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Sunday, August 23, 2015

The interviewer's fear of the playback

These Alec Baldwin podcasts are a treasury of advice for anybody who ever has to do anything you might call performing. I was just listening to his chat with Dick Cavett, who recalls a time when he was suffering from chronic depression and had to interview Laurence Olivier. He felt so bad he seriously considered just walking out on the recording. When they began Cavett felt that Olivier sensed that his interviewer had a problem and, being the professional, upped his game accordingly. Cavett got through the taping but was convinced it had been a disaster.. Obviously he never watched the playback. Years later he was telling Marlon Brando about this experience. Brando said "do yourself a favour - go and watch it." Cavett did, and it wasn't anything like as bad as he thought it was. What did he take from this experience? "You can never look as bad as you feel."