Who and what ultimately inspired you to become a writer?
When I decided to embark on this Journey, it was from my love for Lions and growing up watching Mutual of Omaha presents…Jacques Cousteau etc…
I had always wanted to visit SHAMBALA, Tippi Hedren’s Preserve in Acton, California. Tippi is the beautiful Blonde actress in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” movie. As soon as I walked in, there was a Giant Male Lion in this enclosure. It kept staring at me as I took countless Photos. It was “Henson”, Tippi’s favorite and main Lion. He is on the Cover of Life Behind Bars Vol. 1.
I spent three hours there and as the group and I were leaving, out came Tippi to greet us.
For about an hour, she talked to us about why she started this Preserve in 1973 and that ”It was a necessary evil” but, because of climate, poaching and Game hunting she had to protect these beautiful Animals.
Initially, I wanted to do a book that was definitely against caged wild Animals. I hated it when my Mother would take us every weekend to the Cincinnati Zoo when we were small. I asked her why the Lion there kept pacing back and forth in his cage. She said it was “Stir Crazy, which at that age, I had no idea what that meant, but I knew it wasn’t good.
After hearing Tippi’s point-of-view, I decided to take the whole year off and travel America to 12 other Zoos, Preserves and Sanctuaries to see why they were started.
I knew after my year’s travel and talking extensively to staff, that it is a “Necessary Evil” to have Wild Animals captive, but unfortunately, to preserve these fragile animals there had to be a place to protect them.
I also discovered, that the Zoos of old are not the Zoos of today. All of the places I visited, especially the Cincinnati Zoo, were in fact giant open enclosures compared to the old days. They emulated their wild habitat as close as possible.
What does literary success look like to you?
success will be accomplished when my book gets and continues to get great reviews that spark sells, then garners publicity and attention that gets me, the Author, attention.
Do you find writing therapeutic?
Absolutely! When I sit down to write to Classical music, my mind goes crazy with ideas and passion. But, most amazingly, my mind never focuses so much. It’s kinda scary how “ZEROED” in I am on the subject I’m writing about.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. I’m so energized that I could write for hours, without stopping. But, when I finally stop writing, I’m totally Knocked-out physically and emotionally.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Big Egos never help! In Film School they taught us, as Directors you have to leave your Ego at the door when shooting a film and leading crews of many people.
Trust in the people you have hired and that are Volunteering. They are investing their time, sweat and tears in your project, so show then respect and listen. Egos just get in the way of a great project going forward and flourishing.
And most importantly, surround yourself with People who know more then you do. Let their expertise enhance you and your project.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
You have to be original and true to yourself. You never know what the public wants and/or likes. If you concern yourself with that nonsense, then you will never have an emotional link to your work. What touches you is all that matters!
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! If you’re not emotionally invested in your story, then why the Hell would anybody else be emotionally invested! If you have come to Hell and Back just to get your story on pages, then the reader will feel and go through that Journey with you.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
To have a logline and premise to your story. You have to know this and then put it down in an Outline, so you have a Road Map to follow once you start writing. In “A Journey to Sundance”, my first Feature Documentary film, it took a total of 13-years to finish! The biggest reason, other then paying for the entire film myself; was that for the first 5-years, I didn’t know what the logline and premise was for the film. I was right out of Film School and just jumped right into filming. It was a horrible mistake that happily added to the film’s charm 13-years later. https://www.ajourneytosundance.com
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
MONEY! It is so easy for me to start on one dream or another. I have many. But, after the mess with my film and pouring over $300,000 into it, I can no longer be that reckless. I have to have a budget in place and the funds to match it, before I can go off on one of my famous Passion projects. One day, I’ll hope to have other people’s money to match my Artistic vision.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?
Finding Agents who represent new writers. They are stuck in their old ways of finding new writers, by only accepting referred writers. You just can’t get in front of anyone worth having as an agent.
I decided to finance, shoot and published “Life Behind Bars Vol. 1, because I knew if I didn’t finance it, I would have never found the backing for it. Now I am positioned to have acquired founding because of the success of this book. So, that will get me to Africa for my second Wild Animal book.
Do you read your book reviews? Do they please you or annoy you? Do you think you can learn a lot from reading criticism about your work?
