Author: elizagalesinterviews

An Interview With Writer Patrick Adams

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Patrick Adams is the author of the children’s book, Lisa Goes To series; here is a link to his website:

http://www.patrickadamsbooks.com/

 

 

Q: What made you want to write?

 

A: The writing bug didn’t hit me until a few years ago, but the genesis of it took place on a beach in French Polynesia.  In 2012, I was on a cruise around the islands there on Paul Gauguin Cruise Lines.  I traveled by myself, so I had a lot of time alone with my own thoughts.  I was laying on a beach on a little island there called Motu Mahana.  I was taking in the scenery.  I really loved it there.  All of a sudden, a story started to form in my head.  It was powerful…..it was like i could feel the book writing itself in my mind.  It was so powerful that I had to grab a piece of paper where i could find one and get something to write with.  I wrote down the story and started to even outline chapters.  When I was done, I folded up the paper and put it away.

 

For the next two years, I occasionally looked at that paper and thought more about the chapters.  I never seemed to have the time or focus to write it though.  That is, until 2014, when I quit my job and took a 4 month sabbatical where I traveled the world.  My primary goal on that sabbatical was to write this book.  Not only did I do that, which I have finally submitted that book for developmental edit, but I also conceived a children’s book series based on travel.  On that 4 month sabbatical, in my mind, I became a writer.

 

Q: Why children’s books?

 

A: I fell in love with two things about the children’s book series I had conceived.  First, the stars of the book were to be my own kids.  I would have a lot of fun writing stories and bringing their real personalities to life.  Second, it had a travel theme.  One of my biggest passions in life is traveling and seeing different places in the world.  Even though I had written a novel, I decided to push forward with this concept first.  It was something special for my kids, and that drove me more to bring it to life.

 

Q: What is Lisa Goes to England about?

 

A: Lisa Goes to England is the debut adventure of Holly, Daniel and Jonathan along with Holly’s magical stuffed animal, Lisa.  Lisa is magical because she can come to life and transform herself into any animal or object.  The kids are visiting England and planning to see a lot of amazing sites.  Lisa turns into a flying horse and she and Holly go to meet the Queen at her castle.  Daniel and Jonathan head off to see Stonehenge.  Jonathan, the rambunctious one, causes an incident and Stonehenge that require Holly and Lisa to come to the rescue.  The book is meant to entertain and educate kids about England and have an adventure to remember.

 

Q: What separates Lisa from other children’s book heroines?

 

A: Lisa is a very magical entity in a modern and real world setting, and in addition to all the amazing powers she has, she’s also a companion and protector for Holly.  Many children loved their stuffed animals, and in some cases treat them like a real person.  I decided to take that a step further and create not only a powerful and noble character in Lisa, but have her always be the one who saves the day.  I’m hoping that relationship between children and their stuffed animals resonates when they read about Lisa.

 

Q: You have a very responsible job as a AVP of Strategic Implementations for a mortgage company. What does your job entail?

 

A: I run a Project Management Office (PMO) in my company which is responsible currently for all of the project management, process management, business analysis, training, systems administration, data reporting and quality assurance.  We are there to support the front line staff who are helping borrowers through their mortgage loans and to ensure that all systems are working and that we are constantly making our process better.  I manage a team of 6 people that help make all of this happen.

 

Q: How do you make time for writing?

 

A: I take advantage of free time when I have it and the motivation strikes.  I have become quite a user of the Notes app on my iPhone.  That has become my tool to capture ideas if they hit me during the day or during a time that I’m unable to sit down and write.  Writing children’s books is much different than writing a long novel in that you can keep the story text simpler but spend more time imagining the illustrations to go along with it, which are the heart and soul of the books.  Because of that, I’m still able to be as prolific as I want in preparing my children’s books even though I have a full time job.

 

I did write another full book of travel stories from throughout my lifetime, which I was able to do in my free time while still working.  After a lot of thought, I will probably turn that into a blog series about travel.  I’m hoping to roll that out in the coming months.

