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I Would Like to Be a Conductor, Please

By Karen Roose | Guest Writer

Dear Orchestra,

My name is Karen Roose. Normally, I work as a carrot peeler, peeling ten (or eleven) carrots an hour for the boss. Since the pandemic, I have been forced to work at home which is very hard because I left my peeler at work. This odd but reasonable scenario has left me with no other choice than to shuck the carrot with a fork I own in a sweeping motion, creating miniscule ridges of peeled carrot that I then must replicate hundreds of times over. Eventually, the small strokes with the fork will rake the entire carrot, and I can move on to my next carrot.

I digress. Point is, I was doing my shucking when I realized I would make a great conductor (conductess?) for your band/orchestra. My shucking motion is not unlike a conductor raising his stick to hush the crowd before the final notes are played. When I toss the peeled carrot into the bag, I imagine I am raising my arms in a flailing motion, so that the brass section can see where I am, in case they lose track. I can also do tons of shadow puppets, like a hippo or dog.


As any good artist knows, the number one job of being a conductor is discipline. I have lots of experience in that area, too. I have tried over and over to grow my own broccoli and it just hasn’t taken off yet. But my perseverance in the matter ought to be more than enough to convince you that I have what it takes. I will grimace at the trombones (they’re the troublemakers); I will scowl at the violins (they think they’re the best, and they’re not); and I will make rude gestures at the percussion section (they know what they did). If you need more proof that I am qualified, I listen to classical music and pretend I am the conductor—that’s hours of practice right there.

I get your main problem with hiring conductors: it’s so easy that everyone must be applying.

I get your main problem with hiring conductors: it’s so easy that everyone must be applying. Lots of people think they can just wake up one day and becone become carrot peelers, too. That must be why there is no “conductors application” box onsite (I checked). The difference between me and the next guy is that I will be doing this for the money. Despite what you may have heard, a humble peeler like me only makes around ninety cents an hour before taxes. I don’t care what the orchestra plays; it’s not my job to have an opinion. I will come in, do the concert, and get out with as few interactions as possible. Also, I love waving my hands around in large auditoriums.

There are some stipulations I have. Firstly, I profusely sweat when in a position of leadership. That shouldn’t be a problem if you turn off the house lights on me, so I can work in the dark. Secondly, I cannot use a baton. The orchestra will have to somehow find me a fork or a carrot to conduct with. I will not budge on that. Thirdly, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I have not played a single instrument in my life, nor am I willing to learn. I detest classical instruments. If I so much as brush up against a bassoon I will become very unpleasant for the rest of the day.

All of that aside, I am honored to be the newest conductor at the New York City Philharmonic.

My best,

Karen Roose

Onion Peeler (I need to update my stationary).

Nate Odenkirk did not get the job.

Thank you for reading!
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