Absolutely! One thing I learned in Film School and translates to the Book World is you have to swallow your pride and listen to all critiques. Throughout my 13-year film I had several “Focus Screenings” for audiences from all walks of life. That’s how I found out what my Logline/Premise was for my film.
On the Questionnaire after the film, the last question is; “In one sentence, tell me what this film is about”. One lady wrote; “Your film is about YOU making your first feature film which happens to be about the Robert Redford and the Sundance Film Festival”. That’s my Logline!!!
I spent years trying to make a film about the festival, when she simply said, “No. It’s about YOU”. Brilliant!
So, back to the book Reviews, YES!!! Find out what other people (not family & Friends) but people who aren’t vested in you and your book. They for the most part, if honest, will let you know where you and your book stand.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Proofreader!!! No matter how smart you may think you are, you will make grammatical mistakes. And that my friend, will get your book or script tossed into the garbage can. I used three Proofreaders and each one found some mistakes the previous Proofreader missed.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Read Books! I was a sports jock and class clown, so I never really read books. They put me to sleep or I would drift off into my imagination – “The True Artist”.
That hurt me a lot when it came to writing scripts. I had to go and learn Grammar in my twenties. But, it paid off.
After the writing’s finished, how do you judge the quality of your work?
By how strangers react to the book. That’s Gold!
What in particular attracted you to this genre?
I have always loved Lions and other wild Animals. As a young kid watching “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” show with my Mom, I would always tell her “one day I will go to Africa on a Safari to see Lions”.
This book is about the Lions and Wild Animal’s in Captivity. I’m going to Africa to photograph the Wild Lions and other Beast. It will be a comparison book between wild and captive animals.
If you could only change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
As someone told me about being born March 20th; on the cusp of Pieces and Aries. They said, “I am very passionate about all of my dreams and ventures, but I will always loose interest and move on to the next one, whether or not I’m finished with my current project.” So true it hurts to think about the projects I’ve abandoned throughout my life. Change my aloof way of life.
Are you a feeler or a thinker?
Both. Hard to sleep at night. So many things rolling around in my Head.
What is your greatest failure? What did you learn from that failure?
My little brother, like me was an actor. Years ago, he was going in the wrong direction in life and mixed up in drugs.
He loved the Soap Opera; “The Guiding Light”. He called me when I lived in NYC to ask if I could help him find a writing template for the Soaps. He wanted to write a spec script and send it to the producers of “The Guiding Light”. I was in a hurry and told him I would find it and send the template to him. I never did. It slipped my mind, because I was so wrapped-up in my little struggling “Actor” world I forgot about my little brother in need.
Years later after totally falling into drugs, he was hit by a car and killed. To this day, I blame myself, because I could have taken a little time to help him with his passion of “The Guiding Light” and made it a priority to get him that wring template. Maybe that would have helped him turn his life around.
I have never made that mistake again. I have gone out of my way when family or friend comes calling.
Which scene or chapter in the book is your favorite? Why?
The most fascinating and funniest moment came at the San Diego Safari Park. I was photographing this female Gorilla. I use a flash even in the day to get a pop in the pupils of the animals. So, as I’m clicking away at the Gorilla and flashing my light in her face, everyone behind me starts to laugh hysterically.
I stopped and asked this sweet little lady why she was laughing, and she said the Gorilla I was photographing “Flipped me off”!
I said “No way” and looked back at the series of photos I took, and low and behold, you can see the flash popping in her face, and I guess she had enough of that and decided to respond in her own sweet way. Flipped me off!
So, you can see this awesome photo page 81 of Life Behind Bars Vol.1.
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I desperately, hope that readers get the urgency of the plight of the Majestic creatures. These are animals that are or will be facing EXTINCTION from this planet! We as humans can be the reason to prevent that. But we have to act NOW!
How does your faith life/ethical outlook inform your writing?
Ethical Choices; “Ethics addresses questions of morality, such as what makes our actions right or wrong. Animal ethics focuses upon the constantly evolving way in which society thinks of nonhuman animals.” - World Animal Foundation -
It amazes me how many people do not prescribe to the Ethical Choice definition above.
