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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Wonderland Burlesque's 'The Big Interview' Quiz - Part One

Wonderland Burlesque's 
'The Big Interview' Quiz
Part One

Imagine if you were a television, radio or newspaper reporter and it was your job to conduct interviews with people you either admire intensely or from whom you would like to demand answers.

That's the fantasy that's to fuel today's quiz. We'll tackle a category for a potential interview. I want to know whom you would like to interview, and just as importantly, what is it you want to know. What's the burning issue? What's that one question you're dying to get the answer to?

Explain your reasons for picking the individual. What is it about them that intrigues you?

Oh, and you should approach this as if - they have to answer the questions you ask them! They have no choice. They have to answer and answer honestly. And they can't walk out on you.

This one had so many applicable categories that I actually had to split it into three parts. Today, we'll focus on certain aspects of the arts. Next week? We'll revisit this quiz and complete the arts, and then, the following week, move onto other facets of life.

Let's begin! Here are the first dozen...

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1/ A Female Singer

Oh, I toyed with a few. There are some deep secrets in Janet's universe that deserve disclosure. And talking to Streisand would be like talking to a Sphinx. I'd royally piss of Bette - she'd go for my throat. And I'd want to do nothing but flatter Diana Ross. Cher? We'd have the best damn time. She's already such an open book, I can't imagine learning more. 

So, that leaves Madge. 

And while I would do my best to convince her that I am a total fan and on her side and understand what she deals with... 

Preventing her from being defensive? Not likely.

I don't understand her PR strategy - you know, the one where she goes out of her way to alienate even her hardcore fans, which, while many, are all she has left these days. 

Her lack of humility, her tone deafness, her overwhelming vanity, her sense of entitlement, her unfocused anger, her lack of empathy, her random acting out, her hatred of hydrangeas, her inability to admit she's wrong, her many poor choices...

I want answers. What's going on? 

When did you choose to become a monster?

I still adore her. Will buy anything she burps out. She's incredibly clever and gifted, having made the most of what she has to work with. And she's always been good to the gay community. A warrior when it came to sexually liberating the world. 

She's built an incredible, one-of-a-kind legacy. 

Why she appears bent on destroying it is beyond my comprehension. 

I think Sixpence and I need to do an intervention.

2/ A Male Singer

George Michael

I want to know why he chose the creative battles he chose. I also want to know, given the battles he chose, why he would also choose to numb himself so? If one chooses to battle, then why disarm themselves in such a fashion? By doing so, aren't you destroying the very thing you're attempting to free?

There are a number of artists who chipped away at the big corporate machine that was the music industry. George did more than most, because he tore away from them at the height of his career. We have a new, more independent world of music thanks to his kind of activism. 

What did it cost him? Did he grow battle weary? Bitter? Apathetic?

3/ A Musician or Conductor

Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter springs to mind. Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Streisand, Ronstadt, Mitchell, Summer, Springfield, Simon... on and on. It boggles the mind. Such a talent, such a distinctive sound.

But I am going with Nelson Riddle. 

I want the dirt. On all those vocalists. I want stories. Gossip. The ones he treasures. The also-rans. The ones that got away. The ones he said no to. The singers who drove him nuts.

And the songwriters. His first impressions. The songs he hated. The songs he took a pass on. Were there lean years? 
4/ A Music Producer

Quincy Jones is my first choice, but you can't trust anything he says these days. 

I would love to interview Jim Steinman or Phil Spector, but they both creep me the hell out. I admire their talent, but Spector is a nightmare of a person and Steinman simply looks like one. 

Todd Rundgren. 

Songwriter, singer, musician, band member, inventor, innovator, producer. He's worn many hats and worked with such a variety of artists (Sean Cassidy, New York Dolls, Meatloaf, Patti Smith, The Tom Robinson Band). 

Perhaps he can explain exactly what he was thinking when he let Grand Funk record The Loco-motion and then mastered it to sound like that?

5/ A Songwriter

I would like to talk to Bruce Roberts. Although, I suspect, he would not like to talk to me. 

I get a sense that he is a very private person. His lack of a presence on social media and the internet causes me to think he has permanently stepped away from the business. Which he could. He'd have an incredible income based on his catalog of songs as recorded by others. 

Trust me, you've heard his work, whether you realize it or not. He was incredibly prolific and well-connected. A frequent songwriting partner of his was Donna Summer. Another, Carole Bayer Sager. 

