Jen Shag has got it good: She’s the personal assistant of alternative medicine advocate Gary Null by day and Shellshag rock ‘n roll drummer by night — and all thanks to her meddling mother. Her day job allows her to keep a schedule that is flexible enough to accommodate her band’s touring and run the independent label Starcleaner Records. Plus it schools her on all the shady things the government does in regards to public health. Pretty sweet deal, no?
Flavorpill: You work for a pretty unique person. How did you land a gig working with one of the biggest names in the alternative health industry?
Jen Shag: Gary Null announced on his radio show that he was in need of a personal assistant. My mom begged me to go interview. For the first time in my life I listened to her; I went in and interviewed via Skype while Gary was in Africa. I told him that I tour constantly and was not in New York for all of the year, but that when I was I would work hard for him full-time because I believe in his work, and I’m a good worker, and blah blah blah. To my surprise, I got the job!
FP: Pimpin’ good health ain’t easy. What exactly do you do on the day-to-day?
JS: Gary has the longest running radio show on health and nutrition — 91.5 FM in the New York area everyday at noon. [Laughs] He has put out around sixty books and forty documentary films on health, nutrition, vaccines, Gulf War Syndrome, autism, etc. He owns a health food store and puts out his own line of vitamins and food. So I help with all those things.
On the day-to-day, I book his lectures. I book doctors for films. I do research and go on the radio with him. I run errands. I submit his films to festivals.
FP: Were you interested in health and nutrition before you got this gig?
JS: Off and on, yes. I have learned a lot from working for Gary — way too much to tell you! He’s very political, and we dig deep to find the truth behind our government’s lies about health. After all the research I have done, it is safe to say that any paranoid notion you have ever had about “the man”, was probably 100 percent correct, and anyone that tells you that you’re being paranoid is in full-on denial.
I have learned to look up all available facts from credible sources before making up my mind about something. For example, when looking up all facts — not opinions — on vaccines you would find that they have actually not been tested properly and don’t really work. Popular opinion suggests they do, but facts and statistics prove that they do not.
FP: Do you lead a healthy lifestyle now?
JS: Yes and no. I am vegan and I do yoga, but I also do other things. I try to maintain a balance.
FP: How does this job influence your music?
JS: This job is really a dream situation for me because Gary and I respect one another, and he is very supportive of Shellshag and Starcleaner Records. I can tour as often as I want and know that I always have a job to return to New York City. The stress of making ends meet is gone so I can play more often for free and just have fun with it without the pressure of making money from my music.
FP: Not many people have the kind of “dream situation” that you do. Are there any drawbacks?
JS: Honestly, not really so far. So far, it’s been pretty cool.