 

Q: What inspired you to start a blog about epilepsy?

 

A: My daughter, Rhythm, was diagnosed with a form of Epilepsy called Infantile Spasms when she was 7 months old.  Infantile Spasms not only causes seizures, but impact the development of a child.  This has been very true in Rhythm’s case.  Rhythm was in the Philippines when she was diagnosed.  The doctors over there put her on several medications, which simply drained the life out of her and made her nearly a vegetable.  At that time, my fiance (now my wife) and I had made connections with other parents through Facebook groups whose children were experiencing similar conditions.  We started to learn of other options that people had tried, including cannabis oil, that had positive effects on their children.  On the other hand, we also learned of children who weren’t making it, sometimes due to the disease and other times due to the pharmaceuticals they were taking for it.

 

When Rhythm arrived here in the US, we had weaned her off pharmas and were set to try a form of legal CBD Oil made from hemp called Haleigh’s Hope.  This was considered a supplement and is quite different than medical marijuana which is still being debated in states across the country. It did contain cannabinoids, the element of cannabis that has shown to be effective in stopping seizures.  Within a week of taking Haleigh’s Hope, Rhythm’s seizures stopped.  She went from over 100 per day to zero for awhile.  She still had remnants of the Infantile Spasms though, and as we worked with the dosage and added multi-vitamins, the seizures have completely stopped now for the last two months.

 

I started writing this blog so that the many families out there who are dealing with this same thing know Rhythm’s story and it may give them options they had never considered.  It also helps us to learn what has worked for them.

 

Q: What do most people misunderstand about epilepsy?

 

A: People who aren’t close to someone who has epilepsy, be it a friend or family member, may think of the seizure as being a convulsion that someone has that they quickly recover from.  But there are many forms of epilepsy that are insidious, and that includes Infantile Spasms.  In a way, it re-sets the brain every time it happens and wipes away what a child has learned on a daily basis.  Not only that, but it stunts their ability to learn anything new.  Rhythm’s seizures stopped two months ago and she is 2 years old now.  She still can not sit up, crawl, walk, talk or even keep sustained eye contact.  This will be a long haul for Rhythm to learn all of these things many parents take for granted.  It will take years of therapy, and ultimately her body will have to teach her brain, instead of the other way around.

 

Q: What trends in children’s fiction annoy you?

 

A: The one trend for me is probably the attached stigma to self-publishers, which I am.  I think the phrase “Independent Author” is not a bad thing at all, but even I have run up against some rejection of being accepted into book stores, partnering with foundations or doing shows at schools or other venues because I’m not working with a reputable publisher.  I have nothing against publishing companies, and had strongly considered shopping my Lisa Goes To series around to several of them.  But there is a rigidity to some places that can really give your book a strong opportunity to succeed, and even though the book could be amazing in its own right, it’s rejected without a look because it’s self-published.  Books should be reviewed and considered based on their content, not their publisher.

 

My company, Patrick Adams Books, LLC, which I publish my books through, has recently opened up to clients.  I’ve taken my experience and knowledge of self-publishing and really want to help others bring their vision to life.  We will be publishing our first children’s book not authored by me in late September or early October.  My promise to the other Independent Authors is complete control over their books, copyright in their name and ownership of all illustrations and images.  It leaves all of the decision making in their hands, and I feel happy to have helped guide them through the process.

 

Q:  If Lisa spent the day at your office, what kind of adventures would she have?

 

A: Lisa would join me in meetings for the first few hours.  Then she’d come to life while sitting in my office, bored from the meetings, and whisper in my ear – “Hey……do you want me to turn into an airplane and take you somewhere fun?”  I would think about it for a second, and then say, “Yes.  Yes I do.”  And off we would go!  She’d have me back in time for my next meeting though.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

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An Interview With Actress Caroline DeGraeve

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(Originally posted to ActLand.)

 

 

Caroline DeGraeve is an actress who appears in Josh Mitchell’s new film Hard Visit; here is a link to her website:

 

Q: What made you interested in working in film?

