I gave my first on camera interview for my new book exactly one week before I made Katie Couric laugh. I was really happy with how that interview went considering that I never saw any of the questions before we began and, well, it was my first time. That first interview was a bit on the serious side so there weren't many opportunities to be lighthearted but still, I left the studio that day wishing that I would have found a way to represent my entire self and not just the part of me that earnestly loves being a stay-at-home dad.
When the first interview aired my wife Kelly said that it took me too long to "warm up" and that she wished that people could have seen more of my humorous side - I must admit that I had to agree with her assessment.
I never thought that I'd have the opportunity to take her advice so soon...
One week later I was approached by an ABC News producer who asked if I'd be interested in doing an interview with them and of course I was. I couldn't believe what I was hearing as the producer explained that I was going to be interviewed by Katie Couric! I remembered thinking, "there's only one Katie Couric, right?". The plans were made fast and furiously and six short days later I was standing in the ABC News studio waiting for Katie to arrive.
After I got out of make up (I know right?) I was escorted to the back of the studio where I watched Miss Couric conduct her first interview, I was to be third. As I was listening to the interview I began to think about all of the other interviews that I've seen over the years and I wondered why I could only remember a handful of them. I thought about the one that I gave only a week before and I realized that while it was good, and I was clear and engaging... it wasn't memorable. I wasn't me in that moment, I was the guy that I thought the interviewer wanted to talk to. Please don't misunderstand - my answers were completely genuine and I am one hundred and fifty thousand percent the thoughtful father that gave them but there is more to me that I didn't allow to come out. Maybe I was nervous that first time or maybe I was just being careful, but whatever the motivation, all it left the world with was a one-sided view of the man that wrote Life Is Short.
So while I was waiting to sit down with Katie, I decided. "I don't care if I go down in flames, but I'm not giving a one-sided view of myself today!". So I went for it, I swung really hard for the fence.
I decided that people could handle hearing a man who genuinely loves his family and respects his wife's sacrifices in one answer and the guy who talks freely about the world of married sex in another. I didn't strive to be funny, I just talked to Katie the same way I speak to my friends. I was myself - a bit irreverent, sometimes sarcastic and honest about my thoughts. Katie began with a serious question and I gave her a serious answer, but when she asked about the chapter of my book titled, "I Remember Having Sex... and the Baby Proves It!", I just let go and told a story. Part way thorough my answer Katie began to laugh, then she cringed and then she guffawed! Katie Couric was busting her gut and I could feel the other people in the studio laughing too.
When the interview ended Katie leaned over and told me that I was, "great!" and she continued our conversation as if we were long-time friends. We took a few pictures and I signed a book for her before I went down the hall to change and have my make up removed. I walked out onto the streets of New York City knowing that someone was going to remember that interview... hopefully it won't just be my wife's parents (who I apologized to on camera after telling the "sex" story).
The interview is scheduled to run the week of June 10th on Yahoo and ABC News dot com.