Nothing angers me more, then seeing some COWARDLY CLOWN dressed up like a tree sitting in a perch with a High Powered Scooped Rifle waiting to blown the brains out of an un-expecting beautiful animal or seeing the dead Elephant or Rhino minus their tusks or horns of ivory or watching a Japanese whaling boat harpoon a beautiful Whale running for its life.
This is what drives me to photograph and educate people who can make a difference in how we treat these beautiful creatures and how we treat these horrible trophy hunters, poachers and whale killers.
What makes this book important right now?
Every day we are seeing the erosion of Wild Animals habitats by climate warming and/or the eradication of these animals by Hunting. Poaching etc…
What sort of a relationship exists between you and the characters you created in this book?
I found out when I was a little kid, that I always had a way of making a sound to a domestic animal that got their attention, thus getting them interested in me. As I traveled around photographing these Wild Animals, that was still true. I can make a lot of different Animal calls that have served me right, thus getting me the attention of the Wild Animals!!!
How did you decide on this title?
When I saw the first day of Photographs of the wild Animals, I noticed that all of the Primates would run up and grab the bars separating us and look at the camera with a face of desperation and sadness. I remarked to my Project Manager how sad they looked being behind bars the rest of their lives. Thus, “Life Behind Bars” Vol. 1.
How crucial is it to have a working title before you begin a project?
It’s extremely important to have a Title and Theme of what your book is about. If you get confused, just go back to the Title and the Theme and they will lead you back on the correct path. I used those lessons while forming the idea and then executing the theme of the book.
What’s next for you?
Visions of the World Inc. announces our next project “LIFE Behind Bars…Except if You’re Free” VOL. 2 which will focus on the conservation efforts of the Gorillas and Big African Cats in their natural habitat –Africa!
We are dedicating this second book in this series of books to DIAN FOSSEY, whose work regarding the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla’s has been an inspiration for our project.
Furthermore, we intend to approach and hopefully create a strategic collaboration with The Ellen Fund, a wildlife fund created by the humanitarian Ellen DeGeneres in conjunction with her Ellen DeGeneres Center, a brand new part of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which is dedicated to the protection and conservation of the endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Secondly, we are also covering the big African cats, which are among the most charismatic species in the world. However, despite their iconic status the public is neither fully aware of their endangered status nor understands the difficulties encountered by those who want to preserve these magnificent animals in their local environment.
The first goal of this project is to present the safaris in Rwanda (Gorillas) & Kenya and Tanzania (Big Cats) as models of species protection and conservation. The second goal of this undertaking is to create an emotional connection through pictures between people and the animals. The third goal is the ultimate comparison book of Animals in captivity vs. Animals in the Wild! Gorillas and Big Cats!
Thank you your time and consideration. Live long, Prosper & Peace to all!
Sincerely, Julian Starks – Founder/CEO/Photographer
An Editorial Book Review Website
Website for this review at:
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Julian Starks has been a force in the world of the Arts for most of his adult life. Julian began his career in New York City as an established working actor, having studied under acting teacher legends, Sanford Meisner and Bobby Lewis, as well as Martin Barter at the famous Neighborhood Playhouse Theater in many mediums including theater, independent film, national television shows and commercials. He studied at The School of Visual Arts in New York City and eventually decided to move to Los Angeles to further his education at the UCLA School of Film and the Los Angeles Film School to further his opportunities in filmmaking and television. He is negotiating the release of his first independent feature length documentary, “A JOURNEY TO SUNDANCE”. https://www.ajourneytosundance.com/trailer
‘A JOURNEY TO SUNDANCE’ is about the spirit, dreams and struggles of independent filmmakers from all over the world, as well as his own 13-year battle to finish this film.
He later graduated from the BROOKS INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY in the Ventura, CA to continued his passion for storytelling in a new medium… It is this medium that best offers us the pleasure of sharing Julian’s love of animals as he presents, LIFE BEHIND BARS VOL. 1, his first Fine Art Photography Book.
