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We are the imagination of ourselves

Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Dawn Corrigan

George Clooney and I Have a Fight

September 8th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan


A little homage to Paul Toth’s hilarious “Interview” series, which you can read here. (See 8 of the last 9 posts.)

George Clooney was at the coffee shop where I hang out. He stopped by my table after he got his latte.

“You and I are pretty much on the same team, you know,” he said.

“I beg your pardon?”


David Breithaupt

Make Your Characters Come Alive!

August 24th, 2009
by David Breithaupt


Never expect a good literary critique from a federal agent. I learned this the hard way, through a roundabout lesson via a maze of fear and loathing. These guys aren’t readers, they have other things on their mind. Seek your feedback elsewhere. They don’t hang in bookstores. (more…)

Jeremy Resnick

Success is for Losers

August 24th, 2009
by Jeremy Resnick


If one loves language, if one loves its power and beauty, isn’t it pretty stupid to spend all of one’s time reading writing that butchers it? That steamrolls it, shoots it a hundred times, hacks it to pieces with machetes, and then napalms it? And wouldn’t it destroy one’s spirit to repeatedly subject it to this torture?

By this torture, I mean this torture:

“Anyone who has seen or not seen a building can always enjoy looking at one.”

Or this:

“Our bodies enable us to get out of bed every morning, build ancient pyramids, or even watch our children play a game of soccer.”


Greg Boose

The Lending Library: A Stephen Elliott Experiment and Interview

July 20th, 2009
by Greg Boose


I don’t remember if I caught wind of it through Facebook or Twitter, in an email or if I just stumbled across a headline on the web, but when I heard that author Stephen Elliott was sending around a limited amount of advance copies of his new book, The Adderall Diaries, for free, I kept the information to myself and emailed him immediately.

He calls it the Lending Library.

Asks that people read his book in a week and then send it along. Just pay for the first-class postage and don’t mistreat the book for the next person.


Stefan Kiesbye

Interview — And Please Wear Professional Attire

July 15th, 2009
by Stefan Kiesbye


Really? I mean, do you need to have a TV and a radio blaring at the same time, in the same small office? A marketing firm, valuing face-to-face contact with clients. The face-to-face not working so well in that dingy suite of a nondescript office complex on Ventura Boulevard. Two blocks over, the L.A. River in its cemented bed exudes more charm. A central room with the young-yet-worn secretary, four offices beyond, short-and-slick-haired, in-their-early-to-mid-to-late-twenties male suits in those offices. With bad shoes. Run-down heels, worn out leather, cheap in the first place. (more…)

Paul A. Toth

Michael Jackson: The Final Interview

June 26th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


I wasn’t expecting my invitation to be accepted, but Michael Jackson said he  preferred being interviewed by an unknown writer whose mark on the world so far consisted of White-Out fluid from years before. I was happy to oblige and got straight to the point.

“How are you feeling about your upcoming tour?”

“What tour?”

“Your big comeback tour. You must know that a lot, even everything, is riding on this series of concerts.”

Michael’s gaze lazily trailed across the floor. “Don’t let the sun go down on me.” (more…)

James D. Irwin

For Want of a Better Title: An Interview With Scott Tournet

June 12th, 2009
by James D. Irwin


About a year ago I tried to start up my own classic rock blog, more akin to an online magazine. It was going to feature the best new rock bands, obscure and essential albums and interviews with anyone who I could get hold of.

Judas Priest turned me down, Golden Earring wanted to see a full edition first and I’m still waiting for Rick Wakeman to reply (no, seriously).

I came close with My Morning Jacket, I actually got in touch with their management and got a telephone interview, unfortunately time difference and conflicting schedules (more theirs if I’m honest) shot it down.

I did however get to interview Scott Tournet, the guitarist with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, a fantastic band I discovered whilst watching Good Morning America in a New York hotel room.

Originally it was going to be part of a feature of new bands looking back at the music that inspired them, but due to poor journalism skills, kind of turned into a mass of slightly unstructured questions.

