You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That’s what 11 Questions is about. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. As a bonus, I’ve updated some of the questions!
THIS INTERVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED BY CARLSON ON HIS OWN BLOG.
I was once interviewed by Matt. It was when I released Mr. Gold. To tell you the truth I was petrified. He ushered José and me into the studio in East Orlando, showed us what the cough button was, and we began chatting. Thankfully Matt was kind enough to put José and I at ease with his kind and inquisitive questions (and that smooth New Zealander accent didn’t hurt). I’ve listened to Intersections several times since then and have always come away with some new knowledge about Central Florida. I love meeting people so dedicated to a place they pour their energy into making it better. That’s Matt for ya!
Who do you look up to?
My dad is a dynamo—still working and enjoying the great outdoors: gardening, cycling, hiking, skiing, and kayaking, despite some bodily wear and tear, in his mid-70s. I hope to be able to tackle life with the same enthusiasm and enjoyment when I’m his age.
Favorite book, album, musician?
As a kid, I would listen to my parents’ record collection. They had a lot of jazz and folk records, including Gordon Lightfoot’s eponymous debut- Lightfoot! When I hear a song from that album now it transports me back to my childhood in New Zealand, listening to the crackle of the record and Gordon Lightfoot’s plaintive baritone and dreaming of Canada, where I was born.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Orlando?
Orlando is bursting at the seams with good places to eat, so it’s hard to pick just one. I’m a fan of Le Ky Patisserie in the Hourglass District. I had tiramisu at Le Ky that was like eating a work of art. Their sandwiches are also great.
If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?
I don’t know about mating two species of animals but I was at Leu Gardens the other day, wandering around the dinosaur exhibit and marveling at some of the handy accessories that dinosaurs had, like extra talons, an endless supply of regenerating teeth, or sound enhancing horns on their heads. Then there’s the terrifying yet awesome eagle-shark fossil discovered recently. Because why wouldn’t you want a flying shark?
Who in your life has inspired you?
A colleague from a previous career—Taku Ishida—inspired me to go to Japan. So I spent a couple of years there teaching English, and that is what led me indirectly to America.
What are you proud of?
Leading a team of talented, hard-working, and award-winning reporters through a tremendously challenging and stressful year while reporting on the global pandemic. I still get a kick out of hearing my voice on the radio too.
What rejuvenates you?
Gardening; inspecting my pineapple plants and banana palms. I still can’t get over the fact that I live in a place where tropical fruits can grow in the backyard. Plus there’s an art to knowing when to pick the pineapple. Leave it too long and the denizens of the garden—possums or raccoons—will sniff out the ripe ones and plunder them. The possums infuriate me but I respect them too.
Is there anything you haven’t done yet which you feel compelled to do?
I would like to canoe from the headwaters to the mouth of the St. John’s River. This is an idea that’s been marinating for about a decade. It feels a bit quixotic at this point, but that may be part of the appeal.
How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Balancing work and professional life is a struggle. I try to switch off when not at work, but I’m a bit of a Twitter addict which doesn’t help. The chaotic news cycle of 2020 and working remotely during the pandemic has also blurred the lines somewhat between the office and home. My family does their best to bring some balance into my life.
How do you hope to be remembered?
Radio is kind of an ephemeral medium, but I hope that some of my interviews have stuck with listeners in a good way—maybe caused them to think differently about an issue. Other than that I hope I can be as dependable to my children as my parents have been for me.
If you were to choose a different career what would it be?
I think I would be a visual artist. I was good at drawing as a kid. I am still not entirely sure why I chose to study liberal arts instead of fine arts.
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