“Sure you can interview me for your blog,” answers Associate Producer Nathan, as he lurks in the hallway next to my cubicle. He wears a navy blue button up shirt and grey pants. Adorning his feet are white slip-ons. He is tall and slender, similar to a string bean. His hair is brown and beautiful. I type up a set of questions and drop them on his desk. A self-portrait is tacked onto the wall.
b: How are you today?
n: Can’t complain, although it’s pretty hot in New York right now, and the smoothie I got with lunch melted before I even got it back to the office, so that kind of bummed me out. Luke warm smoothies are gross. Although I guess if that’s the worst thing that happens to me today I should consider myself lucky.
b: I’m sorry to hear about your smoothie; but it does seem like you have a good perspective on life. [silence]
b: So, uh, where are you from?
n: I was born at a very young age in the town of Little Rock, Arkansas, aka “Little Hard Rock”. [It is best known for being] the place where Bill Clinton is from. It’s actually not a bad place, ask [co-workers] EJ or Caroline, they’ve been to my house and have seen the sights.
b: Can I come see your house one day?
n: Um. [pause] I don’t think so.
b: Did Bill Clinton ever hold you as a baby?
n: Of course. We all got held by Bill.
b: You say “we all”…Who are you referring to?
n: Me and the other babies in Gymboree.
b: Explain what your job is.
n: Do you ever watch TV?
n: You know the things that come on in the middle of your program?
b: You mean commercials?
n: [Yes]. I make those. I’ll write up an idea or some voice over copy, pass along whatever footage we have on hand to the editor, give them some directions and act like I know what I’m talking about, and then BOOM, a day or so later you have a commercial that hopefully people won’t skip over at their leisure using DVR.
b: I always skip commercials with my DVR.
n: You really shouldn’t do that. [Nate combs back his hair with his right hand]
b: Explain any memory from your childhood.
n: I didn’t have a childhood… Sorry, I just slipped into my Michael Jackson impression there for a second.
b: Don’t be sorry.
n: Um, speaking of MJ, the one cool album my parents had on vinyl back in the day was “Thriller” and I rocked out to that, almost on a daily basis. Some good memories there. Either “Thriller” or the soundtrack from “Cats”, which they also on vinyl. My musical tastes are based entirely on a foundation of those two albums.
b: Name one nightmare you had at any point in your life when you were sleeping.
n: It’s not really a nightmare, but I do get that falling sensation a lot. What’s it called? Hypnic jerks?
b: That sounds right.
n: Do you ever get these?
b: I do.
n: I think I have a problem because it happens at least once every other night and it never ceases to freak me out. What if hypnic jerks happened to you at regular intervals during the day? Like you’re sitting at your desk and all of a sudden the floor starts to give out from under you, but not really because it’s all in your head? That’d be crazy.
b: That would be crazy. You should see a doctor.
b: Have you ever seen the television show ER? If so, who is your favorite character? If you haven’t seen it, try to name any of the characters on the show. It will impress me.
n: I used to watch ER religiously, probably up until 1999 or 2000, or whenever Anthony Edwards (Dr. Green) and Eric Lasalle (Dr, Benton) left the show, at which point I checked out.
b: I’m impressed.
n: I couldn’t name one cast member from the last 10 seasons. Hard to name a favorite, although I did like Dr. Benton a lot, that moment in the opening credits where he does his fist punch thing is a pretty iconic moment of 90’s television, at least to me.
b: Met too! I could actually see you being a character on ER.
n: Like a George Clooney type?
b: No. More like a “Jerry the Receptionist” type.
b: Are you a fan of country music?
n: I used to be. Being from Arkansas (see above) you’re kind of required to listen to a good amount of country music at some point in your life. I had a bunch of Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Brooks n Dunn, and Billy Ray Cyrus tapes. I think I grew out of it in Jr, High when everyone was listening to Korn and Soggy Cookie and all these really agro-rap-rock bands. I probably would have gotten the shit kicked out of me had I admitted to liking Garth Brooks to some of my “friends.”
b: The way you put “friends” in quotes, makes me think you were hanging out with the wrong crowd.
n: [You could say that.] Anyways, I’ll stand by Garth today, he had some good songs that are hard to deny, even to the country music haters. There’s a reason why he’s out-sold the Beatles…
b: I think Martina McBride sold out to the Beatles too.
n: No. That’s not true.
b: What is your drink of choice if you were to go to a bar?
n: I do most of drinking at home, alone, and around christmas time, just like the movie.
n: But it depends on the bar and the season, usually bourbon, up, in the winter, and will switch over to gin gimlet on the rocks in the warmer months. Beer is year round, love a good pint of Yuengling or anything on the dark-lager side of the spectrum.
b: I like dark-lagers too. I don’t know what a gin gimlet is. But don’t worry I’ll google it.
n: I’m not worried.
b: Do you believe in aliens?
n: If you think about the sheer probability of the chance for other life forms existing in the universe, the hundreds of billions of planets inside the hundreds of billions of galazies, so probably something like a hundred billion-billion planets altogether… even if only .000001% of those had the potential to or in fact do support life, that’s still a lot. Earth can’t be THAT special. Whether there are advanced or intelligent life forms on those planets is another matter entirely, but you weren’t specific in your question, so you’re getting the long-super rationalized and scientific answer. In short, yes, I do believe life exists outside our planet, however, unless life on those planets has evolved incredibly faster than ours, the chances of us or them ever being able to cross the immense depths of space to make contact is probably slim to none, so we may never know for sure.
b: I was thinking more along the lines of Alf or Jar Jar Binks.
b: Summer or winter?
n: Winter. That may sound crazy
b: It does.
n: But I grew up in Arkansas and Texas where stepping outside into 100+ degree temps and high humidity is enough to make you puke on site. You can always put on more clothes in winter, you can’t get any naked-er during summer…
b: That’s debatable.
b: Going to the movies? Or Watching television?
n: Movies. Always.
b: Crab or lobster?
n: Lobster, if only because it’s more expensive.
b: Don’t expect me to take you on a date.
n: I don’t.
b: Call or text?
n: Depends on the situation, but I definitely text people a lot more frequently than I call them, so text, I guess. I’m just not a fan of typing with my thumbs.
b: Art class or science?
n: These are a pretty big generalizations, “art” and “science.” Some might argue they’re one in the same. Or are you asking about actual classes, like in high school? I’d say art class, because lets be honest, they’re easy A’s and the teachers are usually a lot more attractive.
b: Nathan, you dog!
b: Science of math?
n: Science OR math? Classes?
b: Ok, I get it. I need to specify my questions better.
n: Again, I don’t think you can have one without the other, but in school I hated trig and calculus, loved biology and physical sciences, although I hated chemistry because it’s really just another math class going around masquerading as science.
b: The word “masquerading” reminds me of the play Phantom of the Opera.
b: Pancake or waffle?
n: Pancakes, although I think Mitch Hedberg had a good point when he observed that pancakes are always really exciting at first, but by the end you’re f****ng sick of them. And waffles are just like pancakes, but with a syrup trap, but personally I prefer my syrup free-range.
b: I had to bleep out the curse you just typed because I don’t curse in my blog.
Well there you have it folks. My interview with Nathan. Thank you Nate for being open-minded and letting me exploit you. [I will be selling portraits of Nate for $2.99 per]
This August, Nathan will be featured in the local Philharmonic Flute Show. Check it out!