 

A: Last summer I was cast as the lead role of Beth Clark, for a western indie film called Cataract Gold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnxviqZhW_Q).

I had no prior experience as an actor but the director, Paul Kiener, insisted I was natural. Upon my first day of filming, I felt I was meant to be in film. I was simultaneously at ease and excited. I knew I wanted to work in film immediately.

 

Q: What is Hard Visit about?

 

A: Hard Visit is about a struggling actor, Ben, who goes to his bookie brother, Smoothy, for help. Ben gets thrown into the shady world of gambling, deception and hidden agendas. When a conniving woman gets between the two brothers, the stakes run higher than ever.

 

Q: What role do you play in the film?

 

A: I play Piper Kissinger, a woman after Smoothy’s attentions in

the hot tub.

 

Q: How did you prepare for the role?

 

A: I put myself in the shoes of someone who seduces a man for personal gain.

 

Q: What is your strangest audition story?

 

A: When I was approached for the lead in Cataract Gold, I wasn’t even aware of auditions taking place. I was at a Starbuck’s waiting for my drink. I had just finished a hike in 100 degree weather. I must’ve looked a fright! I remember being frustrated that my phone wasn’t connecting to Wi-Fi fast enough and was probably scowling. In my periphery, I noticed someone staring at me and I was not in the mood for shenanigans, so I looked up, gave my best glare, and continued being preoccupied with my phone. The man staring turned out to be Paul Kiener, who proceeded to tell me he was casting for his western and that he loved my look. I wasn’t swayed to participate because I had no clue who he was and it just seemed odd to approach a stranger in line for coffee to audition for a lead role in a feature film. I did, however, take his card. After a few hours of searching online for any telltale signs of smut films under his name or any other shady work, and not finding anything, I gave him a call. I met him an hour later and read a few pages of the script for him. Next, he asked if I could ride a horse without falling off. I answered “yes”. Next thing I knew, I was in a movie. It was all very surreal, but I loved every moment of the experience and I knew I wanted more.

 

Q: How does your work as a bartender influence your pursuit of acting?

 

A: I act every day of my life. Bartending or serving is like putting on a show. You greet the guests differently based on what you read about their expression or behavior. In the hospitality industry, it’s important to learn how to talk to all sorts of people. You can’t be afraid to engage in conversation or draw their attention in some way. As a bartender, the bar is your ship, so to speak, and you are the captain. You have to read your crew, anticipate their needs, and know if someone is getting unruly or causing disharmony. Moreover, you should know how to approach each situation based on how you read each individual, or if any personal dynamics amongst your guests exist. If your assessment of any given scenario is correct, you will be able to slide right into any character you need to get the result you want. My personal thoughts or feelings are on the backburner while I work. It’s all an act.

 

Q:  Have you ever been offered a gig while you were tending bar?

 

A: Nothing of consequence ever came of several conversations. It’s a common occurrence for people to show interest in film or suggest working together on something.

 

Q:  What do you like about living in the desert?

 

A: Contrary to what many people think, I love the heat! Also, it’s a very relaxed lifestyle that has enough activity to involve yourself with, if you so choose. Also, there is a lot of talent in the desert. I filmed my short film, Real Smile (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6043410/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) in the desert and had a lot of help from businesses and other artists in completing it.

 

Q: With which character that you have played do you have the least in common?

 

A: The role of Dolly in Gina Carey’s The One Year Pact (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7079604/) is very different from me. Dolly is a very vulnerable, dependent woman. In the scene, Dolly is embarrassed and in tears at something that happens and locks herself away to hide. I’m not a crybaby, nor would I lend much importance a situation that blemished a flawless reputation for propriety. I’m not interested in being seen as perfect. I believe our flaws give us the human connection we crave.

 

Q: Do you think aspiring artist are more susceptible to con men such as bookies and hustlers?

