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Wednesday, 7 February 2018



The Pivot Questionnaire comprises 10 questions. I have seen it used on the television show Inside The Actor's Studio, presented by James Lipton. Apparently Proust was the original inspiration. The modern questions originated on a French TV show called Bouillon de Culture, hosted by Bernard Pivot. I have expanded the questions to 12.
(For the time being, this idea is restricted to Northern Ireland's creative artists in any field, literature, music, broadcasting, etc. If you are one and are interested in taking part as well as promoting your work, please get in touch via

This post’s special guest is Simon Murphy. Simon's day-job is psychiatric nurse but he has been developing his skills as a singer/songwriter and has attracted the attention of influential broadcasters and great reviews from creative colleagues in Northern Ireland and also in Nashville where he has spent time learning, collaborating and writing. In fact, as I write this (February 2018), Simon is on another Nashville trip. His website link below leads you to his biography and much more.

Links to Simon's work:

My blog on Simon’s album Let It Be

Animated video (created by Maria Becvar) – Parallel Waterfalls


1. What is your favourite word? Plinth

2. What is your least favourite word? Sin

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?  Creatively, little mistakes that turn out to be good. I have a song I’m thinking of putting out called Battle for Control. It’s about a person experiencing anorexia and the character in the song says “full length mirror STARING back at me” but as I wrote the lyric, I mistakenly typed “STARVING back at me”. The mistake was better then the intended line. I love little moments like that

4. What turns you off? Lack of curiosity for the minds/experience/intent of others, particularly in local and global politics. Scrolling down the comments sections online turns me off talking to another human being ever again

5. What is your favourite song? Today it’s Apartment Song by Tom Petty, by tea-time it’ll be something else

6. What is your favourite film? Brokeback Mountain. I think it was one of the last films my friend Paul watched before he died and he loved it. Sometimes I imagine us talking about the film. It’s stunning visually and those guys have serious dramatic acting chops

7. What is your favourite curse word? C you on Tuesday

 8. What sound or noise do you love? This’ll sound cheesy or hacky but my daughter's laugh. She has this giggle/cackle that she does when we play chase or I throw her up in the air and catch. It’s unfiltered, joyous, in the moment, just lovely to hear

9. What sound or noise do you hate?
Someone complaining that they were offended

10. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

11. What profession would you not like to do? 
Anything that is “middle management”- not to knock anyone in that but I think of them as being quite dry, quite corporate and stifling. I have a bit of that in my day job but there’s room to breathe as well

12. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Welcome, you can have your own recliner here, and we have BT sport.” I’m a simple man really

Simon Murphy, thank you for your dozen answers to a dozen questions

Previous posts:
Singer/songwriter Mandy Bingham – 17 January 2018
Poet Colin Dardis – 18 January 2018
Writer & Independent Researcher Anne-Marie Quigg – 19 January 2018
Broadcaster Gerry Kelly - 20 January 2018
Writer George Larmour – 22 January 2018
Journalist/writer Geoff Hill – 23 January 2018
Singer/Songwriter Janet Henry - 24 January 2018
Broadcaster Lynette Fay - 25 January 2018
Actor Michael Smiley – 26 January 2018
Singer/songwriter Paddy Nash – 27 January 2018
Singer/songwriter Edelle McMahon – 29 January 2018
Broadcaster Kathy Clugston – 30 January 2018
Singer/songwriter Brigid O’Neill – 31 January 2018
Singer/songwriter Stephen Dunwoody – 1 February 2018
Writer Colin Breen – 2 February 2018
Singer Mairead Healy – 3 February 2018
Harpist/comedian Ursula Burns – 5 February 2018
Actor Charles Lawson – 6 February 2018

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