Friday, July 24, 2020

SHINE A LIGHT Summer Interim Shows TOUR REPORT/JOURNAL with AL1CE! 7/24/2020

Greetings all - here is my report/journal that I was writing as these interviews were completed.  I left it the way it was written.  Come take a look inside.


Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Like, Follow, Subscribe - Social Media Links!

Thursday June 25th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Max Zaleski - Without A Cause

I’m writing this entry a few days after this first interview took place. I had never had a conversation with Max - in person or online. I only followed him via socials and our mutual interest in wrestling.

I go in and out when it comes to my interest in wrestling. I am not a lifer nor am I someone that grew up watching it. I do, however, have a healthy respect for what the wrestlers go through to entertain the fans. I always will.

This was my first interview that fit under the “Eclectic Mark” umbrella in some ways. Wrestling is considered sports entertainment. The peek behind the curtain happened many years ago, unlike the early days when wrestling was secretive and only presented one aspect to the fans.

As I said in the interview, I had watched how Max publicly went about his business with his indie wrestling promotion. He was forthright, humble, but also direct. I will always support a certain ratio of local guests when I have this sort of platform that AL1CE has given me.

Max was a terrific guest. He clearly has a passion for what he does, speaks well, and carries himself in the right way. Sometimes when I “roll the dice” on guests I don’t personally know or have had an interaction with in some capacity, I get a tad nervous. But I trust my gut instinct and so far (knock on wood) it hasn’t failed me.

I felt really good about how things kicked off with this interview.

Sunday June 28th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Brad Cerenzia - Centerstage Theatre

I woke up late on Sunday and checked my emails. I saw the one from Nigel (Glockler) of Saxon and thought he was just confirming the Zoom link I had sent him the night before. But, then he explained that his internet was out, the company had said 24 hours to fix it, and that he couldn’t do the interview. I suggested we test out his cell service and do a Zoom call right now to see if that would work. His cell service was spotty at best as it was only giving him one bar so my backup idea wasn’t going to work.

Also, keep in mind - he was perfectly fine with doing the interview at 7pm PDT - which is 3am his time! I told him initially we could look into doing it earlier and just recording it so he didn’t have to stay up so late but he said no it was really fine to do it at 3am. So, we went with it.

Anyway, he hoped that maybe the internet would be back on earlier than the company said but I didn’t want to wait just to find out it wasn’t going to happen. The plus of him letting me know (from his time zone) was that I had 7 hours or so to figure something else out. If he had told me minutes before the show was supposed to start, I would have had to pivot (there is a contingency plan in case a guest bails at the last minute in case you were wondering - the band and I discussed this before the tour started in May - and no I won’t tell you what it is - some things need to stay private). ;)

I got back to him and told him let’s look at a new date to reschedule the interview. During that time, I went on my socials and announced his postponement. He and the band had promoted his appearance so it was critical to get the word out as much as possible. Thousands of people had viewed those initial Facebook posts so I wanted to do what I could to let those fans know. Clearly the other issue was that I needed to figure out if there was someone else that could be my new guest on Sunday night.

As I told the story in the show introduction, sometimes the Universe just hands you one. I had a few open slots on purpose for the month of July. I wanted to wait before I invited every guest as this wasn’t really necessary. The grind of booking the tour interview slots was vastly different than these interim shows. So, I had a list with guests on it that I wanted to interview once we actually hit July. Not all of the dates, just some. Brad Cereznia was on the list. I immediately messaged Brad and lucky for me: 1. He was online. 2. He accepted the invite. 3. He could do it Sunday night. Bingo - problem solved without having to go to the contingency plan.

I told Nigel this and he was very happy and relieved that I was able to get someone to do the Sunday slot and I offered up the 12th of July for his reschedule, and it worked. So, everything fell into place. Yay!

For these interviews (so far) I’ve been approaching them a little differently. They are more loose - I don’t have a set thing I say when I go live. I have show notes but I haven’t been reading them. I don’t plan on doing them/reading them for the rest of these shows, either. Now, guest introductions - yes, I will always write those out. Guest topics to discuss - ditto.

I do my best to pay attention during the pre-show minutes to how a guest is interacting with me. This in many ways dictates where I’m going to go with the actual interview once we go live. Right behind that is once we start talking about the first topic (usually the pandemic), I then decide “does this guest need time to air things out” or can I move on to something else.

From the tour interviews, my approach to the second Eva Tavares interview changed because of the pre-show talk. The first Zarah Mahler interview also changed because of the pre-show talk. I won’t divulge what was said during those pre-show chats but some of those were the best things I had done during the initial tour in my opinion. There were other interviews where I changed course before going live but those two stand out.

