Elle Creative Director Joe Zee Is Good at Everything, Says Joe Zee

The humble amateur violinist. (via nytimes.com)

Joe Zee and his violin were featured in “Posessed,” the Times Sunday Styles feature that gives free, tightly controlled publicity to bold face names with projects to promote (see Rose McGowan, Conan the Barbarian),  and Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Motherfucker With The Hat) under the pretense of writing about their favorite objets.

Joe Zee, whose Sundance reality show “All on the Line” starts up again in November, would like to tell us about his violin because it’s a symbol of how he’s good at… everything.

“I was good at everything,” said Mr. Zee. “I was like Tracy Flick, sitting in the front row and raising my hand for everything. English, math — anything with a textbook. I was good at consuming knowledge. And I was great at home ec!” 

He taught himself how to be good at violin. “Because of the piano, I could read music. And I’m a really good mimic, so I could watch TV footage of great concert violinists, watch how they sat, how they held the bow, and tried to just mimic that, over and over. One day it all fell into place, and I just kept doing it until I got it perfect.”

It turned out Joe Zee was good at other instruments too: “After conquering the violin, Mr. Zee taught himself the viola, then the cello, then the bass. ‘It was fascinating to be able to do every part of a quartet,’ he said.”

Joe Zee was not good at one thing: “I wasn’t so good at phys ed.”

But according to his column in this month’s Elle, it won’t be long before he’s good at that too.

“I am obsessed with dance. Hip-hop, ballet, ballroom–I don’t discriminate. I watch it, I support it, and  in the past few years, have attended classes regularly in an attempt to master it.”

His self-professed work ethic is impressive, but we suspect what matters now is how good Mr. Zee gets at promoting Elle on “All on the Line.” And with former Elle fashion director Nina Garcia now representing rival magazine Marie Claire on “Project Runway,” it’s no bunny hop!

Elle Creative Director Joe Zee Is Good at Everything, Says Joe Zee