Julian has spent much of the last several years traveling the world photographing wild animals. At various sanctuaries he was educated to the many dangers animals experience in surviving in the wild, often dying or suffering due to the actions of humans. Julian was moved to create ‘VISIONS OF THE WORLD Inc.’ to make a difference for these animals by announcing their plight and by donating proceeds to sanctuaries and to animal rights causes.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Official Book Website: https://www.visionsoftheworld.org
BookView Interview with Author Julian Starks
ON JANUARY 27, 2021
Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we interviewed Julian Starks, an established actor, independent filmmaker, and author of a fine art photography book, LIFE BEHIND BARS VOL. 1, an informative and heartfelt portrayal of the animals on the brink of extinction.
Note: a portion of the proceeds from the “LIFE Behind Bars” Vol. I book sales and all associated merchandise will go directly to the institutions where the animals were photographed.
What is your principal camera or system? Why?
I am an Avid Nikon Man! I used a Nikon D5. D850 and a Leica V-Lux. I went into a camera store and asked the clerk what was the best affordable camera at the time to go to the Sundance Film Festival to take a bunch of photos? He brought me a Canon and a Nikon D300.
I tried both and immediately fell in love with the smooth and quiet Nikon. Love at first use!
Some of your photos are shockingly close—like the two-page wolf face with an astonishing golden gaze. Some detail on how you accomplished that?
I’m thrilled you love the two-paged Wolf face, especially since it’s a Full Grown African Male Lion!!!!!!
I love it! That photo has so many people guessing different animals. Mostly Wolf. It is part of a four-part “Lion Series of Photos”. I just happened to choose that 1 out of the 4 to the book designer and she loved it. The photo was taken at the California Wolf Center in Julian, California. They have two wolf packs; American and Mexican Grey Wolves. I used my Nikon D5 and the 600mm Nikor Nikon lens.
How many of your subjects were obviously aware of and interacting with you? The wolves, gorillas, chimpanzees, are so close to us as to be obvious. Others?
Most animals I photograph, react to me, because I make similar noises they recognize.
The most fascinating and funniest moment came at the San Diego Safari Park. I was photographing this female Gorilla. I use a flash even during the day to get a pop in the pupils of the animals. So, as I’m clicking away at the Gorilla and flashing my light in her face, everyone behind me starts to laugh hysterically. I stopped and asked this sweet little lady why she was laughing, and she said the Gorilla I was photographing “Flipped me off”!
I said “No way” and looked back at the series of photos I took, and low and behold, you can see the flash popping in her face, and I guess she had enough of that and decided to respond in her own sweet way. Flipped me off! So, you can see this awesome photo on page 81 of Life Behind Bars.
Commentary seems a bit thin. Was this a function of interacting with PETA? Not criticizing, but lack of detail is obvious to a long-time fan of Goodall, Lorenz, Tinbergen…other animal Behaviorists/Ethologists. Have you read in the field?
No, not yet. This first book was to be from my point of view of what it meant to me about Caged Wild Animals.
As a Documentary Filmmaker, I learned as I interacted with the Animals and the staff. Creating the Book with my staff is where we all learned about the statistics of the Animals, their habitats, behaviors, their enemies; Man & Climate. When I decided to embark on this Journey, it was from my love for Lions and growing up watching Mutual of Omaha presents…, Jacques Cousteau etc…
I had always wanted to visit SHAMBALA, Tippi Hedren’s Preserve in Acton, California. As soon as I walked in, there was a Giant Male Lion in this enclosure. It kept staring at me as I took countless Photos. It was “Henson”, Tippi’s favorite and main Lion. He is on the Cover of Life Behind Bars. I spent three hours there and as the group and I were leaving, out came Tippi to greet us. For about an hour, she talked to us about why she started this Preserve in 1973 and that ”It was a necessary evil” but, because of climate, poaching and Game hunting she had to protect these beautiful Animals.
Initially, I wanted to do a book that was definitely against caged wild Animals. I hated it when my Mother would take us every weekend to the Cincinnati Zoo when we were small. I asked her why the Lion there kept pacing back and forth in his cage. She said it was “Stir Crazy, which at that age, I had no idea what that meant, but I knew it wasn’t good. After hearing Tippi’s point-of-view, I decided to take the whole year off and travel America to 12 other Zoos, Preserves, and Sanctuaries to see why they were started. I knew after my year’s travel and talking extensively to staff, that it is a “Necessary Evil” to have Wild Animals captive, but unfortunately, to preserve these fragile animals there had to be a place to protect them. I also discovered that the Zoos of old are not the Zoos of today. All of the places I visited, especially the Cincinnati Zoo, were in fact giant open enclosures compared to the old days. They emulated their wild habitat as close as possible.