And here’s the interview, from exactly twelve months ago…


Paul A. Toth

Interviewing Christian Slater

June 10th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


I’m sitting with Christian Slater in a well-known L.A. deli. Slater’s latest film, Dolan’s Crossing, is in wide release, in Europe, specifically Germany. I start by asking Slater the first of many delicate questions I have in mind, for I’ve been a bit beaten up during my last few interviews, and I begin this one in something of an ill temper. I think to ask his forgiveness in advance but then think twice about that and then stop thinking about it at all. (more…)

Laura Waldon

Praying, Witchcraft, and Bathtub Fiction; Or, My Seemingly Endless Job Search

June 4th, 2009
by Laura Waldon


You always hear that “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” But sometimes, he’s really fucking obvious.

Two years ago, I completed graduate school and continued working on a book that I drafted during my MFA program. I worked part-time at the University of New Hampshire, where I got my degree, and took on freelance writing gigs to pay my bills.

But when my “writing life” laxed and became my “cleaning the house and hanging out with grad school friends” life, my wife gave me a not-so-subtle nudge:

Get a job.


Paul A. Toth

Ben Stiller: The Interview

May 26th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


Ben Stiller is caustic without a cause, something like Napoleon had he served as a mere comedian/actor or, better put for his times, court jester. Stiller has the perfect life and exudes confidence to such an extent that one wonders whether confidence is a kind of systemic poison that serves as an irritant not to the person who swallowed the poison but to those within vicinity of that person. All of this is to say my interview started poorly.

“What do you want?” Stiller says. (more…)

Elizabeth Collins

Applying for a Teaching Job? Read this

May 22nd, 2009
by Elizabeth Collins


A letter sent to: Miss Emily Jones, 1982 Walnut Street, (Teenagers’ Apartment, Upstairs), Redford, PA 19077

 May 22, 2009

Dear Miss Jones,

I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my sincere congratulations. You have been selected as a finalist in the Peace and Love School’s English Teacher Search. We have been interviewing candidates for months, after advertising in approximately fourteen different independent school markets. We have held twenty meetings already, most of which lasted for at least three hours, and we, as a Committee, have been discussing the pros and cons of each candidate—repeatedly. You should feel proud that you have made it this far.

Each member of the Teacher Search Committee plays an important role in the selection process, whether it is as Presenter of Resumes, Prayer Leader, Collector of Recommendations, Facilitator, Cheerleader, Devil’s Advocate, or Person who Throws a Grenade into the Middle of Each Discussion and then stands back, enjoying the warmth of the flames.


Paul A. Toth

Nine Holes with Robin Williams

May 14th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


I’m with Robin Williams on the golf course, where he insists upon hitting drives with putters and putts with woods. Ostensibly, we’re going to discuss Williams’ new movie, Night at the Museum 2, but the conversation is a narcissist’s dream of a jazzy bebop drum roll. (more…)

Paul A. Toth

Interviewing the Elusive Harrison Ford

May 7th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


Staring into Harrison Ford’s eyes is like watching Star Wars while mildly intoxicated: One sees stars and something scrolling, words and thoughts that have nothing to do with today. I ask him about his film legacy and he replies, “Which one?”

“How about Star Wars?”

“That was a good movie.”

“And Indiana Jones?”

“Good movies. Those were good movies.”

I struggle with a follow-up. His eyes are piercing, though what they’re piercing is uncertain. We order drinks and he begins to loosen up.


