The Magick of BRA
Looking at it from a distance, my work is an abstract one and first it might be hard to pinpoint exactly what I’m doing outside asking questions to people I rarely know. I’ve started to see it as some kind of Magick, and it’s not about just asking stuff.
My main mission out on the roads is to sit down with ordinary Joes (and yes, there's ordinary people and non-ordinary people, more on that some other time), and sometimes celebrities, and let them tell me the story of something from their life, and maybe not even that, sometimes it’s pure nonsense - maybe one sentence which will find a it’s meaning in a greater story.
As a segment producer, interviewer and reporter my work is to bring in the story, bring in that special thing that not everyone can reach. But as you all know, everyone can ask a question and get the answer they deserve. The Magick is of course to make the subject interesting enough to make it possible to air.
I always have a little ritual before the actual interview starts, depending on who I interview. An experience person in front the camera might already know everything there is to know about sounding and looking good on the screen, but someone who never done it before is the real challenge.
Truth be told, I’m not gonna share my knowledge how to make someone sound and look good on camera as the conjurer of the show, the interviewer. It’s a secret and I’m gonna keep it a secret. That makes it more powerful and I won’t suffer by watching newbies trying to do the same things and fail.
But one thing which will help an lot and which also is the hardest thing for someone without a natural gift for it is to set yourself in that position that during the interview - not necessary before or after - that you will believe, accept and respect everything your subject is saying. That’s a state of mind, some kind of self-hypnosis and I take it very seriously. If someone wants to share of me an encounter with pixies or trolls or ghosts or aliens or whatever that person believes in, you as a reporter just can’t sit there smiling inside, wondering what kind of madman you’re talking with. Even if your job is meant to be critical and investigating you just need to set your mind to that this is completely true before asking other questions.
Even if you actually dislike or hate the person you’re talking with you MUST believe them in that VERY MOMENT. You need to be them. It’s kinda like method acting but method journalism instead.
What’s even more important than what comes out from your mouth is two other things, so forget that ideas of constructing intelligent questions - if the subject is stupid you need to be stupid and the other way around. The two more important things are:
A. The Gaze.
B. To Listen.
If you ever noticed you have two holes (actually more than that) in front of your head, filled with a gelatin construction of organic ocular viewing machinery, the so-called eyes. You need to use them in the most careful and subtle way. Never let them leave your subject, and if that happens it needs to be if you gonna look at someone else, for example if you’re interviewing two persons at the same time. Those peepholes of yours must be in constant contact with the person you’re interviewing. If you can look other human animals in the eyes you shouldn’t even be in the same room as one. Your gaze is so important to make that contact, making that person open him- or herself to you. Look them deep in the eyes, be alive, be sincere. Be one with that person and his or hers experience.
To listen, to use your ears - not just for gathering interesting sounds to analyze in your mind, but to actually take every single word and believe in them might the most important thing. You don’t have to agree with the words, but as state above: believe, respect and accept (BRA) is the key to how you should behave when you’re sitting there hearing someone tell you they’ve been to the moon a hundred times to mate with the moon people.
Not not go insane I usually tune out a bit after, without loosing my genuine interest in my goal of the day, and let my mind wander away to other things - sometimes just basic administration and logistics regarding work, or maybe on to something I care and love outside the expertise area I’m getting payed for. That’s just healthy, and if yoǘ’re one of those young hot shots who wants to keep working all the fucking time; fuck that. You WILL get burned out before you know it.
It’s all about magick, it’s all about - to a part - becoming the person or persons you’re interviewing. If you can’t do that you should stick to be an accountant, mailman or garbage disposal service person.
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