I’ve started doing podcasts for Dan’s Papers. It’s very exciting. It’s like having somebody over to the house for a visit. We face each other on Zoom, and although the podcast is only audio, the fact is that I, having an official guest, immediately become a witty, funny, self-confident interviewer curious about my visitor, with conversation flowing easily back and forth. If you go to DansPapers.com or iTunes and type in “Who’s Here in the Hamptons,” you’ll hear how all this comes out.
In the past three weeks I’ve interviewed, among others, Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Alan Furst, America’s most acclaimed writer of spy and war novels; Joe Delia, the rock and roller who has done the musical scores of more than a dozen movies and TV episodic films; Brooke Lea Foster, the up-and-coming romance novelist for Simon & Schuster; and realtor James Giugliano, who stars on the Netflix hit Million Dollar Beach House. Next week, I have on the schedule cartoonist Jules Feiffer and historical biographer David Reynolds, whose new book Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times resulted in a five-page article about his work in The New Yorker last week.
Indeed, the Hamptons is loaded with people of great accomplishment in the arts, music, literature, film, Broadway, Wall Street, industry, finance and fashion, who all come out for summers or live here in the Hamptons year around. It’s nice having these people in my home this way, especially during these hard times, and I am now embarked personally on a new and unfamiliar way to get to know many of them, which, as it turns out, does not include drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
I have to say, this is not my first time around the block doing interviews. Back in the 1980s, Pushcart Press published my book Who’s Here, which consisted of interviews I did for Dan’s Papers that included Roy Scheider, Donald Zucker, Martha Stewart, Wilbur Ross, Larry Kramer, Susan Isaacs, John Catsimatidis, Tom Paxton, Mort Zuckerman, Alan Lomax, Barry Sonnenfeld and a dozen others.
A later book, called In the Hamptons, was published by Random House in 2008 and had more interviews, as did follow-up books with the “In the Hamptons” theme, although none of them included the interview I did with Donald Trump. Lots of folks I’ve interviewed didn’t make the cut. I interviewed Trump two more times. Still didn’t make the cut.
In deference to my books, I’ve decided to marry the two titles and call my podcast “Who’s Here in the Hamptons.”
It’s great fun doing these podcasts. After the first few, where I talked into the tiny microphone that sits as part of my computer somewhere, the company bought me a fancy free-standing tabletop microphone that looks something like a microphone from the 1930s. It sits on my desk. Out there, people are listening. Maybe.
It’s also great fun with all the activity leading up to the podcast. Jodi Turk produces them, arranging for a bio and photo of the person I’m interviewing to be sent, then shepherding the person onto the Zoom at the right time and counting the podcast down with the classic “three, two, one, action” for a full half-hour of conversation. Engineer Eric Hercules oversees the Zoom, sees to its recording and then, afterwards, deletes all the ums and ahems in editing it down.
I hope you’ll tune in and enjoy the show.
In each episode of “Who’s Here in the Hamptons,” you will meet a new guest, some well known, others with interesting careers and stories, authors, musicians, restaurateurs, some characters and some behind-the-scenes people who live, work and play in the summer paradise of the rich and famous.
On the premiere podcast, Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, shares her inspirational story of success and credits Dan for helping her on the way. We learn how she overcame odds to become dubbed by Forbes as the richest woman in the world.
On episode two, we meet author and dentist Dr. Alisa Kauffman, who shares her secrets on how she turned the world of geriatric dentistry into a new trend of making house calls since COVID-19. She practices in New York and, of course, the Hamptons!
Tune into “Who’s Here in the Hamptons” here.