I was reading a recent post by my girl Amy Juicebox on [now for a word or two] where she answered the Proust questionnaire (a questionnaire about personality made popular by Marcel Proust’s responses in the 19th century), and I was reminded of the show Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton on Bravo. The program welcomes actors, directors and writers to discuss their crafts with students of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Anyone who is anyone in the acting world has graced the stage to converse with James Lipton. Though as a kid, I often found the one-one-one interview portion to be a bit boring, but I always looked forward to James Lipton closing out the interview with 10 simple questions (adapted from French TV personality Bernard Pivot, which was adapted from the Proust questionnaire). I found something very normal and human about the responses – it made many of these famous actors who I saw as in a different stratosphere as me seem so relatable and personable. To this day, I don’t care about the interview portion of Inside the Actors Studio, I only want to know how they answer the 10 questions.
In tradition with ITAS and following Amy Juicebox’s footsteps, I submit to you my answers to the Pivot questionnaire…
What is your favorite word? Hello
What is your least favorite word? Thug
What turns you on? Genuine enthusiasm
What turns you off? Dismissiveness
What is your favorite curse word? Fuck (and all of its derivatives and conjugations)
What sound or noise do you love? Bowing of a string bass
What sound or noise do you hate? A cat in heat
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Theatre acting
What profession would you not like to do? Anything relating to customer service
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You get me.”
Admittedly, some of the answers took me awhile to think about. I don’t think of some of these things often and I had to scratch my head. For instance, I seriously considered thumbing through the pages of my hard cover dictionary (yes, people still have these – well me and my parents do, anyway) to find words that I didn’t like. Because, if you read my blog you know that I overthink things and I take committing to answering questions very seriously! I can’t help myself. When it came to stating my least favorite word, I didn’t want to pick a word that is just ugly sounding or awkwardly pronounced/spelled. I wanted to identify a word that I truly dislike the meaning or connotation associated with it. Something that made me cringe or roll my eyes when mentioned, regardless of the context.
So in summary, this questionnaire was a bit more stressful than I initially intended this exercise to be. I see why so many actors would sigh and bow their heads when it was time for this segment of the show lol the pressure.
How would you answer the Pivot questionnaire?