Starting off in comedy writing might not seem the usual path someone might take to a job selling advertising for a construction-industry newspaper, but it’s exactly how Amanda Stellberg got to where she is today.
Stellberg, who began working at The Daily Reporter last month as a multimedia sales executive, did a stint in Los Angeles that found her working for the likes of Conan O’Brien, Judd Apatow and other comedic luminaries. It was the sort of work that she, while still a student at Marquette University pursuing a degree in digital media, had envisioned for herself.
But after three years in Los Angeles – a time that also saw her working for the comedian Gabriel Iglesias’ management company and NBC Universal – she decided she had had enough. So she picked up and moved back to Milwaukee.
“Basically, L.A. is super expensive and I wanted to move somewhere more affordable,” Stellberg said. “I was actually having really good luck. Around the time I moved, I was supposed to be getting work on a Netflix show. Really my experience was the opposite of what happens to most people who move out there. I kept getting pulled into jobs, which was great. But I just missed Wisconsin.”
Landing in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, Stellberg next took an administrative and social-media position at Comedy Sportz, a local business where groups of various sorts pay to compete in improv-comedy matches. Stellberg said she was there for about a year and then heard from a friend who was familiar with The Daily Reporter about a job opening at the paper.
Stellberg said her friend “knew I was looking for something where I could be goal oriented and have more responsibility. She also knew I was interested in learning how things work. She thought it would be a great fit. So I applied, and here I am.”
Not that Stellberg has completely given up her ambition to write comedy. She recently saw two ideas for cartoons that she submitted to Mad Magazine illustrated and posted on the humor publication’s social-media sites.
“It’s nice that I can do it remotely now and without living in L.A. in a $4,000-a-month studio apartment,” she said. “It’s also nice that I can treat it as a hobby. Because if it becomes a job, even if it’s your dream job, it’s still a job. So this makes sure it’s still really enjoyable.”
Stellberg acknowledges she will have her hands full in coming months learning both about the construction industry and how she can best tailor advertising to meet contractors’ needs.
“It’s fun to see how everything fits together and how those companies work side by side,” Stellberg said. “And with The Daily Reporter, it’s also about wanting to see more opportunities and growth on the digital-advertising side.”
And it’s not as if there is no overlap between writing ad copy and writing comedy.
“In comedy you want jokes to be memorable, precise, and understandable,” Stellberg said. “The same is true for a great advertisement.”
The Daily Reporter: What surprises you most about your job?
Stellberg: The sheer number of construction or construction-related companies in the state of Wisconsin
TDR: Which living person do you most admire?
Stellberg: Reba McEntire
TDR: What other jobs have you considered trying?
TDR: What is your greatest fear?
Stellberg: As an avid hiker, definitely abduction by Bigfoot
TDR: What’s your greatest extravagance?
Stellberg: My sea kayak
TDR: What would you never wear?
Have a marketing or advertising need? You can reach Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 414-225-1830.