MORE's Over-40 Intern Diaries: When a Non-Journalist Interviews a Filmmaker

Ruth Morganto, 49, wanted to explore a new career but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Read what happens on Day 7 when she joins the MORE team to assist on an upcoming issue

by Ruth Morganto • Midlife Intern
ruth morganto image
Photograph: Ari Michelson

It’s Wednesday of my second week and as I step off the curb with my fellow commuters (ignoring the red “don’t walk” sign like a native), I realize that I’m finally feeling at home in this sprawling city.  The commute no longer confuses me, the subway no longer scares me and the fast city walkers no longer fly by me. Life is good.

Today’s lunch date is with another of More’s features editors, Stephanie von Hirschberg, whose lilting South African accent belies the fact that she has resided in the States for decades. Books and smalltown living provide common ground for our conversation.  As she describes emigrating from South Africa in her youth and “drinking in” the city, I am saddened that I never had that adventurous spirit.  

Soon we stumble across another shared interest—knitting.  She’s a lapsed knitter but can relate to my love of the craft. I tell her about the peapod baby bunting I’ve just taken off my needles. She tells me of her need for a gift for a friend’s little one. I offer to share my work.  I seem to be leaving knitted items all over New York.
 
Between reading and researching I schedule an afternoon tea with the magazine’s literary editor, Cathleen Medwick. Each editor I’ve lunched with has referred me to Cathy as the woman who actually has my dream job. As we discuss our quirky tastes in books, I discover that we also dislike some of the same writings: Neither of us understands the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, and in spite of stellar reviews by highly literate friends, neither of us enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I’m happy to have found a kindred spirit.
 
As my workday winds down, I face an intimidating task, one that I can’t believe has been assigned to me: Interviewing an award-winning filmmaker. Sari Gilman directed and produced Kings Point, the HBO documentary about aging in America that was recently nominated for (but didn’t win) an Academy Award in the documentary short category. Sari was nothing like the high-strung filmmaker I had envisioned. Instead, she was charming and passionate as she recounted her decade spent making the film. I finally breathed a deep breath and began to relax as she graciously answered all of my questions (which, of course, Laura had vetted beforehand).

Next: Writer's Block

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