Megan George founded The ZEN Succulent in 2012 but found her love for foliage much earlier. She grew up surrounded by greenery, most notably the five-foot terrarium that lived in her grandmother’s foyer. Megan recalls pressing her nose against the glass, enchanted by the world within. Today, Megan shares her love and wonder with Durham from her 400 square foot space of green.

STORY THOUGHTS FOR STORY TELLERS

Interviews are an intense internal battle. They’re the place where the past, present and future fight for attention.  The pre-producer conducted research and crafted a vision. The pre-producer obsesses about accuracy and capturing every byte of data. To the pre-producer, every detail merits inclusion.

The editor will sculpt this interview into a narrative. The editor needs statements to be clear and concise, or she’ll have to “franken-quote” a story. One bold quote beats 10 weak ones.

If you’re a one-person team, you are the pre-producer, interviewer and editor. In that case, your past and future selves are fighting their way into the interview. They’re also fighting each other:

“Ask another unnecessary question so they open up more!” the pre-producer suggests.

“I don’t want to transcribe this hour long interview!” the editor exclaims. “It’s garbage!”

“Worry about editing later!” says the pre-producer.

“That quote must be re-stated! It’s too weak!” says the editor.

All this brain noise makes the interview harder.

No matter the interviewee, I find that rooting myself in the present is vital. I’ve done the research; I’ve considered the story and pictured, at least in part, how I will edit it; and even if I haven’t, it’s time to focus on the here and now.  If you’re not in the present, the answers made by listening and asking intentional follow-up questions stay buried.

It was easier to find my center, my present self, while in The ZEN Succulent shop.

When has being in the present helped you during an interview?

mm

About Elliot Blumberg

Leave a Reply