Q&A with the de Vere’s Davis Quizmaster
November 17th, 2011 | Comments (1)
We’re so excited to announce that Pup Quiz night is starting this Monday, November 21st at de Vere’s in Davis. We’re even more excited to announce the return of “Your Quizmaster” Dr. Andy as our weekly host!
Davis locals might already know Dr. Jones from his days at Bistro 33. He’s now officially quizmastering at de Vere’s every Monday evening from 7-9pm.
Get to know the local celeb, grab some friends, and come join us for Pub Quiz night!
How long have you been a quizmaster? How did you get into it?
I worked as a Quizmaster for about four years until late September, 2011. I’m really looking forward to returning to Quizmastering on November 21st!
Where else have you been a quizmaster?
I was the Quizmaster at Bistro 33 for four years. Before that, I attended the Pub Quiz at Streets of London (Sacramento) from about 2001 to September, 2005 (whereupon my third child was born, and I had to give something up). I’ve also used quiz show approaches to testing in my classes at UC Davis, and presented such approaches to other faculty at teaching conferences.
What’s your day job? Any hobbies?
I have hosted the KDVS public affairs radio show “Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour” on Wednesday afternoons at 5 since 2000. I also produce and host the Poetry Night reading series at the John Natsoulas Gallery on the first and third Thursdays of the month; I do this literary and outreach as part of my work as the Chair of the Cultural Action Committee of Davis. Find out more about the poetry series at http://www.poetryindavis.com. The rest of my time is taken up by my wife, Kate, by our three children, and by my teaching and administrative duties at UC Davis (where I have been teaching writing and literature classes since 1990). My hobbies include bicycling, chasing after my children in Davis parks, and reading.
What’s the format for a typical trivia night?
The Pub Quiz at de Vere’s Irish Pub will begin with the rousing ringing of a cowbell and the sort of vainglorious barking that one might associate with a circus ringmaster. The Pub Quiz will include 30 questions on a variety of topics, including history, literature, current events, pop culture, internet culture, unusual words, Irish culture, Shakespeare, sports, and . . . science! A break will come after question 15, which will be an anagram. Round one will include five short questions (a dozen words or fewer), which we shall call the Short Round. Round two will include five questions on the same topic.
I’m looking forward to starting at 7pm, a reasonable time for people who have to work in the morning. Because Pub Quiz participants will have to come early to claim tables, I also look forward to catching up with old Pub Quiz friends before the show starts. Because of de Vere’s Irish Pubs, both here and in Sacramento, I’ve also developed a fondness for Guinness.
Anyone who has spent time in the new de Vere’s Irish Pub can’t help but be drawn to it. I grew up and attended college in the cities of Washington DC, New York City, Boston, and London, so I have dined in restaurants that are older than, say, California. Although now only days old, the new Irish pub offers a similar sense of history and authenticity. Interpersonally, I was drawn to Simon and Henry, the owners of this new pub. They have made a huge investment in our community of Davis, and they are men of vision and integrity. I should add that dozens of my former Pub Quiz participants recommended that I consider moving to de Vere’s for the relaunched Pub Quiz, and those recommendations helped me choose de Vere’s over all other suitors.
Any tips for preparing for quiz night?
I recommend forming a team of varied interests and strengths, for I will present questions that appeal to people of various ages, genders, academic disciplines, occupations, and geographic and life experiences. Outside of that, I encourage pub quiz participants to read widely, to be curious about the world, and to engage in conversations with friends about what they know. Once the Quiz has begun, I encourage participants to be thoughtful and trustworthy, and to attend more to the value of the Pub Quiz experience than to the outcome of the Quiz. As Vince Lombardi once said, “It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you have got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner.”
People who are curious about my interests may want to know that I have three degrees in English, and abiding interests in film, funky music, African-American history and culture, technology and social media, politics and current events. I have three children, and enjoy scanning their textbooks for Quiz question topics. I listen to National Public Radio and KDVS, but I try always to include a few questions that will appeal to people who do not.
What’s the best team name you’ve ever heard?
Three of my favorites are “Beer and Trembling,” “Drink Tank,” and “The Last Pigs in Afghanistan.”
Yes, I recommend that new participants observe the rules of the Quiz. Rules Two and Three of the de Vere’s Irish Pub Pub Quiz, for example, are “No Shouting Out the Answers” and “No Outside Help.” This means that, no matter how difficult, participants should keep their cell phones in their pockets or purses until the conclusion of the Pub Quiz. Pub Quiz participants should come ready to have fun. Consistent exuberance will be rewarded.
We hear you’re big on social media. Where can fans follow you?
I can be followed in five ways. First, all are encouraged to visit the website http://www.yourquizmaster.com to sign up for the mailing list and to learn more about the Pub Quiz in its previous iteration. I will update that site further as I learn more about the participants in this new Quiz. Secondly, if readers would like to tell me more about themselves as Pub Quiz participants, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have pictures for me to post on the website, they can be sent there. Thirdly, Pub Quiz participants should friend the Quizmaster on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yourquizmaster to see what sort of additional hints, pictures, and comments can be found there. Fourthly, I can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yourquizmaster. I follow back, and welcome Pub Quiz question topic suggestions. Finally, I send out a weekly Pub Quiz Newsletter that brims with hints and insights. Everyone on the mailing list receives a copy, and you can also find it appearing each week as blog entries on the http://www.yourquizmaster.com web site.
I’m really grateful to be working with a Pub that values social media, outreach, and engagement as I do. I look forward to seeing all of you at the de Vere’s Pub Quiz!