You’re a rare Portland “native”?

I was birthed at Providence in SE Portland. My father was a teacher and concerned with PPS so he hauled us out to Clackamas before I started kindergarten. I moved “back” to Portland when I was a 19-year-old at Portland State. My first apartment was a large double studio on NW 23rd and Glisan for $495!

What was it like growing up here?

It was dead all the time. Downtown was full of boarded-up storefronts and empty buildings. I slowly got into the “all ages” music scene. Then I immersed myself in the comedy/theater community. It was welcoming, amazingly rich and, for a while, in full bloom since my actor friends were paying next to nothing in rent. Old Portland loved to drink and was into dive bar culture. I could never fully get into that as a nondrinker. Now, I feel like drinking and drugs are taking a backseat to brunches and high-end coffee. I should probably resent that but the New Portland lifestyle works better for me.

What would you recommend newcomers do right away?

Get all your fantasies about going skiing and going to the ocean in the same weekend out of your system. Do it once, then put your poles and wetsuits in the garage because you aren’t going to do that again.

Anything they shouldn’t do?

You should not take rainy days “off.” Don’t put your life on hold when it’s wet out. Put the book down and keep your life going or you’re going to fall behind. Also, don’t open a restaurant. We’re all stocked up. 

Pruett still comes back for the occasional comedy show or TED Talk.

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