In the new episode of Tony Imperatrice’s video podcast, “Other Stages,” the tables are turned. I’m the guest, and Tony interviews me. In an expansive interview, I talk about the early days of The Munro Review, the local cultural scene, the pandemic, and more.
Here’s the show:
Imperatrice has long been a part of the Fresno arts experience. He’s an accomplished organist and a veteran Rogue Festival storyteller. His show “Bach n Roll: The Unconventional Life of Virgil Fox” will be part of the online Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
I did manage to get the last interviewing word, however. After Tony conducted his interview with me, I asked if I could interview him — to promote the broadcast, of course. Here’s our quick conversation:
Q: Tell us about “Other Stages.” What is the format?
A: My show is simple, I play music, interview a guest, and tell a few stories. The music is mostly classical but I also include some of my original compositions. The people I interview are people who are outside the pop culture mainstream. My guests include a playwright, an orchestra CEO, amateur actors and fringe performers.
Q: Who have been some of your guests?
A: Most of my guests are familiar to the Fresno audience: Marcel Nunis, Jaguar Bennett, Donna Kay Yarborough, and many more. I have also interviewed more prominent figures like synthesizer pioneer Don Lewis, experimental musician P.C. Munoz and international comedian Lynn Ruth Miller. I also like to talk with people in the arts business like Fresno Philharmonic CEO Stephen Wilson, and yourself.
Q: What do you think makes a good podcast interview?
A: In most TV talk show interviews, the guest is a big-time celebrity and the host tries to get them to spill some salacious gossip. This may be good for ratings and the bottom line but it does nothing to enlighten or inform. In the video podcast world I am not encumbered by any corporate interest, so I can talk with interesting people about the nuts and bolts of their work and give them the opportunity to inform and enlighten on a deeper level.
Q: Fill in the blank: The Fresno-area cultural arts scene is __________.
A: More vibrant and diverse than anyone can imagine.
Q: You’re registered for the online Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tell us about that.
A: I have dreamed of going to the Edinburgh Fringe for many years. It is the largest arts festival in the world and going there is an excellent career move. This year it will be online, so I can go without the cost of travel. My plan is to perform online this year and go in person in 2022. I will be making a big announcement at the end of this week’s (episode 22) “Other Stages.”
Q: Anything else we should know?
“Other Stages” is about the creative life by creative people. Nearly all of my guests have shared valuable insights that are helpful for anyone who has a creative venture they would like to pursue. In the future I hope to include “special” episodes that explore specific issues in greater depth.