In the case of Brad, I honestly had no idea he would bring up so many topical things after I asked that first question/topic. As he was talking I was thinking to myself “do I continue down this road he started on or do I steer things back to my topics I had to discuss”? It was clear we should travel down this road together and have a frank and honest discussion. I didn’t think it would go 30 minutes but I’m very glad it did. It was important. And it needed to be done.

Let me tell you - if you think doing interviews is easy, you’re a fool. Straight up. I went into detail about this in my other Tour Report but suffice to say, speaking only for myself, I give a piece of myself to each and every interview that I conduct. Some interviews more than others, but, rest assured, after every interview I feel the need to breathe and to clear my head. And I’m trying to find a way to get that piece of myself back.

When I go to a personal space, it drains me. It would be like John Coffey in, “The Green Mile” or some superhero movie where the person who saves someone’s life and loses some of their own life force in the process.

Of course I bounce back from this, we’re not talking about saving someone’s life here, but I’m just trying to illustrate that it does take a temporary toll on me.

So, with this interview, the toll was perhaps the highest of any I’ve done so far on this tour/these interim shows (it clearly was - Mark on 7/23/20). And it was worth it because my gut told me to go there and the end result was an interview worth viewing more than once.

I was all set to go into the Tea Time that night before the interview. But, honestly, after it - I needed time away to process, decompress, and to get that part of myself back that I had used up during the interview.


This format is really hard for me to adjust to. The starting and stopping with two interviews a week is great in terms of scheduling and getting other work done, but in terms of getting into a rhythm, man, it’s really tough. I’ll be interested to see if I still feel like this once these ten shows are done.

Thursday July 2nd, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Vanessa Campbell - “A Thousand Miles Behind”

It’s Sunday right now - so I will be writing about both guests this week. I felt good about the interview with Vanessa before it ever happened. She was timely with her responses and her tone was very positive. And sure enough - she was a great guest!

I had had zero interaction with Vanessa other than scheduling the interview. My gut told me she would be a certain way during the interview (meaning positive and easy to interview) and thankfully my gut was right.

She had a lovely energy to her and she was actively listening during the interview (she even asked me a question which was a new one). Her personality definitely helped shape the character of Tracy that she played in the film, “A Thousand Miles Behind”.

I am so fortunate to not only review new films but to also interview some of the actors as well. It trips me out sometimes when I think about it. I just saw this actor in this film two weeks ago and now here I am interviewing them. So grateful!

She absolutely stood out in the film and after interviewing her, you can see why. She was a delight and I would have her back on for another interview in a second.

Sunday July 5th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Margarita Monet - Edge Of Paradise

I was scheduled to review and interview the band back in 2017. Their vehicle broke down on the way up to Seattle - and they were literally walking on the side of the road trying to get to the nearest business, etc., in rural Oregon I believe. Margarita actually posted a video when it happened on her Facebook. She also immediately got a hold of me to let me know they wouldn’t be making the show - which I really appreciated.

So, I’ve known about the band since that time. And they have most definitely grown musically and in terms of their fan-base. They were absolutely gaining traction when “Universe” was released this past fall - and then COVID19 struck. Their subsequent tours were cancelled and everything, like for all arts folks, was up in the air.

I think she was great during the interview. Talkative, sweet, and came across well. I on the other hand was off my game if you ask me. I talked way too much. I ended up editing myself out of the interview before putting it on YouTube. That is a first. I’ve never done that - ever. But I knew as soon as I was done doing the actual interview that I would need to do some edits. So a normal 41/42 minute interview got cut down to 30 something minutes. That’s how much extra I talked. Yikes!

I veered off my topic list and that was a mistake this go ‘round. Sometimes that works for me but in this case it didn’t. There was no flow to the interview from my end and I will be sure to fix that for any upcoming interviews.

She/they logged on like 4 minutes before we were to go live - which if you’ve read any of my earlier reports - then you know that always makes me nervous. I just take deep breaths and just let the chips fall where they may. Some folks that do a lot of video interviews (she had done at least one in May that I saw) I worry about less, ditto those that are timely with their communication. So, I figured she would log on before the show started - which she did - so no worries. And again, everything turned out fine, other than me gabbing too much.

