Friday, February 23, 2007


As a downwardly mobile refugee from double income, I've been trying lately to improve my financial outlook.

Being disinclined toward sugardaddies, I've instead found a way to cut expenses. I have become, in the fullest sense of the word, a mooch.

Various dictionaries define a mooch as someone who "wanders aimlessly," "begs," "sponges," and "accepts gifts and favors."

I think that about covers it.

What's surprising to me (and baffling to my friends) is how well this has been working. I decided several months ago to try, just for the hell of it, requesting some free passes for exhibitions and music events. I was doing a calender for Expatica and couldn't afford to see everything I was writing about.

I'll never forget my surprise the first time someone said yes to me, and then how nervous I became at the prospect of approaching the ticket window. "Is it sur la liste?...or dans la liste?...or is list masculine??"

Eventually I got over it and got inspired to try for more. I started writing for Parisist and eventually editing their Events section. This is where began in earnest to build my kingdom of mooch. I started working with the editors and some fine staff writers to develop the FSS (free shit strategy). We banged out a request letter in two languages and I set about to begging.

Hundreds of emails have since gone out to clubs, promoters, labels, and the bands themselves. The result is that we have passes to a whole slate of concerts over the next few months.

There have been some let-downs (Clap Your Hands did not Say Yeah) and we're still waiting to hear about some big ones (Arcade Fire and the Shins), but overall it's been working surprisingly well.

All of this is good for Parisist, but more importantly it's great for me. I've been out having fun desipite a startling lack of funds.

Last night I had 2 passes for the sold-out Decemberists show (review here), and even scored a pre-concert dinner from Catherine. Not a bad deal, I say.

All this mooching can be exhausting. I turned down Guillemots tickets on Monday (reviewed by Alex here) and Rufus Wainwright tickets on Tuesday (reviewed by Lauren here). Tonight is another freebie, however, and Monday will bring a Tobias Fröberg show and interview (my first).

Holy crap!

Perhaps I can develop a whole series of indie rock interviews that incorporate my expertise in reproductive health...

The Vagina Dialogues
, perhaps?


Adrian said...

Yeah, maybe you can even score some free drinks at the Café Cave?? ;)

maitresse said...

although to be fair, the rufus mooching was of a different variety-- a variant nepotism!

Edvard Moonke said...

who needs 'funds' when life is this exciting? :-)

franglaise said...

Good idea..

I'm sure far too many people would read the Vagina Dialogues too!

Ariel said...

Genius! Of course... I must start doing that again, I'm sure my life would improve greatly. One notable mooching exercise led me to a free Tony Hadley concert once. Urgh and urgh again. You are clearly more skilled than I am.

Anonymous said...

The Best Things in Life Are Free, by virtue of a Free Shit Strategy! Keep on writing your great posts on your own site and for Parisist!

Girl About-Town said...

Love it! I wish I was a good a moocher as you!

Adrian said...

lisa said...

Oh, I want freebies! I used to get them all the time back in Melbourne... the best thing about "media" passes is that the person you take will generally offer to make you dinner or buy you a drink :):):) What do I have to do to get my Parisian lifestyle subsidised?

Bridget's JD said...

It's sur la liste ! :)

Buffy said...

Would love to see a copy of this email. The one your moochiness sends out. I'm trying it on myself (because, hey, the thing is entirely underrated) and could use a few pointers in fine tuning the art.

I'm serious.

Edvard Moonke said...

where's le meg gone? could she have eloped with Tobias Froberg and is now languishing in some honeymoon suite in the Seychelles, I wonder?