Category Archives: Sky Arts

Inside the Bloggers’ Studio

Since 2005 I have been writing about arts and culture (cinema, in particular), and when I used to make The LOOK on QT Radio in Manchester I interviewed several film directors (still under my real name then). Now, I was invited to take part in the online version of the Inside the Actors’ Studio with Sky Arts.

In case you’ve never heard of it, “Inside the Actors Studio is a well established American show that attracts the top film and TV actors and interviews them in a one on one situation in front of a studio audience of drama students”. The programme has just been broadcast on Sky through the whole of January, with guests including Barbra Streisand, Michael J. Fox, Liza Minnelli, and Al Pacino. ArtsWOM, the blog sponsored by Sky Arts, has come up with the brilliant idea to invite some arts and culture bloggers to the online version of the programme, by asking them the same ten questions that the presenter and drama teacher James Lipton asks to each of his guests. I feel very pleased and honoured to have been invited to this project. Many thanks to ArtsWOM for inviting me, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

At the first glance, the questions are simple; in truth, they are anything but simple. The very first question is “what is your favourite word?” I felt it should be the word I very often use, in virtually any kind of situation. And such word is “absolutely“, which I indeed picked from P. G. Wodehouse’s book, A Damsel in Distress. But then I also like the word “okay“, and I realised that I use them both on a very regular basis. I couldn’t possibly choose between them, so I thought it would be absolutely OK to submit two favourite words.

The question that I personally liked the most was about the profession I wouldn’t want to do. For me, it is definitely the dentist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m full of gratitude and admiration for those who work in this field, but I would never ever have gone into this profession myself. I haven’t got the courage, and I wouldn’t be able to stay aloof watching someone’s suffering from toothache day by day. What is interesting, is that a discussion about this profession occurred many years ago, and it showed my ability to use words to a very powerful effect. My mother and I were talking about which profession I should choose, and she suggested dentistry, although she knew well that I didn’t like the natural sciences to such extent. But it wasn’t my dislike of these sciences that I focused on in my short speech. It only took me a couple of minutes to paint a stark ghastly picture of my life as a female married dentist who would dig someone’s cavities in the day and have nightmares of those cavities at night. I explained to my mother that no husband would survive in such conditions. My picture must have been so vivid that my mother never brought this suggestion up again.

And I couldn’t forget about Michel Polnareff. Judging by his song On Ira Tous au Paradis and my liking of it, we’re both fairly sceptical about the church and religion. We may be wrong in our scepticism, but in truth I expect us both to get past the Pearly Gates, au paradis. How did Billy Joel put it? “You may be wrong, but all I know is that you may be right“. Absolutely.

You can read my answers in the part 9 of Inside the Bloggers’ Studio, and I do recommend you follow the link to all parts – ArtsWOM Features (scroll down to part 1 to read them in ascending order). For all the variety of answers we, bloggers, provided to questions about favourite words and professions, there are a few similarities: we all want to go to paradise, and many of us treasure sincerety and dislike fakery and narrow-mindedness. You can all have a go, too: just take these questions and repost them with your answers on your blog.

What is your favourite word?
What is your least favourite word?
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favourite curse word?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?