And I was stone cold sober, too. I could see if I was a little buzzed where I would ramble more than usual but damn Mark …

Thursday July 9th, 2020
“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Stephanie Mae

Stephanie and I talked about this pre-show - but I wasn’t sure where I knew her from. Then after doing my research earlier today, I figured it out. She was on a bill with Tobias The Owl in January of this year - it was the week it snowed up here. Now for you back east or other cold winter places, Seattle isn’t prepared for snow conditions in the cities as we don’t get it that often. So, when we do, we basically go into panic mode, and stay home. Well, most of us do.

I was planning on going to the show as a fan since I had not seen Tobias The Owl perform in a long while. I remember looking up the other two artists on the bill and Stephanie Mae was one of them. I liked her voice and her work so I thought this would be a good show. Then the snow came and, with my car that is crap in the snow, I said “oh well” and stayed home.

So this was the first interaction I’ve ever had with Stephanie. As you heard, she knows Tobias The Owl and is good friends with Heather Edgley = both of whom were on the show during the first leg of the virtual tour.

I really enjoyed our chat. Now this was an interview where it felt ok to talk more than normal as it reinforced what we had in common, and in some cases, what she had in common with AL1CE.

I found her very open and in some ways a kindred spirit. I definitely could relate to many of the things she spoke about and that made the interview flow in a direction that I was very comfortable with.

Based on the comments in the Twitch chat as the interview progressed, others enjoyed getting to know Stephanie as well. I would have her back on in a heartbeat.

I would love to hear that voice - live. Damn you pandemic!


I actually have a loose idea for the second leg of the virtual tour surrounding returning guests. I’m not sure if I’m going to go through with it as there aren’t as many dates on this second leg as there were on the first but we’ll see. I already have two guests from the first leg that I am having back on for the second leg - regardless of any ideas, etc. (edit - make that one guest from the first tour - Mark 7/23/2020). I also have at least two new guests that are pencilled in for the new tour as well. So, I don’t want to go all repeat guests (which I won’t) but I’m sure I’ll find a happy medium. Maybe.

Also - remember what I wrote earlier - that it’s hard to get in a rhythm with these interim shows/interviews? Yup, I was right. It’s like starting over every time I do an interview. But, it’s good practice having to feel like I'm starting all over again each time.

Sunday July 12th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Nigel Glockler - Saxon

I’m not really sure what prompted me to reach out to the publicist/manager for Saxon but I’m SO glad I did. Nigel got back to me once he was forwarded my email quickly. His communication was great and everything looked good for the interview for late June. Then technology over there in the UK decided to be a poop and we had to reschedule the interview to the 12th.

Nigel’s initial email to me said that he had no problem doing the interview at 3am his time on a Sunday (Monday morning for him). I initially offered to tape it so he didn’t have to stay up that late but he assured me he was fine with doing it then.

He decided to go to sleep early, set his alarm to get up to do the interview, and then go back to sleep. I think the word is dedication, folks.

It was a bucket list moment for me to conduct a 45 minute interview with him. I grew up with his drumming and hold his playing in high regard.

He was funny and informative during the interview - it was a bit surreal to me at times and I am SO glad that everything worked out on Sunday. One of the highlights of the year for me.

Thursday July 16th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Saskia - LA Guinea Pig Rescue

This was clearly my biggest departure in terms of guest interviews. But, in many ways, it made perfect sense since I love piggies and they’ve been mentioned by members of AL1CE more than once - and this lady is doing great work - so it’s not really that big of a departure - maybe just on paper.

I wasn’t sure how to go about this interview - I figured I would let Saskia determine where we would do the interview and I would just go with it (office VS the rescue area with the piggies). Since my general info sheet that I send to each guest stresses quiet areas, she picked the right place so we could hear and see her well. In hindsight I should have asked if we could see the rescue area for the last 15 minutes of the interview. But, no biggie - there’s plenty of videos on her channel that people can watch to get an overdose of piggies in action.

As of today - which is only two days after the video interview was posted - her interview has the most views out of any interview on YT - summer series OR first leg of the tour. I may have to do all animal guests for the next tour. ;) (as of tonight - she clearly has the most views - Mark 7/23/2020)

And don’t forget to check out the M/V for, “Blame It On The Rain” - I did. Hah!  :)

Sunday July 19th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Alexandr Misko

I have been fascinated by Alexandr’s playing ever since I saw him perform, “Billy Jean”. I don’t even remember what prompted me to reach out to him about doing an interview but I’m sure glad I did! There’s some sort of pattern developing here. And it’s alarming that I don’t know why I reached out to more than one guest on this set of shows.

He talks about his playing like it’s no big deal and, trust me, it’s a big deal - any musician would tell you that. He is a walking phenom and I’m so very fortunate to have gotten a chance to speak with him for 45 minutes.

