Hi, welcome back to the blog. This is a reflection on my efforts to get an interview for eminent. Unfortunately, I was unable to get one. As a reminder, my eminent person is Tommy Caldwell.
I first tried to get an interview on Tuesday the second. The first obvious choice was to contact Tommy himself. I looked for a couple hours, but I was unable to find his email address. This presented a big problem because it meant I would have to use my personal accounts to message him. I messaged him on Instagram. I was nervous he would say no, so I made sure it was a good message. I told him my name, that I was doing a research project on him, and that I would like to interview him. I expected a quick response because I messaged him on Instagram, however I was wrong. I waited three days, then it was the weekend. On Monday, I still did not have a response, so I decided to ask someone else. A while later, I went through his website, which has a contact feature. I have not gotten an email yet. I also messaged him again last week and he still has not looked at any of my messages.
Contacting Tommy did not work out, so I started to branch out. I started looking at different news articles about him. Most of the stories were old, but I found one that was written on October 18th. The story was from Climbing Magazine. It was about the second ever ascent of Tommy’s climb, Flex Luthor. The article was mostly focused on Matty (the person who did the climb), but I decided to contact the author anyways. The author’s name is Steven Potter. I still have not gotten an email from him.
Because Tommy nor Steven messaged me, I kept looking. The next person I found was the director of The Dawn Wall, Peter Mortimer. He seemed like one of the best options available, besides Tommy himself, because he has firsthand experience with the story of The Dawn Wall. It took me about an hour until I found a way to contact him. The Dawn Wall is four years old, but I decided he would still be a good person to interview. I waited a couple of days for an email, but I did not get one. I guess he was busy with the success of his newest movie, The Alpinist, and did not have time to talk to me.
I found other people that would be good to contact, like Josh Lowell. He was the other director for The Dawn Wall. I did not get a message from him or anyone else I contacted.
By now I was starting to run out of time, so I got creative. I went to a local climbing gym and talked to some of the employees. This was good because it was in person. I learned about outdoor climbing and multi-pitch climbing. Outdoor climbing is often more complicated and technical than indoor climbing, making it more difficult. Multi-pitch climbing is a type of climbing for big walls. For multi-pitch climbing you switch between climbing and belaying to ascend taller walls. This is relevant because a lot of Tommy’s notable ascents are multi-pitched. This information is helpful in furthering my understanding, but because the employees are not connected to Tommy Caldwell, I did not think it should count.
When I need to get an interview in the future, I can try a few things. The first is sending multiple emails to the same person in a short amount of time. I did not want to do this because it is disrespectful, and it might make put them against an interview. A positive to doing this is that the person you are messaging knows you are passionate about interviewing them. I sent Tommy multiple messages, but he did not reply. If I had sent more messages to other people, I may have gotten a response. The second thing I could do is use personal networking to find people to interview. I asked people I know if they had any connections. Unfortunately, no one I knew had any connections. In the future, this might work better.
Thanks for reading this. Hopefully, next time I will be luckier.