Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good. Better. Best. Bested.

A few people have asked me how I came up with the idea of interviewing playwright Edward Albee for this month's fiction issue of Vice magazine. Basically, Albee wrote one of my favorite plays, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and last year, after falling madly in love with Montauk, I learned he also owns a barn out there, where he runs an artist-and-writer residency program. I applied -- and ultimately, did not get in.  (Yes, I was sad.) When Vice came looking for story ideas, it naturally occurred to me that I would've been just as happy having a conversation with the octogenarian, preferably sitting out by the beach at his Eastern Long Island abode. Of course, as much as we tried to schedule a meeting in Montauk, where he spends much of his summer, we ended up at his loft in Tribeca. I was not disappointed. However, I should note that I felt unusually nervous about this interview -- and I've chatted up many luminaries throughout my career, so I had prepared a very long list of questions. Turns out, I barely looked at them throughout the conversation.

P.S. Albee told me he has nothing to do with the selection process for writers in his residency program, so no hard feelings.