A Pre Interview Faux Pas
If you have been following my blogs since the first installment of Keeping His Memory Alive, you know that my knowledge of ETAs is limited. For the past two years, my focus has been on one particular ETA whom I first saw in 2015. Since June of this year, I have increased the number of ETAs I have seen in concert from one to ten. Not bad, considering I still have not been to Collingwood. Perhaps if I had made the trip to Collingwood this year, I could have avoided a rather embarrassing situation that arose in connection with an award winning ETA.
On June 16th of this year, I went to my first ever Matt Cage concert. As often is the case with small venues such as Flamboro Downs, there were no back-up singers or band. Musical accompaniment was provided via a laptop, and cuing and playing the song list for Matt was a tall, fine-looking man with black hair, Buddy Holly-like glasses and an engaging presence. During the two intermissions, and after the concert, I asked Matt’s bespectacled associate to take several photos of me with Matt. It wasn’t until I got home and did some research that I discovered that the man at the laptop was Brent Freeman—award winning ETA, successful business owner, voice-over talent, musician, singer, and radio personality. Anyone who had been to Collingwood in the past few years would have recognized him.
On September 8th, 2017, I was given a chance to redeem myself. It was Matt’s second appearance in three months at Flamboro Downs, and again, Brent was manning the laptop. I took no time in approaching Brent and apologizing for not knowing who he was in ETA land and for asking him to be my personal photographer at our first meeting. Brent was very friendly, and he waylaid my embarrassment. During the first intermission, I took a brave step and asked if he would read part of the article I was working on. I was expecting Brent to read a few sentences out of courtesy, then hand back my article; instead, he kept reading. I sat quietly waiting for clues to his response as he read. Would he think my tongue-in-cheek comments about becoming an ETA as amusing as I hoped they were? To my delight, Brent laughed at all the right places. Matt’s next set was about to begin, so Brent handed back my article commenting particularly on the part about ETAs, eyeliner, and Adam Lambert. I quickly added that according to the editor of a local newspaper, my article was too long for any newspaper, so I was thinking of self-publishing on my, yet-to-be-developed, website. There was something in Brent’s response that led me to believe I was onto something. Two days later, on September 10th, 2017, SIDEBURNS: The Ultimate ETA Fan Magazine was created.
As the first of October approached, I reached the point in my article where the placement an ETA interview was optimum. On October 5th, I sent Brent a message asking if I might interview him for my online magazine. I was encouraged by the speed of Brent’s response to my request. After conducting further research in order to prepare questions that best reflected Brent’s accomplishments, I fired off my interview questions. What came back was a list of witty, honest answers that reflect the charming personality of Brent Freeman.