About trailerpilot

I’ve been asked repeatedly from whence the name trailerpilot comes and I suppose an “about” tab is the place where that information belongs.

I began using trailerpilot as a stage name for my work in choreography around 2003. I would tell people that not all my work would be credited to trailerpilot, but that all trailerpilot pieces would share certain attributes. Chief among them would be my willingness to use readily identifiable stylistic hallmarks as efficient shorthand for the acknowledgment of influences and to honor the impossibility, in my view, to create wholly original work in dance.

trailerpilot was chosen because it summarized this approach. A pilot is a driver, a source of information, a trailblazer, a beginning, a seed. A trailer is devoid of agency, something that relies upon something else to give it motion and direction, to move it through space. Thus, a trailer pilot is the thing that drives that which is pulled. It confesses to the generative and derivative aspects of all creative endeavors.

Additionally, as a compound word, it has nice visual rhythms. I’m not wild about how it sounds but that’s fine in the online world. I look at it all day but rarely need to say it aloud.

I also discovered it’s an obscure bit of kiln hardware.

It never took off as a stage name. Choreographers don’t have stage names and it was difficult keeping people from capitalizing it. Without ceremony, I phased it out.

Planning ahead, however, I had long since registered this domain, as well as “trailerpilot” as a username on multiple sites. Late in 2008, I decided to start blogging about dance and my other interests, which include architecture and design, food, film, music, technology, travel, visual art, queer culture and nightlife. Voici: trailerpilot: dot com and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. (I also have a Pinterest page where I collect followers but, so far, have pinned nothing.) Write me anytime at trailerpilot at gmail dot com.

Thanks for reading.

Zachary Whittenburg
Chicago, Illinois



  1. i am consistently stunned and delighted by the overlapping and intertwining word worlds of incarnate, embodied spiritual growth and dance

  2. Interesting evolution. I always enjoy reading the story behind a name, and this one is particularly interesting. Great blog.

  3. Just checking in and brushing up 😉

  4. I enjoyed reading this explanation. I thought the “trailer” referred to in your name was a film trailer, i.e. a glimpse at what’s to come. Thus, you were driving what’s coming forward. Not what you meant, but also an interesting proposition.

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