Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website


 
 
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
 

 

click to go to advertisers website
 
Talk of Wishful Drinking: An interview with Carrie Fisher
Talk of Wishful Drinking: An interview with Carrie Fisher
by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

Wishful Drinking April 2 - May 3 Seattle Repertory Theatre

What you don't know about Carrie Fisher might surprise you. She has been in the public eye since birth as the first child of Hollywood royalty, movie star Debbie Reynolds and crooner Eddie Fisher. As early as age 13, Carrie was performing in her mother's nightclub act. At 16, she made her Broadway debut in the musical, Irene. A few years later at 19, she was on a bigger screen, opposite Warren Beatty in Shampoo. Then there was that George Lucas trilogy. She has also authored four novels - two bestsellers - and three screenplays. Currently, she travels the country in Wishful Drinking, a stage show she wrote, starred in, and survives nightly.

What you might not know was that she was married to pop icon Paul Simon. Or maybe that she was in a drug rehabilitation center before the age of 30. Did you know she has been diagnosed with the mental illness known as bipolar disorder and that her treatments include electroconvulsive therapy sessions?

The most important thing to know is that Carrie Fisher is a survivor. Taking different pieces from her life, she has put them together both in book and live performance with Wishful Drinking. The result is a collection of true, often hilarious vignettes of a look at the life of a woman trying to delicately balance drug dependence and mental illness.

In preparation for her Seattle performances, Carrie Fisher granted this writer the pleasure of an interview.

Eric Andrews-Katz: When and how did you realize that yours was not the typical American family?

Carrie Fisher: When I was about 3, I remember people saying, "It must be great to have a movie star as a mother." I just agreed and then ran home to find out what that was all about. I quickly learned, from watching TV shows like Father Knows Best, that my life wasn't like what I saw.

Andrews-Katz: At 29 years of age, you were a multi-national, recognized movie star, just divorced from a pop icon songster and entering a drug rehabilitation clinic. What made you finally realize you had a substance problem?

Fisher: The overdose was the big clue. There were lots of clues. I never crossed a line in drug taking; I started over and then snorted it. Doing drugs became a job. I wasn't getting the same high, but I wasn't stopping. I didn't intend to [overdose]. That was as much as it took to get me to where I either wanted to or didn't want to be.

Andrews-Katz: About this time you started writing your first novel, Postcards from the Edge. What made you start to write it, and was it therapeutic in your recovery?

Fisher: While in rehab, I was sent a letter [from Esquire] about a Q&A I did, and they wanted me to write a book - become a sort of Fran Lebowitz of the West Coast. But the thing about Fran is that she tends to be better than what she is writing about, and I don't. I talk about what is ordinary in the extraordinary; everyone expects something from celebrity life and it's just another kind of ordinary.

Andrews-Katz: You've stated that Paul Simon's lyrics were the reason you "fell in love with words." Is he the inspiration for you wanting to write?

Fisher: No. I was already writing. I've kept diaries and wrote lots of poems. I had a poem published in Interview Magazine before we met.

Andrews-Katz: The novel Postcards from the Edge centers on the various relationships Suzanne has in and out of rehab. The acclaimed film's plot revolves mostly around Suzanne and her mother. While both the book and film are brilliant, why the change of focus in your film adaptation?

Fisher: That's what they wanted. Mike Nichols and the studio wanted it, so I wrote that way.

Andrews-Katz: You're now the author of four novels, three screenplays, two stage plays, and the autobiographical Wishful Drinking. What made you create the show?

Fisher: It's not an autobiography. It's more little pieces about my life, anecdotes that over time I've used as examples for what I talk about. It's more an anecdotage. Wishful Drinking was the story that evolved.

Andrews-Katz: What was the biggest obstacle in recognizing your bipolar disorder for what it was?

Fisher: After the O.D., I did the 12-step program for a year. The people I came in with, they calmed down and I did not calm down. I was going in the opposite direction. I called my addiction my "monster in the box." The monster got out. I went back into therapy - something I swore I'd never do again - and it was finally diagnosed.

