1. Of all the travelling you've done, which place was most interesting to you?
This is difficult, because the most interesting isn't necessarily the place I liked most. I'll pick India, because it was my first experience in the developing world. The sheer foreignness, how everything works differently than it does in the West, made it both intriguing and challenging. At the same time, because of the widespread use of English, the culture is relatively accessible. When I took a day tour in Jaipur, the other tourists were from other parts of India, not from the U.S. or Europe! And I found out about a festival in Udaipur from other women on the train there.
2. Of places you have not yet been, where would you like to go?
I'd like to go almost everywhere that I've never been, so this is also hard. I'll pick Pitcairn Island, due to the sheer difficulty of actually getting there. Even if I had my own boat (which is not likely to happen), there's a complicated procedure for getting permission to go.
3. What trend -- cultural, technical, musical, whatever -- of the last decade or so would you most like to stamp out?
This one is actually easy. I despise the current notion that people are supposed to be available all the time. I only got a cell phone when I was moving - and it's a pay-as-you-go type which I rarely have on. I don't check work email when I'm on vacation.
4. What characterizes a good story for performance purposes?
A storytelling performance is satisfying because of the interaction between the teller and audience. For that to work, I think the main thing is that the teller has to love the story. There are, however, specific things which make a story work or not work when told.
It has to be structured. That isn't necessarily a linear beginning - middle - end, but that's the easiest one.
There have to be enough details for the audience to understand the context. That can be particularly difficult with personal stories, by the way. People sometimes think that skipping details makes the audience relate more, but I've found the opposite. At the same time, lengthy descriptions can keep the audience from creating their own images.
Finally, the teller has to be in control of the story. I'm aiming that mostly at tellers who commit therapy on stage, but it also applies to things like deadpan humor.
5. The genie in the bottle can arrange for you to be on the first colony ship to the planet of your choice. He says they've worked out basics like a breathable atmosphere and food, but things like communications back to Earth might be iffy. Do you go? (And if so, where?)
I probably wouldn't. What interests me in traveling is people more than places, so going to uninhabited regions is of little interest. And, as much as I love to travel, I also love my home.
Now, a tour to an established colony on another planet would be something I'd do in a heartbeat.