It’s the last week (wow, that went fast) of the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story Tour. Thanks, Carrie, for hosting me, and in case you don’t know, Carrie is the Graphics Goddess who designed REVIVAL’s cover.
(And, now for a well-deserved plug: When *you* desire design services, check out her one-stop shop website here)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Carrie asked for five tips when interviewing guests.
- Bring spare batteries/have a charger for your recorder. (I’m old school and use a digital recorder, but tape or app, have extra juice/charger handy for the in-person or phone interview.)
- Tell the interviewee they will be recorded. This makes most folks defensive, so make the person comfortable… How’s their family? How about those Mets winning 9-3 against the Royals? Did they watch the 1,479th Presidential debate last night?
- Listen. Ask open-ended questions and watch non-verbal body language for the “tells.” A simple question can induce a memory burst, which can lead to more tales and the hallowed land where “ye olde money quote be buried.”
- But, what happens when the money quote is the first thing the interviewee mentions?
- Once the interview is over, (which is only when the recorder is off), stop asking related questions (you don’t want to miss an unrecorded moment!)
Thanks Carrie for having me by, and that was fun remembering some of my favorite features. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Mexico, where Al Diaz wants to know about the emotions involved in writing a memoir.
Title: REVIVAL - The Donald Braswell Story
Subtitle: How a Tenor Lost his Voice, but Found his Calling
Authors: Donald Braswell with Mark Koopmans
Genres: Memoir, Biography, Inspirational
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Length: 236 pages
From Juilliard to jumper cables;
from wasting all the talent in the world to America’s Got Talent,
this is the story of the Texas opera singer who lost his voice—but found his calling.
Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the “Texas Tenor” struggles with depression and despair—until the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak, sing—and share this gift of second chances with others.
Working as a plasterer, a car salesman, and many jobs in-between, it takes thirteen years—and a musical miracle—for Braswell to battle back and sing on a professional stage. His dreams and ambitions collide with a tired and angry crowd when he auditions for America’s Got Talent. For his family, his faith and his entire future, can the Rocky Balboa of the operatic world find the courage and strength to win just one more fight?