A recent daily writing prompt asked folks to pretend to be guests on Bravo’s Inside the Actors’ Studio, an interview show where host James Lipton would ask each guest the same ten questions.
I’ll admit to having never watched a complete episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio*, but I’m not going to let that stop me.
I am a sucker for these types of questionnaires, be it in a blog prompt chain email, or Facebook meme. Besides, who doesn’t love the opportunity to talk about themselves?
- What is your favorite word?
Onomatopoeia. Aside from it being a beautiful word to say, I love the irony that a word meaning “The formation or use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to” sounds nothing like the act of forming words.
- What is your least favorite word?
Lots of options here. “Moist” was one of the first to come to mind, but I feel like that is a clichéd response. Besides, when used correctly (such as an adjective for cake), moist is wonderfully descriptive word. My choice would probably be “panties”. It is damn near impossible for a grown man to utter that word without sounding like a creepy perv.
- What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
When an idea sparks in my head – a line that I think is clever, an opinion or insight that I must share, or I hear/read something that causes me to react strong (or with an excess of sarcastic snark) – it is amazing. When that happens, I simply MUST write it down – even if it is just jotting a quick note in the electronic notebook I keep.
- What turns you off?
I assume we’re still talking about creatively. Otherwise, this is going to get uncomfortable for everybody.
My creative turn offs are a lack of time/energy to write; and dealing with stress zaps my creativity. Frankly, I’d love to know what I could produce if I didn’t have to worry about / focus on silly things like work and paying bills.
- What is your favorite curse word?
I’m going to give two answers here – a PG and non-PG answer. Why? I feel that for the most part, “curse” words have lost their meaning. An F-bomb in public, during a movie, or from your parent doesn’t have the same punch as it did 20, 30, or 40 years ago. Shit, damn, bitch, and a host of other words practically feel conversational nowadays. If you want shock value – which, lets face it, is a big reason why people swear in the first place – you need to go atomic by stringing together multiple curses into a Clark Griswold Christmas Vacation type rant. Or you need to go to race or sexual orientation, which is not advised for day to day use.
My non-PG answer would be the f-bomb. It is simple, classic, and timeless. As others have noted, it can be a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, and so much more. It can express frustration, fear, disappointment, hurt, and a whole host of other emotions.
But since I have three kids under the age of five, I need some good PG alternatives. As much as I believe traditional curse words are losing their meaning and power, they are plenty potent (and pretty damn funny) when they come from a little kid. Therefore, when I need to express frustration, I go with one of three child-friendly standbys: “Biscuits and gravy!!” “God Bless America!” or “Sons of guns!”
- What sound or noise do you love?
Absolutely, and without a doubt, the giggles and laughter of my children.
- What sound or noise do you hate?
I can deal with screaming, whining, crying kids, fingernails on blackboards*, squeaking Styrofoam (my wife’s nemesis), and a ton of other noises, but I simply cannot stand a dentist’s drill.
*I’m realizing what a dated reference that is. Also, fingernails on a whiteboard makes no discernible sound.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would love to be professionally retired.
- What profession would you not like to do?
If my job involved selling stuff or contractor type duties, my family would starve.
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Trust me, this is most definitely NOT Iowa.”