Question: Where do you conduct an interview with an underage international pop sensation?
Answer: An art museum in Los Angeles, California.
Interviewing Miley Cyrus was going to be an odd experience for me. For one, I don’t like her music. Secondly, she’s an underage girl – a situation I generally stay away from. Three, she looks dumb, so I figured I’d suffer the whole time. Nonetheless, I gave in (I mean… it’s Miley Cyrus) and our interview was more odd than I could have possibly imagined.[i]
The crowd outside the museum was buzzing by in the weekday dusk. I told Miley I’d meet her outside, so I stood on the bench under a lightpost, so my small stature was above the crowd. The phone rang… it was Miley!
Miley Cyrus: I can pretend that I don’t see you.
Mystery Tin: Hey! Yeah, I don’t see you. Where are you?
MC: Lost here in this moment, and time keeps slipping by.
MT: Okay… I mean, where are you… geographically?
MC: I’m calling out, can you hear my voice? I’m gonna find you through all the noise.
I saw her coming, grabbed her attention, and directed her toward the entrance of the museum. I cut through the crowd and met her at the entrance.
MC: Hey! What do you say?
MT: Miley, pleasure to meet you. Let’s head inside and walk around.
MC: Here we go.
MT: Have you been to a lot of museums?
MC: I’ve been to London, been to Paris, Australia and Rome. I’ve been to
New York, Been to L.A. and to Baton Rouge.
MT: Wow, alright, so you know a thing or two about art.
We had entered the first room, Vincent Van Gogh's STARRY NIGHT hung on the wall, illuminated by a single accent light.
MT: What do you think about Van Gogh’s art?
MC: I look up at the stars, [and] like fire in the dark, we’re like living art. You know I wanna believe that we’re a masterpiece, but sometimes it’s hard to tell in the dark. Our lives are our greatest art. Is it love or is it art? Are you feeling me?
MT: I’m not feeling you in the way I… uh… Yeah, I feel like they should have more light in here. Anyway, time for the hard stuff. How do you deal with the critics who say you’re just another teeny bopper dependant on auto tune and say that you’re just another piece to the Disney music machine?
MC: Stop telling me I’m part of the big machine, I’m breaking free, can’t you see ? [I] don’t listen to all the people who hate, cause all they do is help make your mistakes for you, but they don’t own you. I’m not a mistake, I’m not a fake, it’s set in my DNA. They try to change me but they realize they can’t. I’ve been told at least a thousand times, it’s not worth the struggle, the hurt or the trouble.
MT: Sorry, Miley. That’s incredibly mature of you.
MC: It breathes in my chest, and it runs through my blood. I go crazy, the music tells me what to feel. Crossed wires in my head, I’ve been taught to think that what I feel doesn’t matter at all. And everything else falls into place.
MT: That’s not true.
(At this point I became uncomfortable with the overwhelming honesty of the underage icon.)
MC: Yeah I’ll tell you all my secrets, all the ones I’ve kept inside, and I’ll give you all the reasons.
MT: I wasn’t really looking for this angle, but…
MC: For those who don’t know me, I can get a bit crazy. I can’t be tamed. The only thing real when push comes to shove, another moment is a moment away, I can’t tell you what the future holds. I’m like a puzzle but all of my pieces are jagged, If you can understand this, we can make some magic .
MT: I mean… Um…
MC: Was it something I said or something I did? Did my words not come out right?
I ignored eye contact with Miley as we started to make our way back towards the door. I fumbled through my pockets groping for a pen, pretending to quote her. I needed this interview to end as soon as possible, somehow the tension had grown thick.
MT: You’re also a magician, got it. Well, I think we should wrap this up. Anything else you want to share?
MC: I’m alone and I feel empty, God I’m torn apart inside.
MT: Miley, don’t you have somebody to talk about this? I mean, I’m just a reporter for a stupid blog.
MC: We don’t have to be friends, we don’t have to be enemies. Stay here with me now. I’m lonely here tonight. But if you walk away tonight, [I’d] watch you leave, Walk away tonight, pretend I’m okay.
MT: Whoa. This is really intense. You can’t be serious.
MC: Baby come here close, I won’t let you walk away.
I moved quickly out into the darkening night, avoiding the awkward situation I had gotten myself into. “Was this something many journalists experienced?” Either way, I had end the interview quickly. I asked the valet to hail Miley’s driver.
MC: So much colder than I can remember… The city of angels is lonely tonight.
MT: Miley, thank you so much for speaking with me. I think I’ve got what I need. I’ll write this up and get a copy to you by the beginning of next week.
MC: Where does the time go? To hear that tears me up inside, and there’s two more lonely people in the world tonight. ‘Cause in the end, no one loses or wins.
Miley and I parted ways for what I hoped would be the last time. Don’t get me wrong, it was flattering, but I was taken completely offguard. I was not even sure I believed it, except I had written it all down.
As I was recounting the interview on Monday morning, my phone vibrated with a new voicemail. It was Miley.
MC: I hope you’re doing fine. You can pretend I don’t exist, I walked through the darkness, and now I see, I’ve been misled. Yeah, wrong or right , don’t be afraid to make a move, It won’t hurt you, and you know in the end it’ll be O.K.
[i] This interview never happened. Miley Cyrus’s answers are comprised of lyrics from her album “Can’t Be Tamed.”