Sundy L. Leake, Copy Editor

Photo: Jake Chessum

What kind of copyediting do you do?
Advertising, mostly about pharmaceuticals. But really I’m a dancer.

What kind of dancer?
Well, you know Cats? The musical Cats? I was Tantomile, one of the twin cats. And, oh, I was in lots of things, like West Side Story and Jelly’s Last Jam.

What was it like to be a cat for so many years?
Well, there was already something feline about me. I think that’s probably why I got the part. I knew I’d get it, you know. I had a real sixth sense about it.

How did you become a copy editor?
I was making a transition from musical theater to straight drama, and I needed to pay the rent, so first I became a legal proofreader. In fact, I was working at one of the top law firms in the World Trade Center. I was on the midnight shift, so I was just leaving at 8:05 a.m., before the first plane hit.

Do you like your job?
It’s different, and it’s right for this point in my life. I think there’s an affinity between writers and artists and advertising and business. My nephew calls it corporate bohemia.

What is your look?
I’m definitely an urban professional, you see. I really start with the color wheel. If I’m doing cool colors, I’ll stay in that direction and then use some base neutrals to build on that. It’s a matter of layering both color and texture. When you’ve been a cat for a long time, you know texture.

Sundy L. Leake, Copy Editor