My first interview. It was like an awkward first date where the other person is asking all kinds of questions and I am trying to be intriguing and honest at the same time and the whole time, I’m sure that somewhere, in the back of her head, she’s thinking, “Man, what a dork.”
I learned a couple of things. One. It is very hard to be witty and brilliant without human interaction. You would think a writer would be equipped to handle this, but I found the format of answering paper questions to be difficult and stifling. I think I would be better off with a live interview, but I’m not sure of that because of lesson number two…
This shit is going to be out there forever. I realized as I was rereading this interview today that whatever I said is still going to be there tomorrow. And the next day. And forever after. It makes me wonder about big time celebrities who spout political opinions or strong feelings about toilet paper or breast feeding and forever after, those opinions and statements are out there for anyone who has the persistence and interest to find it.
I think I need someone like a football coach to go over every question with me afterward and completely break it down play by play. “Why did you answer this question like this?” “Was that supposed to be funny?” We could have a big chalkboard and a pointer and I could sit there, earnestly taking notes and trying to remember all of it so that next time I can do better.
Or maybe I should get a “get out of jail free” card. I could go back and scratch the answers that I didn’t really like. Did I really say that I want to drink wine in bed? I HATE WINE! Am I going to be sorry for making loving reference to that particular woman someday? Should I have mentioned reading chick lit? Why did I say I wear cotton underwear? Does anyone really care that I was listening to light hits of the 70s when I wrote Davey and Danny’s first love scene? Why didn’t I follow my friend Wen’s advice and just write “Intelligent. Articulate. Charming. Sexy. Looking?”
Be yourself may be some of the crappiest advice my mother ever gave me. I don’t want to be myself. I want to be brilliant and adorable and have people falling all over themselves to love me and shower me with affection… or maybe I just want them all to buy my books.
At any rate, the first appearance has been conquered. And now the first paper interview has been conquered. Maybe the next time, I won’t feel the need to pick myself to pieces after.