Start the Presses!
I have never had so many people want to talk with me about a show in the week before it opens as I have for Women's Work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville!
Here are some of the places I've popped up in press in the past couple weeks:
This is not to say other projects have not received attention. For Madame Bonaparte, I even appeared on an afternoon talk show.
I'm honored that my projects get ink and air, but it always forces me to listen to my own voice in a new way. Though I pride myself on words, I'm most at home drafting and crafting for the page. Interviewing feels new every time, and when I listen or read back on my words, I become aware of phrases that sound odd without context, sentences I could have tightened up, verbal tics that--um, you know--just won't quit.
So while I'm thinking about it, I'm going to give myself some basic advice for the next round:
Take a one-sheet with you so you're sure to get your key dates, where to buy tickets, etc.
Anticipate what's tricky and needs to be spelled out or repeated; URLS can be tricky!
In the margins, flesh out some context. For example, this time around, people are very interested in learning what "immersive theater" is/does/means, so (while I didn't use these notes) I wrote down and double-checked immersive works I'd seen in the past, key figures in experimenting with theatrical space, etc. so I didn't get caught saying, "It's Jerzy something; you can Google him!" (I'm talking about Grotowski, y'all.)
Decide on a few key phrases in advance that pitch your work best, and don't be afraid of repeating them--especially if the interview will be edited (versus a direct Q&A transcription). Exercises:
Describe your piece in three words.
Describe your work in one sentence.
Describe your work in five seconds.
As long as the interview isn't live, feel free to take a moment and a breath to jot down to compose your answer in your mind.
Think about what question you might ask someone who's curious about the work and perhaps find a moment to ask your interviewer. While generally it might be good to let the professional "drive", this happened spontaneously for me in this round and instantly made me more comfortable as such give-and-take feels more like everyday conversation.