 

A: Yes. Aspiring to amount to anything in the entertainment world demands a lot of work and effort for almost no return. It takes guts and tenacity to keep at it. There will be pitfalls and disappointments but, in the end, it’s about how much you want it. Being confident, being a hard worker, and developing a marketing strategy are tools that will inch you along despite setbacks.

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview with Aspiring Actor Ravi Petchetti

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Ravi Petchetti is an aspiring actor and IT specialist; here is a link to his YouTube page:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W44zpdPLWsQ

 

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I always wanted to act and be in front of the camera. Acting gives me a real high since it allows me to portray different characters, go through various emotions, simulate varied setting which otherwise in real life you might not get a chance to do.

 

Q:     What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I have not had any formal training, I guess I am a natural 😊 I got briefly trained in JAZZ dance but that’s about it. All my learning has been on the sets.

 

Q:     You work in IT. How does your day job prepare you for the job of acting?

 

A: It doesn’t much except that the fact that we all pretend we know what the other guy is talking about in the meetings (though we really don’t ). Also aren’t we all actors in real life?

 

Q:    What is 71 Feet Diner about?

 

A: Actually ’71 Feet Diner’ is the working title, the actual short film name is ‘Nameless’ (Yes, isn’t that ironic?). It is about a lost guy trying to find the meaning of life. In pursuit of that – he roams around, meets different people from various walks of life and shares life experiences with them

 

Q:      What role do you play?

 

A: I play a role of a Pakistani bartender dealing with his own issues of life. As a part of the interaction with the main lead, he vents out his frustrations on him but later realizes his mistake due to his other good friends’ words of wisdom

 

Q: What experiences did you draw from when playing the role?

 

A: I could empathize with the role and understand the emotions the character was going through. We all have to go through the daily grind of life and in the process face various hurdles, frustrations but eventually learn to move on with life in the best possible way

 

Q: What would you do if you disagreed with a director about the way a character should be played?

 

A: I would be open and discuss with the director but finally go with what he says because I believe Director is truly the captain of the ship and ultimately it is his vision. A true actor needs to mold himself to that vision and be an enabler in fulfilling that vision.

 

Q:  What famous film role could you have nailed?

 

 A: I believe I am good at subtle acting and with everyday humor.  I am a huge fan of Seinfeld and I would love to reprise his role if it was rebooted again. Also I am a big fan of Robert De Niro and would love to do his role in Midnight Run

 

Q: What makes someone a bad actor?

 

A: I guess as soon as the audience loses interest in you. Actor’s job is to hold the audience attention and make them travel along with you without losing the interest.

 

Q: What one thing would you most like to change about the film industry?

 

A: I think I am too inexperienced, young to answer that question, I am just getting my feet wet in this industry. Maybe after 10 years, when I am enough experienced and successful, I will be able to answer this better 😊

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Photographer Cendrine Marrouat

 

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Cendrine Marrouat is a photographer, here is a link to her website:

 

http://creativeramblings.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in photography?

A: The desire to document the things around me.

 

I started my artistic career as a poet, and like every writer will tell you, it can be hard to find the words to describe concepts.

 

Originally, though, I did not believe I had any talent as a photographer. For a very long time, I did not even know what I was doing. But people’s encouraging words did the trick. In 2014, after four years of practice and self-education, I started selling my photos online. A year later, my first photography book was out.

 

Q: Why black and white?

A: There is something very special about it. I am like a child in a candy store when I see tintypes and daguerreotypes. Early photography fascinates me.

 

Working with the black-and-white format is a fulfilling and liberating experience. It is like trying to re-create the past out of the present. I’m not sure if it makes sense.

 

Q: Who are some of your influences and how can we see them in your work?

A: Ansel Adams is the photographer who has had the most impact on my work. While I am not a big fan of over-processing photos, I love contrast.

 

As to how people can see Adams’ influence in my photos, I can’t really say. I will let others decide for themselves. 😉

 

Q: What is the overall theme of ‘Life’s Little Things: The Quotes’?

A: I have noticed that an increasing number of people resort to negativity to get attention these days. Facebook, in particular, has become a hotbed of verbal aggression.

