The Three R’s of Interviewing

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Recently I was asked to write an article on how to interview celebrities.  And while I haven’t really achieved the heights that Mr Letterman above has, I like to think that I know what I’m talking about.  Mind you, there are exceptions to every rule.  This article can also be viewed over at Terra’s Independent Voice, so go check it out there too. She’s got a much better header image than I do.  With that, on with the show!

So you listen to the newest Nerdist podcast or watch the
newest episode of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and you think
that you can do what Hardwick and Lipton can do, but it’s
really not that easy.

There are three major things that you need to know before
sitting down to talk to your first celebrity. Now I’m sure
that you are asking yourself, who is this shlub telling me
how to interview folks? Well, I’ve been interviewing folks
since I was 15 years-old and I currently host the successful
“The Ron Purtee Show” over at ronpurtee.com

Now onto business

So you’ve gotten the big interview. The one you’ve waited for forever. Then you finally realize that after all the smoke and mirrors, you need to be able to pull this off and be professional at the same time.

1. RESEARCH: I have been known to break this rule on a few
occasions and you can tell that I did. I fumbled my words
and was totally uncomfortable. You have that big interview
with Brad Pitt, and talking to him about his newest
blockbuster is fine, but also throw in how much you enjoyed
his performance in TRUE ROMANCE. That will show him that you
know your stuff, even if you are faking it. You need to be
able to come up with some questions that will keep not just
your guest stimulated and interested but also the person
watching or listening.

2. RESPECT: You always hear folks saying that celebrities
are people too, and that you should just talk to them like
they are your buds. Well, you don’t want to get Ron Howard
down for an interview and then yammer on with him about how
hung over you were after that rager at the frat house where
you may or may not have done something you might regret. He
doesn’t care. And you make yourself look like a fool. You
can be friendly and make someone feel comfortable without
revealing every detail of how you wasted your parents
college fund.

3: REALITY: This is the most important one. You may have had
an amazing interview. The celebrity may have loved the
questions you asked and you may have put them at ease. You
may feel as though you have a connection between you and the
star of the show “SMALL WONDER” and that’s great. But they
are not your friends. They are not going to meet up with
you at the local tavern and have a couple of beers. You may
have conversations with them on Twitter, but that’s just it.
Conversations on Twitter. At the end of the day they will go
on with their Hollywood lifestyle, and you will be at home
editing what might be the best moment of your life.

I truly hope that these three R’s help you out with interviewing
a celebrity. Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to the local
tavern to have a few beers with the cast of “HOW I MET YOUR
MOTHER,” I really think we hit it off.

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