Michal Goldman: The DLG-Proust-Actors Studio Questionnaire

by Joseph McKeown

Michal wants to be a millionaire. She doesn’t plan to rob a bank (thankfully) or win the lottery, but hopes that a certain game show will make that dream come true. We’re talking, of course, about the popular quiz show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and she’s actually not that interested in the money (it wouldn’t be a bad thing, though). Instead she wants to indulge her great love of trivia. She’s tried out for the show twice and is currently in the eligible contestant pool for another year. She’s waiting (fingers crossed) for the call to come. In the meantime, she's reading encyclopedias.

“I’ve always been into trivia,” she says. “I was one of those kids that really liked standardized tests. I always like the idea of testing myself, and seeing what I know and don’t know. Studying for the SATs was very stressful and not fun, but when I got to sit down and take the test, the actual testing experience is something that I enjoy. People are going to hate me for saying that.”

Michal was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, and New Rochelle, New York, a New York City suburb that as a teenager she considered immensely boring, but now considers an ideal place to raise children. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Visual Studies, a new major that was created when she was a student. It was perfect for her since it combined her love of various mediums of art and the psychology of vision and perception.

“I really discovered art when I was in college,” she says. “I had some amazing professors and facilities at my disposal. I discovered a passion that I never knew I had before.”

After graduating, she worked as a graphic designer and as an editor before joining the Daryanani Law Group as a paralegal in 2014. “I’ve always been creative, and had a lot of interests, so it’s been hard to pin myself down to just one thing,” she says. “This job really allows me to stretch my brain.”

If she ever gets on Millionaire, I tell her, be sure to give a shout out to DLG.

Definitely, she says.

(Questions taken from and/or inspired by the Proust/Inside the Actors Studio/Bernard Pivot/AnOther Magazine questionnaires).

What is your least favorite word?

What is your favorite word?

What turns you off?

What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of someone agreeing with me.

What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of someone eating an orange. I don’t know why, but it makes me gag.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
It’s a tossup between photographer and potter.

What is your idea of happiness?     
A good book, a pool, and sun.

What is your idea of misery?
Early mornings.

If not yourself, who would you be?
Someone else.    

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents, hands down.

What natural talent would you like to be gifted with?
The ability to sing—I come from a very musical family and am the only one who can’t carry a tune.

How do you wish to die?

What are you thinking of right now?
How stressful it is to condense myself into just a few words.

What makes you laugh?

What makes you cry?

Where do you feel most at home?
In the water.

What is a book or movie that has changed your perspective on life?
The Suicide Tourist.

If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?