Dare’s Tips on Having a Great News Interview
Yesterday, I was suckered in to a news interview on one of the dogs I helped rescue. While everyone seems to think I LOVE being the center of attention, I really don’t. Well, unless you’re my significant other, my child or my best friend. Wait, or my dog. Okay, screw it. The point is, I don’t do so well with public speaking. I have terrible anxiety and in the past when confronted with public speaking, I passed out or vomited. Publicly. My best incident was during a school program when I was singing Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time”. I managed to pass out just as I sang the lyric “I rise and fall.” One minute you see me and the next, I had fallen off of the top riser and disappeared. And some say I lack talent. Obviously, not when it comes to making a complete fool of myself.
Anyway, recently I was part of a great story about a pet being reunited with his owner, half the world away, four months after he went missing. Awesome, inspiring and beautiful. Yeah, so you would think that the interview to share his story should rival it. Well, not so much. Especially not when I have to be involved. So, technically, I was the one to get the interest in the story in the first place BUT it was a great story that needed to be shared! Just not by me. From the moment I specifically was asked to do the interview, I got nervous, sweaty and TOTALLY freaked out. I may have actually shit my pants had I not been so uptight everywhere. Of course, as most of you know, I went through with the interview, for the greater good. I learned a WHOLE lot about television, interviews and myself in general. I’ve decided to share my list of things so if you are ever in my position, you will be a HUGE success.
- When initially contacted by a news reporter, be sure to try to speak as clearly and as educatedly (a Darath made up word) as possible. Generally, reporters prefer to speak to the “village idiot” so odds are if you are smart, you should be safe and they won’t want to talk to you. Do NOT handle the call with bumbling phrases such as “I, uh, can’t, uh, really interview so well.” or “Are you positive that I have to do this? Can’t you just talk to the dog?”. Those are obviously code in reporter-talk for “I would love to do an interview with you.”
- After the initial contact with a reporter, be sure to call your friends and try to pawn the chore off on them. So what if they aren’t relevant to the story! You do NOT want to do an interview. If you love yourself, don’t put yourself through the misery. If your friends suck or are reasonable people, they will laugh at you and tell you “Oh, it’s fine. You will do great!”. Those statements will teach you that #1- your friends suck and #2- you need to find less reasonable friends.
- When realizing you are “stuck” with doing said interview, do NOT panic. Screaming in your office, throwing up in your trash can, stooling uncontrollably and crying hysterically will not help you now. You are screwed.
- When calling back the news reporter, make sure that you know what you are saying. If you are going through with the hour-long misery-fest that will be edited down to 15 seconds, you should take the lead and control the situation. Be firm with your request of the place to be interviewed. Had I thought this through completely, I would have asked to be interviewed in front of Bazooka’s (for all you KC people, it’s a nasty, nasty strip club…but classy. Classy with LOTS of assy) or at the very least, standing in front of a meth house in Independence (shout out to the meth capital of the world to all you representin’). You want your interview to be remembered for more than just your retardedness. People are more likely to forget about you if they see horrid things in the background.
- When scheduling your interview, make sure to leave yourself enough time to “freshen up”. Had I planned accordingly, I would have put on a shirt with sleeves, found some damn lip gloss, changed my underwear and blotted my shiny forehead. I also could have hit the gym for a few months, possibly years.
- When thinking of your interview, don’t think about the extra 10 pounds the camera adds. You really weigh that much, fatass. Instead, think of the cupcakes, candy bars and the Venti whatever from Starbucks that you had earlier.
- When you arrive for your interview, make sure you immediately move away from your vehicle, especially if it’s filthy and covered in dirt and bird-doo. Extra-especially if it’s covered in a giant “flock of seagulls that ate mulberry’s” sort of doo. If you don’t get away from your car they will have you leaning up against it showing your best 70’s “I drive a Trans Am and rock a mullet” sort of way.
- If you have a dog with you, try to ensure no embarrassing moments on camera by filling the dog full of Pepto. Having a dog with the Hershey squirts at an interview is a really embarrassing thing. Dodging piles of slippery dog-deuce while trying to walk back and forth for the camera 151 times is quite difficult. Wear sensible shoes. Goloshes would probably work best here.
- While being taped, try not to bounce your eyes back and forth from the camera to the reporter. This is frowned upon. Also, try to refrain from looking directly at the camera, waving and saying “Hi, Mom!”. This too, is frowned upon.
- After your interview is over, make sure and take a long bath with a giant bottle of alcohol. While you could bathe and drink the booze, some would prefer to just smash themselves over the head with the bottle and pray for death. If you thought the interview was bad, just wait till you see yourself on TV.
- While preparing to watch your interview, pop a Xanax (if prescribed) and anxiously pace. At the first “teaser” of your story before the commercial break, be sure to run through the house in your robe screaming, “Holy shit, holy shit, that was my hand!” Begin to pace, occasionally opening your robe and exposing your nakedness. You will need ventilation. You will surely have worked up a sweat and be in desperate need of another bath.
- When you see your interview come on, try to look away from the tv. You will be transfixed and in complete disgust. If you are lucky, you won’t have a giant booger stuck in your nose (which you missed seeing before your interview but did catch as you drove AWAY).
- Get ready for your phone to ring non-stop. Don’t answer it.
- When the interview is over, stand up, run through the house screaming “Holy shit, holy shit, that was me. I was on TV.” Promptly stop, look confused, drop your robe on the floor and walk out of the room.
These are my steps to a successful interview. If you have one, good luck!!