Due to the time zone issue (10 hours ahead of us here on the west coast) - it was decided to - gasp - do a pre-recorded virtual interview for the very first time. It would have been 5am his time - so that wasn’t going to work. So now you all know ... ;)

I’m bummed that the live song didn’t translate over Zoom or what have you. I thought it sounded odd in my earbuds when we recorded it earlier in the day but I thought let me see how it sounds when it’s aired - and yup - it still sounded odd.

I figured I would have to edit the whole performance out. I sent Alexandr a 1 minute snippet so he could tell me what he would like me to do and he agreed to remove it . He suggested adding the M/V there instead so I put the video in its place - and through some slick editing - you can’t really tell that he did a live performance (unless you watched the stream of course). I caught the parts where I talked earlier about an upcoming live performance from him as well as several other parts. Overall, it works - the interview itself was still very good and Alexandr was understanding - so no worries.

I must mention I hate it when right out of the gate I get some information wrong about a guest. In this case where he lived. I figured out where Moscow came from in my head - I was thinking Moscow TIME - since that had been a hurdle to overcome when scheduling this interview. I actually didn’t know where he was living - only that he was a college student (or possible graduated) studying linguistics. Anyway, can't win them all. I much prefer when a guest nods in agreement or says, “yes, ‘that’s right” to something I say. Then I know I not only did my homework but I also got the information correct.

For you super behind the scenes folks - we recorded this at Noon on Sunday. So it was 10pm his time. I usually get out of bed at noon on Sunday’s.  Just kidding...  sort of.  ;)

Thursday July 23rd, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: I Ya Toyah

This was the last show of these summer interim shows. There was the option of a #10 interview/show but it would have just been my interview with no AL1CE content as they’re busy getting ready for the next tour - so it made sense just to end things tonight with this series.

I’m editing the interview right now and this interview is a perfect example of listening to the artist and going down whichever path she chooses. I only looked at my notes once and that was for the name of her doggie. The rest of it - she steered. I wasn’t going to go to the suicide prevention/dog rescue work until much later in the interview but she went there fairly early in the interview - so I went with it.

It was very clear that everything she does is important but the art collection for the auction coming up in August for the suicide prevention foundation was front and center. I really liked how passionate she is about her work. She has a drive to her and a really pleasant quality that absolutely came through in the interview.

I rambled during this interview but I left most of it in because it added to the discussion and it also gave I Ya Toyah a better idea of who I am and that I was listening to her. I watched/read a few other interviews where they glossed over her answers about the suicide prevention and dog rescue work which was unfortunate.

I’m glad the things she brought to the table resonated with the AL1CE family (band and fans alike). As I mentioned when I started booking these summer guests - I wanted to shine a light on some folks that most people wouldn’t be familiar with - but would enjoy hearing from. Her music background and outside work was pretty much a no brainer to me. The fact that she was super sweet was just a delightful bonus.

BTS snippet: During her music video we talked about tattoos - hers and mine. We were still talking about them when Scott mentioned we were back live…. :)


Well, folks, that’s it - sort of. We all know Chapter 2 of the INSIDE/Out Virtual Tour with AL1CE is less than a week away so there are no goodbyes or see you laters. It’s see you on Wednesday. :)

I enjoyed doing these interviews. The nine guests were quite diverse and the longer format afforded me time to dig a little deeper (and in some cases still “run out of time”). If you read my tour report - or were in that Tea Time I attended on the first leg - then you know I was very intentional with who I invited on the show. These summer guests were no different.

I clearly have to like or at least have an interest in what the guest does. They could check off each box in my head but if I don’t like what they do, they’re not being invited on the show - period.

But if you look at each guest - you’ll see many boxes got checked. Music being the biggest group this go around. Film/Theatre/Acting being the second group. Female representation. LGBTQ+. BIPOC. All got checked off at some point, too. Topically the addition of indie wrestling and guinea pigs (PEEGS!) worked out well, too.

So for the upcoming tour - I’m pulling from any area I so choose. No limits. Some will of course be familiar areas but some won’t be - including the format for one of the interviews. Stay tuned as I’m still working the details out on this one.

Thank you for taking the time to watch these interviews - live or on YouTube (or both). I really appreciate the support. Thank you and see you soon!

Until next time,
Eclectic Arts

BTW: It was interesting that we started with Max (who is of Polish descent) - ended with I Ya Toyah (who is from Poland). This was not intentional - pure coincidence.

In between we “visited” Peru, Mexico, Armenia, The Philippines, England, The Netherlands, and Russia via the guests - this was somewhat intentional. Did anyone pick up on this?   ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment