Smark to Death recently spoke to Alicia Atout, the Queen of Interviews, and discussed a range of topics from how she was involved in All In/Starrcast weekend, her desire to be a part of All Elite Wrestling, how she started interviewing wrestlers, and dealing with ageism and sexism as a music & wrestling interviewer..
Highlights can be seen below!
On dealing with nerves before an interview
“It’s interesting because my first few years of interviewing I was always a nervous wreck. And I’ve learned now that people are just people and I shouldn’t get in my head about things. I haven’t been nervous for an interview in a long time. I don’t wanna say not nervous, I’ve had jitters, and I always try to channel it into excitement. And I always say, I’m just anxious in a good way. I always do a pre-interview dance. Sometimes my interviewees look at my like I’m crazy and sometimes they join in on it. Then once we start talking, they’re like ‘alright, we’re cool.’ I think jitters mean you care. I think it’s a good thing to get nervous. As long as you know in the end you can do your job and make the person on the other end feel comfortable, there’s nothing wrong with some nerves.”
On dealing with ageism and sexism as a music and wrestling interviewer:
“When I started, I was 17, fairly young and a girl. I was working with big companies like Universal Music, Warner Brothers, and Sony music. I was treated well by tons of people, but there were some companies or some people where I would request something and at some point I had proven people think I’m good or know I’m good, take a chance on me. They would turn me down for the wrong reasons. They’d look me up or down and you could see it in their eyes, ‘she’s too young, she’s too naïve, she doesn’t know a thing about wrestling.’ I’d interview some metal bands, I’d walk into a room I’d be wearing black skinny jeans, a band t-shirt, and a choker, whatever, or sometimes wearing a nice skirt because my fashion sense is all over the place. And they’d just look at me and one guy was like ‘I don’t think you’re gonna know much about my band.’ And I told him, ‘sit down on the couch, let’s have a talk.’ And afterward he told me, ‘I wanna apologize. That was one of the most polished and well researched interviews I’ve ever been in.’
Even when it comes to comments, I’m sure guys get it because some of my best friends are dudes in wrestling and music. But when you’re a chick, social media can be horrible. And I actually bawl my eyes out at stuff people would send me. Whether it be about my age and how it affects me or the way I look, and it was horrible. And I’m at the point where I just don’t give a damn because I know those people are just like sitting in their mum’s basement doing things I can probably can’t say in depth here. It sucks to deal with, but it made me stronger and now you still have trolls, but I feel like I’m fairly respected and I’m really happy I have that reputation. People can suck, but you have to find the good ones.”
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