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Getting Down with Erika Funke

Sorry. Sorry. I love Erika, I really, really do, but sometimes I just can’t help yourself. Puns are a sickness, really. Sorry.

Anyway, Erika has been hosting ArtScene on the local PBS radio station, WVIA-FM, for 40 years now [she just celebrated that anniversary, congratulations, Erika!]. I got to know her in my college and community theater days when the cast of a show would pile into her studio to record interviews promoting upcoming performances. She was always a lively interviewer, always fun, always prepared.

On a whim, I dropped her an email asking if she’d be interested in talking about my book. She responded right away, “Yes, of course! How exciting!” I told her I’d drop a copy at the station, and she said she’d let me know when she had an opening in the studio for a session.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I get an email for Erika–someone canceled last minute, the studio was free, could I come up around 5 o’clock? I could and I did.

Now, here’s the thing. Erika’s show is 15-20 minutes. We talked for over an hour. I don’t know how she was able to pare all that down to something that made sense in the ultimate 26 minutes it took up [according to it’s Soundcloud counter, anyway, I was at my day job, away from a radio when it originally aired].

I left the interview understanding why she’s so very good at her job: she’d not only read my book, identified what she thought going on in it, what I was trying to accomplish, and we talked about it. She’s very deft. If you listen to her regularly, you’ll notice she’s the same with every guest, whether it’s the conductor of the Philharmonic or the cast of the local high school’s production of the High School Musical. We’re lucky one of the big metropolitan markets hasn’t lured her away from us.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall. I mean, here’s the interview.

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