Cynthia Kahn ~ Artist Interview Prep

Cynthia Kahn

Cynthia Kahn

Tell Your Story  and Sell More Art

We know that fans support and buy from artists they know and like. Video interviews are a great way to let your fans see you when you are not performing and to hear you talk about your background and your art. They are also a great way to introduce yourself to new fans.

Since most of us cannot get booked on The Tonight Show or David Letterman, find websites like Amused Now that provide opportunities to be interviewed and post those interviews on your own website and social media sites. Imagine how much more you could sell if right next to that Buy button, you had an interview where you shared the back story about your song or film or book.

Remember when you were younger how much fun it was to learn all about your idols and what your favorite song or movie or book was really about? Artists who tell their stories have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. Artists who film a great interview have an advantage over those who film a crappy interview, because fans are more likely to watch the whole thing.

Booking the interview is only the first step. So, how do you prepare for a great interview? Here are some tips I’ve learned from interviewing hundreds of artists.

Set the Stage

Get yourself a good webcam, so the film quality of your interview is maximized. Webcams cost less than $100, and the film quality they record are much better than if you used the default webcam in your Mac or laptop. Do not conduct interviews from your phone or tablet. The aspect ratio is not right.

Before the interview, sit down in the same place you plan to record the interview and take a look at how much of your background the camera picks up. Most external webcams are wide angle, so if you do not plan to sit with a solid wall behind you, the webcam may pick up most of the room. Arrange the background, so your interview looks like you filmed it on a set. If you plan to record multiple interviews like I do, you may want to consider purchasing a wall divider or a backdrop.

Lighting is also important. The light should be in front of you, not behind you. Test to see how you look in the room’s lighting when you test your background image. You may have to move some lamps around. If your interview is during daylight hours, sit in front of a window. Natural light softens your look.

Check the camera angle. To minimize distortion, the webcam should be level with your eyes. I’m tall, so I set my laptop on top of 4 books, so the angle is more natural. Do not sit too far away from the camera, so it does not focus on an object that is behind you.

Plan to record the interview in a location that has good internet capacity. Streaming video takes bandwidth. If you do not have enough bandwidth, your interview may also be blurry.

Rehearse

You must prepare. Get a copy of the interview questions beforehand. Write down bullet points for your answers, memorize them and practice answering the questions in front of a mirror or record your answers with your webcam. You should rehearse for your interview in the same way you rehearse for a performance. If you are prepared, you are less likely to say “Um” or “Ah” and sound unprepared or unprofessional.

You want the camera to stay focused on you during the interview, so you do not want to move around a lot during the interview. Practice answering questions without waving your arms or moving your head too much. Movement causes the camera to refocus, which can blur your image. I’m not advising you to be stiff like a mannequin, just be aware of how much you move when you speak.

Dress for a Performance

Pick an outfit that fits your image. Do your hair and makeup. Finally, before the interview, check how everything looks on camera. First impressions are lasting impressions. You want your interview to be a showcase piece that tells the world your story as an artist.

Reach out to me any time with questions or requests.

Cynthia Kahn head shotCynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now Entertainment
@Amused_Now
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