 

People need to treat themselves better if they want respect from others. But it will not happen until they understand the importance of self-awareness.

 

‘Life’s Little Things: The Quotes’ leverages this idea. I have paired my own images with words of wisdom (based on personal experience) to encourage the viewer to reconnect with themselves.

 

Q: What are some common mistakes people make when they first attempt nature photography?

 

A: Most people go directly for the obvious — the thing that is directly in front of them. They do not take the time to build stories into their shots.

 

For example, when taking a photo of a landscape, check if there are clouds. Blue sky is nice but can be quite boring. Clouds add great texture and drama.

 

Macros are not interesting if you just stand on top of your subjects. It has just been done too many times. Look around you and take advantage of your surroundings. Take a vertical shot, for example.

 

Aim for the geometry in nature, look at the way light hits tree barks or leaves, and use the rule of thirds to create dynamics.

 

Good photography is like theatre or a traditional haiku. It forces us to rethink our pre-conceived notions of the world.

 

Q: What is the most challenging photograph you have ever taken?

A: This one: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/droplets-2-cendrine-marrouat.html. (The black-and-white version can be found here: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/droplets-3-cendrine-marrouat.html.)

 

I took the photo a few years ago in my backyard just after a rain spell. Everything was against me. The ground was muddy. The wind was blowing quite hard. And my tripod was too tall. I had to actually hand-hold the camera and twist my body not to move too much!

 

I cannot remember how long it took me to take the shot, but my legs hurt for a long time after the session. Lol

 

Q: How does your job as a language teacher influence your ability to pursue your photography projects?

 

A: Studying the way language works has many benefits. For example, you develop strong analytical skills and an ability to read between the lines. Through my 14 years as a French instructor to adults, I have also learnt flexibility and how to ensure that the learning experience is fun and enriching for my students.

 

Every time I am in the classroom, I feel excited and alive. I know I will learn almost as much  from my students as they will learn from me. I keep that open mind with photography and always experience the same kind of emotions.

 

Q: What makes something a worthwhile focal point for a nature photograph?

A: The little details that make the overall picture enticing.

Q; What are do you consider to be something in nature that has been over-photographed? What has been under examined?

 

A: Honestly, I don’t think you can over-photograph anything in nature. It all depends on your relationship with your surroundings and the way you use them to tell your stories.

 

I have been taking shots of the same spots for years. But each photo is different or unique. The light will never hit in the same exact spot. The wind may have moved things around. Somebody may have left their mark, etc. I just love challenging myself to catch those differences.

 

What has been under examined, though, is the impact of details on the resulting images. Nature is not just about gorgeous landscapes and flowers.

 

Great photography seeks the mundane to capture the fleeting, but true beauty of life in its many forms.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview With Self-Help Author Ms. Joe Bacon

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Ms. Joe Bacon is the author of 30 Things That Scare Women About Themselves! Here is a link to the books Amazon page:

https://goo.gl/at202K

 

Q: What inspired you to write, 30 Things That Scare Women About Themselves!

 

A:  I was inspired by the conversations that continued to surround me by women. I was constantly thinking oh they are like me or it is always someone in worse off shape so be grateful and see the positive in life.

 

Q:  What qualifies you to write a self-help book?

 

A: I think anyone who pays attention to life can write a self help book, especially with so many air heads walking around staring in the clouds or their smart devices. They do tend to make people dumber.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?

 

A: At first, I didn’t know that this book would develop, but in trying to write another book, I started to look at all of the topics, saw the potential & began to interview women from all walks of life.

 

Q: What are a few examples of the kind of things that scare women about themselves?

 

A: Having your child molested and not know how to help them thru it. Finding out your spouse cheated on you. Having your child hate you. Failing at your goals. being confused about your sexuality.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?

 

A: I manage the office of a tech company in San Francisco, CA. & flip houses in the US.

 

Q: What are some self help books that have helped you?

 

A: Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Secret, and almost any book by Tony Robbins. I love him.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

 

A: Interviews, social media, and beating the pavement so I can speak to people.

