By: Dino Thompson-Sarmiento
Leslie Jordan is in town and TONIGHT! You can see his new show at 8 PM at Park Tavern, tickets at chriscolemanenterprises.com. and get an autographed book at Blake’s on Friday night!
I had a little chat with Mr. Jordan and I could barely get through the interview because he kept me laughing the whole time. From now on I’ll only do it on camera with him because I can barely make out my notes.
Tell me about your new show, “Say Cheese.”
(I cannot publish what he initially said legally – LOL – but I have a feeling he will tell it at the show) the show is about my intimate life – Why I am 60 years old and single and my affair with straight boys and the fact that my lover the last 33 years has been show business. However, I do focus on these straight boys relationships and you know what? I’ve never been lonely. By the way most of these boys I met at Swinging Richards… You know my friend Del Shores says my problem stems from childhood and the repressed lives we had in our generation…That’s not it. In any case this is the best show yet!
I heard you were on Big Brother in the UK – What was that like?
Two ways to look at it. The worst experience of my life or maybe the best. No, it was 12 days of Hell. I’m not good at chit chat with strangers and there I was locked up with these CRAZY PEOPLE! Eating rice and beans and these English people are up all day and all night. Any ways I got kicked out for bad behavior…Ugh, this girl cut up my underwear with scissors and then I kept getting called in to the office because they said I was being rude and offensive. Oh, and I hate than awful man, Gary Busey – he is really crazy – I mean he would leave the toilet unflushed…who does that?
Brother boy is my favorite character of yours, do you have one you have attachments to?
It would have to be Brother Boy. “Sordid Lives”, from its inception, Del Shores included me. I remember he came to me with a bunch of short stories and somehow he weaved them all together in to this brilliant script. I still remember the nicotine fit scene (laughs out loud) I don’t how he took all those different stories and made it work but he did. Brother Boys character will always be favorite.
Drugs and alcohol played a big role in your life. Why did you choose sobriety and how did you do it?
In recovery a person needs to decide on their own when its time. You can’t force anyone in to sobriety. I was 42 and had my third DUI sitting in a jail cell. Meth was my problem. I have an addictive personality. Meth would calm me down. For 10 years it was my medicine. It wasn’t a party drug for me. When I quit I moved on to alcohol with a vengeance.
I had to get comfortable with living in my own skin and be happy about it. I was riddled with internal homophobia- I felt ashamed. Now, sober, I am the closest I have ever been to my authentic self. It is the miracle in my life. I remember looking back at my performances and the acting was there, the humor was there, but I wasn’t. I could see it my dead eyes. I decided to quit and Atlanta has great programs and recovery groups. But like I said you do it when you are ready.