Do You Have Angst?: June 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

That Escalated Quickly…

Being asked for an interview is one of the highest forms of flattery. For a brief moment, it makes you feel like someone wants to hear what you have to say. Besides being an ego-driven platform, it’s also a great way to promote what you are doing. People who watch or read your interview get an idea of who you are; it’s a great medium to make a connection with your audience or frighten them away forever.

In April I received an invitation from Richy Emmans to participate in an interview for an online show he was creating. He hadn’t made any shows yet, but what he wanted to do sounded fun, like a late night talk show. His plan was to interview various guests he had met online while interjecting his own humor. I liked the idea, so I agreed.

Richy conducted the interview several weeks later, and I genuinely enjoyed the conversation, though, at times, it felt like the conversation drifted. Richy brought up marriage and sex a little more often than even I would have. I didn’t really mind, but if you’ve read my fantasy novels, you know that there isn’t any sex in them. (I don’t have an issue with discussing sex, or even writing about it, but I’ve never found an appropriate place for it in my books, so I didn’t always understand why the discussion went that way.) I did my best to steer the conversation back to writing and mid-life crisis. After an hour and a half, he had more than a few sound bites to work with.

Another two weeks passed and I received a direct message on Twitter stating that the video was up and had been posted to You Tube. I clicked the link that brought me to a video called “Sex and Angst”. I was surprised at the title, and even more surprised with some of the contents. Roughly, (whew, and some of it was rough) the video was broken into six segments. It started with a monologue by Richy about how boring it is to have sex with your wife. To say my jaw dropped is an understatement, and I kept my fingers crossed that my wife hadn’t seen it yet! In between sections of interview, he had more monologue that we’ll just call edgy. My interview, between the monologue sections, was split between discussing Angst and those awkward conversations about sex.

I was at a loss, so shared it with friends. Those my age said, “That dude will do some damage. yeeeeouch…. I actually like the interview, it's too bad because during the interview he had good questions and was receptive.”  I asked some younger friends, who also enjoy raunchy humor, and received the same response

Richy had thoughtfully asked for feedback. Rather than a knee-jerk reaction, I tried to provide what I feel many artists actually want – a critique. I sent him a polite email, sharing concerns my friends had and what my expectations originally were. I highlighted those parts of the interview that I liked, and pointed out that this was an opportunity to make jokes about getting older! It’s not that the other stuff wasn’t funny, it just didn’t fit the subject matter – so I mentioned that. I did ask him to take it down, and if he was going to rework it I requested to see the end result before releasing it into the wild.

Richy did take down the show, and within a few days’ time, replaced it with an interview that is a lot of fun. Not only does it highlight more about my writing, but the new monologues he included within the interview are great!

There are a few things I walked away with from this. For future interviews, I’ll do a little more homework about the host, the medium, and the target audience. While Richy didn’t have any episodes posted yet, I could have asked more questions about his process and I could have asked to see it privately before release. Along those same lines, I emailed this blog post for his review before sharing it publicly.

The other has to do with critiques and feedback. Richy was awesome about the feedback I provided; it’s the same feedback I’m always looking for. I’ve blogged about reviews before, but there are a lot of craptacular ones out there. There is a huge difference between, “It’s the dumbest book I’ve ever read” and, “The first book was funnier” or, “Needs more character development”. (Those have been critiques directed to me, and I’m very receptive to the good suggestions.)

My sincere thanks to Richy, both for the interview, and for graciously taking my suggestions. Be sure to check out all of his shows here (fair warning, some of these are NSFW)

And please watch the interview Midlife Angst

The Richy Show - Episode 2 - Midlife Angst by therichyshow