Interviews come in many ways.
Some regard it as a battle, a delightful minuet. Others call it theater piece. That is why I am reluctant to write about fashion, showbiz, celebrities, which tend to elicit more entertainment, not information—a contempt shown, however, only by those who clearly would be considered as “newspeople.”
People reportage is nothing you can plan, polish or perfect beyond the Fil-Am Community stage or gossip about the world of charity, music, fashion, cuisine and other many splendored things without forgetting, it is as low in the totem pole of coverages as you can possible get.
It is the polite and soft news of men and women who speak eloquently about themselves. With some luck you can be in good company if not simply a part of those who nod or smile at one another; otherwise you’re standing alone in a swarm of gorgeous people. Dressed to kill, reveling from pockets of ostentatious merriment, into another.
It is writing casually, forsaking the beloved metaphors, for party or society journalism and the offhand charm, low key, casual pitch, one that doesn’t sing, but whispers; the exquisite sense of nuances, the keen eye for sham or pretense; of memorable people, pleasures and events. Call it a gentle salute, if not audacious profile, of the almost exemplary men and women of the changing times we’ve been accustomed to seeing at the glittering and glamorous gatherings that have been so much part of Southern California’s familiar mode of life… philanthropic leaders, whether they are saving lives, building schools, elevating the arts, easing pain and suffering or feeding and helping the down trodden.
There are individuals out there making a difference in this world while celebrating their lives with inexhaustible achievements. These eclectic mix of wondrous people who are doing good and great work: some are heavyweights, some lightweight, yet united in their drive to the best they can, whatever their circumstances.
With good reporting and panache, we try to capture in print “respectful” pieces with everything centered around some sort of style. Covering people, whose daily peregrinations grace the Southern Californian scene—their fantasies, vanities, even peccadilloes, their capability to captivate—reminds us of who we are and who we have been.
The license to ask virtually anybody in this world, the whole universe of a person’s life, their pains, their sufferings, joys and struggle you can learn from and take with you. Their doings, their loves, their poems, goals, music, meetings, meeting their failures, their millions, their misfortunes—all so vast, clamorous that can exasperate, suffocate us even while it offers a magnet for great discussions.
I like dramatic questions and responses, eloquently and colorfully anchored in the written profile.
Some of the characters I’ve interviewed are my friends, or almost friends, if not possible friends. Possible friends are those who condemn us for not having the good sense to censure the remarks they did not have the good sense to refrain from making. The loud protest of betrayal could be deafening, but its cleansing, if you’re brave enough to write it!
Now on my twilight years, I’ve realized that all along it was not what I’ve written, but those that I did not write, that counts. Now, I will, for I’ve decided to be fearless with a conscience as clear as the conscience of a babe. I will no longer be keeping anything back now (beyond the laws of libel).
I feel as if a weight have been lifted from my heart.
I feel fresh and clean, and ready to fly up to paradise in the event that one of them challenges me to a duel and is quicker on the draw than I am!
E-mail Mylah at firstname.lastname@example.org