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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

EXCLUSIVE Q&A with MINK STOLE!

I assume Ms Mink Stole would need little introduction. One of the founding members and superstars from John Waters' indy Dreamland Studios days, she is still friends with her Baltimore director and has branched out, appearing in films and on stage on her own. Behind her screen persona, I found Ms Stole to be disarmingly sweet and personable. And guess what! We have a common bond, having both worked in legal proofreading in NYC. She appears at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, W. 42nd St., NYC, 8:30 pm December 11 through 14. Here it is, ladies and germs: my EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Mink Stole!


Buddy Beaverhausen:  Thank you so much for doing this Q&A. I have been a fan ever since I first saw "Pink Flamingos" at the Elgen at midnight the summer I graduated college. But let's start off by talking about your Christmas show at the Laurie Beechman Theater. What can we expect?
Mink Stole: Christmas has always been complicated for me, and this is my personal take. I sing my favorite Christmas songs and tell my favorite Christmas stories.  

BB: Connie Marble, Taffy Davenport, Peggy Gravel, Dottie Hinkle. Which was your favorite role in a John Waters movie?
MS: Taffy, absolutely. I identified with her so much – she was just an unhappy kid trying to find her way in the world. Plus, I’ve always considered Female Trouble the best John Waters movie of all time. 

BB: Me too! I know you're not new to singing with a band and I have (and love) your album, which can be purchased at your website. How would you describe your style?
MS: Thank you. I started singing relatively later in my life, so my style is still evolving. I guess “cabaret aspiring to jazz” would be the closest description.  

BB: How does your stage persona as Mink differ from your private identity and what would my readers and I be surprised to discover about  you in real life?
MS: My stage persona is pretty much the same as my private persona, only louder and shinier. And with singing.

BB: What is the meaning of Christmas for you, Mink? And do you have any New Year's Resolutions?
MS: It’s the darkest time of year, which makes it potentially the saddest, so we fight that with the lights and music and the gathering together, and we make the darkness beautiful instead of sad. I make resolutions all the time, not especially at the New Year.

BB: Besides the John Waters films, you've been featured in numerous others, like Lost Highway and But I'm a Cheerleader. What, of those films, were your best and worst experiences?
MS: I just finished working on Billy Clift’s fabulous drag parody “Hush Up Sweet Charlotte,” with Matthew Martin and Varla Jean Merman, among many terrific actors, and it was amazing fun. I play Velma, the very haggy housekeeper (Agnes Moorehead in the original “Hush, Hush,” and I loved every minute of it). The first day, Matthew and I started laughing, and we never stopped.

BB: Ooo, can't wait to see that one!  You know, I remember one night at Barracuda, in the 90s, when you did a live interview there and talked about some of your experiences working with Divine and Edith Massey. Can you share any tidbits with us here?
MS: Edith was pretty much a “what you see is what you get” kind of gal. The only differences between her real self and her screen selves were wardrobe and dialogue. Otherwise she basically looked and sounded exactly the same.

BB: You've moved back to Maryland after living in New York for some time. Why is that? And do you still retain a residence here?
MS: I also lived in Los Angeles for 18 years between my New York years and coming home. I wish I had kept my place in NYC – it was rent stabilized!  I came back to Baltimore because it’s home and I really missed the East Coast.  I have a great apartment in Baltimore – bigger and better than I could afford in New York, and it’s an easy trip up on the train. I have siblings in California, but I have much more family here in Baltimore – we were 50 at Thanksgiving dinner!

BB:  I'm retiring from my day job in February and I bring that up because I've long worked as support staff at NYC law firms. I understand you once partly supported yourself that way too. What was that experience like for you?
MS: I did – I did freelance legal proofreading for years in NYC. I always worked the evening shift when the lawyers were gone and the loonier support staff had the place to ourselves.The money was pretty good, I always liked the people I worked with, and they sent me home every night in a town car.  

BB: Do you still keep in touch with John Waters?
MS: Yes of course – we’re good friends.

BB: "Miss Sandstone, Miss Sandy Sandstone....." Immortal movie dialogue. What was the line that you spoke in a John Waters film that is your favorite today?
MS: "Fat, very fat.”  That’s Taffy describing her mother (Divine) to her father (Divine) in “Female Trouble.”
 

BB: Can't wait to see you at the Laurie Beechman this month. By the way, what does it take to upstage Kathleen Turner in a movie scene together?
MS: I ’m not sure I ever did that!  
 

BB: Thank you so very much for this interview, Mink. Any last shout-outs to your fans?
MS: I love you – come see me!



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