Interviewed by Bilal

Bilal Dardai (playwright, Neo-Futurist, married man) is doing one of those things -- the Interview Meme -- on his LiveJournal.

Rules are as follows: You comment on this entry requesting an interview. I respond with five questions. The questions will theoretically be tailored to you based on what I know of you (or want to know). You copy and paste those questions into your own journal, and write the answers, along with these rules. Anyone wanting an interview from you continues the game by requesting an interview from you.

So here are the questions he asked me and my answers to the same:

1) You always strike me as a very even-tempered individual. Have you always been as such, or did you have to actively cultivate this demeanor? Is there anything that can get you truly, truly angry?

Yes, yes, and yes. I was going to say I've always been pretty calm, but I realized that "neurotic" would probably be a better way of describing the demeanor of my youth. I've been actively pursuing sanguinity for a number of years now (FuzzyCo motto #6: Therapy is Great!). But get me tired and grumpy or show me great injustice and you'll hear some cursing. I'm not proud to admit it, but the number one thing that really gets me swearing-and-shaking furious is frustrating sections of video games. I have, to my shame, flung controllers.

2) Is there any job/career besides your own you've always wanted to try?

In my youth I wanted to be a forest ranger.

In my adulthood I've wanted to try everything. And I do dabble in a lot of different things. I used to be a handy-man for rental units, and a bookkeeper for a headshop, and a graphic designer (all at the same time). These days I do a little programing, a little web design, a little photography, a little video-editing. And there are seriously times when I'm on the train and there are the ads that the CTA is hiring train repairers and I really wonder how long it would take to get trained in hydraulic systems repair and what it would be like to have that job. Could I be a cop? A teacher? I think about that all the time.

3) List your five all-time favorite video games; defend your choices if you think they need defending.

In alphabetical order:

Monkey Island (the first three)
Samba de Amigo
Tony Hawk (all versions)

4) Is there a show you've produced that you're proudest of? How about a show you've performed in?

In the summer of 1995, my friend Matt Martin decided he wanted to direct No Exit. I was already producing a bi-weekly 'coffeehouse' music event at the Wesley Foundation (the Methodist Campus Ministry), so we somehow managed to convince people that Sartre's examination of hell would be an appropriate summer production for The Wesley Players. It was my first time producing theater, and I was the technical director as well, so I'm proud that the show went off at all. But I'm also really proud that we sold out our entire run* and that we came in on budget and made a tiny ($5) profit.

I think I'm proud of all the times I've taken risks and gotten on stage and done something new (new to me, anyway).

* To increase the claustrophobia for the audience, we put the audience on stage and built a stage on the floor -- so we only had 35 seats. And our run was three shows in one weekend. So 'sold out' was 105 patrons.

5) In a best case scenario--that is, you went when you wanted to, how you wanted to, and everybody was okay with that--describe your funeral.

Goodness, what a question. We've been trying not to think about funerals in the Gerdes household, but here goes:

When my grandma Ahlrichs died, she wanted (and we had) a memorial service, not a funeral. Her body wasn't there (in fact, it was in rural Iowa, so the nearest crematorium was hours away and she was somewhere in transit while we were having the service. It was, at some level, just a big family get together and people kept saying (and then catching themselves), "we should do this more often." So, something like that. Oh, and play Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy's I Only Have Eyes For You.