If you’re not aware of who Patrick Hoelck is, you can search the hashtag #AnInterview on Twitter and take a look through his own timeline to see some of his photography and other work, or you could watch one of his segments. As he talks to his guests and photographs them through the day they spend together, you find out about both who he’s hosting, and himself. #AnInterview promises to be series of interviews unlike many others.
The intro to his video says “My show is like a biography in 7 minutes, I ask the questions that connect with my guests on a human level and create their portrait at the same time”.
For Patrick’s interview with Norman, he starts off with a simple question, if you had to invite 3 people to dinner, who would they be?
“Howard Stern, Salvador Dali, and I almost said Cleopatra but that would be weird.”
After the first question is answered, Patrick begins to snap photos of Norman as they continue their conversation. Unlike many interviews, this isn’t scripted or as a tool for the media for sales of a project or to push an agenda, it’s just raw and real. It’s more like two friends videoing their day together than something stiff or for a specific purpose, and maybe that’s actually the best purpose of all.
The conversation continues to flow between the pair as they drive to perfect spots for photography and ride bikes in the snow. Patrick displays some of his snaps through the video and they look incredible, he’s extremely talented.
Later in An Interview, Norman says his mom is the most important person in his childhood; she did it all and he had an incredible life because of her influence. He mentioned that she’d teach him The Clash songs as they did the dishes.
When Patrick, who has known Norman for quite some time, asks what one thing he’s learned so far this year is, Norman’s response shows that he’s always focused on doing what he loves.
“If you really like your job and you like to go to work then you’re more invested than if you’re doing something that you don’t want to do“. When he first started out he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to be an actor, we’re glad he stuck with it.
Patrick asked Norman if he feels that fame has changed him, if when people hype you up you start to believe it and then you lose yourself. He responds with a quick no, and the truth is, his answer is evident without even saying a word. Norman is unchanged my his circumstance, he still treats every day like a blessing and feels lucky to be where he’s at.
“There’s that famous quote that asks if a little bit of success has changed you and no, it’s the people around you that changed. I think that’s very true in a lot of ways“.
Norman asks Patrick the same question and he says that the most relaxed stars are the bigger ones but the newbies are the ones who have so much around them and can’t do as they please with 80 handlers around them. Sometimes it really does have to do with the people around you, not so much yourself.
When asked how he keeps inspired, Norman responds with a story of being part of a list that ended up giving him opportunities he wasn’t sure he’d earned just yet.
“When I first came here I did a little bitty art show with some friends and I came out in this book and it showed 5 artists in new york, there were all these great artists and I was on that list. I started being given things, and I kind of felt shitty about it, to be honest. I think after being here and being around the artists as I grow older, I try to do things and I dabble less. It’s different than it was back then, we didn’t have Instagram and selfies and all this other bullshit.”
In a moment of honesty that a lot of celebrities and people in the public eye have, but don’t portray, Norman brings up a point that challenges the way a lot of us live. We’re so social media driven, as a society, that we forget what’s important, sometimes we forget who is important.
“A lot of the time people come up and say ‘can I get a selfie before they even ask for your name or what you do, ya know?”
There’s a photo that floats around the internet where a lot of young adults are taking photos of something happening in front of them and an older woman is leaning against a fence, no phone in hand, experiencing it. While photos and social media and communication are important – this is an online website after all – isn’t it nicer to just sit back and take in those moments that we probably won’t ever get again? You’ll retain more it from feeling than you will from a photograph.
As the interview concludes, Patrick speaks again and his closing statement is a true one. ‘If you stay curious, you never know where you’re headed.’
May we all stay curious.