted in it. Basically the cartoonist who does the strip follows the daily events of our office and spins humorous stories from it. (Ms. Rose Trellis, the CEO, permits it since she sees it as a personal ego trip with a permanent visa.) The arrangement was fine with me; I assumed I would just be someone in the background with a line or two maybe every few months.
D.I: Obviously, it turned out to be something bigger.
DETHANY: Nobody saw this coming, but when I popped up in the strip the audience feedback was instant and overwhelmingly positive; so much so that the strip’s publisher has created a book featuring me.
It’s been gratifying but also a little scary and intimidating. I’m still trying to come to terms with it while keeping my work for Wendy as my first priority.
D.I: Any explanation for this popularity?
DETHANY: I think it has a lot to do with my use of social media. Every day I offer new content on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr,
commenting on that day’s strip and offering background that goes more in depth than just what readers see in the strip. That goes a long way
toward building a connection to the audience. Speaking of which, here are my links:
Dethany’s Mortuary on Tumblr
D.I: Getting back to your arrival at Fastrack, did you wear something…different for your job interview?
DETHANY: No, when I first met Wendy I had on my full Goth regalia, and it took me about an hour to get through the metal detector. I felt it was only fair to present my true persona. A personal assistant works very closely with her boss, and Wendy needed to know exactly who I was, chains, tattoos, piercings and all. If it was a problem, that was going to arise eventually so it was better for both of us to find out right away. In fact, that was indeed what happened with the seven interviews I had prior to my one at Fastrack, and now I’m grateful that they all passed on me. Of course, in today’s economy I realize that it isn’t exactly a wise strategy for everybody.
D.I: What are your biggest challenges as a Goth in the corporate world?
DETHANY: Most of the challenges concern the issue of identity. I see myself in a certain way, and when I walked in the door for the first time, many if not most of my coworkers saw me differently. (True, my signature coffin-shaped desk was a likely factor.) To deal with that, I decided to let my job performance speak for itself. I had enough trust in my coworkers to figure that they would eventually see me as trustworthy and conscientious. That said, it’s an ongoing process, and some people take longer to convince than others. My appearance is important to me as a statement of who I am. If it wasn’t, I’d just dress normally, fit in, and save myself a lot of trouble. But, then I wouldn’t be me; I’d feel as if I was buried under someone else’s tombstone.
D.I. What would you like written on your tombstone?
DETHANY: “We all know where we’re going, so just enjoy the ride.”
D.I: What about your life outside Fastrack?
DETHANY: I’m 27, single, and I’ve recently bought a small house
originally built in the 1930s in the city’s funky, avant garde Little
Six Points section. I’m in a relationship with Guy Wyre, a Fastrack
security guard. However, because he works the graveyard shift and I
have daytime hours, we can only see each other in the mornings after
he gets off work and before I come in.
I also have a circle of Goth friends: Pestilette, Famina and Warren.
Guy has fit in nicely with us, and on weekends we frequent clubs with
up-and-coming bands. Lately we’ve created our own band, with me
performing vocals. Guy is on lead guitar, Famina on keyboards, Warren
on bass and Pestilette on drums. We have one recording, a Goth anthem
titled “Exhume Yourself.”
A new presence has also entered my life: an abandoned baby
raven named Lenore. I cared for her assuming that she’d fly away when
she was able, but now she’s hanging around on her own free will. She’s
uncaged, and her uncanny cleverness (read: kleptomania) frequently
gets her into trouble.
I’m the youngest of a large family. My father is a tech genius, and my mother is a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force. (Last weekend Guy and I
went to see the Pixar movie “Brave.” That night I had dreams of a bear wearing a Lt. Colonel’s uniform.) I grew up on Air Force Bases
around the world, but none for more than a year at a time. It gave me a cosmopolitan and self-reliant background.
D.I. Is Dethany your real name?
DETHANY: It’s my legal name. My parents named me Bethany, but I adopted my Goth identity very early on. I was six years old during Operation Desert Storm, and Mother flew dozens of sorties. All of us coped in our own way. In my case, I embraced mortality and asked
everyone to call me Dethany. Mother’s combat experience led to numerous promotions and her current high-ranking position. I’m very
proud of what she’s accomplished. As for me, I had my name officially changed on my 21st birthday.
D.I: What are your hopes and dreams?
DETHANY: Career-wise, I’ve been very upfront with Wendy that my goal is to someday own my own business. She’s encouraging that ambition, which is why I adore working for Wendy.
D.I.: How do you get along with Rose Trellis?
DETHANY: (uncomfortably long pause) I adore working for Wendy.
Thanks, Dethany! That was enlightening. Or endarkening?
Anyway, we’re really excited to announce that Dethany has a new book, “Dethany Exhumed” which you can buy by clicking the link!
And Dethany’s on her way to being a pop legend! Here’s her song, “Exhume Yourself” for your listening pleasure!