Last week, I traveled down to the National Public Radio station in Chicago to record an interview regarding the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project with KCRW, NPR's L.A. affiliate. I was scheduled to appear on Good Food, a show hosted by noted chef, Evan Kleiman, where I was hopefully going to talk a little about this blog, crack a few jokes and be appreciated for my status as a novelty figure.
Instead, I gave THE WORST INTERVIEW EVER, which aired today in all of Los Angeles, California.
It wasn't Ms. Kleiman's fault at all. And folks at WBEZ in Chicago and KCRW were nothing but extremely nice and hospitable. I am just a terrible live interview subject. I should have known right away that I wasn't prepared when the lady recording the interview in Chicago asked me what I was there for. The conversation went something like this:
NPR Lady: So you must be a celebrity chef or something, right?
Me: Errrr, no, not really.
NPR Lady: An amateur chef then.
Me: Nope, sorry.
NPR Lady: Are you a chef at all?
Me: Not exactly.
NPR Lady: So you must be a food enthusiast. Or someone who likes to cook.
Me: Sort of?
NPR Lady: You do know how to cook, right?
Me: Uhhh, not really...
NPR Lady (flabbergasted): Well then I have to ask--what are you?
Me (sheepishly): ...A blogger?
NPR Lady: Oh, that makes sense! A food blogger.
And then I had to explain to her for the next 10 minutes that I was not a food blogger, but actually a stunt-gimmick-ironically-watches-a-shitty-movie-every-day-for-a-year blogger. She didn't seem to understand completely, judging from the weak polite laugh she gave me in return.
That's when I started to realize that I was in way over my head. I started to get a little nervous--after all this was fucking NPR, probably the most famous radio station known for serious journalism. So there I was, punk college kid/blogger/non-chef, sitting in this soundproof room, wearing over-sized headphones, looking like a huge jerkoff. The NPR Chicago lady sat across from me and adjusted sound levels as I just sat there looking at the wall, waiting for the L.A. affiliate to call.
I don't know if any of you have ever been interviewed via a disembodied voice coming through a pair of headphones while you're looking right at some other lady who's constantly shooting skeptical looks at you, but its fucking awkward.
Evan politely introduced herself to me and suggested that we just jump right into it. Awesome, I thought. What proceeded was the most uncomfortable, nerve-wracking 25-30 minutes of my life. Well, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but I was incredibly nervous and it definitely showed. Having done a few interviews beforehand, I thought I knew what kinds of questions she was going to ask--but boy, was I wrong. As Good Food is a "food" show (something an idiot like me wouldn't understand), Evan, the host, kept asking me about my cooking experience, of which I have none, so I wasn't really ready to answer those questions. That also partially explains why I was stuttering like a motherfucker.
Also, personally, I think the best part of the interview is when it becomes obvious that I forgot the host's name at the beginning and end. Evan Kleiman, if you're reading this--I sincerely apologize for my lack of tact and interview etiquette. I just suck at interviews.
I blame no one but myself. I am just an awkward, stuttering Asian kid who belongs behind a computer keyboard, not in front of a mic.
Again, check out my horrendous interview with KCRW, here.
Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "Plus, it's close to your office."