As much as I enjoy James Lipton Inside the Actor’s Studio, his respectful posture and meticulous research just isn’t as fun as the host of Cool As Hell podcast’s energy and fearless interview style.
Last month Michael interviewed playwriting icon Paula Vogel and got her talking about the state of the arts in the U.S. Her ideas about getting kids doing art at the same age they are learning to kick a soccer ball and getting the arts back in schools might not be new.
She does say some interesting things about the messages artists are getting these days. Among them are her feelings that “Darwin and captialism are very bad models for art” (3:15) and art begets art.
I was also intrigued by her idea that even though she was a klutz, she had to learn to play sports and as a result, all athletes today, artists of the flesh she calls them, speak for her inner athlete. She hopes for the day that every creative artist speaks for the inner artist housed in everyone.
The thing I like about Michael is that he is respectful but he starts his interview right off saying he disagrees with some of her views. After he lets her explain, he then challenges her idealism and asks for practical ways for her vision to manifest in a country that isn’t likely to throw off the captialist model she says is unhealthy for the arts.
I don’t know that she really provides any new answers since she talks about going back to the 60s arts environment, calls for more money to fund the arts and art in schools. She does present some quotable moments like “art is a dog that you feed that bites you” (7:05) when arguing that art should challenge society but the agenda of arts funders is to make art palatable and devoid of challenge.
On the other hand, I give her credit for doing the interview. Podcasting being so new, I imagine it would be difficult to gauge how substantive a discussion she would be expected to have.