Getting To Know VOX: DeMar Neal takes the Proust Personality Questionnaire

What is your perfect idea of happiness?

  • An eternal Valhallian paradise, where I am with my nearest and dearest singing, laughing, feasting, playing, recounting old stories, making new ones, and general joy-jaunting.

What is your greatest fear?

  • My phone dying in an airplane crash.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

  • The Buzzfeed quiz I took told me Daenerys Targaryen. 

Which living person do you most admire?

  • Luke Kuechly, linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. The man is a beast on the field, and a veritable gentilhomme off of it.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

  • I can be a certified conversation assassin.

What is your greatest extravagance?

  • Trips I can’t afford with/for people I love. Worth it every time.

What is your favorite journey?

  • The one we as performing artists take when we step into a role for a production.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

  • Aristotle would be mad at me for answering this, so I’ll defer to Oscar Wilde, who wrote, “Moderation is a fatal thing, Lady Hunstanton. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

On what occasion do you lie?

  • Always on my birthday! No, but (somewhat) seriously, sometimes to protect the feelings of loved ones. I’d say I run on about at 90% honesty setting. Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

  • My face is unattractive. But I have a left shoulder blade that is the miracle of loveliness; people come miles to see it. My right elbow has a fascination few can resist; it is on view Tuesdays and Fridays, upon presentation of visiting card.  As for my circulation, it is the largest in the world.

Which living person do you most despise?

  • Whoever the jerk is that came up with Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds. SO ADDICTIVE!

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

  • Sounds like my 20s!",  “[insert word ending in –er]?!...I hardly KNOW her!”, and of course, "Breeze."

What is your greatest regret?

  • That I ever greted in the first place.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

  • As the inspired poets of the band Cansei de Ser Sexy once mused, “Music is my boyfriend, music is my girlfriend. Music is my dead end, music is my imaginary friend. Music is my brother, music is my great granddaughter. Music is my sister, music is my favorite mistress!”

When and where were you happiest?

  • A grand adventure with my closest college friends, Ocean Isle, NC, May 2004; and the most special Christmas ever, Raleigh, NC 2011.

Which talent would you most like to have?

  • Flight, telekinesis, or the ability to regenerate damaged or destroyed areas of my cellular structure at a rate far greater than that of an ordinary human.

What is your current state of mind?

  • Gone to Carolina.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

  • To stop biting my fingernails! I’ve realized it tends to be a manifestation of my creative energy, but it sure would be nice to channel that elsewhere!

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

  • Less mileage between us. Living in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina (and other assorted locations) can make getting together as often as we’d like a bit tough.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

  • Receiving my doctorate in music. It was an incredible amount of work, and took years of patience, diligence, and dedication to achieve.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

  • Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, or Ferris Bueller  

What is your most treasured possession?

  • My Ring of Power. It is precious to me.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

  • Color me impatient, but I ABHOR WITH A FIERY, VITRIOLIC HATRED waiting in lines, especially for bars, clubs, amusement park rides, or bathrooms.

Where would you like to live?

  • The Loire Valley, France. Or maybe Tuscany, Italy? Stateside I’m an east-coaster at heart, so I’d have to give it to Boston in the summer, Key West in the winter, and of course, home in North Carolina for the holidays.

What is your favorite occupation?

  • Teaching people about the power of classical music.

What is your most marked characteristic?

  • Why, my gregariously witty disposition, to be sure!

What is the quality you most like in a man?

  •   Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

  • A rapier wit, and the ability to quote Wet Hot American Summer

What do you most value in your friends?

  • Well, their kidneys are probably worth the most, but instead I am going to have to go with their passions. I love having a wide variety of friends who care deeply about what they do.

Who are your favorite writers?

  • In no particular order: Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, Tolkien, Herbert, Da Ponte, Goethe, Twain, Doyle, Verlaine, Frost, Wilde, Dickinson, Homer, and Steinbeck

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

  • Frodo Baggins. He’s just a little guy trying to make a difference in a big, big world, and boy does he ever!

Who are your heroes in real life?

  • Anyone brave enough to show themselves to the world honestly and live their truths positively.

What are your favorite names?

  • Scaramuccia, Amelia, Papageno, Robert, Offenbach, and Nicholas

What is it that you most dislike?

  • People that use their smartphones at inappropriate times in inappropriate places, such as the movies, the opera, the theatre, the symphony, the CAR, meals, and my classroom.

How would you like to die?

  • With thee again, in sweetest sympathy.

What is your motto?

  • “Esse quam videri.” Or, if not that, “Life is uncertain; eat dessert first.”