In the last week Bret Easton Ellis has visited Australia. He attended his first writers’ festival in twenty-five years. I caught up with his visit through Margaret Throsby’s interview with him on Classic FM.
What was interesting about the interview with Margaret Throsby was his perspective on how interviewers unlock personal experience. This is the link to the podcast of the interview and his statement about the enjoyment of the interview with her.
It was interesting to read of Ramona Koval’s interview with Bret Ellis at the Byron Bay Festival:
The ABC’s Ramona Koval opened an onstage conversation with Ellis on Friday night by asking about character development and morality in Imperial Bedrooms. Ellis paused, looking puzzled and pained, then began a manic dialogue about having discovered the Australian singer Delta Goodrem while watching music videos in his hotel room.
A podcast of the interview between Ramona Koval and Bret Ellis can be found at this link.
These interviews encouraged me to reflect on watching the broadcast of the Raiders v Panthers rugby league game on Monday (9 August). There was a great glimpse of David Furner (the Raiders’ coach) at half time speaking with his players. It would have been interesting to be in the changing rooms at that time.The Raiders were losing by fourteen points and were facing exit from the competition for the end of season play-offs. They won the second half 18-0.
One newspaper report noted:
Asked what had sparked the turnaround, Campese had no hesitation in nominating Furner’s half-time address. Rather than give the players a spray, as Furner admitted he wanted to do, the former Raiders great calmly told them they could still win but had to keep an opposition side scoreless in the second half for the first time this season.
”… he just told us to get our breath back and sit down. He then said we only got two opportunities in the first half and we scored off both of them, so if we could hold them out, which we had to, and get the ball down their end we could score the tries.
”He said all we needed was about five good attacks and we got that and we scored three tries. That was about all he said and we just talked about shutting them out in the second half. I think what he said just gave us confidence and we went out and did it.”
Furner said: ”I wasn’t happy but I think the big thing we needed was belief and confidence. We talked about discipline in our game and discipline in defence, but the main thing was that they couldn’t score a point in the second half. It was about 40 minutes of character. It was 18-0 in the second half and I said that is what it would take to win that game.”
The Canberra Times observed that:
Whatever David Furner said to his team at half-time last night, the Canberra Raiders need to bottle it and use it for the rest of the season. With their season on the line, Furner’s words ignited the Raiders to help them storm to a 30-26 win over the Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium. Down by 14 points at the break and with their finals hopes slipping away, it wasn’t a verbal lashing that spurred the Raiders to just their second come-from-behind victory this season. The players said it was Furner’s restrained address that inspired them to a rare fightback.
What no one has discussed to date is what David said before the game! The second half turn around may have a lot to share about how to trigger action. This I think is the essence of the Bret Ellis interviews too.
I am hoping to write more about unlocking performance and triggering athletes readiness (and willingness) to perform. This week Bret Easton Ellis and David Furner are unlikely but fascinating partners in starting that journey.