Wednesday, May 17, 2006

From Crass to Class Lady Esther in the Hot Seat

Those of us who are fortunate to call Esther friend are lucky indeed. She radiates warmth and charm and is too nice for trolls to pester. Trolls tend to congregate around Jewish blogs like Pam of Atlas and this blog to a lesser extent.

Yesterdays gay dispute

1 I understand your frustration with the posters on this issue. However left under the radar was that Florian and Nanc favored Civil Unions. Most people accept the division of civil and religious law. What are your thoughts on the division of civil and religious law in America.

2 I also understand that there are religious issues. I do not care if an imam says Jews are hell bound. However when the sermon encourages criminal acts of violence I have major problems. A religious exhortation to violence is incititement to riot. Where do you draw the line between freedom of religion and criminal inciteent ?

3 Do you view marriage as a contract or a religious term.

Esther is a writer

4 Do Soaps and Lifetime Movies deserve their reputation for shoddy writing ?
5 Is predictability a serious problem in both genres
6 Many romantic heroes wear masks Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Batman in Fiction. Does this mean that Mr Beamish might have a future as a Soap Stud if he loses the election. What do women find so appealing about men in a mask.
7 Name your alltime under rated and over rated films ?
8 Does it take more discipline to write a movie or a television show ?

Israel

9 Do many on the far left play word games with Jew and Zionism ?
10 Does it seem like the world hold Israel to impossible standards . I published a list of countries with records on human rights then Israel and the list was well over 100.
11 Should people who attempt to link Israel and the Iraq war be considered anti semitic.
12 Is Neocon a code word for evil Jewish Republican. Ann Coulter brings this up in her book How to Talk to a Liberal if You must on page one. I find it amazing that a Reaganite like Mark Levin and a Rudy Republican are often called Neocon by people without a clue.

Interviewing

13 What do you feel are the keys to a good interview ?
14 Have you ever had an interview turn hostile ? I expected the interview below to turn hostile.

Running a blog
15 Is being a good host or hostess an under rated part of running a blog AOW and AC excelled as hosts.
16 Are there some lesser known blogs that you think our readers should know about.

Fun

17 Have you driven a convertable ?
18 Growing up were you more afraid of meeting your boyfriends parents or you boyfrien meeting your parents ?
19 Have you tried Ice Skating ?
20 Do the trends in fashion make sense ? What is your position in the great plaid debate. My position is that only mens flannel shirts should be plaid all other uses should be banned. Nanc opposes this but men wearing plaid pants belong in a comedy skit not in public.
21 Are the highways in LA as bad as we are told ?
22 What is your favorite TV show set in LA ?
23 Do you know anyone that admits they listen to Wayne Newton or Bobby Vinton music ?
24 You frequently travel do you overpack or under pack ? Can you lift your own lugage
or is it on wheels so it is irrelvant.
25 Have you played air hockey ?

Bonus Question Who would be you candidate for a Blog verion of survivor ?

18 comments:

Esther said...

I'm honored Beak that you would want to interview me (so honored, that I'm putting off going to bed to answer these). And your kind words mean a lot. You're a class act all the way. Now I shall try to answer your thought-provoking and fun questions.

1. I think it's great if people at least think civil unions are good. Many are probably against that too, sadly so if you allow for that much, it's something. I'm a huge believer in the separation of Church & State. I can't believe anyone is considering adding an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage -- they really want to be the first Congress to add an amendment that take away a right??? That freaks me out to no end. I think it should be up to each religious institution, each pastor, priest or rabbi as to whether or not they perform a marriage for a gay couple. I don't think it's right for anyone to tell them they HAVE to or anyone to tell them they are NOT allowed to. Hope that answers that one.

2. I guess I draw the line between freedom of religion and criminal incitement at the same place you do -- when they suggest you do harm. That's not a religious leader -- that's a gang leader.

3. Hmm. Is it a cop out to say a little of both? Or at least a legal exercise, since it does affect your tax status, health insurance, etc. And you can be non-religious and still get married. OK, I think I'm starting to ramble on this one. Suffice it to say, it's one subject that I don't have a firm opinion on.

