Full Tilt Blog – Kayla Greet
Back in 2011, Kayla Greet worked for Full Tilt as a scooper in the U-District store. Shortly after starting that, she was one of the first staff members of the Ballard location when it opened up. As you may know, the Ballard location has several pinball machines, versus U-District which just doesn't have any room for one. A few years prior to working with us, Kayla had become involved in the local pinball community, so Full Tilt Ballard was a great fit! She. even later went on to join the Full Tilt Capitol Hill pinball team, Drain Freeze.
Since then she has become a music writer and regular contributor to Razorcake magazine out of Los Angeles, New Noise magazine based in Berkeley, and has been a part of the Seattle pinball zine Skill Shot for the last six years, having also started a pinball podcast with the zine three years ago. In January of 2018 her work was published in the book Drop Target Omnibus, wherein she fully imagined and designed her dream machine theme: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
We had a chance to catch up with her and find out her process on things, and the myriad of projects she's been up to lately.
FT: When did you start writing?
Basically I've been doing it since I learned how to hold a pen. All through school I was always drawn to English classes and I remember a teacher in middle school who would have us start every class with a quick writing prompt. So each day we were writing a few sentences about a random topic, or just free writing for ten minutes if we weren't inspired by the topic. Since then I have always had a journal that I'd scribble in on the bus or in coffee shops, and if I wasn't doing that, I was writing several pages of letters to friends who lived in other states. For as long as I can remember I've always been creative, but what's different and special about writing is that I could do it all by myself. From age 12-20 I was a glass blower which requires a minimum of three people in order to make anything. So things like writing, drawing, or knitting were enticing because it was art that I could make on my own.
FT: What made you start?
I was always an avid reader and even now you can catch me tearing through a book while I walk home or to work, so long as it's not raining! Even as a kid I'd read every facet of the cereal box as I ate breakfast. I just always wanted to be consuming some kind of text. And because of that I tended to excel in those Creative Writing / English classes. It helped a lot that my mom worked for the Tacoma News Tribune covering pet adoptions and obituaries when I was growing up. In high school I joined Running Start which allows students to attend community college in their Junior and Senior years. While in that program, I started working as an editor on both the high school and college student newspapers, as well as taking Journalism courses. It was wild. I was 16 and being paid to go to school because of my writing. Some time in my teens I got caught up in punk and started making my own zines. Over email or instant messaging I'd interview small bands who were touring through the Northwest. Then I'd get out my typewriter and do a cut and paste article about said band for a zine that I'd give out for free at their shows. It was my way of giving back to the DIY punk scene, as well as getting people into bands when they couldn't afford merch.
FT: What are some of your long term goals? What are you working on now?
This almost isn't fair because I always feel like once something is said allowed or shared online, I have to then actually start working towards that goal! My pipe dream is to write my own novel, or at least a short story. I don't know about what, and I don't know when, but it's something I'd like to challenge myself to do. No promises here! A more obtainable long term goal is to build a website containing all the record reviews, band interviews, short stories, and live reviews that I've had published, as well as some no one has ever seen. It feels incredibly navel gazing, but it's what I like to do and it'd be neat to see them all collected in one place. Earlier in 2018 I finally got my work published in a book. Up till now it'd just been zines, magazines, and websites. You can get a copy of said book if you're so inclined. It's the Drop Target Ominbus put together by Jon Chad and Alec Longstreth. It's about pinball and I designed and wrote up a dream machine for Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?.
Day to day I do my best to stay very busy. I have a feature length interview with the UK band Caves coming out in the next issue of Razorcake which I did a few weeks of deep research in order to prep for. Also for Razorcake I do a monthly podcast which akin to an hour long punk radio show. Plus, each issue of the zine I do around ten record / zine / book and/or dvd reviews. Then for New Noise I just finished up an interview piece with the Portland band Abolitionist, as well as am working on one for Ontario, Canada's The Creeps. I'm toying around with the idea of writing a One Punk's Guide to Star Trek but that might come a bit later. Finally, for Skill Shot I do a monthly podcast with my co-host Graham Klym, and recently I have taken on the task of writing a Podcast Round Up for the zine, as well as a feature on newly opened locations.
FT: What else are you doing besides writing and the podcast?
I was at full time job which I did not enjoy, mostly because it cuts into my time to do the things I really love. But I recently got laid off and am looking forward to the ample amounts of free time to create while searching for a job that is a bit less soul sucking. Otherwise I am usually desperately searching for what people call "down time." When I find it, I'm usually out at a local show (though last year I saw bands in Portland, LA, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Gainesville so I'm open to gigs outside of Seattle!). Or I'm knitting hats/sweaters/socks/gloves for friends. Every other month I help edit and layout Skill Shot Zine with some friends. And once or twice a month I write a postcard to my pin-pal in D.C. If there's any time left over after all that, I'm listening to records with a book and a cat, and day dreaming of places I want to travel to.