Andrews-Katz: Was it easier for you to understand once you finally had a diagnosis?

Fisher: I put everything that happens to me into material so it kind of neutralizes. That's why I write. If I can claim it, it can't claim me. So I took the diagnoses they gave me and I organized it into a story.

Andrews-Katz: At what point did electroconvulsive therapy become the option for your situation?

Fisher: I wish they had offered it before. I was in a profound depression and got loaded again - this was two years ago - and so I went to the doctors. I was ashamed of being "altered" around my daughter [Billie, age 16] and they offered it as an option. It just did it. For me, it's worked profoundly well. I've received monthly treatments for over a year.

Andrews-Katz: What challenges have you encountered with your show, Wishful Drinking?

Fisher: Having to stay away from my daughter. After I got loaded, she was mad, very upset at me. That was bad.

Andrews-Katz: Where do you currently find courage to get through the darker moments of life?

Fisher: When I was complaining to a friend about how hard it was to do something, he said a great thing to me: "You've done hard before." And I have. Confrontation. Once that's done, there's nothing I can't get through.

Andrews-Katz: Taking the "butterfly effect" theory into consideration and given the option, would you change anything about your life?

Fisher: No, I wouldn't change anything. The way that I am and the way that my mind works gives me my gift of humor so I can look at things the way I do. I only have these gifts because of the difficulties I've been given, the blessing because of the bruising. There's always a reason for everything and, for the most part, I'm very proud of my life. There are definitely things I wouldn't do again, but I've still learned from them. Andrew-Katz: You've done Broadway and film, have become a bestselling author, a screenwriter and a judge on a reality show. Which venue do you prefer?

Fisher: I like doing Wishful Drinking as well as the writing. I'm proud of being able to put certain things into words that I've barely survived in life.

Wishful Drinking was originally written and performed at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse in 2007. Since then, the show has been performed across the country where Carrie Fisher continues to speak about her addiction to drugs, eventual rehabilitation and her continual struggle with her bipolar disorder. She transcribed her work for the published book by the same name.

And if you are wondering why the Lucas trilogy was not mentioned in this interview, experience Wishful Drinking to understand. by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

Wishful Drinking April 2 - May 3 Seattle Repertory Theatre

What you don't know about Carrie Fisher might surprise you. She has been in the public eye since birth as the first child of Hollywood royalty, movie star Debbie Reynolds and crooner Eddie Fisher. As early as age 13, Carrie was performing in her mother's nightclub act. At 16, she made her Broadway debut in the musical, Irene. A few years later at 19, she was on a bigger screen, opposite Warren Beatty in Shampoo. Then there was that George Lucas trilogy. She has also authored four novels - two bestsellers - and three screenplays. Currently, she travels the country in Wishful Drinking, a stage show she wrote, starred in, and survives nightly.

What you might not know was that she was married to pop icon Paul Simon. Or maybe that she was in a drug rehabilitation center before the age of 30. Did you know she has been diagnosed with the mental illness known as bipolar disorder and that her treatments include electroconvulsive therapy sessions?

The most important thing to know is that Carrie Fisher is a survivor. Taking different pieces from her life, she has put them together both in book and live performance with Wishful Drinking. The result is a collection of true, often hilarious vignettes of a look at the life of a woman trying to delicately balance drug dependence and mental illness.

In preparation for her Seattle performances, Carrie Fisher granted this writer the pleasure of an interview.

Eric Andrews-Katz: When and how did you realize that yours was not the typical American family?

Carrie Fisher: When I was about 3, I remember people saying, "It must be great to have a movie star as a mother." I just agreed and then ran home to find out what that was all about. I quickly learned, from watching TV shows like Father Knows Best, that my life wasn't like what I saw.

Andrews-Katz: At 29 years of age, you were a multi-national, recognized movie star, just divorced from a pop icon songster and entering a drug rehabilitation clinic. What made you finally realize you had a substance problem?

Fisher: The overdose was the big clue. There were lots of clues. I never crossed a line in drug taking; I started over and then snorted it. Doing drugs became a job. I wasn't getting the same high, but I wasn't stopping. I didn't intend to [overdose]. That was as much as it took to get me to where I either wanted to or didn't want to be.