4. No. While I don't know much about lifetime movies, I do know a lot about soaps. It is not an easy forum. You don't get to have any repeats. You have to produce a script of about 80-90 pages a day, every week day (except if you get ahead and then maybe take a 2 week break around the Xmas holidays). It takes a huge writing team consisting of a head writer (long term story), breakdown writers (summarize each day in a week) and then script writers (which take a daily breakdown's scene summary as a guide map to write the dialogue), as well as an editor to keep all the voices in mind. It's some of the hardest work out there, it burns people out but I am told it can be very rewarding. Dare I say, some of my best friends are soap writers... :)

5. I'm guessing it is in Lifetime. I truly rarely watch it unless some actor is in it I want to see. But for soaps, there are worse things than being predictable. Because if it's predictable, at least that means it makes sense. And there is a sense of comfort for viewers if they can guess the outcome, if it makes sense.

6. Men in masks shows that a part of them is vulnerable, mysterious. And a vulnerable man can be very hot. I'm sure Beamish would make a fabulous soap hunk as women try to figure out what makes him tick and why he wears his mask.

7. Over-rated film? Silence of the Lambs. Come on, the Oscar??? Over Prince of Tides??? A freakin horror film gets the damn Oscar? Grrr.....still bitter over that one. While I hate Babs, that film was perfection. My hatred for her grew after Mirror has two Faces. Under-rated? Judy Berlin. It was Madelaine Kahn's last film and it starred Edie Falco from Sopranos. It was low budget, shot in black and white...about a former screenwriter who returns home to live with his parents. It's on the day of an eclipse and it's just this stark look at his life, life in general...very moving, filled with warmth and humor. I saw it and heard the producer speak at a thing in Baltimore called Cinema Sunday, held at the Charles Street Theater. Amazing.

8. I would guess it takes far more discipline to write a tv show since it lasts longer than a movie.

9. I think we all know people on the far left (and the far right) play with Jew and Zionism. G-d bless John Bolton for making the UN overturn their Zionism Is Racism mantra.

10. The world totally holds Israel to a higher standard, as does Israel herself. If anyone else had won land in a war, I think we all know the likelihood anyone else would be expected to give the land back. Always a double standard for Israel.

11. No, I don't think people who link Israel to the Iraq war in a general way should be considered anti-Semitic. Now, if they say Israel was pulling the strings of DC, well, yes then. But I have a long list of reasons we should have invade Iraq and one of mine was to stop Saddam from funneling money to families of suicide bombers. It's all in the phrasing of the argument.

12. While I don't think Neocon means evil Jewish republican, I do believe MANY people use it that way. Again, it's all in the phrasing ... and who is doing the phrasing.

13. Keys to a good interview...hmm.... well, a text one is very different from a video one. In video, you can't jump into the answer. You have to allow for clean ins and outs for the editor. Obviously, you don't have that problem with print. You can edit your own comments out. Johnny Carson was the master. He was able to make a person look charming. It was never about him. Can't say that about anyone else these days. They all bring their experience into it...Well, sure that happened to you but when it happened to MEEEEE..... You know what I mean? Basically, I come at it as if I'm my audience. I ask the questions I want to hear the answers to. But the very important thing in a video one -- is to listen to the answers because the FOLLOW-UP question -- that is your key...that is your bread and butter. That's where you get the good stuff. So many don't listen...and they miss huge opportunities.

14. Turn hostile? I have had JOBS turn hostile, but never interviews. But I do puff pieces. Entertainment is puff. Even now in news...I still interview entertainment people, lol. And I'm nice. I don't get hostile. I've been blown off....but not openly hostile.

15. I'm not sure if being a good host is underrated...I think if you're not, you don't get many people coming. I think it's extremely important. While I might get controversial on your blog (hehe, thank you for that), I rarely do on mine, because as you say, I'm the host. I want people to feel like they're in a safe zone to comment as they see fit. I prefer to attack the subject, never the commenter. If we can remember to be respectful (and I know we're not always successful but it's good to have that as an aim), good discussion can be had and that's what we really want, right?

16. Lesser known blogs? I think I AM the lesser known, lol. I think all of my pals, all the blogs I read are far more well known. You guys ROCK! I love my blogroll. I do miss Noble Savage. Jonathan was great.

17. Yes, I've driven a convertible...on PCH in Malibu. It was awesome. It was a rental. I was living on the east coast and flown out to LA to work on a show for a week and I got gabbing with the rental car agent and told her a bit about my work. She mentioned her favorite soap star...asked if I met her and I had so she was so excited, she upgraded me for free to a red convertible. I never have luck like that and I've never had that kind of luck again. But man, was I popular that week with all my LA pals.