I truly admire his craftsmanship. In my estimation, he has written several perfect songs and has co-written with some of the very best in the business (back in the 1970's and 1980's). I have a lot of questions for him, particularly about his songwriting partnerships and why they came to an end. 

There is one song of his that I'd love to ask him about, mainly because I think it has the most to say about who he is: I'd Rather Be Alone. I'd like to know his state of mind and the state of the world at the time when he wrote it (he wrote it by himself). It's achingly beautiful and one of the most touching and fully-realized songs I have ever heard.

Had that been the only thing he ever wrote, I would still consider him one of the world's finest songwriters.

6/ A Poet

This was difficult. Four sprang to mind. Emily Dickenson, Sylvia Plath, Stevie Smith, and Edgar Allen Poe. 

I'm going with Stevie. 

I want to know what makes her laugh. What does she take joy in? What brings a smile to her face?

To create such beautiful images with words, tragic though many of them may be, what brought light to her heart? What made her dance? 

Surely it couldn't have all been one long death march to the grave. 

7/ A Novelist

Again. Difficult to chose one. Sue Miller, Dominick Dunne, and Fay Weldon all intrigue me.

I am going with Fay Weldon. Her sense of humor is so dark. She seems to have mastered the art of the ironic.

She has such an odd sensitivity and point of view, with an ability to place her finger on the faintest of pulses. What does she attribute such sensibilities to? What can she point to in her development as a human being that created the lens through which she views life?

A bit much to ask, but then... she's the one tasked with doing all the talking.

8/ A Painter or Sculptor

While I could imagine myself torturing Andy Warhol, peppering him with questions that would make him wince and whither, I think I will look elsewhere. 

Keith Haring. 

I look at photos of him and want to give him a hug. He always looked like he needed to be held or would, at least, appreciate it. 

I have no idea who he really was. He's more than the images he left us. He's more than the celebrated names we associate him with. He's more than the stories that have been shared about him. 

I want to hear about his personal life from his perspective. What he liked, sexually. 

He strikes me as someone who is very secretive. 

And I wonder, had he lived, what type of work would he be doing today. 

9/ A Cartoonist or Illustrator

Having posted as much as I have about vintage gay pulp fiction, both Robert Bonfils and Carl Corley spring to mind. The work of Alberto Argos also interests me. 

But I am going with Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family

His is an interesting story and he's an interesting individual. I love dark comedy... and this man seems to have lived it. Did you know his second wife stole all the television and film rights to his characters? 

Forget the kitschy television series, the live feature-length films, the animated stuff. Go back to the originals. If I smoked? I would describe them like opening a box of the very best cigars. The images are beautiful, and the subtext frequently simply hangs there... like a noose.

10/ A Photographer

You'd think I'd go with Mapplethorpe, but he makes me sad. In a German way. It is too heavy.

Helmut Newton springs to mind. 

His idea of what is feminine strikes me like a leather-gloved hand across my face. 

The images are riveting. His POV - singular. What's behind that? What childhood circumstances created and fed him? I want to know all about all his pervy fetishes, because... if there is a man with pervy fetishes? 

It is he. 

11/ An Architect

Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright both spring to mind. I adore the former, but the latter has the juicer story.

Frank Lloyd is the unluckiest luckiest man ever. His personal life reads like a novel by Dominick Dunne (and why Dunne hasn't fictionalized it rather amazes me.) It would also make a wonderful movie with DiCaprio as the architect. Although, come to think of it, he's a little long in the tooth.

Read up on the story of the Tragedy at Taliesin and his rather twisted fate.

In 2011, it was announced that director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Crimes Of The Heart, Tender Mercies) would be tackling a Frank Lloyd Wright biopic, titled TaliesinI can only imagine Emma Stone as the electric Mamah Cheney and a cold-as-ice Scarlett Johansson as Kitty Wright, who only grants her husband a divorce once the woman he left her for is dead.

Someone? Get on that.

12/ A Fashion Designer

Christian Dior. 

The 'New Look' is simply my all-time favorite fashion era. The lines are stunning. The fabrics possess a sheen and shape unequalled. The colors? A bit drab, but I rather enjoy them. I realize that they were a reflection of the times - a rather button-down conservative clap trap, but that iconic look? It deserves a big comeback and to be associated with an era that doesn't totally suck all the oxygen out of the room.

What would I ask him? To show me his favorite designs. It would be a puff piece. A retrospective. A valentine to a fashion great.

