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    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    More Questions And Answers

    Remember how I did the interview thing before? Here are more questions I’ve gotten. These are from Superman.

    1. If you had to eliminate either the entire police force in the United States or the entire U.S. Military, which would it be and why?

    The police force, because you could use the military as the police, but you couldn’t really use the police as the military. Plus, the firemen would thank you for it.

    2. Design a new form of currency. What's the style, amount, and who's on it?

    I’d create Government-issued and backed debit cards that you could fill up for free from your bank account. The amount is whatever you want to add to the card from your account. I’d require that banks assess no fees for loading the cards. I’d put a picture of the founding fathers on it. And a founding mother, too.

    3. You've just come up with a product idea that is guaranteed to make you a billionaire within a matter of months. The problem is that test markets show that your product is extremely offensive to about 25% of the general population, the other 75% say it's something that can't live without. It will cost you absolutely no money to produce and projections show that you could employ up to 10,000 people at the end of year one, paying each of them enough to be considered middle class. The 25% have already said that they would protest, but legally, you know they have no chance of successfully taking this product off the market. Do you produce it or not?

    It would depend on who was protesting. If I alienated the Christian right with the product, I wouldn’t care a bit going ahead. If I alienated a group I cared about, or was a member of, I wouldn’t be so cavalier about going ahead, although I still might. If what I was making would offend me personally, I wouldn’t do it.

    4. Same scenario, except this time you're unemployed (and have been for 6 months with no other income)and you can run the new company anonymously. Do you do it?

    I’d like to think the answer is exactly the same, but I don’t know. If I went ahead with it even though it offended me, you can bet I’d be doing big time donations to charity.

    I wonder if that’s why Gates gives so much?

    5. Which do you love more, pistachios or cashews? Mmmm...

    Neither? If forced, I would choose cashews.

    These are from Matt:

    1) What three changes in ICCT would you immediately implement if you had ultimate authority and knew no one would oppose your changes?

    A. Go to a four-show season. Saves time, saves money, saves volunteer effort.

    B. Change the process by which plays and directors are chosen. Rather than relying on directors to submit shows and then having the Play and Director Selection committee select the show and director as a package, have the committee first select a slate of 5-7 shows, then ask people to submit for those shows and only those shows. Then conduct the interview process to narrow the selection down to four shows and directors (and two alternate shows and directors) to present to the Board for approval. Play selection is one of the most important decisions the theatre makes – the Board needs more input into the process.

    C. Create three positions - managing director, artistic director, and technical director - with ultimate responsibility for the day to day management of the theatre. Give these people authority to make decisions for the theatre, reporting to the Board and the membership. Remove direct election of officers from the membership. Add a couple of additional board positions, then elect officers from the members of the Board. Give the directors two-year contracts (even if not paid positions) and give the Board approval over only a few of their decisions.

    2) Would you rather have a heart wrenching dramatic role or a fun loving singing role? Why?

    There are three parts I would be willing to kill someone to play.. (Well maybe not kill, but at least beat someone up to play.) Cyrano in, well, Cyrano, Harold Hill in Music Man, and Billy Flynn in Chicago. That’s one heart wrenching dramatic role, two fun loving singing roles, which would tend to indicate I’d rather do fun loving singing roles. On the other hand, musicals, especially big musicals, are a pain in the ass time-wasting venture. Great dramatic roles can often be found in small to medium-sized plays. I’ve decided I’m going to be picky and only be in musicals if it is a part I really, really, want. The same restriction does not apply to dramas, which would tend to indicate I’d rather do heart wrenching dramatic roles. On the third hand, I love singing on stage, getting that chance to show off. So let’s go with musicals before I change my mind again.

    3) (giving you back one of the questions you gave me) What would you like your sons to know about you? (Not necessarily right now, but when they are older.)

    That I considered my life a success even though we may not have had fame or fortune, even though we may have had struggles, and that they can do the same as long as they are willing to define success in terms that have meaning to them and not in terms that are imposed by others. That I am a personal of spiritual faith, if not of religious orthodoxy, and that while that is a more difficult path to tread, it is ultimately more rewarding. That two poems by Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening and The Road Not Taken, are essential to understanding who I am.

    4) You mentioned wishing you had studied film at NYU. What films have had a huge impact on your life?

    Mostly older films, films like Casablanca, A Night at the Opera, and Singing in the Rain. Films with heart, that touch you in some way, that don’t speak down to the audience. I don’t really go to movies to be enlightened – that’s why I read mostly nonfiction. I go to be entertained. If there is a message, and it’s presented in an entertaining manner, cool. But I don’t appreciate didactic films. So, the lesson I’ve derived from films is that it’s better to entertain first, educate second. Cause if you go the other way, you’ll lose too many people.

    5) What one question do you want me to ask and what is the answer?

    Q: Do you want me to tell you when I’m bluffing at poker? A: Yes.

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