I love “Inside the Actors Studio“. The questionnaire James Lipton uses is a derivation from a “confession album” belonging to a friend of Proust. Then Bernard Pivot adapted this (I don’t know if he used the entire questionnaire or just parts) for French television. So, I’m going to answer the Proust one and then perhaps the James Lipton one, depending on how many questions are the same. I’ve always wanted to ask people these questions and answer them myself, so here goes! Oh, totally unrelated, but I DEFINITELY did not expect James Lipton to be 80 years old. Who knew?? And lastly, I’m copying the questions from this Wikipedia article, but changing it slightly.
The Proust Questionnaire
Favorite Virtue/Principal aspect of my personality: Freedom and love, I think.
Favorite qualities in a man: Possessing and being comfortable with stereotypically feminine characteristics.
Favorite qualities in a woman: The opposite of the above.
Chief characteristic: Quietness? I’m not sure…
What I appreciate most in my friends: Standing up for themselves.
My main fault: Holding onto difficult emotions or situations, inaction. Processing emotions in general is still new territory.
My favorite occupation: After a lot of socializing or being around people, I need to be completely alone, letting my thoughts wander to relax, and then thinking, writing, processing.
My idea/dream of happiness: Happiness is a fleeting emotion, like most things. It’s too easy and normal. My dream is inner contentment, fulfilment, satisfaction, peace.
What is my idea of misery/greatest misfortune: Well, my idea of misery would be confinement. Simply meaning that I cannot be myself freely, like, somehow not being able to be alone or write or achieve what I want to do, go where I want, when I want, etc. My greatest misfortune sounds is a question about the past, and that would probably not being able to say goodbye to my grandfather before he died.
If not yourself, who would you be/What should I be like?: Well, I don’t want to be anyone else. If I could do it for a day… maybe someone really poor or unfortunate, to see what it’s like. What should I be like… I like myself the way I am for the most part. I guess I have goals for the person that I want to be, and if I had to describe my future self, she will be calm, content and enthusiastic on the inside and outside.
Where would I like to live: I don’t know. Some place with a lot of sun. I wanted to go to Australia when I was in middle school, so perhaps there.
Favorite colour and flower: It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite colour. I really like red/orange and certain shades of yellow, I love green and brown as well, but they have to be earthy shades. And black and white. Pinks and purples next, and then greys. So, maybe that’s a hierarchy. I also like what Proust wrote: “The beauty is not in the colors, but in their harmony.”
Favorite bird: Don’t have one, but Turkeys taste good. Better than chicken. Ummm but duck is the best 🙂
Favorite prose authors: I don’t know because I don’t read that much. Shame on me, I know. Oh, but I like Herman Hesse.
Favorite poets: Bukowski, Plath
Heroes in fiction: Samwise Gamgee or Sidhartha
Heroines in fiction: Can’t think of any. Maybe Alice from “Alice in Wonderland”, I like her personality.
Favorite painters and composers: Van Gogh; Rachminov Mozart
Heros in real life: My maternal grandparents; Jennifer Benson; Sandra Hack
Character in history you most dislike: I have no idea. I don’t know enough general history to name someone other than the obvious: George Bush Jr.; Hitler, Stalin, etc.
Heroines in world history: Hum
Favorite food and drink: Water, wine; pizza, salad
Favorite names: What? I don’t fucking know.
What I hate most of all: “What is bad about me.” and feeling trapped.
World history characters that I hate the most: Didn’t I already answer this question?
The military event that I admire the most: Um… probably revolutionary or rebellious acts, like the French Revolution, The American Revolution, etc.
The reform I admire most: Healthcare reform? I have no idea.
Natural talent that I would like to possess: Concentration, focus.
How would I want to die: “Improved–and loved.” Or in an airplane crash. I just think airplanes are really cool machines.
What is present state of mind: State of mind? Well, I guess it’s full of thoughts about these questions, the future, etc. But I think this question is asking about my current emotional state, and that is frustration.
Which faults do you have the most understanding/indulgence/acceptance: I don’t know. I first had written Proust’s answer–“Those that I understand.”, and then I listed my own faults, assuming that I understand them best. Though, through some recent interactions I think that I now find it harder to tolerate and accept my own faults when I seem them in others. So, I don’t know.
My personal/favorite motto: Keep calm and carry on.
Inside the Actors Studio Questionnaire
What is you favorite word?: Hortensiaplein.
What is your least favorite word: I don’t know.
What turns you on: Freedom, and watching two guys kiss. Yep.
What turns you off: Hate, confinement, rigidity, control.
What sound or noise do you love: Weather… wind, rain, storms. It’s really comforting for some reason.
What sound or noise do you hate: The sound of ventilation systems in toilets/bathrooms. It’s the most annoying sound in the entire world. And anything that interrupts relative silence.
What is your favorite curse word: Bloody fucking hell.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt: Scientist, psychologist.
What profession would you not like to do: Almost anything that involves a hierarchy or limited freedom to do.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates: Welcome home.