 

Q: What other kinds of writing do you do?

 

A:  Real life issues like PPD , abuse, or family issues.

 

Q: How can you tell a good self-help book from a bad one?

 

A:  I feel that every book is different, so if it helps you then it is a good book for you.

 

Q: What scares you about yourself?

 

A:  I am scared of failure and having my child not like me. I didn’t like my bio-logical mom and I fear that will happen with my son and I. I find myself trying to exceed with what ever he wants or needs of me. We have a great relationship now and I hope it doesnt change.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Jukebox Film Festival Director Darla Bayer

 

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Darla Bayer is the Director of The Jukebox International Film Festival; here is a link to their website:

https://filmfreeway.com/festival/JukeboxInternationalFilmFestival

 

Q: What made you interested in starting a film festival?

A: It all started when I discovered the 48 Hour Film Project. I wanted to do one myself so I started a free group to help find filmmakers willing to compete. I called the monthly meeting “Wired Wednesday”. We taught each other, crewed for each other and even participated in The No Film Film Fest.

It became evident that we were not going to do a 48 Hour film, as they were all too far for us to journey, so instead I suggested we start a competition called “City Wide Short Film Competition”.

This competition was modeled on the 48 hour except it was a one week time frame, from Wednesday to Wednesday to get the film written, cast, shot, edited and back to us. All teams were to use the same three prompts, a specific sound effect, a specific line of dialog and a specific prop. They had their choice of 6 genres to chose from. It was a blast! And the films were remarkable!

City Wide is now in it’s 6th year and has a spin off called “Carson Creepy Horror Film Competition”. This one came about because I had refused to let horror be a genre in City Wide, trying to keep it more family oriented. Well, a few filmmakers convinced me and we have had some truly awesome films come out of that competition as well.

Ok…rolling right along, we’ve done the competition thing. Wired Wednesday knows how to do this now, so why not a festival?

Q: What makes your film festival unique?

 

A: We like the basis of our festival because it is all about music. We accept music videos, documentaries and feature films. An added bonus is our screening dates are during an established music festival, Jazz and Beyond.
Being a musician and a filmmaker myself, I enjoy seeing documentaries about musicians or styles.

Q: What can your film festival offer that others cannot?

 

A: The fact this festival is smack dab in the middle of a live music festival. With musicians all over town in multiple venues. Free concerts mostly.

 

Q:  How did you obtain funding for the festival?

 

A: Past competitions have brought in money from advertisers. That’s pretty much it.

Q: Who will judge the contest?

 

A: We have industry professionals, writers, directors, musicians. Some not yet confirmed, but, Joseph Bly, Celtic musician, director Brian Nunes, Rita Geil, Lacy J Dalton.

Q: What advice would you give to a potential entrant?

 

A: Please be sure your film is music themed, we expect more than just music in the background. The film should play on specific stories about musicians, venues, styles. Singer songwriter moves up in the world, that sort of thing. Music videos of course can tell the story of the songs lyrics, those will be more interesting than just watching a band play their song, although we are not opposed to that either. Music, music, music.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your ability to organize a film festival?

 

A: I am a freelance  costumer and do video production (camera to edits). My last job however was running a public access tv station. We had a studio where people could check out cameras and learn all needed to create film and tv.

Q: What is the best musical film you have ever seen?

 

A: A few years ago a friend of my daughters had a film he had just completed called “Find Your Way”. A documentary about buskers. We screened the film thru our Wired Wednesday group, open to the public followed by a skype with the director. That film, not only for the technical aspects which were very good, touched me on a level that made me very happy. To see musicians out there doing their thing and being appreciated. Another film that I love is Oingo Boingo‘s “Hot Tomorrows”, obscure, yes, but truly memorable film noir in black and white. I’d be willing to say that film was what made me want to make films myself

Q: What is the worst musical film you have ever seen?

