Today we are introducing a new series, an interview series based on a famous society questionnaire by the famous French writer Marcel Proust. He developed this list of questions as a sort of game for the society folks of 19th century France. I first was made aware of this game via Dave Chappelle’s episode of “Inside The Actors Studio”. I tried that version of the questionnaire as a sidenote to an interview with Lucien Clarke he liked it and it seemed to be a fun thing to do that leads to an insightful interview that strays away from the beaten path. Beatrice Domond has done a lot of interviews, so to further gain insight we decided to play Proust’s game, update it and bring it to the 21st century. Enjoy!
Intro and interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Photos by Daniel Pannemann.
Thank you to Vans Skateboarding
Alright, Beatrice are you ready? We will start this interview with an easy question but it could be a hard one too, if you chose it to be. What’s your favorite word?
“Fair”. Like “That’s fair.”
I like that. What’s your least favorite word?
“Moist”. You can feel the word in your mouth when you say it. It’s so gross (laughs).
Nice answer (laughs). What’s your favorite drug? It can also be coffee, or…
Tylenol. That shit will rock you (laughs). It rocked me before.
(Laughs) Alright. What sound or noise do you love?
Uh, the sound of skateboarding on brick.
What sound or noise do you hate?
People touching styrofoam. That irks me.
That’s very specific. What’s your favorite curse word?
I like the F-word because you can put it in between everything and I learned it from skating.
You didn’t say it before?
No, because there was no need and then you watch those videos, you see people fall and then you are like “Oh, when I fall I’m supposed to say that word”. So I got it from there.
Your board sponsor’s name starts with that word as well.
Oh yeah. That too. And then obviously you are talking and you didn’t even need to use it and you are like “Yeah I’m fucking here, fucking chilling, fucking… Why are you saying it like that? (Laughs)
It becomes very casual. It takes kind of the sting out of it.
It does but there are some people I know and they say curse words and it hits you. You are like “Damn. That was hard.”
Who hits you the hardest when they curse? (Laughs)
Uff, probably my mom. I would be like “Uff that was rough”.
Alright. Whom would you like to see on the new dollar notes?
Damn, that’s a hell of a question.
Doesn’t matter which amount. You can pick that too.
Let’s put George Clooney on the five Dollar bill (laughs).
That’s gonna be a handsome note (laughs).
Yeah, a good-looking bill and have Lake Como in the background (laughs).
A very good concept (laughs). They should do that. First American currency with an Italian backdrop (laughs). What’s your favorite drink?
English Breakfast Tea with milk and sugar.
Do you buy that here in New York?
Yup, every time. Oat milk and sugar and then I make it myself. So good.
What are your favorite qualities in your new Vans shoe, the Zahba Mid?
The toecap, the impact support, and I’m hyped on the old school logo on top. I like it a lot. It gives it a nice touch.
I think the toe box is actually really good on this one.
I kid you not, but I have text message threads of how specific I was with it and how I wanted it to be. Not too pointy not too square. To get it like this and make it still durable was a lot of work.
So durability matters.
Yeah, because when it was super rounded (on the samples) it would rip in one session. So we had to put extra plastic in there where it doesn’t bother your foot and still keeps the shape. It was a lot of work.
How long did it take for you to get there with the toecap?
I started noticing it after I got samples and that’s like five months ago. Yeah, we had to get it right before the release.
Ok. What are your favorite qualities in a shoe?
Color, Laces, and the design of it all. There is so much out there and when you go to a skate shop and you see the rows of shoes they have to stand out.
What’s your favorite shoe other than the one you just designed? You can pick whatever you like.
I like Authentics. I like when we do FA or Hockey collaborations. They are good. I like them a lot.
They are classic. What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
My skate friends or my normal friends?
You can do both.
It is. I’m just trying to make friends. Like civilians.
It’s kind of cool because they don’t know anything about skating. What I appreciate about my skate friends is that they inspire and motivate me to skate and be better. And with my normal friends I’m like here are my feelings and I process my life things with them. Which is really cool. I don’t really get to do that with my skate friends because we talk about tricks all the time. That’s a newfound thing for me. Especially now I have friends who are girls and all they wanna do is to talk about feelings which I’m not really used to because I grew up hanging out with boys. So that’s cool. It’s weird at first and it’s like “Can we just not talk about this all the time?” (Laughs)
You are like “Shut down the talking.”
