We have decided to launch a new intimate style of interview into TheAppWhisperer – the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website. We feel it is important that our community feel close to each other, as it is this support that helps us to nurture one another, gain confidence and continue to grow.
Today, we are publishing this fresh, enlightening and accessible interview with Alon Goldsmith from Los Angeles, California. This is our twenty seventh interview, to read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber and myself, go here.
All images ©Alon Goldsmith
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
I wanted desperately to be a saviour of damsels in distress. I would daydream all manner of scenarios that involved me coming to the rescue of kidnapped maidens in dire need.
When I was five, I packed my pyjamas in my satchel, and informed Miss Price, my first grade teacher who I was totally in love with, that I was sleeping at her. She phoned my mom, and it was arranged for me to have a sleepover at her apartment in Hillbrow. We drove to school in her red Mini the following morning, and when school started, she sat me on her lap and told the class about our lovely encounter. What happens in Hillbrow stays in Hillbrow. Just kidding, she was totally gallant and thoroughly appropriate. I recently tracked her down in Australia. Swoon.
Pizza chef. I was 17 years old and living in Jerusalem. The restaurant was called the Pizza Barn and was owned by two American brothers. Andy was battle scarred and a little insane and his brother, whose name eludes me, had a head for numbers and a questionable beard. Pizza Barn was the answer to my secret question online for about a decade if you can believe that. Close your eyes and picture me slinging dough high above my head for 70 cents an hour.
Private or State school?
King David was very much a private school. A Jewish day school — more secular than religious.I was there from preschool all the way through high school. I had a really good school experience but some were not so lucky thanks to the resident pedophile who also happened to be the vice principal. He went unpunished for decades until karma got the better of him and he flamed out under unpleasant circumstances.
University or Work?
I was fortunate enough to study English literature at the Hebrew University — go figure. I loved every second of it although one could argue that my studies left me a little unprepared for an immediate career and I drifted through life without a compass for a couple of dozen years before finding a modicum of direction in the world of advertising as a writer.
Who was or is still is your mentor?
No one really but by friend Selwyn asked me to pencil him in.
How physically fit are you?
The last time I went for a run was in Sachar Park in 1984. I also worked out 7 or 8 times in the winter of 89 at a small establishment on Santa Monica Boulevard above the video store where I worked for way too long. That said, I play scrabble a lot and ride my bicycle most days for an hour or more.
Ambition or talent: What matters more to success?
Depends what happens to you in your particular life. But let’s not forget the all important third factor — luck.
How politically committed are you?
I used to rant a lot against the Führer in the White House. (If the word offends you, feel free to replace the “h” and the “r” with a “c” and a “k”.) So much so, that a couple of years back, my friends and family performed an informal intervention in the name of lowering my blood pressure and making me presentable in polite company. Lately I’ve been harnessing my political passions in the form of a couple of photography projects that I’m extremely excited about.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
I become less and less materialistic as the years go by, but I do lust after an around-the-world ticket that never expires, the soon-to-be-released VW Campervan and some photo gear.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Crispy Albacore Tuna Sashimi from Fin, a rather delightful restaurant around the corner from our house. Simply sublime.
In what places are you happiest?
What ambitions do you still have?
To get things right.
What drives you on?
My family and friends, and the spirit of creativity and adventure.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Lennon and Noa.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
The drive to vote against their own self interest.
If your 20 year old self could see you now, what would he think?
What’s taking you so long?
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
A Beatles purse from 1965, a David Bowie box set of picture disk seven singles and my Artley flute that got stolen about 25 years ago.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Absolutely not, because then I’d have to believe in the idea of a before-life, and that’s patently absurd.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
Much like the stock market, it fluctuates wildly.
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