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Friday, May 09, 2014

Public attention appears to be racheting up ... 

Call came from NPR this week requesting an interview -- to be conducted at radio station KPFA in Berkeley to be aired later in the week.  I believe the show's title is "Tell me more."  It will be a half-hour conversation -- a lot of air time to fill, but I do that in our theater twice each week, so maybe it's alright.  We'll see.

Only problem is that I really do need faces to look into when I'm speaking.  The few times I've done radio interviews have felt less than satisfactory from my end.

Long ago I was invited to be a panelist on a cultural show of local artists -- the subject of which was "how was your art motivated by your politics?"  I was sitting among about 5 other artists from a variety of disciplines, but none were known to me before we sat in our semi-circle all wired up and ready to go.

The 30-minute show came to an end, and I hadn't spoken a single
word!

I just couldn't figure out how the question applied to my songs -- many of which were surely political -- but since I'd not set out to make a political statement at all, I simply couldn't put my "motivation" into sentences ... the feelings that produced the songs had come from that place inside that describes those feelings profoundly, but they must have come from some emotional place that defied any attempt to analyze them.   Maybe if I'd been able to say those lyrics, I wouldn't have needed to sing them. I might have found a way to participate in the panel, but the conversational form in which that could happen just wasn't this one.

Another time I was serving on a panel with the other 3 panelists in a studio across the bay in San Francisco and I was sitting alone at a telephone in our offices in the East Bay.  I just didn't feel involved in their conversation at all, and was too polite to interrupt.

Yesterday the producer spoke with me from NPR's Washington studio, as a preliminary to next Wednesday's actual taping.  We spoke for about a half hour, and it felt more natural for some reason.  Maybe all that was needed was a kind of rehearsal and producer Kendra provided that.  The interviewer will be coming from a more informed place, with some idea of what questions to ask, and that will provide some security for me.

Maybe I'll invite one of my colleagues to come along and be in the room so that I can have a face to speak to -- and eyes that are alive and engaged.  Then maybe it will work ... .

I so much prefer speaking before a live audience.

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