The Best of Seven Questions

We’ve asked countless celebrities and notable—sometimes notorious—figures seven compelling and thought-provoking questions. Here are some of our readers’ favorites.

Jon Estrada

Scott Yancey

Star of A&E’s former reality series Flipping Vegas

By Jessi C. Acuña, May 29–June 4, 2014, What Does This House Mean to the Rest of Us

… How much of what is on the show is really indicative of the personalities of you and your wife?

It’s reality TV for a reason, but try working with your wife for 12 to 14 hours a day. That will really bring out reality. They shoot about 120 to 140 hours per episode, and that gets edited down to 43 minutes. [The producers] know our fans. They love it when I break shit, and that’s my favorite part. If I could take a bulldozer and knock out a shed, that’s great. Take a chainsaw to a wall, that’s great. Demolition is No. 1; drama is No. 2. And then education.

Zack W

Tommy DeVito

Founder of music group The Four Seasons

By Steve Bornfeld, April 25–May 1, 2013, A More Cultured Corridor

You’ve had extreme highs and lows in life. What was the highest high?

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was the cream of my life. We were lucky at the time we [formed The Four Seasons], but I can’t say we weren’t talented. Frankie [Valli] and his three-and-a-half octave range—I picked him when he was 15, hangin’ on the corner. And Bob Gaudio with his ingenuity in writing these songs, and Nick Massi was a master of harmony.

Jon Estrada

Rebecca Romney

Former manager of Bauman Rare Books and expert on Pawn Stars

By Cindi Moon Reed, October 16–22, 2014, Storytelling 2014

You spoke out in a Facebook post a year ago against internet trolls who were posting sexist comments. Has it improved?

I haven’t really seen it end. It doesn’t matter what you say, people are still going to do it. When it’s aggressive accusations and things about being a woman in the public sphere, it actually encourages me to stay active in the public sphere because I feel that’s an attempt to get me [to stop contributing]. It is particularly difficult for young professional women to make their way, and you have to be unafraid to stand up for yourself. You have to be unafraid to deal with trolls. You have to be confident in what you do. … It’s funny, I talk with [Pawn Stars boss] Rick Harrison and the other experts, and they’ll mention that they have trolls, too. Then I’ll show them an example of what I get any time I post something, and their jaws will drop. They get things, but not with the same frequency and not with the same pointed nature. It’s been a difficult adjustment. … My way of combating has always been to bring it back to the books.

Jon Estrada

Conor McGregor

UFC fighter

By Paul Szydelko, September 25–October 1, 2014 The Beer Issue

What did you learn from the time you knocked out an opponent in less than four seconds?

I learned to be grateful I never have to go into the octagon and face myself.

Bryan Hainer

Austin “Chumlee” Russell

The Pawn Star

By Cindi Moon Reed, January 23–29, 2014, Intriguing People 2014

You’re going to be a supermodel [because of recently dropping 100 pounds].

I don’t know about that. I’ve still got the same ghoulish looks.

Anthony Mair | Vegas Seven

Mark Hall-Patton

Expert on Pawn Stars and museum administrator for the Clark County Museum system

By Paul Szydelko, June 27–July 3, 2013, Our Collections, Ourselves

How has Pawn Stars affected your life?

It’s turned it upside down. A museum director is about the most anonymous job you can have. Your face isn’t out there; you’re the guy in the back room. You run into this oddity of celebrity. It’s increased museum attendance 66 percent in less than three years—it’s wonderful, it’s doing exactly what we want. But on a personal basis, it means that I can’t speak to people’s IQ on the freeway if somebody cuts me off. I was in the Sacramento airport and a TSA agent pulled me around the metal detector and gave me a pat-down because he wanted to talk about the show. I’ll talk to you—you don’t have to touch me there, you know, that’s OK! You don’t understand how much you like anonymity until you don’t have it anymore.

Anne Fishbein

David Sedaris

Humorist and author

By Cindi Moon Reed, November 20–26, 2014, Birth of an Edge City

How do you know what to reveal and what to hold back?

Sometimes you don’t want to hurt people. It’s always nice to keep a little something for yourself. The worst things I’ve done, I’ve already written about. They are the things most people can relate to, because we’re not that different. If I’m talking about envy or stealing or lying or any kind of sin or any kind of horrible thought, 90 percent of people in the world have had that same thought. I was signing books a while ago and this guy came up to me and said, “Have you ever had a rape fantasy?” I thought, ‘You don’t have to answer every question that a stranger poses.’ But I went ahead and said, “Yeah, once or twice.” He said, “Me, too. In my fantasy, I hold the guy down and I cut away the pants.” “In your fantasy, you’re the rapist?” Rapists! I just didn’t expect that at all. But I like being the person who people can tell that to.