Interview Questions 16

You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?

Alive

Mick Foley

I had been a fan of his through the years through his relationship with the World Wrestling Federation. When he sailed off the top of the Hell in a Cell cage, I knew that I would always remember him. When I read his autobiographies, I learned what a kind and intelligent man he was. He was such an engaging storyteller and he was so passionate about his art but also the truly important things in life. When I was down and lonely up in New Jersey, battling against depression, I picked up that first autobiography again and I wore it to pieces re-reading it in my car. In the years that have followed, I have come to appreciate his passion and goofy sense of humor and I think he would be really fun to talk to. I could listen to him tell stories for days and I feel like he would be interested in what I have to say too. I feel like there are few celebrities who actually give a damn about the common man but Foley always felt grounded.

Aubrey Plaza

I was first introduced to Aubrey Plaza when my brothers convinced me to watch some Parks and Recreation episodes. I was instantly interested in her as she played a quasi-goth, sarcastic crazy person on the show. As the show continued, the character evolved and so did Aubrey Plaza’s career. However, she has spent a lot of time playing weirdos and psychos on screen. Even when she is at her worst, she still had a magnetic charisma and it was impossible not to like her. Then, for the first time, I saw her get interviewed on Conan. She was so loveably awkward that I instantly felt like I had found a kindred spirit. She may be an actress but she also projects a shyness and she often sounds like I feel like I sound like when speaking in public. She has the craziest stories and gets up to some serious hijinx with her friends so I would love to hear all about it. I also think that she is pretty laid back and would be fun to hang with.


Neil Gaiman

I learned about Neil Gaiman far too late. I mean, it’s never too late to find an author you love but I feel like I would have loved to read his stuff when I was younger. Still, my first real introduction to Gaiman was reading The Graveyard Book and I was instantly hooked. His aesthetic mixes the dark and the light together like some of my favorite pieces of fiction such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Addams Family, and so many others. I started to consume anything I could get my hands on. I watched the Coraline movie, read the book, and then moved on. I started to read Sandman which I had previously passed up because I did not really get it. Now I get it. I really get it. I read American Gods and I had not realized how much deeper I could fall in love with Gaiman’s writing. I feel like I could talk to Gaiman for hours about our favorite bits of folklore, mythology, and legends. We could also talk about the craft of writing and fun stories about Americana and fun stories from his homeland. He is a great writer but does not come off as arrogant and seems like he would actually be interested in what I have to say.

Dead

Harpo Marx

When I discovered the Marx Brothers, I felt like I found something that was tailor made for me a lifetime before I was born. The clever wordplay, the slapstick humor, and the visual gags were relentless and I fell in love. Harpo Marx (real name Arthur Marx) was the quiet one, relying on prop humor and mime to tell his jokes on stage and screen. Even so, he won people over with his winning smile, his contagious exuberance, his zany sense of humor, and his unexpected skills as a harpist. Still, Groucho got all my love as the quick-tongued rascal who always had the best comebacks. Much like Mick Foley, that all changed when I read Harpo’s biography. He had so many crazy stories. He gave incredible insight into vaudeville, Broadway, and early Hollywood. He explained so much about his brothers and how much of that came from his parents who were characters as well. He dropped out of school in the second grade and yet he ended up in the legendary “Vicious Circle”, the Algonquin Round Table which was one of the greatest collections of literary minds at the time. He was such a surprisingly wise man but was also a good listener and I feel a great kinship with him.

Carrie Fisher

I cannot count how many friends that I have had through the years who were wisecracking women. Carrie Fisher is legendary for her insightful yet funny quotes about her life and her career. She became famous for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars but she was way more amazing than that. She was an advocate for mental health issues, having been through her own struggles which included depression, bipolar disorder, and addiction. She fought through the stigma and sought to help others with their demons. She was also a prolific writer not only writing books about her life but also punching up endless Hollywood scripts for little to no credit. On top of that, she saw so much in her life. She married Paul Simon and had Harrison Ford as a lover. She is so intensely interesting that she would be such a perfect dinner guest. Her unbridled enthusiasm and cutting sarcasm would be a lot of fun to have around in a quiet setting.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers was one of the kindest men in the history of our world. From all reports, he did not have a single mean bone in his body. When he was a small child, he was very sick and spent a lot of time alone in bed. It was here that he learned the power of his imagination. He created whole worlds in his head and entertained himself without the aid of television. He was religious without being pushy about it. He embraced the kindness of Christianity rather than the endless contradictory texts that others get hung up on. He suffered from imposter syndrome and constantly questioned himself and ended up stronger because of it. He was not afraid to broach difficult topics and he got deep and made it fun instead of scary. He was also a proponent of puppetry and make-believe. I think I would love to talk to somebody so intelligent, insightful, and beautiful. I do not think there is a single topic we could not discuss honestly and intelligently and still have a lot of fun together.

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