Friday, June 4, 2010

I Need Friends Friday: Braden Bell

It's that time of the week:


(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's guest is Braden Bell. His novel, "The Road Show," was released this week! From his website: Braden Bell grew up in Farmington, Utah and graduated from Davis High School. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theatre from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University. He and his wife, Meredith live with their five children on a quiet, wooded lot outside of Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches theatre and music at a private school. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys singing, acting, reading, gardening, and long walks with the dog. He can also be found at his blog.

SME: Welcome to INFF!

Braden Bell: I'm very excited about this. Thanks for having me.

SME: You are most welcome. I have picked out some particularly probing questions for you.

Braden Bell: Excellent, I will try to be profound and witty, poignant and wise.

SME: Nah. If you were any of those things no one would recognize this as I Need Friends Friday.
So, first question: What song/artist would people be surprised was on your playlist?

Braden Bell: I am so predictable, I'm afraid. But it might surprise some people to know I have "It's America" by Rodney Atkins.

SME: Which brings us to question 2: If you could go to any concert (artist could be living, dead, a dissolved group, whatever), which one would you want to go to?

Braden Bell: The original performance of Handel's Messiah in London.

SME: Ooooh. I hadn't thought of that. Great choice!

Braden Bell: Thanks!

SME: Old-school musicals (Rogers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, etc.) or modern (Andrew Lloyd Webber, etc.)?

Braden Bell: Oh old school. Big time. Although, I directed Cats last fall at our school. But I am a HUGE R&H fan.

SME: We can officially be friends now. I'm old school, too. *Rogers and Hammerstein fist pump!*

Braden Bell: That is so cool!!! Hammerstein is actually one of my greatest heroes--a writer I hope to be like when I grow up.

SME: Do you have a favorite musical?

Braden Bell: I love them all. But, I think South Pacific is a uniquely wonderful show.

SME: I saw South Pacific at a fabulous dinner theater in Phoenix last year. "Bali Hi......"

Braden Bell: I'm jealous. I haven't actually seen it for years--but I listen to it regularly. And I play songs from the score frequently.

SME: Tell us a little about "The Road Show"

Braden Bell: "The Road Show" is a novel about 5 contemporary Mormons, each of whom is struggling with a flaw or burden--pornography addiction, depression, loneliness, etc.
Through their reluctant participation in their ward road show, they connect with the Atonement and find healing and peace.

SME: And it's available now?

Braden Bell: Yes, although Amazon temporarily sold out of it. But they're getting more. I'm VERY excited about all of this.

SME: Understandably so. In honor of your new release, I have a game for us!

Braden Bell: Ok, I am ready for the game.

SME: I've entitled the game: "Sarah's Sordid Road Show Past" You see, I have an extensive history of participation in stake productions.

Braden Bell: Excellent. I can't wait to hear more.

SME: I'll ask you three questions about my experiences in road shows/stake plays and then give you 3 possible answers. Get them right and you will be crowned INFF champion--an honor that many covet but not all achieve!

Braden Bell: I hardly dare hope!

SME: Question 1: At the tender age of 4, I made my debut appearance in a stake roadshow playing the part of...
a.) a 4 year old girl forced to be in the stake roadshow
b.) the ghost of a plant killed by crows because the scarecrow didn't" believe in himself"
c.) a sunbeam, as in a beam of sunlight

Braden Bell: If it's not b, it should have been. I'm going to go with the most dramatic choice here, even though it's probably C. B!

SME: It was, in fact, B!!! All the little plant spirits sang inspirational songs so the scarecrow would get his confidence back. *tear, sniffle*

Braden Bell: Awesome!!!

SME: Questions 2: For a Stake production when I was in my mid-twenties, I was so dedicated to the role I played that I...
a.) wore my costume to church the Sunday after the show
b.) stole the show, even though I was the back of the horse and not the front
c.) died my hair black

Braden Bell: I'm going to go with C, although B is very tempting.

SME: I could totally pull off B. I could. But, the answer was C. Two out of three, Braden. Not bad at all! [SME side note: our last family portrait was taken during this time, so my hair is black in the picture hanging in our living room--people always do a double take]

Braden Bell: Oh, this is getting really intense now. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

SME: One more. Can you keep up your winning streak??
Question 3: As the director of a stake production two years ago I gave out an award at the end of each rehearsal. I dubbed that award...
a.) Sarah's Special Statue
b.) The Roadshow Rock
c.) The Glorious Golden Trophy of Awesomeness

Braden Bell: I have to go with C, although A has a nice alliterative quality.

SME: Whoa. I'm beginning to wonder if you are psychic. Or maybe you've planted a hidden camera somewhere that has followed me around all my life. Craaazy. The answer is definitely C!

Braden Bell: Yayyyyy!!! I'd say it is my vast experience in amateur theatre that has attuned my intuition

SME: Apparently. Theatre geeks unite!!

Braden Bell: Amen.

SME: Let's mosey on over to the portrait gallery and have a look at your portrait!

Braden Bell: I can't wait!

*the squeak of markers, rustling of papers*

Braden Bell: Wow! It looks exactly like me!

SME: I know!!

Braden Bell: Thanks for not including my unibrow.

SME: I always remove unibrows. It's in my contract. And I hadn't seen a pair of rockin loafers in a while, so I threw some in there.

Braden Bell: I agree. Loafers are highly underrated. I also wear sweater vests--another sadly underrated garment.

SME: Also underrated: the sweater vest/loafer combo.

Braden Bell: I probably need to invest in some loafers.

SME: I would recommend it.
That brings us to the final question of the interview: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Braden Bell: 1. You like Rodgers and Hammerstein.
2. You have done church theatre
3. You said I could plagiarize your life for a book [SME side note: this is in reference to a pre-interview conversation--curious now, aren't you?]
4. I have a new fashion idea
5. I have a portrait in which I am skinny, youthful, and no unibrow!

SME: You are also highly fashionable in said portrait. Bonus!
Thanks for joining me on INFF!

Braden Bell: Thanks for having me.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(ignore "Read More!")

11 comments:

Annette Lyon said...

Well, dang. Now *I* want a Glorious Golden Trophy of Awesomeness.

Braden said...

Amen to what Annette said. Thank you, Sarah. That was fun.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

LOL, best interview ever! I laughed and laughed!
And I agree with Annette. A Glorious Golden Trophy of Awesomeness would totally make my day!
Perhaps I should get Sarah to draw a portrait of me! I like her style!

Lara said...

So after your interview on Annette's blog, I've been catching up on all the INFF's, and I think it's now my favorite blog feature. Ever.

You deserve a Glorious Golden Trophy of Awesomeness for making the internet such a fun place on Fridays!

Rebecca Irvine said...

I love Rogers and Hammerstein too! I used to sing along to South Pacific every Saturday growing up while our family did housework.

*I'm gonna wash that man right out-a my hair!*

Angie said...

Another great interview. The book sounds so good! I must get a copy.

Melanie J said...

After Annette gets the trophy, I'm going to mug her for it.

Kimberly said...

As a huge Hammerstein fan AND a possessor of a unibrow I simply must own this book.

Shantel said...

That was great! I love it when a bunch of Mormon theatre geeks get together. I feel bad about your family portrait. Gavin kept his hair long for me too, and he had his senior pictures during that time. *cringe*

Natalie said...

Oh my gosh, this interview was hilarious! Thoroughly enjoyable! Thanks for this. I love the book!! Braden - you rocked that game. Sarah - I read your most recent book and totally loved it. I can't wait until your others are available.

Karlene said...

Great interview. Loved it.

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