Known around campus for her rowing prowess, raspy laugh, and occasionally debilitating obsession with all things celebrity- and gossip-related, glamour queen Haley Sacks ’13 is not shy about getting what she wants. That’s probably why she hit me up on Gchat and, despite our never having spoken, demanded to be a WesCeleb. (“This is about facilitating a connection,” she declared, “one brunette to another.”) I was skeptical, so she invited me over to her house to serve me milkshakes and present a Powerpoint explaining why she should be a WesCeleb, complete with photos of her posing with Sofia Vergara and President Roth and a detailed overview of her prolific social media presence. A week later at Red & Black Cafe, as my journalistic integrity crumbled faster than Public Safety’s reputation, I gave in.
The Argus: What makes you a WesCeleb?
Haley Sacks: What makes me a WesCeleb is that I really wanted to be a WesCeleb. I have a really huge problem with egomania that I’ve struggled with my entire life, and it only seemed natural that after not getting honors I wanted to end my Wesleyan career with some sort of way to say, “I was here.” Maybe when I’m in The New York Times for my wedding announcement it’ll say, “Haley Sacks graduated without honors but with a WesCeleb interview in The Argus.”
A: So that explains why you think you should be a WesCeleb. Why might other people think you’re a WesCeleb?
HS: I don’t think they’re gonna argue with it, because I’m so tall that people have seen me probably, so they’re not going to be like, “Who is that random girl? I’ve never seen her around.” But do people have really strong opinions about WesCelebhood? Is that a thing? Like, “Oh my god, she should or she shouldn’t be?” Is there gonna be this whole fight against this? I hope there is.
A: So tell me about the film you wrote.
HS: I tried to combine the realism of “Girls” with romantic comedy, like escapism and playing with the Hollywood structure of “You can have that happy ending and it’ll be really ridiculous” when you’re trying to have characters that really sound like they are in real life. There were moment of total mania at the computer, like, “Oh my god, this is so fun, I want to always be writing,” but I also got really bad lower back pain and wasn’t really sleeping.
A: What’s the movie about, though?
HS: Um, what isn’t the movie about? I think that’s what my thesis adviser wanted me to figure out, and that’s probably why I didn’t get honors.
A: You’re really, really into celebrities. Why?
HS: It’s like everything that you want to see on Facebook, but people only show you the good stuff. They’re like “Oh my god, I just got engaged,” but if you read Star Magazine you get to see them on their bad days. Something inside of my core finds it really interesting to soak it all up. I’ve known Jennifer Aniston for, what, 12 years? That’s a long time to be in someone’s life.
A: How does this obsession with celebrities affect your daily life?
HS: I think that I’m thoughtful about it in a way that other people aren’t. Last night I was listening to Ciara’s song “Like a Boy,” and I was watching the video and I was like, “Oh my god, this is just like Beyoncé’s song, ‘If I Was a Boy.’” So I looked up online: “Okay, this song ‘Like A Boy’ and ‘If I Was a Boy,’ which one came out first?” Ciara’s came out first! No one talks about it, but Beyoncé ripped off Ciara’s idea. If I hadn’t done that research, we wouldn’t know that.
[Note: At this point Max Rosenman ’14 walked by, exclaimed “Are you a WesCeleb??” and loudly gasped. “Stop riding on my coattail,” Sacks snapped at him. “Some of us made PowerPoints and milkshakes to get in The Argus.”]
A: What else have you been involved in on campus?
HS: I used to be a student caller, but I got too aggressive during my phone calls. Also, it was better to not be there because they give you free candy and I felt like a stockbroker, one of those aggressive guys in a suit who never sits down at his desk and is like “Sell! Sell! Sell!” [as] I was pounding Snickers and Twix. I row! I was at the Athlete-Scholar dinner! I have to keep up with all my TV shows and gossip. I have friendships that I treasure. I have to maintain Skype friendships with people I meet on Chatroulette.
A: You got to hang out with Michael Roth at crew practice.
HS: Michelle! I did meet him. Best moment of my life. It was like seeing Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. He knows his good angles; you lean in for that photo; he knows exactly which side is his better side. You can’t see it in the photo, but my hand was on his butt. But honestly, I’m old friends with him so it’s not a big deal.
A: I’ve heard lots of stories about your driving. Tell me about that.
HS: There is no deal with my driving, it’s just become this campus thing. People in my car talk about my driving. People in my car aren’t from New York, they didn’t drive on the New York streets like I did. I came from a rough-and-tumble beginning and that is reflected in my speedy ways, and honestly the people who are saying these things don’t even know how to drive.
A: You have a really active social media presence.
HS: You could say that. You did say that! Jinx. You owe me a bite of your panini.
A: Is it ever a struggle to keep up your online presence?
HS: It comes and goes. You have waves of inspirations and days when you’re just like, “Will I ever be funny again? Will I ever have another good tweet? Will I ever get 30 likes on a Vine ever again?” And in those moments you just gotta pray.
A: Did you actually get 30 likes on a Vine?
HS: Uh huh. If I tell you, then the guy I made the Vine about is going to know…
[Note: Haley showed me a Vine of her in her car, yelling out to her crush and offering him a ride.]
A: Tell me about your blog, Holisox.
HS: Well, I’m probably going to write something about the Ciara/Beyoncé debacle that I recognized last night, but basically there are moments when I feel like I need to talk. I think that when I was abroad, I would sit down every night and look at my day and be like, “I need to morph something that happened to me into a post.” Whereas now, with that blog, it’s passion pieces, not as much of a day-to-day thing. My finger’s dipped in so many pots these days, it’s just hard.
[Note: At this point Haley glanced away from her interviewer and became distracted by Star Magazine. I asked what she was reading. “I’m trying to decide if I think Beyoncé got liposuction,” she replied.]
A: Adam Rotstein [’13] told me to ask what makes your voice so raspy.
HS: Cigarettes and whiskey.
[Note: At this point the interview was interrupted by Christian Bachrach ’13, Alex Karasz ’13, and Rhiannon Tudhope ’13 dashing over. “Oh my god, can I be a WesCeleb?” Christian begged. “I’m kind of a big deal on Twitter. The ‘Cac is following me; they were all about my tweets about how Tufts sucks.” I explained that I’m not in charge of The Argus. “Oh, come on, you have some pull,” he insisted.]
A: What else do you want people to know about you that they might not already know?
HS: That I have a really big heart. And that I’m best friends with my grandma. Also, the longest relationship I’ve been in that includes kissing on the lips is with my dog.
[Note: Haley became distracted again by reading about Jennifer Aniston.]
A: What will you miss most about Wesleyan?
HS: The mozzarella sticks from the falafel cart. JK! But actually, I’m going to miss living in the suburbs with everyone who’s my own age. That probably won’t happen until I’m at the retirement community in Miami that I already reserved a spot at.
[Note: At this point Bachrach walked past and whispered, in a grave voice: “I will pay you if you make me a WesCeleb.”]