18. Growing up, I didn't really have boyfriends. We sort of went out as a group. No one really hooked up in my crowd but I would have to say, meeting their parents. Mine were so desperate for me to have a social life, I knew they wouldn't do anything to mess it up. ; )

19. I'm a horrible ice skater -- I have weak ankles. HATE the sport as a participant but will be forever moved by Torvel & Dean's gold medal-winning rendition of Bolero at the 1984 Olympics.

20. I'm with you on plaid. It also makes a cute female's nightshirt...you look all warm and cozy. I have never been accused of being fashion-forward. I'm no slave to the calendar. I will be so bold as to wear black after memorial day and white after Labor Day. There. I confessed it.

21. Yes, the highways in LA suck. Course, the beltway to 270 connector in Maryland is a close second.

22. Favorite TV show set in LA?? Ah! 24!

23. I bet my boyfriend would admit to listening to Wayne Newton and Bobby Vinton. He's an old soul.

24. I'm a great packer on trips! I pack very light. I'm lucky cause ladies' clothes are small compared to guy's (or so my bf says to excuse his taking twice as much as me). I am very weak so I want to make sure I can lift my suitcase, so I pack accordingly. I'm also not a shoe whore, so that cuts down on the weight. I just have to have my comfy travel pillow to support my neck and that's my one extravagance.

25. Not only have I played air hockey, we had a table growing up. I was awesome!

Bonus question -- believe it or not, I've never watched Survivor so I have no idea how many people I'd have to suggest, but here goes:

You
Beamish
AOW
Felis
Gindy
Warren
Ducky (just cause you gotta have someone easy to pick off quickly)

I will be more than happy to play the Jeff Probst role and sleep in the good places and eat the good food while you guys duke it out.

Thanks, Beak. That was fun and rather painless. Hope I didn't let you down. :)

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Gay people can get married. Look at ex-New Jersey Governor McGreevey.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I don't wear a mask, my adopted image du plume does.

beakerkin said...

Mr Beamish Soap Actors get paid much more then Presidents.

However maybe AOW, Nanc or TMW will explain why women find the man in the mak bit irresistable. Warren's charachter also dons a mask as well.

themerrywidow said...

It's the mystery thing! There is some reason for his hiding, what is his secret, why does he feel vulernable(sic), do I know him? Like moths to the flame, there's more to this man than I can see. Women pride themselves on insight and intuition, so the mystery draws them into intimacy, it's an invitation!

tmw

Esther said...

Yep, tmw nailed it.

Robert Bayn said...

Great interview Esther, i think i watch more lifetime than you, the lifetime movie network is cool, although i'm not big on soaps, my mom is though. I still cannot get how anyone listens to Wayne Newton.

beakerkin said...

Rob I am seriously concerned about you. Watching Lifetime Movies is just not normal. The movies are dreadful and predictable. Every second film stars Meredith Baxter Birney.

Robert Bayn said...

Beak, your just now concerend about me?

beakerkin said...

Rob

I always thought you had good taste in film and music. Lifetime Movies may be the worst channel on Cable. At least they do not show Yentyl.

Is Justin Ok.

Robert Bayn said...

Yeah he is just Busy, he's been capturing Snakes in the warehouse, because despite all the tough straight guys that work down there, they all seem a little scared of snakes, so the old gay guy has to come down from the office to save them, it's actually very funny, to say the least he been working hard, and pretty tired.

MissingLink said...

Esther,
Who's Wayne Newton?
Great interview (as expected).

beakerkin said...

Wayne Newton is the King of the Lounge Lizard singers in Las Vegas.
He is a very patriotic American .

the merry widow said...

Also raises Arabian horses, last I heard. He's also part Native American.

tmw

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Who would win a fist fight between Wayne Nweton and Tom Jones?

Esther said...

I love Tom Jones!!!!

Thanks felis! Great questions from Beak!

So the bf asked me how my interview went and i told him about the question regarding Wayne Newton, etc...and before I told him my answer, he said, "I'd admit it!" I told him that was my answer, lol.

beakerkin said...

Esther

I have met Tom Jones in my younger days. He used to come to the Concord Hotel once every summer. He is a modest man in person a great tipper and is quite funny.

nanc said...

great interview, esther!

there is something about a man in a mask that says, "take that effing mask off and i'll level you right here and now!"

beak - i've heard he's quite the gentleman also. people who are great tippers are generally quite humanitarian also - i know because i have to scold my husband all the time for tipping too much! excuse me, but when a guy tips five bucks on a twelve dollar meal - he's gone over the top. even i can do the math on that. he's cutting in on my mad money there!