I completely lucked out when I was able to set up at the cubicle next to the window. I love sitting at my desk with the EIC only a few feet away, my boss to my right and a sprawling view of the city's skyscrapers and condos to my left. A lot of my time at that desk is spent transcribing interviews for the editors. Whether they're speaking with an up and coming actress or a high profile designer, it has become one of my favourite tasks. Though an interview is never published in it's entirety, I feel like listening in gives me insight into the artist as well as the interviewing process.
With my headphones on I've come to realize that some people are able to make an interview with an acquaintance sound like a chat with an old friend. These editors sound natural and focused while trying to gather bits of news and juicy quotes. I'll admit that I've always been really nervous when it comes to interviews. I've worked on them for campus publications (an author here, a philanthropist there), but nothing compared to the whirlwind that was my first interview as an intern.
The email was titled, "Interview Opportunity." It was a quick message asking me if I'd like to interview a member of young Hollywood since my boss would be away. I immediately jumped at the chance, only to allow the anxiety to set in minutes later. For the next 24 hours I researched and brainstormed questions. I ran from part-time job to internship, back and forth between Suburbia and the City in preparation for this fifteen minute phone call. It was the biggest break I've received thus far.
When the phone rang I answered with confidence and the next fifteen minutes flew by as I shuffled between my edited list of questions and the clock. I stumbled when asked to clarify a question, but regained my composure as my list went on. Fashion. Confidence. Work. Childhood. Suddenly I was being asked for my last question. I referred to Twitter (a last minute addition) and hung up. After an ecstatic email to my boss, all I had left to do was transcribe.
In the transcribing process I realized that yes, maybe I had missed out on opportunities to probe for better quotes. Overall my fear of running out of time took over and prevented me from straying from that list of questions. Thankfully my boss gave me advice for the future along with positive feedback. I don't have any friends in LA, but I may have come close for fifteen minutes.