Getting Personal: Mike Boedicker

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Mike Boedicker, the audiovisual librarian and webmaster at the Danville Public Library who also is an independent filmmaker. In the Oct. 28 newspaper, we'll have a chat with Sean Powers, a news reporter and fill-in anchor, the digital news and social media editor and the curator of WILL's historical content.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

The alarm goes off at 6:10, but I don't usually roll out of bed till 6:30. After showering but before breakfast, I pack a lunch, giving scraps to my two shamelessly begging cats.

What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?

Turkey and avocado sandwich in the library staff lounge, preceded by a workout at the gym near the library.

Best high school memory?

Making cheesy horror film spoofs with friends. Our masterwork was "The Thing with a Particularly Ugly Face."

Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.

K-Swiss Classic sneakers, the only brand I've owned since college. Every time I need a new pair of sneakers, I dutifully look at other brands, then end up buying the same as before.

What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?

A hike with my wife at Kickapoo or Kennekuk park, followed by pizza and a good movie at home.

Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?

"To Kill a Mockingbird," which I first read in the ninth grade. I've reread it many times and also own the movie and published screenplay. Studying the novel and screenplay was one of the best lessons I've had in the art of film adaptation.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

The Cinque Terre region of Italy, based on descriptions from a friend who's been there. Actually, any region of Italy would do. I've been elsewhere in Europe but have never made it there.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

My cat, Jem, who passed away a couple of years ago. We've had several cats through the years, but Jem and I had a special bond.

Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?

I see both parents in me, but as I age, I'm probably becoming more like my father in temperament. He instilled in me a love for reading and lifelong learning.

What would you order for your last meal?

Eggplant parmigiana, Caprese salad and a good red wine, all from Cortese, a great old restaurant in my hometown of Binghamton, N.Y.

What can you not live without?

Movies.

Whom do you have on your iPod?

Works of J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane and The Who. Baroque music is something I need to hear every day.

What's the happiest memory of your life?

Marrying my wife, Leslie.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola to pick his brain, philosopher Paul Kurtz to thank him for his work and pianist Murray Perahia (with piano) to have him play the Goldberg Variations for dessert.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

My father told me that formal education is never wasted, even if it doesn't appear to pay off immediately or financially.

What's your best piece of advice?

Be true to yourself and your beliefs and try — as much as possible — not to deceive yourself.

What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?

Working as a page at a branch library in my hometown for $3.35 an hour when I was 16. I never thought I'd eventually become a librarian, though my boss at the time later claimed he always knew I would.

What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?

Deciding to go to grad school in 1999 was significant. After college, during the recession of the early 1990s, I couldn't find work in my undergrad major (broadcasting), so I worked as a clerk in my hometown public library. But as that "temp" job became permanent, I knew if I stayed in the library field I'd need a master's in library science to advance. Though I didn't relish going back to school, I ended up enjoying it and was lucky to land my position at the Danville Public Library right after graduation. Then shortly after starting there, my long-dormant desire to make feature films resurfaced and, inspired by new digital technology and the fantastic actors and filmmakers in East Central Illinois, I've made three features in the past 10 years. So ironically, moving to the Midwest to become a librarian also allowed me to become a filmmaker.

Do you have a bad habit? What is it?

Worrying and obsessing about film projects and never being truly satisfied.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

First by complaining to my wife, then after I've vented, discussing things more rationally.

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