Andrews-Katz: About this time you started writing your first novel, Postcards from the Edge. What made you start to write it, and was it therapeutic in your recovery?

Fisher: While in rehab, I was sent a letter [from Esquire] about a Q&A I did, and they wanted me to write a book - become a sort of Fran Lebowitz of the West Coast. But the thing about Fran is that she tends to be better than what she is writing about, and I don't. I talk about what is ordinary in the extraordinary; everyone expects something from celebrity life and it's just another kind of ordinary.

Andrews-Katz: You've stated that Paul Simon's lyrics were the reason you "fell in love with words." Is he the inspiration for you wanting to write?

Fisher: No. I was already writing. I've kept diaries and wrote lots of poems. I had a poem published in Interview Magazine before we met.

Andrews-Katz: The novel Postcards from the Edge centers on the various relationships Suzanne has in and out of rehab. The acclaimed film's plot revolves mostly around Suzanne and her mother. While both the book and film are brilliant, why the change of focus in your film adaptation?

Fisher: That's what they wanted. Mike Nichols and the studio wanted it, so I wrote that way.

Andrews-Katz: You're now the author of four novels, three screenplays, two stage plays, and the autobiographical Wishful Drinking. What made you create the show?

Fisher: It's not an autobiography. It's more little pieces about my life, anecdotes that over time I've used as examples for what I talk about. It's more an anecdotage. Wishful Drinking was the story that evolved.

Andrews-Katz: What was the biggest obstacle in recognizing your bipolar disorder for what it was?

Fisher: After the O.D., I did the 12-step program for a year. The people I came in with, they calmed down and I did not calm down. I was going in the opposite direction. I called my addiction my "monster in the box." The monster got out. I went back into therapy - something I swore I'd never do again - and it was finally diagnosed.

Andrews-Katz: Was it easier for you to understand once you finally had a diagnosis?

Fisher: I put everything that happens to me into material so it kind of neutralizes. That's why I write. If I can claim it, it can't claim me. So I took the diagnoses they gave me and I organized it into a story.

Andrews-Katz: At what point did electroconvulsive therapy become the option for your situation?

Fisher: I wish they had offered it before. I was in a profound depression and got loaded again - this was two years ago - and so I went to the doctors. I was ashamed of being "altered" around my daughter [Billie, age 16] and they offered it as an option. It just did it. For me, it's worked profoundly well. I've received monthly treatments for over a year.

Andrews-Katz: What challenges have you encountered with your show, Wishful Drinking?

Fisher: Having to stay away from my daughter. After I got loaded, she was mad, very upset at me. That was bad.

Andrews-Katz: Where do you currently find courage to get through the darker moments of life?

Fisher: When I was complaining to a friend about how hard it was to do something, he said a great thing to me: "You've done hard before." And I have. Confrontation. Once that's done, there's nothing I can't get through.

Andrews-Katz: Taking the "butterfly effect" theory into consideration and given the option, would you change anything about your life?

Fisher: No, I wouldn't change anything. The way that I am and the way that my mind works gives me my gift of humor so I can look at things the way I do. I only have these gifts because of the difficulties I've been given, the blessing because of the bruising. There's always a reason for everything and, for the most part, I'm very proud of my life. There are definitely things I wouldn't do again, but I've still learned from them. Andrew-Katz: You've done Broadway and film, have become a bestselling author, a screenwriter and a judge on a reality show. Which venue do you prefer?

Fisher: I like doing Wishful Drinking as well as the writing. I'm proud of being able to put certain things into words that I've barely survived in life.

Wishful Drinking was originally written and performed at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse in 2007. Since then, the show has been performed across the country where Carrie Fisher continues to speak about her addiction to drugs, eventual rehabilitation and her continual struggle with her bipolar disorder. She transcribed her work for the published book by the same name.

And if you are wondering why the Lucas trilogy was not mentioned in this interview, experience Wishful Drinking to understand.

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 


: http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News