Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Lost Hollywood Interview


Over two years ago, I did an interview in Los Angeles at a Hollywood hotel. It was the first time I was asked to do a video interview, and I was excited about it.

I drove up from San Diego and somehow managed to get a great parking space in back of the place. I cinched up my tie and looked for my contact person in the lobby. 

She took several of us up to a hotel suite set up as a makeshift studio. One part of of the suite was set up with the camera man and the interviewer; the other part was set up as a waiting area (green room) with snacks and drinks and a half dozen authors.

One of the authors who was also a booking agent was holding court when I arrived. Her project was about Spiritual Cleansing or something like that. She sucked all of the oxygen out of the room until it was time for her interview. 

Then there was the math professor from Cal Poly who was promoting a college textbook he had written. He launched into a discussion of chaos theory.

One by one, the others did their interviews in the other room and were led out by that exit. Finally, it was just me and a solidly-built, blonde, thirty-something woman waiting for our turn. 

"Who are you? She asked me.

"Oh, I'm Joe Nobody."

She laughed. "Yeah, I know what you mean. What's your book about?"

I gave her the Reader's Digest version of my novel, Zug Island: A Detroit Riot Novel, and my business card.

"Tell me about your book," I said.

"It's about my experiences in ladies' roller derby."

"Fascinating."

That helped explain her general muscle tone and solid build. She went on to say that she appeared in the feature film, Whip It, with Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, and Drew Barrymore. Her name was Ari Graynor.

Now it was her turn to leave and be interviewed. I was alone.

Finally! Mine must have been the last shoot of the day. I settled into the chair and prepared to talk about my novel when the interviewer asked me about converting a novel into a stage play. 

What? He was either tired, unprepared, or had me mixed up with someone else. Anyway, I made the best of it. "That's show business," I thought.

I left feeling like I had wasted my time. When the producers didn't get back with me, I felt that the interview had gone badly, so I didn't follow up. Then today, it appeared in my gmail with an apology for letting it slip through the cracks. For what it's worth, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7rZBXZly8A