Pop-Up Magazine: A Living, Breathing Media Experience


Much like New York City, Washington D.C is a hub for what’s hip and trendy. Whether its hitting up the swankiest ramen spot or waiting in a laboriously long queue to check out the latest art installation at the Hishorn Museum, D.C is the spot to go to be a part of the “know.”

Speaking of the “know”—have you heard of Pop-Up Magazine?

Pop-Up Magazine is a San Francisco concoction  made of live performances, the written word, moving visuals, a vibrant orchestra, and diverse journalists who cover editorials on: Government affairs, Media, Advice, War, Society, Self-Help, Profiles, Health, City Life, and Culture–much like what you would read in the latest issue of a magazine but only better, and less prolix chatter.

I snagged an exclusive invite to cover this event and to provide live social media coverage with a pal.

IMG-6023 (1)
Shared credit on this selfie

Surprisingly, I found a parking garage nearby that only charged $8 for the night. I often have issues finding street parking by Lincoln Theater so I opted for a parking garage.  Along with parking, I decided to wear my White House Black Mark basic long sleeved black shirt (with silver buttons dotted along the sleeves), J Crew faded blue jeans, and Italian leather boots from Nordstroms. My friend wore a black dress. Much like New York, wearing black in D.C. is a safe fashion bet.

Sponsors for the live production were Amazon Studios, Resy, Impossiblefoods.com, Citi Foundation and Mail Chimp.

Freebies offered was complimentary beer, a deal with Mailchimp mail marketing, a complimentary app from Impossible Foods, a rousing game of media bingo, and a few free issues of California Sunday Magazine. Despite the magazine being state-centered (many of us live in the DMV area), the features are relate-able to anyone.

Photography was not allowed at the event so I apologize in advance for not being able to give you a visual sneak peak. Fortunately, taking notes was permitted. Hurrah!

The Lincoln theater is a great venue for this type of art-forward performance. We had orchestra seats– plush, velvety, seats– in square view of the stage.  The live music on stage, led by the Magik Magik Orchestra, wove audible beauty with violin strings, piano keys, drum beats, and a seasoned conductor. Music amplified vocal and visuals to the nth degree, for example, a live car chase was presented in the beginning, middle and end of the show as if it was occurring at this moment. If it wasn’t for the music, and excellent commentary, would I have witnessed audience engagement at a high level? Members of the audience laughed, had their eyes glued during heightened chase scenes, and seemed enthralled by this and several segments presented at the event.

From the 12 segments I watched, here are my favorites:

1.) Hot Pursuit by Mary Melton. The car chase. It’s simple, seductive, and historically accurate on what inspired 24 hour news channels like CNN and Fox News.

2.) Power Pose by Aparna Nancherla. I’m a fan of Nancherla and most everyone in the South Asian diaspora follow her tweets, obsessively. She humorously and realistically exemplified how to use one’s social awkwardness to own an otherwise bad social, personal or professional situation. After this segment, I clearly saw her become a hero to most.

3.) The God Committee by Brooke Jarvis. Imagine if a small group of highly influential (not necessarily knowledgeable) people in your community dictate yay or nay if you and other loved ones are allowed to receive chemotherapy for cancer? Jarvis eloquently details a feature story on the pain, anguish, and confusion of making this decision in the eyes of the decision maker.

4.) Public Speaking by Daniel Alarcon. What started as a simple juxtaposition of two languages interpretation of a story transformed into a heart-wrenching tale of how a country is subjected to lose their native tongue in favor of another language forced upon by an apex nation.

5.) Gophran’s Journey by Erin Trieb. The story starts with a 13 year old girl devoting her time and energy as a medic in her country and ends with a tale on how gangs, drugs, and a corrupt government can eviscerate the most innocent. Trieb’s story telling talents evinced deeper empathy and understanding from the crowd.

Pictures courtesy of my I-phone 8. Wow!

My friend and I were about to purchase snacks, but we were a bit hungrier than the average attendee there. We wanted a meal. Lincoln logs (cream-filled chocolate cakes) and pop corn wasn’t going to cut it at the concession stand. So we made a short trek to Ben’s Chili bowl for half smokes and cheese fries. It’s the D.C thing to do. Watch a show and eat where all transplants and the like love to eat.

As a first-timer, I was impressed. I also learned that Pop-Up Magazine has shows across the United States in San Francisco, CA; New York, New York; Los Angeles, CA; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, LA; and Atlanta, Georgia. If you live in those regions, please check this show out here. If you live in D.C, do not fret. Pop-Up Magazine will return in February of this year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s