Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Interview

In July 2008 Ivana Hruba appeared on the popular television show: Ned's Pearls of Wisdom The Television Show. The interview in its entirety (4.20 mins) is transcribed below. 

In the studio of the famous television show 'Ned's Greatest Reads', Ned, the host, leans seductively toward the author Ivana Hruba seated across the table from him.

Ned (squinting at the cue card in his hand): “So I’m reading here that you’re pretty, witty and very, very talented.”

Ivana: (smiling and casting demure glances like a virgin bride): “Don’t you believe everything you hear, Ned. I wouldn’t say I’m very very talented. Just talented, really.”

Ned (nodding): “I see. It says here that you write, paint, draw cartoons, decoupage, crochet clothes for your dogs and your cat, trim trees into geometrical shapes, dress garden gnomes as characters in Shakespearean plays, fluently gesture in fifty-five languages, make really tiny landscapes in really tiny glass bottles using only toothpicks and moss, organize baby wardrobes for a modest fee and … (here Ned squints closely at the print out) … make nice smelling candles to sell at your local church. That’s very impressive, Ivana.”

Ivana (looking very pleased): “It is, Ned. And I also play the guitar.”

Ned (with just a hint of irony): “Aha. You wouldn’t be a singer too, by any chance, would you?”

Ivana: (a slight blush suffusing her attractive cheeks): “Well, funnily enough, I was in a band for years.”

Ned: “Singing?”

Ivana: “Lead.”

Ned: “Naturally.”

Ivana: “Naturally.” (Here Ivana beams, winking at Ned and raising her brows just so.)

Ned (taking the hint) affords himself an indulgent smile: “And you were successful, I take it?”

Ivana (grinning expectantly at the thought of delivering a witty punch-line): “Well, we made just enough to keep me in waitressing.”

A slight pause follows during which Ned starts to look worried and Ivana eventually stops grinning.

Ivana (tossing her hair playfully): “I’d like to point out that I am no longer in that line of work.”

Ned: “Oh? What made you give it up?”

Ivana: “Popular demand, really.”

Ned: (laughs heartily): “Sorry to hear that. It must have been tough when nobody showed up.”

Ivana (looking pointedly around the empty studio): “I wouldn’t know about that. We had lots of people come to our shows. Loads, really.”

Ned: “So it was a good show then?”

Ivana: “Oh, yes. Well worth the two dollar cover charge. We had queues every night we played.”

Ned: “Really? At the door?”

Ivana: “Well … (looks undecided for a moment then decides to tell the truth) … perhaps I should explain. There were queues at the toilets every pension night because we only played every second Thursday and they wouldn’t let us use the stage so we just set up by the wall between the Ladies and the Men’s but the drummer couldn’t really fit the drum kit in that tiny narrow space so the kit basically barred the toilets on both sides and people had trouble getting in.”

Ned (after a pause during which he stared intently at Ivana sitting across from him): “Right, right. Interesting. So, why didn’t you keep going if you were that popular?”

Ivana: “I wasn’t really comfortable with that kind of exposure. It was too much. People were taking photos and everything.”

Ned (perking up): “What? You did nude photos?”

Ivana (gasping theatrically): “Me? I never!”

Ned: “Why not?”

Ivana: “Nobody asked, if you must know.”

An awkward pause follows during which Ned contemplates why it was that Ivana wasn’t asked to pose nude and Ivana contemplates why Ned would be wondering about that when there are great literary tomes to talk about. The hush is broken when Ned eventually mutters): “Sooo, let us speak about the novels. I would imagine your work is worth a lot to you.”

Ivana: “Well, Ned, I don’t think about it in monetary terms. It’s not viable, really.”

Ned: “Of course, not. You can’t really put a price on those things, can you?”

Ivana: “Oh, I could.”

Ned laughs a wee bit too loud. Leaning slightly forward, he winks at Ivana: “Tell me how much you got for the books.”

Ivana sighs, looking resigned if slightly uncomfortable because she knows she has no choice but to answer - after all, she had promised to give a ‘warts and all’ interview: “Well, I won’t go into details, dear Ned, but I can tell you that the money I’ve already received is well in line with the immense talent I possess and the high profile I enjoy.”

Ned: “Yes, I’ve heard you’re huge on social networking websites. It says here you’ve got about five hundred friends on Ned’s Greatest Reads.”

Ivana beams proudly and casts more demure glances: “Actually, it’s a bit more than that. 538 in total.”

Ned: “Right, right. Interesting. Soo … (Ned nods thoughtfully, swiveling slightly in his swivel chair) … would you say you’re close to these people?”

Ivana (hesitantly): “Well … we’re friends, you know.”

Ned: “Aha. So if you came face to face with one, you’d be okay with that?”

Ivana: “Oh, yeah. I’d be all right. I carry me Mace on me at all times.

Ned picks up a stack of loose papers he had been gathering into a pile during the interview and taps the pile into a neat stack.

Ned: “Well then, Ivana, it’s been a pleasure.” (He beams at the author, extending his hand towards her in a gesture of good-bye.)

Ivana (confusedly): “Huh? So soon? Can we talk about me books?”

Ned: “Sorry, love. We’re out of time.”

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