Phobia Interview with Hillary

Several months ago, I mentioned that my friend Hillary was looking for people with phobias. Well, a few days ago I got a call from her, letting me know that she’s going to be back in town for a bit, and wanted to set up a time to interview me about my phobias.

I, as some of you might be aware, am afraid of heights. And… I’ve also got this irrational fear of strong winds, oddly enough. And so – after work today, I went over to meet with Hillary to discuss my fears, and to record them down on tape.


On arriving, I find a little note.


On walking in (she’s housesitting for some friends – Suzannah and Todd), I see all the equipment set up on the table. I later find out that it’s a “shotgun” mic, along with an audiocassette recorder. Hillary mentioned hearing horror stories about digital records, and she’s waiting for them to get better before she takes the dive and switches over. And on top of that, she cut her teeth on these recorders, and they’ve never given her a problem – so she records on audiocassette.


Hillary, who let me snap a quick shot, post-interview.

I talked at length about my fear of heights, about what I feel when I’m scared, earlier instances of it when I was younger. I wasn’t able to pinpoint an exact cause, but I did recall a few memories. Hillary (who is a good interviewer) got me talking about a few instances where I actively attempted to overcome my fear: climbing to the roof of Rob’s studio and going to the top of the Merchandise Mart.

All in all, the interview was for about 30 minutes. Hillary and I then chatted a bit afterwards, as I asked her about how she was going to use the audio, her upcoming interviews, and so on. She’s planning on releasing some of the interviews as podcasts, as promotion for her new book – and she’s also planning on weaving all the interviews together into a larger narrative, for a piece for NPR. How cool is that? :)

A very interesting experience, to be sure. I don’t know that I’ve really been interviewed like this, and it made me a little nervous – but it also felt pretty neat. I’m really looking forward to the final product, after Hillary goes through and cleans up all the audio. Can’t wait to hear it.

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