Monday, August 20, 2012

Ten Questions by Bernard Pivot

James Lipton closes each interview he does on Inside the Actor's Studio by asking ten questions of his subject. He's quite open about the fact that he lifted the questions from a French TV host named Bernard Pivot. The answers these questions evoke can be impressive, funny, even wistful, but always personal. The answers reveal so much about a person, yet they intrigue us by what they leave unanswered.

As a game I tried to answer the questions about myself and found that it took a lot of thinking to feel I was answering them deeply. Once I had my answers I thought there's no point in not sharing. Maybe if I post on Facebook, I can get my friends to share their answers?

What is your favorite word?
'Phoenix'. It’s a symbol I’ve held dear most of my life. It’s the idea that at the end of a phase in my life, or when things get really bad, something fantastic will come out of the ashes if I just keep going.

What is your least favorite word?
‘Perceived’. There’s too much concern about how things are perceived. People get so wrapped up in it that they don’t spend enough time thinking about what ‘is’.

What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]?
The alien, the other, the taboo, the unfamiliar, the untested, the unknown. These things run opposite to what’s popular and accepted; they mess up established order. Growth comes when we are challenged and when we reach beyond.

What turns you off?
People who embrace mediocrity and just sort of idle there.

What is your favorite curse word?
‘Jesusmotherfuckingchrist!’ Said like it’s one word. What a release!

What sound or noise do you love?
Whatever sounds are there when I am just silent with myself. The sounds we tend to tune out: the creaking of a tree, the distant echo of a train at night, a squirrel hopping by (yes, you can hear that!). These sounds make me feel very present in the moment, and that feeling refuels me on every level.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Ringtones. 99% of cell phone conversations I end up having to hear are clearly meaningless. It’s like people have them just to fill time. It makes me wonder if people are afraid of what they’d think or feel if they stopped ‘being busy’ for even a minute and spent that time quietly taking a good, hard look at their lives.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
An artist, specifically a painter.

What profession would you not like to do?
A politician.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I’d be disappointed if there was a god waiting there or if there were any pearly gates or if there was anything like that at all. If there’s anything beyond the grave, I’d hope it would be something that I can’t even imagine right now. Maybe some higher form of existence where I’m free to explore everything and learn everything.

1 comment:

Paul Doyle said...

What is your favorite word?
Douche, especially when applied to republicans.

What is your least favorite word?
???

What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]?
Emotionally: figuring out myself and others

What turns you off?
Someone politically/socially ignorant.

What is your favorite curse word?
d-bag

What sound or noise do you love?
Electronic music...it's centering to me. A running fan at night, centering.

What sound or noise do you hate?
crying baby

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Instead of being a bum I would like to be a poker bum.

What profession would you not like to do?
any corporate gig.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Right...