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And that's enough of me. Your turn! Leave your answers in the comments section or post on your blog and leave a link here. Let me know what you're dying to learn about your favorites. 

Next week, we'll finish up with the arts; another dozen categories.

Until then.

Thanks for reading and contributing!

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My Camera Never Lies - Bucks Fizz

Photographic - Depeche Mode


Mistress Maddie said...

Oh....I loved your answers. I will have to give this some thought and return. I am not sure Id make a good reporter and interview the famous, because 90% of the time I don't care to know much about the famous. hMMMM...I will sit and stew and return.....

whkattk said...

1. It would have to be Babs. I don't think she's as mean and nasty and cold as she's made out to be. In fact, I know she's not. I'd love to just sit and talk rather than interrogate.
2. Probably Elton John. How did he manage to come out so thoroughly and maintain his status?
3. Oooo. I like your answer.
4. Barry Gibb. I want to know how he managed to get Babs to do that first album with all the music pre-recorded. So out of her wheelhouse but he talked her into a stellar set.
5. Carol King. She's been so prolific over her lifetime. How tough is it to sell something now. Or, Janis Ian - she's made it, lost it, made it, lost it, made it and lost it again. Why, for God's sake?
6. Maya Angelou. What was it like trying to buck the entitled white industry? Did she ever want to give up?
7. Too difficult to choose. King? No, too easy. Maybe Koontz... I'd want to know why in the workd he has to fuck up every damn book he writes by including a kid and a dog.
8. Any artist who isn't famous but still thinks their worl should garner 5 or 6 figures.
9. Berk Breathed. Yep. He cracks me up. Why did he give up the daily distribution?
10. Dan Skinner. His work has always been beautiful and yet he...quit. Why? What killed his creativity?
11. No clue.
12. Versace. Why did he never design a wedding gown? Kenneth his work. How does he manage to keep his genius from ruining his life like so may other designers?

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

OMG Upton!
This is so good. I'd do a post with this just for the visuals, but let's see:

I'd like to interview Madge. Seriously. I think she's fascinating and I'd love to dig and see if she's always MADONNA.
In the same vein, I'd like to interview Prince. When I recover the ability to speak, that is.
A musician? YoYo Ma. I went to hear him play and it was heaven. I'd ask the tea on some other musicians, too. I'm sure he's got the goods.
I'd like to interview Mark Ronson. I want to know everything about Amy Winehouse. Yes, I know. But I don't care. Also, I think he's very attractive. Quincy Jones is a RIOT. He blasted the Beatles and talked about gay men in the biz. Love it.
I think I'd love to interview Carole King. She's fab.
Sylvia Plath. I was just talking to one of my friends about her. She botched her first suicide attempt and went on to be very successful. Also, I empathize.
A novelist? I don't know... I'm torn between James Baldwin and Tennessee Williams. I like them queer.
A painter: Bacon. Because there was A LOT there.
A cartoonist: Bill Watterson. I love Calvin and Hobbes.
I'd LOVE to talk to Steven Meisel. That eye!
An architect: Miles Van Der Rohe. I love midcentury architecture.
Balenciaga would be my chosen designer. Love him and his ideas. I'd also love to sit down and kiki with Manolo Lobutin. Yes.
This was awesome.


Mistress Maddie said...

Ok I'm back!

1 Shirley Bassey. What her take on race relation's todays?

2-Orivlle Peck. Why the mask?

3-Yannick Nézet-Séguin. How does he think classical music will change or sound in the future.

4-Linda Perry. Who was her best and least favorite artist she help along was?

5-Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. What was their least favorite ABBA song.

6-Maya Angelo. How does she manage so calmly and dignified to keep her cool and never say a bad word to anyone?

7-Guillermo del Toro . Not really a novelist, But what goes on in your head to get such lovely magically stories to sweep us away?

8-David Maculso . How does it feel being one of the few environmentalist painters and how did you feel about your now famous Barrack Obama painting?

9-René Gruau . Your illustrations are stunning and you obviously understand fashion and how fabric works. Why not became an fashion designer your self?

10-Tom Bianchi . Do you EVER get tired of photographing naked males???

11-Zaha Hadid. What inspires you and how and what did it take to be one of the few leading women architects on the planet? She sadly passed on in 2016.

12- John Galliano. Would you please... PLEASE design me a legendary Galliano masterpiece? Hey , it's worth a try. If you made a huge comeback in 2022, what would your collection look and feel like?

There. Happy dear? I was sweating bullets here toots.