Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message

December 11, 2018 — by Kevin Sze

“Hi, is this Mr. Richard Lovett?” I asked.

“This is Mr. Lovett’s office,” responded a female voice.

“Hi,” I repeated, nervously. “I’m Kevin Sze from The Saratoga Falcon, the newspaper of Saratoga High School where Mr. Steven Spielberg graduated. I wanted to contact Mr. Lovett in hopes of getting an interview wi—”

“Right,” the voice interrupted. “Can you send me an email with everything regarding your situation?”

“Sure,” I muttered, a bit annoyed that she had interrupted me mid-sentence, but also encouraged that she didn’t hang up immediately. Could getting an interview with iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg be possible?

A couple weeks prior, I had half-jokingly signed up to interview Steven Spielberg for a newspaper story about famous alumni — with none being more famous that the iconic 1965 grad. I learned that Spielberg’s favorite class had been writing for the newspaper and being a sports editor for the newspaper, so I figured getting an interview might not be impossible.

I eventually decided to give the story a shot, thinking that if I could pull it off, it’d be an even greater achievement than Lebron coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.

After doing some Sherlock Holmes-worthy investigation (a.k.a., googling “Who is Steven Spielberg’s agent”), I found Lovett’s contact information. I called the first number and was put on hold. The woman at the end of the line referred me to another woman, who transferred me to another woman who said she would get back to me. A few days passed, and not surprisingly, she didn’t get back to me.

But, as the resilient reporter I am, I decided to call the number back, several times, only to hear it go to voicemail after a single ring. At this point, I figured Lovett’s assistant or whoever had picked up the phone the first time around hadn’t taken me seriously and blocked my phone number.

I did some digging on the internet, talked to three different women (where is the diversity, Mr. Lovett? Actually, where are you Mr. Lovett?) for about 30 seconds each, was put on hold for longer than the total time I actually spent talking to people, only to return to the same conclusion: This wasn’t getting me anywhere.

I’m not saying that I blame Lovett or Spielberg for any of this. Both men are extremely busy, and giving an interview to Saratoga High School, a place, according to The Mercury News, Spielberg absolutely hated due to the anti-Semitism here as a junior and senior, was really unlikely.

Although it’s been a rollercoaster ride that mostly ended in annoyance and disappointment (they could’ve at least sent me a short email saying I’d be receiving no interview), I’ve learned to not expect the impossible. But hey, you have my number. So call me maybe?

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