 

A:  I don’t really have a worst, I’ve liked nearly all I have seen. I enjoy musical theatre as well and enjoy seeing the filmed productions. Some of my best memories are from my high school years when Mrs.Morrow, our drama teacher, introduced us to shows like Studs Terkel’s “Working” and “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”. Those films were inspirational to my entire life.
 

Q:  What living musician’s life do you think has been over documented?

 

A: I don’t feel there is an over documented issue. The more out there the more we have an effect on people. So if there’s a film about, say, Paul McCartney, and yet there’s been others, those who want to see them all can. But someone who knows nothing about him, only one of the films might look interesting enough for them to view. It’s not a competition between films. They play on each other, build and grow interest.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

 

An Interview with Jordan Casty of Eleven Dollar Bills

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Jordan Casty is the lead singer for the band Eleven Dollar Bills; here is a link to the band’s first album:

All Our People

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

 

A: I’ve been singing and messing around on instruments for as long as I can remember but something strange happened when I was sixteen and I found out just the slightest bit of music theory.  I felt like I was stepping into a different world and speaking the same, mysterious language all my musical heroes were speaking.  I felt like I had joined a new club and I never wanted to leave.

 

 

Q: What is your creative process?

 

A: My creative process starts with drinking a whole bunch of coffee and messing around with my guitar or piano.  I feel around in the dark, humming melodies and fiddling on the guitar until something sounds like the beginning of a real idea.  Some melody that feels sturdy enough to build on or some group of words that sparks a song idea.  It’s just a construction job from there.  That’s how our new single ‘Waves’ came about.  Some mumble sounded like the key to a joyful idea about serious fun.  A couple hours later we’d fashioned up a whole new chapter of our musical lives.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of your album, All Our People?

 

A: The All Our People EP is about bringing people together through celebration of life.  It’s about amplifying experience across the entire spectrum of emotion so that life becomes a deeper and more exciting ride.

 

Q: Did Bob Dylan inspire your name or is there another meaning behind it?

 

A: Bob Dylan has been my favorite songwriter since I started diving deeply into his work during my college years.  I felt like if I named my band after one of his lyrics, I might be able to direct a bit of whatever spirit has been speaking through him to come through me for a while.

 

Q:  How did you and the other band members get together in the first place?

 

A: This incarnation of the band came together in Los Angeles and we all met through playing music in the bars out here.  There are so many places to see killer live music in LA and when I got out here, I just started talking with everybody I thought was great after they got off stage.  We’d jam and play some trial-shows together and then it congealed into the lineup you see today.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your music?

 

A: I drive a bit of Uber when the music money is slow.  I like to talk with my passengers if it feels like they’re open to it.  I feel like it helps in my songwriting to get so many different people’s stories.  The more varied your perspective, the more powerfully you can write.

 

Q: Your recording is very professional sounding! How did you get the album financed?

 

A: Thank you for the kind words!  Our producer Jim Huff is indeed a master craftsman.  And a master with the budget!  He called in a lot of favors to get this record made and we had a bit of family funding for whatever we weren’t able to cover ourselves.

 

 

Q: What would you change about the music industry?

 

A: If I could change one thing about the music industry, it’d be updating the royalty rates for songwriters.  Songwriters are really getting shafted lately and it’d be nice to see the money split up more fairly.

 

Q: What is your weirdest LA story?

 

A: One of my weirdest LA stories came while driving Uber.  I picked up this guy who told me to “just drive”.  I said okay and when I looked over, he was ‘making it rain’ on Tinder.  That’s when you rapidly and indiscriminately swipe right to rack up a swath of matches.  He kept it up and I kept driving through Los Angeles until he’d found a match that met his criteria.  He must’ve been a pro sweet talker because he had her address in minutes and we headed that way.  I pulled up and he went in.  But not before asking if I’d like to join.  I told him I’d have to take a rain check.

 

Q: At which club do you most look forward to having a concert?

 

A: Since I grew up in Chicago, playing the main stage at Lollapalooza will be a pretty serious thrill.  But the Hollywood Bowl might be even more fun.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.