Last Friday I interviewed a guy called Jonathan Brand. He’s an actor who is currently involved in the Queensland Theatre Company production of Waiting For Godot, not to be confused with the international production of the same play now showing in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
I was fairly nervous about the whole thing because I’d never done a face-to-face interview before and I am only just getting used to interviewing people over the phone, but it went pretty well.
I arrived on time wearing smart-casual (tending towards casual) clothes, clutching my meagre notes and prepared questions in my hands. The media person for QTC met me at reception and showed me into their boardroom where she hooked me up with some cold water to sip on while I waited for Jonathan. He arrived a few minutes later. I was lucky, because Jonathan was immediately friendly and personable, and as an interviewer I felt safe in his hands (although I think it’s supposed to work the other way).
There was about a minute and a half of weirdness at the beginning of the interview as we both got used to the mini-cassette recorder whirring away, recording out words in front of us, but after that it flowed smoothly. Jonathan was generous and expansive in his answers. It was not difficult to get him to talk about every subject I asked him about, and he seemed genuinely interested in giving what he could to the interview. I tried to use the opportunity to talk to him about the production, Waiting For Godot, as well as the Brisbane theatre scene in general for a possible feature I’ve been thinking of doing, and thankfully I got enough material to use for both. I went off the script a few times, explored some different avenues of questioning, some which were fruitful, some which were dead-ends, but I think that might be part-and-parcel of the interview process.
We talked for about twenty minutes and by the end I was exhausted from just listening so intently. In the the last five minutes I think that interview fatigue may have set in for both of us, my questions became less focussed and I think as a result his answers became less focussed as well. I think by that time he’d said all he could about the subject, I’d asked all I could, and the last few minutes were just sort of marking time. This is something I’ll definitely have to watch in the future.
After we’d tied off the interview, shaken hands etc, I went home and transposed it all onto the computer, which took an unbearable amount of time, energy and concentration, all bundled up with the usual dismay at hearing your own voice on tape.
But I was proud of what I’d got: a solid, professional interview with an accomplished actor.
And a free glass of water.