Finally, PETA had no say in the production of the book. They noted that their objective was different from mine, but they respected my effort to enlighten the public to this predicament and loved that I in the end wanted what they wanted; “To Save Wild Animals”.
Have you considered taking some comparison photos using wild, in-nature animals and their captive relatives for another volume? Or collaborating with another photographer? For example, Jim Coda?
You are very perceptive! My second book is doing just that. It is going to compare Captive Wild Animals to their counterparts in Africa. I have a 14-day Safari booked for July 2021, in Kenya and Tanzania. Two of those days I have booked a private tour, to take up my Drone to get Aerial photos.
What kind of time did you have to spend to get your fine lighting effects with the creatures you have depicted or to capture movement/gazing?
There is no time for the correct lighting setup. These animals are unpredictable and I had to have all three of my cameras set to whatever available light there was with my flash ready to go. The Nikon cameras I have are so advanced, there is little room to mess up a shot if you have the basics set.
Believe it or not, my technique comes from many years of Modeling, Acting, dancing, and documentary filmmaking. I don’t plan anything. I take in the scene, make a noise to activate whatever animal is in front of me and let their actions dictate mine. If you look at all of the photos in the book, a lot of them look as if I had animals pose for me. It’s a lot like photographing children, you really can’t pose them, they do whatever they want and I just watch and catch it. Kids are the best to take photos of, because they are so unpredictable, just like Animals.
Would you consider some commentary with photos in your next volume detailing what it took you to accomplish shots? Equipment, timing, necessary waiting, and so on? An obvious master might well share details regarding such accomplishments.
Yes, definitely! My Project Manager wanted to put a lot more in, but I told her that I didn’t want this to be a book that ended up in a school library with a lot of technical info that bored people.
The most important thing to me is: “I want the photos to tell the story of their life, with the appropriate commentary and description to complement the visual story. I’ve seen many technically awesome photos where the subject in the photo is “HORRIBLY DEAD” no life at all!
Take a look throughout Life Behind Bars and look at all of the PRIMATES. All of them are looking into the camera and you can see their story in their EYES. It really is amazing! Perfect light or not, that is my objective. “Tell me who you are”. Human and/or Animal.
Are you able to do this work full time?
The past four years, yes, but I am still an Actor, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur. I have four projects in four different genres operating presently. So, I am very busy!
What interference have you experienced in institutions from general tourists/spectators?
I set up VISIONS OF THE WORLD Inc. a Non-Profit 501(c) (3) Charity to give a portion of all profits from the book and ancillary products for the life of this project back to the Institutions where I photographed the Animals. Most of those places were not interested in being involved at all with this book.
The public however, was always thrilled and wanted to know all about my book and where to contact me for the finished product.
In general, how happy are you with your publisher, collaborators, editors? And what changes do you want to make ‘next time out of the gate’?
Dorrance Publishing has been awesome. They have helped me with the whole process of getting this book from start to now releasing this book to the World. Very Impressed.
This was my first venture in which I employed 8 employees and many outside resources to form Visions of the World Inc.and its first project; Life Behind Bars. One Hell of a ride with many ups and downs!
Thank you for this great line of Questions and please check out the New Book Reviews at:
Entrepreneur Interview Assignment
ENTR 3310 - 02
December 5, 2017
Entrepreneur Interview Assignment - Julian Starks, Founder of Julian Starks Photography and Hollywood Filmmakers.
