My first job was ...

deli assistant at Port Chalmers New World. I earned $15 a week ($4 an hour?). I was 14. I've also been vegetarian my whole life so there was a lot of learning involved. I touched my first dead chicken there.

It taught me … that luncheon meat is very disgusting.

My big break came … certainly not my big break, but being nominated for a Silver Scroll last year was quite a special thing. To be in such an incredible top five was quite a thrill.


The last job I quit was … two years ago, I left my job at the Careys Bay Hotel in Port Chalmers. I'd actually been working there on and off since I was 17. All the locals were becoming very proud of my achievements. My boss, Jo Kidston, used to cut out all my newspaper articles and hang them on the wall. I quit because I kept having to go on tour, plus I was not the best waitress in the world, kind of slow and in a dream-state most of the time (I'm sure Coco's Cantina can agree there too). I'm much happier working for myself now. I still love that place though and feel very much part of the furniture.

The most famous person I've ever met is … I once saw Chris O'Dowd in the LAX Koru Lounge. Then he was on my flight too. I can't say I met him but my heart was racing and I certainly stared at him for quite a while. I think we had a connection - but I will never know.

He was … delightful, of course. Maybe a bit tired?

The best time I've had on stage was … Green Man Festival in Wales was quite special. Despite me having tonsillitis, and it pissing down with rain, there was some kind of magic happening all through that festival and especially during our set.

But the worst was … cancelling my sold-out Auckland album release show, three songs in. I completely lost my voice. That was scary and also very hard for me to do. I felt a lot of love in the room that night.

My dream role would be … making good art, and being a good human.

• Nadia Reid is currently on her High & Lonely New Zealand tour before she heads to the US to begin working on her third album. She plays Auckland's Wine Cellar June 26 and 27.