We had a stellar and exciting year at Serial Optimist. One of the things we value most about SO is the interviews we get, and how we conduct those interviews. With each interview we try to ask questions no one else would ask, stay clear of only talking about what someone might be plugging, and really try to get to know the person we’re talking with, so our readers will get to know the person we’re talking with. Our hope is that each interview is insightful, interesting, inspiring, funny and makes you smile. Luckily we get to talk with comedians, musicians, artists and writers so it makes that goal pretty easy. Here are our 12 favorite interviews of 2012. But truly, we love each one SO much.
An Interview With Someone We Love: Julie Klausner By David Dean | January 16
“Just sitting down and getting started, and then working on it until you’re finished is and I think will always be the hardest part of writing. Clocking the hours and not going crazy in your own company. Not giving into bullying thoughts. Not getting stuck on the first quarter of the page. Editing is easy once you have words down. Getting words down is always excruciating. Going on the Internet and looking at stuff is so much more appealing.” -Read the full interview here.
The Bearded, Hungry, Hilarious Storytelling Genius That Is Kyle Kinane By Zhila Shariat | April 24
“It was the next enticing dead-end after I realized I was bad at music. I needed to have an outlet. I didn’t think it was going to be a career. Just needed something with my free time. Some people, it’s their jobs, or their relationships. At least comedy made me feel productive–sure, I’m sitting at a bar with my friends every night, but there’s an open mic in the other room, so I’m there as a responsibility to my craft. It’s like finding your retirement hobby when you’re 22. “Oh, this is why I get up every day.” I totally understand the model train enthusiasts. I get it.” -Read the full interview here.
An Insightful Interview With The Bitter Buddha: Eddie Pepitone By Deborah Thomasian | March 24
“I want them to come away thinking about what we do in our lives- who are we hurting? Who are we helping? Who are we serving? I want people to think about what role they play as citizens of the world. Also just how insane we all are. I think there is no doubt about that, we are all nuts from the jump.” -Read the full interview here.
Angela Trimbur By David Dean | May 23
“I have never been to one of these joints before, but I knew it was all-nude. The little Korean lady led me to a super tiny locker and walked away. I took off my shoes and pants and underwear and went to shove them in this little cubby, and the lady shuffled back over and said: “No no, that’s just for shoes!” Ohhhhhh. I yanked out my pants and underwear and she offered to escort me to the main locker room. I assumed it was stupid to put the clothes back on just to walk over to take them off again, so with only my shirt on, I carried my stuff into the locker room. THERE THEY ALL WERE in full robes…just staring at me. I was totally Daisy Ducking it (no pants just a shirt) and I awkwardly stood there, vag out, extending my one hand while trying my best to cover with the other, and shook hands one by one with all five girls for the most uncomfortable introduction ever! After we commented on how awkward that was, we all shared quite an ice-breaking laugh and continued to laugh about it throughout the night, all NAKED SHOWERING TOGETHER, naked in the hot tub together, all naked in the steam roo- actually I’m going to submit this to Playboy articles. BRB!” -Read the full interview here.
Lesley Arfin By David Dean | June 25
“Now I don’t care if people “think they can write”. What’s the difference? If you write, you write. If you write well, you write well. So you never read Moby Dick? Cool, me either, who cares? If writing was based on how much or what we read, or “old school education”, I guess I wouldn’t be a “real” writer. Maybe the Notorious B.I.G. wouldn’t be either. What’s the difference between “acting confident” and actually just being confident? There is none. Same with writing. There’s no need to snob it up.” -Read the full interview here.
Rachel Bloom Is Just The Best By Deborah Thomasian | August 7
“I was always a nervous, excited, manic kid, and Manhattan Beach was a very “whatevs, dude” type of place, so it exacerbated my feelings of being an outcast. I guess you could call me “strange”- I only listened to show tunes until age 18, my typical outfit between ages 9-13 was sweatpants and oversized funny t-shirts, and I won a grandparent-grandchild lookalike contest at a mall. Since I was so socially awkward, the only thing I had going for me was the fact I was a performer, and, thus, the only time I felt respected by my peers was when I was cast in the lead in a play or got a solo in the choir concert. When I was in 5th grade, I wrote and starred in a talent show act called “The Me Station,” which was a one-person sketch about a television show with only one person. It was the first time I made a whole room laugh, and I realized the power of being funny.” -Read the full interview here.
Skulls & Comedy: Meet Illustrator Dave Kloc By Deborah Thomasian | August 14
“I love the overlap of art and comedy – but it’s more so the connection of independent comedy venues / comedians / art as the venues and the underground comedy shows start to accrue loyal fanbases along with the comedians themselves.” -Read the full interview here.
Interview With Jonah Ray By Deborah Thomasian | September 13
“I got up and I, for some UNKNOWN reason, took the mic out of the stand with confidence and just completely ran through my set like a babbling idiot all the while WHIPPING the mic cord all over the place with nervous energy. I was getting laughs, but I didn’t stop to listen. Then, I did a joke that turned the audience on this nervous kid: “I grew up a fat kid and I blame that on my parents. There are certain things you discipline your kid about, like “get your fingers out of that cookie jar!” or “get your fingers out of that light socket!” or “get your fingers out of your sister!”. The audience fucking gasped, then I said “Oh, come on, it’s okay. I don’t really have a sister….anymore at least.” Read the full interview here.
JC Coccoli Is All Style, All Smiles, & The Hippest Kind Of Sweet By Deborah Thomasian | September 17
“It’s funny that you asked if I was a bully or did I get bullied because regardless of my rebellious nature I HATED when people bullied kids in our class. Because I was off doing my own thing I didn’t have a clique or a group that I bowed down to but if I saw those jocky guys going after a science genius because he was smaller than them. Boy, oh boy did I let them have it. I think I flushed Bobby Lang’s crucifix necklace down the toilet after he picked on a kid. Then he told me I had a flat chest. And, then I said his “ginger freckles were revolting” I was a reallllll catch.” -Read the full interview here.
More Molls Please By David Dean | November 1
“I definitely had bad self-esteem when I was “just” a blogger. I felt like, “Why would I call myself a writer? Should I be embarrassed to think I’m good enough to deserve that title?” Looking back, that was insane. I’m a writer because I’ve always been one. I’ve never been able to stop that urge to put pen to paper or fingers to keys. That’s what makes you a writer, not your credits.” -Read the full interview here.
Interview With Steve Agee By Micah LeFebvre | November 6
“There’s something about getting older and realizing your own mortality that changes your outlook on things…at least for me. I’ve had to deal with depression and panic disorder for most of my adult life and I found that the best way to deal with it is through humor. I joke a lot about things that scare me – death, disease, and girls, just to name a few. As far as my world-view goes, I think the world is a fucked up place and anyone who disagrees with me just needs to go read the comment section of ANYTHING!” -Read the full interview here.
Chelsea Peretti Crankin Thru Your Sys By Deborah Thomasian | November 19
“My interactions with people on Twitter were funny slash terrifying. The idea of giving them all my number seemed funny to me. I can be pretty anti-social so being forced to interact with people is a good way to get my fight or flight instincts cranking, resulting in 4000 quips per second. This is a very tough quip average to beat and that is why my podcast is always #1 on iTunes every week (please do not fact check this interview)“. -Read the full interview here.
SO Note: What were some of your favorites? Let us know @Serial_Optimist.
Image via ShutterStock