There’s this whole interview meme going around the blogs I visit. The blogger gets questions from someone else, posts the answers on their blog, and then opens it up to others to ask for questions. (The rules are posted at the bottom of the post.) I asked for questions from both Gothmog and Immunegirl. The first set are from Goth:
1. What theater production (that you were directly involved in) was the most enjoyable experience for you, and why?
I’d say it was playing Mr. Peachum in a production of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. Not because of the production as a whole. Oh no. On that production I first learned of Greenman’s “They Won’t Hate Me Theory”. Read the link for the whole thing, but in short the theory says that when the production is going poorly, you can either not care or try your hardest so that even if the audience hates everyone else, they won’t hate you. Perhaps you’ve never considered it before, perhaps you have and just didn’t do so consciously. But you can’t imagine how much audiences like having someone or something to like in a production that otherwise bites.
(This same production had one of the best review lines I’ve ever seen. The man who played the street singer was gay, flamboyantly gay. A reviewer said he was “Full of warm spunk.” Our reaction? “Well of course he is.”)
So no, not because of the greatest of the production. Because of the greatness of the part. Peachum is a truly villainous character who justifies his villainy as being the same thing the wealthy are doing. It’s a big, juicy part, full of great lines. He has four great songs – two solos, a duet, and a trio, as well as a key part in another ensemble. It was a great chance to show a lot of range, range people who didn’t see the production forget I have. I loved it, and would love to do it again.
And yes, they didn’t hate me.
2. You're ahead of your time in your belief that...
The gay rights battles in this country will eventually be looked at as much briefer, and much less bloody, than similar battles over racial and sexual equal rights. Indeed, I think by the time we hit 2020 the vast majority will have no objection to gay marriage, and that most people will look back and think “What? Were we high?”
3. What's your biggest regret from your youth?
That I chose the University of Iowa over New York University. Usually, it’s the small choices in life that have the biggest effect. You make a small decision here, a small decision there, and another and another and eventually you find yourself on a vastly different path. But that there was a huge decision. I can’t imagine what I would be if I had gone to NYU to study film instead of Iowa to study journalism.
4. Who had the most influence in the development of your sense of humor?
My father. As much as I might sometimes think it comes from other places, he had this semi-twisted totally off-kilter sense of humor that is the basis of mine. You can see the same sense of humor in my older and younger sisters.
5. Someone saw you on the street this morning and said "That was you?" What did you do to earn this response?
I would assume the Royal Flush Plumbing commercial where I play the father desperate to get into the bathroom his teenage daughter is using started airing again.
These are from Immunegirl:
1. What is the one thing you know the most about?
Me. I’ve been studying me for almost 45 years now. I’m probably the world’s expert.
2. Which is the one TV character that you would most like to be?
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
3. If you had a million dollars to donate to charity(ies), where would it go?
Easy. $600,000 to the Iowa City Community Theatre, $300,000 to Dreamwell Theatre, and $100,000 to the scholarship fund in my father’s name at my high school.
4. What is the best advice you've ever received?
I keep coming back to my father, but there you have it. Just before I started college he took me aside and said to me:
“There’s a lot of temptations out there. The trick is to know which ones to give into and which ones to avoid. I think we’ve done a good enough job of raising you that you will do well at that.”
Note that it wasn’t “avoid this” or “avoid that”. It was “make wise choices” and then putting his faith in me that I could.
5. If you had an unlimited budget and could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Well, I’ve never been to me.
Wait, that contradicts what I said above. So instead, I’d learn how to sail, buy a good, sturdy boat, and set sail around the world. No particular destinations, no particular agenda. Just sailing towards whatever I find. As an alternative, London.
And now the rules for those of you interested in being interviewed:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions of my choosing.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. If you don't have a blog, you can post your responses in my comments section.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post, following the same rules.