On Sunday December 3, 2017, my neighborhood experienced a 12 hour power outage in order for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to conduct electrical checkups. As a result of not having access to WiFi at home, I went to my neighborhood Starbucks shop so that I could use the free internet there. While I was there working on my research paper on my laptop, there was a man sitting right in front of me who was also working on his laptop. He overheard me mentioning to a friend,
who I happened to ran into at Starbucks, about the power outage, and he proceeded to ask me about that. So it started as a conversation about my power going out, and then from there, I learned that he was a Photographer, Actor, Dancer, and Film Director, who ran his own Photography and Film Production company, and I asked him if I could interview him for this assignment. That was how I met Mr. Julian Starks, founder of Julian Starks Photography and Hollywood Filmmakers.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Starks has always had a passion for the arts. His journey as an entrepreneur is not one that is restricted and follows a linear path that focuses solely on one specific area, rather he embraces the freedom of variation, explores many different areas, and combine them all together, turning his love and aptitude for artistry into his own business. He started as a dancer in his hometown, and when asked what he wanted to do once he got out of high school, he decided to pursue a career as an actor. For him, the destination was either New York City, or Los Angeles, and in the end he chose New York because that is the place to be if one wants to act for the big stage.
He was enrolled at New York University, and attended Tisch School of the Arts in 1990, for only a year, before deciding to withdraw and pursue private acting classes for the next 4 to 5 years of his time living in New York City, juggling both acting classes and auditioning for various acting opportunities around town. He then moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to attend a Film Tech school
called LA Film School from 2000 to 2002. In 2004, he produced his very first documentary film Journey to Sundance, which has taken him 13 years to complete. His story of how he got into photography was because he needed access to photos that were too
expensively priced online by stock photo agencies such as Getty Images, and so he essentially thought “screw it, I’ll just take
my own pictures.” A man came across the photos Mr. Starks took, and encouraged him to start attending lessons at photography
school, and so he enrolled at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbra, California. As of right now, Mr. Starks runs his own Photography company, where consumers can hop onto his website and purchase his work through fineartamerica.com or pixels.com, as well as hire him as a photographer. He also has his own film production company, where requests to hire him as film maker or director can be sent in. He used to work with Getty Images, where they took 70% of his net income, leaving him with only 30% of his money, but now he works with Pixel, and he gets to keep 70% of his earnings. Now he mainly just travels the world and takes photos.
Currently, he is working on a coffee table book that showcases images of caged wild animals worldwide, which will eventually be available on the market. On the topic of how he runs his company, he said “An entrepreneur is someone who surrounds themselves with people smarter than them.” He explained that when he went to film tech school, he had to take courses that did not relate to being a director, but it was all for the purpose of teaching him how everything works on a surface level so that he is aware of the things he will be working with as a director. He knows the basic of everything to do with film production and photography, but he doesn’t do everything himself entirely, that’s why he hires people to work for him, and trusts them to help him run his companies.
One thing that is clear right off the bat about Mr. Starks is his love for traveling, and he reconfirmed that with me himself through his own words.
He said that the most important thing for an entrepreneur is time, that the work that you are doing is going to give you the time to travel, to date, etc., and this is definitely reflected in his own entrepreneurial life. His job allows him to travel the world and take photos of whatever he wants to, the way he wants to. When I asked him what is the goal of his photography business and as a photographer, he said that he wants to open the eyes of Americans to the rest of the world outside of the United States. He wants to bring the rest of the world to Americans in America, and let them explore the world through his photographs. Analyzing from a business standpoint, I definitely think that there is a market demand for this sort of experience of exploring and learning more about the outside world without necessarily leaving the country. America is moving towards an international direction where people are increasingly becoming more culturally-aware and are actively seeking foreign experiences.
My reason for choosing to interview Mr. Starks was more than just the fact that I was 2 days away from the due date for this paper, and still had not found an entrepreneur to interview. I found that Mr. Stark and I shared a lot in common on the basis of our background and passion for performing arts, so I could relate to him a lot, and I found, somewhat, a sense of comfort in hearing my thoughts, my feelings, and my opinions as an artist, being echoed by someone else. As someone who is of international student status here in the United States, and comes from a foreign background, it always makes me happy whenever Americans show interest in the nonwestern world, because to an extent it makes me feel like we are appreciated and worthy of being marveled by people from countries with the likes of America.
One of the things that I definitely learned from this entire experience is that a coffee shop is the place to go to if you want to meet and have hour-long fulfilling conversations with interesting people. Our conversation (interview) went on for about an hour, maybe nearly two hours; I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to talk to him, assignment or no assignment.