performance artist and impersonator
As a teenager growing up on Long Island, I admired three famous ladies, well, people. I saw in them strength, conviction and, above all, individuality. I had dreamed of someday meeting and getting to know them well enough to glean just a piece of their essence.
These grand dames were: Katherine Hepburn: Too reclusive; Ruth Gordon: How would I ever get to Marthas Vineyard; and Mr. Quentin Crisp.
Ever since the day nine years ago that I got to know and count Mr. Crisp as one of my good friends, I have always maintained, when asked about my celebrity aspirations, Katherine who? Ruth Huh?
Spending hundreds of hours and hearing virtually all his tales until I became the prompter for missing parts and forgotten names, I can say, that I have learned a very important lesson that I will carry with me for a lifetime. Find who "you" are and be the best "you" that you can be. I can sum it up when I remember the time we were making the film Homo Heights, on a break I asked him who his role model was when he was growing up. His reply changed my life. He answered, "No one. How can you be an individual if you are modeling yourself after someone else?"
Copyright © 2000 by Stephen Sorrentino and Estate of Quentin Crisp. All rights reserved.
Painting by Spider Webb on photograph by Martin Fishman.
Copyright © by Spider Webb and Martin Fishman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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