Cho, Margaret

By Dominick A. Miserandino,
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Comedienne Margaret Cho answers a few questions about the ups and downs in her life and shows that she really is quite happy in her life right now. She also gives us a bit of insight into what makes her happy and what brings

DM) To start the ball rolling... I was reading various reviews about you and one struck me as interesting. It started by saying, "Why is Margaret so angry? Why does she use foul language? What seems to have upset her so much?" So, to start the ball rolling, "Why are you so angry?"

MC) Well, I think that it's not really anger it's just power. It is the idea that who I am, does not necessarily in this world, translates into power. I am a woman, I am a person of color, and I am a somebody who cares about gay and lesbian rights. I am very concerned with many things that are not "mainstream". My lifestyle's alternative and my interests are alternative. Maybe we are not used to seeing power on somebody who is like that so it looks like anger. I do not think its anger. I am angry at certain things but for the most part, I am not angry.

DM) Would you say that you are a happy person?

MC) I am a really happy person.

DM) What makes you happy?

MC) I love my dog, I love my friends. I love to perform in my life. I love what I do for a living. I love my career. I love my songs. I love my work.

DM) What has been the happiest point in your life?

MC) I think now, at this moment. The idea of thinking about what I am doing now, that I have a lovely evening to look forward to and a lovely day to look back at. Every moment is perfect. Everything is wonderful.

DM) In your biography it describes your difficulties. What were some of the things that helped you pull out of the down periods in your life?

MC) Well, I used to be very depressed often. I have a history with alcohol and drugs. Now being sober for quite a few years, and having a sense of inner calm about the way that I live, I do not really get into those downs anymore. I do not get depressed as I used to. I had a very different mentality towards myself before and now things have changed so much.

DM) What do you think initiated this change?

MC) Sobriety. I think when I overdosed and hung around with people that were very destructive, I reached a point I could not do anymore. You get to the point in addiction where you come to a fork in the road. You have to stay with it and die or get bettter. There is no turning back after a certain point... and I got to that point. (pauses) I just did not want to die.

DM) Not the best of alternatives.

MC) Well, the alternative for me was to get sober and to become clear about what I was doing in my life and myself, to start to appreciate where I was and who I was.

DM) Has there been anything that has "replaced" the addiction?

MC) I think helping people. I think work. Certainly, there are things that I do physically like Yoga and meditation. I do not really miss it. I do not look back on my life in a nostalgic way. It is not pleasant to think about it at times. I am really enjoying where I am now.

DM) Would you say that it was a different stage in your life or were you a different person?

MC) I was a different person. I was a completely different person. The way that I lived and thought about things was different, especially the way that I thought about work. I always thought that I had to fight against everything, including the world. I had to fight for my rights and fight for all of these things. There is no fighting. There is only just being, and eventually I could just BE and enjoy that. The act of being has propelled me into further success than ever before. Just because I am not fighting anything, I am just allowing things to happen and enjoying life. It is not that it is not a struggle. There is a struggle there, but at the same time it is a different way of looking at it. I just expect that I should have these things. I just expect that my life should go this way. I just expect these things and I get it, instead of fighting and driving for success I... all I have to do is make an internal change to expect things to come and they will.

DM) This whole period of your life was going on around the same period as the television show. Do you feel that if you were offered the same opportunity now as opposed to a couple of years ago... being this different person... how do you think you it would have gone?

MC) Oh, it would have been completely different. If I were offered the same opportunity now it would be a completely different show. They would have approached me in a different way. I would have been in control of everything and it would be great. It would be much better than anything I could have done because I am a more complete person now. I am a more complete artist. I am much more thorough.

DM) Is that something that you would hope for now or you would almost prefer a break?

MC) I think so. I am not too concerned with doing television right now. I am so focused on my own work and I love doing shows. I am in the middle of writing a new show, which I am excited about. My film is still playing in New York and LA and it is doing very well. My book is coming out in the spring. There is so much happening right now that...

DM) (interrupting) there's no need to focus on television.

MC) Yeah.

DM) For people who know you only from stand-up comedy, can you give a brief run-down on the book?

MC) The book is my autobiography. It really tells my story from when I was born through my childhood and growing up, comedy television and afterwards. In addition, going through a very dark time in my life and then coming back in the light again. I think it is an exhilarating read. I am thrilled and I am really looking forward to touring with it.

DM) How is it different from the movie?

MC) It's a very different form of storytelling. The book is a more complete way of working. The movie and the book are very different although they cover the same territory. The book is much more detailed. The film is very entertaining, but the book is really thorough and complete. They are also different stories. There are different stories in the book.

DM) Have you ever gotten reactions from fans who have learned of your story via the film or performances and their lives have been changed?

MC) Yes, every day. I think that is the best. I have great fans that have informed me that I have changed their lives and helped them. The reactions vary. There have been some people who have said, "When I walked out of your show, it was the first time I felt proud to be Asian... or felt proud to be gay... or the first time I felt proud to be gay and Asian." People come out of my shows feeling a sense of being spoken for and that is important to me. And so I get a lot of feedback all the time and it's very positive and it's very beautiful."

 

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