Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Junket de la Prensa

The Publicist, Photographer and Reporter Senor Correa at the ready.

The Press Junket. I have to laugh when I think about it because I never thought I would ever be part of a Junket of anything. Yet there we were, just off the Centro de Ibague being ushered into the dining room of the swanky Circulo de Ibague club to meet the press.

I've been interviewed before but never has a press interview been part of a master schedule of events, nor have I ever had a publicist who was wrangling the press for us. It was both fun and stressful at the same time. Stressful because my Spanish es muy mal and so is my comprehension. Even though I have some experience in Spanish and Latin American countries, my ability to comprehend lies around ten percent. Meaning I'm missing out on 90% of the conversation.

The interviews I've had in the past were low-key affairs with one person, via phone, or through e-mail. Today we had a photographer snapping photos at random, which added to the stress level. Not only do I have to worry about what the reporter is asking but I now also have to worry about not doing something at the wrong time. No scratching my butt or picking my nose. Gotta keep the photographer in my periphery so I know when I can wipe the sweat off my brow, or adjust my seat or fix my shirt. Can't risk getting shot at an inopportune moment, which also means I have to watch my posture, seating position, hand placement and facial expressions. One look at celebrity tabloids and you know what I mean.

My saving grace is Rouki who, in addition to speaking English, Spanish and French fluently, has also worked as a translator and I'm surprised by the amount of jabber she can remember accurately before I have to stop. She's translating the questions from Spanish and telling the reporters my answers. As I listen, she's hitting each point I gave and including all the details. I'm amazed because I was actually putting my translation stops at points that I thought might be too long and she never skipped a beat. Tre Cool.

The interview went well (I think), the reporter was engaging and we drove home some good points about coffee and barista life that I hope makes it to print. In case your wondering, the article is supposed to be published on Thursday in print and at:


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