Let this insufferable Q&A at a Westworld panel be a lesson to us all

Tribeca organized yesterday a panel of Westworld with a star poster that includes co-creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, as well as actors Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and James Marsden. I am sure that the discussion of the next new season was great, but we are here to talk about the end of the panel, when the moderator receives questions from the audience.

Questions and Answers from the audience, a key element of the panel format for a long time, offer attendees the opportunity to ask thoughtful questions that may have arisen during the discussion they attended. It's a joke! Actually they are a nightmare, because anecdotally anyone who has attended panels at some important event, including myself, can tell you that questions are bad 95% of the time and do not bring anything of interest.

Thanks to the Facebook broadcast of Tribeca, we finally have some strong proofs that you can see yourself around the 49:35 mark. When the first person approaches to take the microphone, he really rambles for so long – about human potential, his unsuccessful script, and how "unbelievable … you can have an idea and put it on the screen" – that the moderator You have to close any other question. All the exchange is painful, from the bewildered looks of those on the stage, to the rumble of the audience as this sordid affair unfolds.

Since nobody wants to be this guy in his next question and answer session, let me offer some practical advice.

  • Keep it short. I want to stop here, but ( sighs heavily, check out the checklist ) .
  • Do not ask for autographs or photos.
  • Do not talk about yourself.
  • Seriously, unless it is extremely important to understand the question you want to ask, leave your personal stories at the door. I appreciate that this is the only time that Evan Rachel Wood or James Marsden probably recognize that you exist, but yours are ships that pass at night. What I try to say, softly, is that they do not care.
  • Do not ask the panelists to read your script, listen to your song, whatever. They are trying to do a job and it does not imply advancing their career.
  • Do not breathlessly tell the panelists that you love them. You have come to see them speak! Obviously you like your job. It's okay to say quickly that you're a fan, but when you exaggerate it seems creepy and strange.
  • Do not bring gifts.
  • Remember that you are still a stranger you are talking to, even if you love all your work. Do not dig in your personal life; do not go to ask for intimate details that are none of your business .
  • Do not be an asshole I mean this for your own good, really, because if you're going to get something out, there's a whole crowd of fans there to throw things away. It really does not make you look like a hero of free speech to be kicked out of a question and answer session. It makes you look like a ding-dong who lives in the basement.


Watch a live conversation with James Marden, Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy at # Tribeca2018. Westworld is back and more amazing than ever.

Posted by Tribeca on Thursday, April 19, 2018

So, what went wrong here? The particular panel-goer makes some very novice mistakes (wandering with unnecessary praise, calling unrelated projects, talking about himself), but perhaps the most curious of all is that this guy has no questions to ask. He just came to talk . So stick this last lesson in your pocket for your next panel: just go to the Q & A microphone if you really have a question.

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