" .. Mother Theresa was a perfect star. She was a shrewd publicity hound and she hugged lepers.."
When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple, Aug 10, 1999
When I think of what my life would be like if I didn't want to be famous, I feel twenty pounds lighter. I could live anywhere. Stand up comedy goes to any English speaking nation and web production goes everywhere. I could take my Russian and move to Amsterdam. I'd build web sites during the day and be the American on local stages at night. We'd live in a beautiful preCrusades war apartment, eat space cakes in local coffee houses and vote via absentee ballot every November.
I'd be involved in a community, because I'd care about the place where I lived. Instead of planning an escape, I'd be planting a garden. I'd start a retirement account because I'd need to think of these things and who gets a sitcom dropped in their laps when they live in Holland? Name one Dutch superstar, besides Rutger Hauer, (like he even counts in the first place and isn't he German anyway)?
I'd create things that made me totally happy and satisfied. I wouldn't be on the hunt for a tv-clean seven minutes. I tell the truth, sometimes. My show would matter only to the audience who saw it that night. If I were brilliant, it would disappear the second I left the stage. It would not linger in the notes of a development exec from Fox, nor be seen by anyone who could triple my income. Every now and then, someone would stop me during a cappucino and marijuana brownie binge and say, 'good routine last night.'
So what would I lose? A dream. A very old dream, the dream of rubbing someone else's face in it, of making a clique of evil fourth graders, led by Jackie Snyder and including Mary Breen and Vicky Wheeler, admit they were wrong about me; if they remember being mean to me, if they remember me at all. I'd have to admit everything that I thought was right, was wrong. That I wasted years and years thinking only one thing would complete me, only to realize, like Dorothy, that there's no place like home. Worst of all, this would happen anonymously. I'd never get to cry about it on a Barbara Walters special.
My ambition is not naked; it wears fat clothes and last year's jeans. If it were fueled by a desire to help children or battered women, I'd be terribly successful. No guilt, no shame- just pure goodness wanting to contribute to the world. Mother Theresa was a perfect star. She was a shrewd publicity hound and she hugged lepers. Who slept better than Mommy T? I never have. I am wise enough to know that none of this matters. It's all been horseshit from the moment I stepped on the stage and if my career is determined one day to be either brilliant or stupid or somewhere in between, who cares. I'll die, you'll die and, really, how well did I love the people in my life?