Ron Bostwick: An Interview with the Interviewer


Reel Hope Logo-BoulderTickets are on sale now for Reel Hope Boulder on November 8, when Boulder Jewish Family Service (JFS) will welcome television writer Marc Sotkin, who will share his insights on the business of writing in the high-pressure world of television. Marc will be interviewed live on stage by Ron Bostwick, a Boulder-based freelance event producer and announcer (pictured above on left with Rob Simonsen in 2014). For the past 10 years, Ron has done on-stage interviews with Shirley MacLaine, Alan Arkin, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and many others for the Boulder International Film Festival, as well as featured speakers at the past two Reel Hope Boulder events. In anticipation of Reel Hope Boulder, we interviewed Ron about his career and approach to interviewing celebrities.

Boulder JFS: What are you looking forward to about interviewing Marc Sotkin?

Ron Bostwick: Marc had a behind-the-scenes seat to two of television’s biggest shows (Laverne & Shirley and Golden Girls), and in his career he’s worked with a ton of Hollywood stars and comedians. I’m looking forward to hearing more of his stories about people like Garry Shandling, Danny Thomas, Betty White, and more.

BJFS: How do you prepare for the Reel Hope Boulder interviews?

RB: In this age of a thing called the Internet, I enjoy doing the research on the various people I interview, not just for JFS, but also for the other interviews I do. It’s amazing the novel and sometimes embarrassing things I can find on the people who I talk to. It’s fortunate that many old movies and television shows are easily available on DVD and accessible for me to watch to get a good understanding of their work. I’m also fortunate that my JFS interview subjects have a Boulder connection, so I can learn about them from their family members.

One of the things I’ve found in the years I’ve been doing interviews, is how important it is to build a personal relationship with the person before we get on stage, even if that person lives in Los Angeles. When they come to Colorado, I make the time to get to know them. Last year, I picked up Rob Simonsen from the airport when he was in town for a family wedding so I could get to know him. What I want the JFS audience to experience is two friends sitting down having coffee together.

BJFS: What are some of the highlights from the past two Reel Hope Boulder events?

RB: With David Klawans, we spoke on the phone a couple times before the event. We had so much fun, I didn’t want to get off the phone after two hours. With Rob Simonsen, I enjoyed setting a relaxed tone with him when we both took off our shoes at the beginning of the interview.

BJFS: What can event attendees look forward to or expect from this year’s event?

RB: I’m trying to create an atmosphere that’s a combination of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and the “Charlie Rose Show.” Not only can people look forward to hearing some great backstage stories, but they will be helping others at the same time by supporting this event. We’re all facing our own difficult times these days and coming to Reel Hope Boulder allows everyone in the audience to be part of the solution to others’ difficult times.

BJFS: Why do you volunteer your time to do the interviews for Reel Hope Boulder?

RB: Although I have not been the recipient of any of the good work JFS does, there are thousands who have, and I feel good knowing that I’m doing my small part to help people that I’ll never meet. And besides, the people I get to interview are really fun!

You don’t want to miss this event! Buy your tickets today!

About Jewish Family Service

JFS Boulder helps individuals maintain a high quality of life through programs and services that keep them supported, connected, and engaged. Services include care management, counseling, companionship, emergency assistance, and holiday celebrations. JFS serves everyone regardless of race, faith, gender, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.

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