Paul A. Toth

007 at 77

April 29th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


Sean Connery is not a tough guy. That’s what he wants me to believe in this coffee bar that’s so hip no one knows it exists. “If I thought you were screwing me in this interview,” he says, “I might bite your balls off. But never mind that. I’m no longer double-07. I’m double-7. I wear a girdle in the few action scenes that don’t involve stuntmen, like sitting down. I’m still growing as an actor and a man.” (more…)

Paul A. Toth

Lunch with Janeane Garofalo

April 23rd, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


Janeane Garofalo is almost 45 years old and wants you to know, “I don’t give a shit. I’ve mellowed.” We’re seated in one of L.A.’s most popular vegetarian restaurants, but I can’t give its location lest it becomes less popular. Nevertheless, Garofalo seems at ease with the diners trying to figure out just who she is, but she has an answer for that. “The Truth About Cats and Dogs,” she says. Why? “Because I don’t believe in having pets, but beyond that, it was a slam at me, a typical role. I was the dog. And the only reason the guy fell in love with me was my personality. Yeah, right. That’s a bunch of fucking bullshit. Never happens. You see me with Brad Pitt? No, I’m eating with an unknown writer and watching people trying to remember having watched The Truth About Cats and Dogs. And to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.” (more…)

Paul A. Toth

My Smokin’ Celebrity Interview with Sean Penn

April 13th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth


Since nearly every interview with Sean Penn immediately notes that he lights cigarettes with the regularity of old women on prune juice, Sean Penn lit his third cigarette before our interview had begun. He spent that time gazing at me as if I were some sort of fantastic form of quartz. He is, and will always be, one of Hollywood’s foremost geologists, digging up jewels of roles, which he then polishes like a rock tumbler. He lit a cigarette before finishing the other one and smoked the two simultaneously. Soon, he was smoking fifteen cigarettes at the same time. He put on his sunglasses, took them off, and put them on again. It’s a useless actor’s ploy, and he was being ironic, I’m sure of it. (more…)

David Breithaupt

Killing Pain With Jerry Stahl - A Brief Interview

April 8th, 2009
by David Breithaupt


I kicked my last dope habit in federal prison and I can tell you, there’s nothing romantic about it. Whatever you might imagine the experience to be will probably not be far off the mark. Picture hellish monotony, cramps that never vanish, months of sleeplessness and of course, that special craving. Making art out of this experience is difficult. My own recollection of the episode is dank and foul. As Dante said of his Inferno, death is hardly more bitter. (more…)

Call Me In Ten Years

February 8th, 2009
by Alexander Maksik


After school we’d play two-hand touch on our front lawns.  These were years when the LAPD was cruising around handing out limited edition baseball cards to the neighborhood kids and we were as safe in the streets as we were inside our own houses.  We spent every minute we could out there dreading the inevitable fall of darkness, being called to dinner, to our homework, to our beds.

When my parents went out they’d hire one of my father’s students to look after me. She’d cook me dinner and make me go to sleep on time.

One evening I was standing with my babysitter in front of our house in the soft dusk when a car came tearing around the corner and screeched to a stop.


Rob Bloom

A Story About Giant Russians, Mirrored Walls, and Self Tanner

February 4th, 2009
by Rob Bloom


The story you are about to read is true. First, some background. A few years ago, I made my living exclusively as a freelance writer. During this time, I wrote for a variety of clients—from Time Warner who owns everything to a printing company in Blue Ridge, Georgia that didn’t even own a telephone (amazingly, they were the only client I’ve ever had that paid in full and on time). Anyway, the hardest part of being a freelance writer—other than trying to cope with the constant soul-destroying anxiety of whether or not you’ll pay your rent that month—is landing an interview for a gig. And that’s where our story begins.



David Breithaupt

A Midwestern Koan - Reflections On A Possible Wisdom

January 30th, 2009
by David Breithaupt


Shit is gold. That’s the message I saw written in the snow on the State House lawn as I waited for my bus transfer. It was Monday, January 19th, the last day of W’s reign of dumbness and I was feeling jubilant.  The stinging cold did not hinder the usual crowd of stragglers, panhandlers and misfits. Even the Thalidomide Kid was in his usual spot across the street, bobbing to his interior beat next to his coffee can full of change. I was hoping for the bus to hurry and as I waited, I wondered what the anonymous author meant by his cryptic message. (more…)