Yeah naahh… we can just chill and watch a movie, but they are super into that. And I think it’s healthy.
Hundred percent. What turns you on? Creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Anything. Especially living in New York now. Sometimes I take the train from 2nd Ave all the way to 58th Street and I just look at all the different outfits changing throughout the different sections of New York. Because you are going up higher which is more rich or whatever. Just to see people getting in from Lower Manhattan, coming off work, and then the types of people getting on from the Upper West Side. That just inspired me. Just to see that people are different and that’s what gets me creatively inspired. Traveling in New York is different because when you are in a car all you have is you, the radio, and whoever is talking. Whilst in New York you are taking in a million different energies, ten different personalities, smells, and everything. It can be inspiring in a good and a bad way.
That’s a good answer. What turns you off?
Walking when I’m tired. It’s the saddest thing. Did you ever walk somewhere when you were exhausted and you have to make it home because the Uber is forty dollars?
That’s probably the worst feeling. I have that feeling often (laughs). You are just tired. You have to drag on because no one is picking you up.
Yes, you have to keep going. What’s your favorite skate spot?
Milano Centrale. The train station spot in Milan, Italy. I love that place. So fun.
What’s your least favorite skate spot?
SeaPort ledges. I ran that place so hard. I did every trick I know at that place.
It’s over. It’s done. You’ve been around the block.
Yeah. To a point where I warm up there, you know?
Mmm. What’s in your opinion your main flaw?
Communication. That’s what I heard. That’s what they told me. Lack of communication because I assume a lot in people. I assume that “I’m doing well and you should see that” where you have to tell people how are you feeling because they are consumed with their own lives. I’m more in tune with everyone’s life. If you need something I can sense that.
So you have a big sense of empathy?
Yeah. The majority of people don’t have that and so when I sit there and be like “Why y’all not noticing? I’m showing you I need this”. It makes me upset and it makes people upset because no one is communicating what they need. I’m assuming of course. It’s a major defect (laughs).
What’s your idea of happiness?
Waking up, the body is in perfect health, knees and back are feeling good, the mind is clear, I make a cup of tea, I’m eager to skate, I land every trick I wanna do first try, I go home, cook a meal, watch skateboarding, and be excited about it. That makes me happy. And I check on my family if everyone is ok.
“Let’s put George Clooney on the five Dollar bill…”Beatrice Domond
That actually feels really good.
Yeah. I’ve been sore all the time now but hopefully, I wake up one day not feeling sore.
Maybe try some massage therapy?
I do acupuncture twice a week. Just trying to get this knee back. I walk a lot so I’ve gotten tendonitis in my top foot so I’ve been dealing with that too. It’s coming along.
What’s your idea of misery? Maybe the tendonitis then?
Yeah, the tendonitis and being around people who are pessimistic because I’m optimistic. I see the glass half full. I see people who are like “This guy is falling” Well yeah, move!
Where would you like to live? You can choose a place to live wherever.
Can I make a place up?
If you want (laughs).
I would combine New York, Milan, and London. Or I would travel monthly to these three places.
I like that. It’s better than a fantasy place. Favorite color and flower?
I don’t have a favorite color but I think green and gold, both look good on me. I’ll take that. And my favorite flower. I like white roses. I think it’s because when I was younger my mum will get them for me for my birthday and stuff like that. I like white roses a lot.
Do you have them in the house right now?
I do actually.
If not yourself who would like to be?
A better version of myself.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Being a Creative Director of a fashion brand or my initial dream to be a filmmaker/ editor. I thought in my late 20s’ I could sit still but I can’t. I need a job where I’m moving around, you know?
Let’s switch this around. What profession other than your own would you not like to attempt?
Forensic scientist because I wanted to be that so bad but now I actually don’t want to do that at all (laughs).
That’s cool. People told me “garbage man” or something before.
They make bank actually! First of all, and two without them, we would be in a shit pile. I respect them.
Who is your favorite artist? It can be music, can be fine art, or writing.
I love Haim the musical group, those three sisters because they play all their own instruments. I love Jean-Michel Basquiat just because of his paintings and him as a person. Dill for skating because skating is art.
Fair. If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal what would it be?
A giraffe. I like to be high up. I want to see things. I’m chilling. And they are mild-tempered.
I can see that. All right last question. If heaven exists what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gate?
Welcome home, kid.
That’s it. We are done. Thank you very much, Beatrice.
Thank you, guys.