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.
Alicia spoke to us about how she got involved in the first Starrcast and All In
“As soon as the show was announced, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It was obviously history making and I love the Elite boys so much, so I was at a Ring of Honor show in Toronto. One of my main objectives of the night, aside from getting awesome content, was to talk to Cody quickly to see if there was any way to part of Starrcast or even All In. Cody was signing and he sees me walking around and asked if I was All In yet. We talked in the back, exchanged emails, and he said ‘hey talk to Conrad and he’ll get you squared.’ I wrote Conrad he was like ‘hey yea, we’ll definitely have you signed, you can do the livestream for me for Fite.’ And then one day I was randomly put in a chat box with (Ian) Riccaboni and all the other people of the broadcast team and it said ‘hey you guys are the broadcast team for All In.’ And I lost it.”
Alicia shares her desire to be a part of All Elite Wrestling
“It’s definitely something I would love to be involved in and that’s all I’m going to say right now. There have been a lot of tweets going to the Bucks and Cody. I really love that whole crew and I think it’s going to be a really special thing for this year.”
On how she started interviewing wrestlers after working on her blog, A Music Blog, Yea (AMBY)
“It’s a long story. I started off doing music interviews and those luckily picked up online. After about 4 years of the music interviews, I tried a wrestling interview. I didn’t get any backlash, people loved it. So I did more… and more.. and more. And I ended up loving speaking with wrestlers so much because I’ve been a wrestling fan so long. Every day it’s like a new adventure, you never know where you’re gonna go or who you’re going to work with.
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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