5 People I’d Love to Interview

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A Geisha

There’s a quizzical fascination surrounding the longevity and demands of a geisha lifestyle, and given that they aren’t allowed to interview with public news sources, unless pre-approved by the boarding house mother, makes me even more curious. From what I understand, maiko (apprentice geishas) spend a majority of their day in school, performance practice, and hair & makeup, and they’re not allowed to use cell phones. What I most want to learn about are the expenses incurred including debt they must repay their house mother, the decision to become a geisha, the level of dedication and discipline it takes, and secrets for sleeping comfortably on neck pillows designed to keep their pricey hairdos in place. One can only learn so much from the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha, and hearing first-hand accounts would provide the greatest depth of understanding of traditional Japanese culture.

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Someone in NYC Government

In the event that, God forbid, NYC is the target of another terrorist attack, Manhattan starts to sink, or the city just wants to practice an island-wide fire drill for fun, I’d be most interested to know the details of an evacuation plan for 8 million people. What happens to those stuck in the subway? Would there be a frantic panic to get in a car and drive as far north as possible? Will there be flights available out of the city? Will the trains to New Jersey shut down? Will people have to swim or kayak across the rivers? Does such a large-scale evacuation plan exist? If so, what are the city’s most effective and efficient ways to save as many people as possible?

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K-pop and J-pop Musicians

It seems as if K-pop and J-pop artists don’t have as much freedom of speech, when it comes to their musical careers. From watching Youtube videos, their performances resemble theater plays rather than concerts: more scripted, decorative costumes, and high energy dance numbers. Decoding their answers and body language in interviews, it’s not hard to tell that the artists are under more pressure to do well, and maintain a certain image whereas the agency’s primary concerns are singles and revenue. Of course this could be misinformed interpretations of the industry, as I am someone trying to comprehend a culture I’m not familiar with from 6,000 miles away. Most notably, I’m intrigued by senior/junior relationships, why artists pursue acting, how military time affects their career, what their schedules are like, how they’re treated by their agencies, why some agree to be forced into plastic surgery to improve image, how money is handled, and why they can’t date [mainly pertains to J-pop artists]. From two countries who are very concerned about “losing face,” what goes on off-camera in the music industry is eluding.

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The World’s Richest CEOs

To my friend, Anna, I had mentioned in passing that it would be cool to do a documentary where I’d interview the world’s richest people, do a breakdown of what they spend their money on, and determine what their salaries could buy for the poor. I think it would put the big picture in perspective for all of us.

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North Korean Defector

You knew this was coming, right? Many of those daring enough to escape the world’s most isolated society and have succeeded are living elsewhere in Asia, primarily South Korea. I can only imagine how reluctant defectors must be to share their story. If I were fortunate enough to interview a NK defector, it would be untelevised for the sake of their privacy and selfishly conducting a sacred conversation. What really goes on within North Korean borders? What is daily life like? What are their impressions of tour groups visiting the DPRK? I hope to one day understand the psychology of the regime through the Korean people’s stories.

If you had the chance to interview anyone, who would it be and why?

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