Quotes by John Cameron Mitchell

I love a good party.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Anger is so constructive.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I like all kinds of input.
- John Cameron Mitchell
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I never even had a MySpace.
- John Cameron Mitchell
The best things happen in the dark.
- John Cameron Mitchell
'Hedwig' is unabashedly analog.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I'd like to do some female roles again.
- John Cameron Mitchell
There are a lot of silly projects out there.
- John Cameron Mitchell
London is the English-speaking theatre capital.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Neil Patrick Harris is a superman of entertainment.
- John Cameron Mitchell
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I think it helped me like myself more, playing Hedwig.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I'm an honorary old Jewish lady of the West Village.
- John Cameron Mitchell
There's something cool about being a stealth classic.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Humor without sadness underneath it feels cheap and aggressive.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I've always liked a good joke that everybody can laugh at.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Drag wasn't really on Broadway. It was considered low-class.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I think things are dishonest if they're not aware of sadness.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I studied meditation, knowing it would be a huge new calming skill.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I'm not interested in replicating 'Hedwig' like a virus.
- John Cameron Mitchell
User-comments culture is not useful for creating original work, I think.
- John Cameron Mitchell
We need punk now; we need it more than ever. We need rebellion by youth.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Doing 'Hedwig' totally contributed to my acceptance of myself.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I've avoided situations where I wouldn't have creative freedom.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Doing 'Hedwig' was so hard that I kind of burned out on acting.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I come from the theater, and there is a real collaborative history there.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I remember my girlfriend dropped me for the guy I thought was really cute.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Our feet are planted in the real world, but we dance with angels and ghosts.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I have a weird propensity to know what's going to happen in the future.
- John Cameron Mitchell
The people that were most interesting were always questioning the status quo.
- John Cameron Mitchell
In rock and roll, homosexuality was accepted, but it was less cool to say it.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Getting the blood moving through your body does do wonders for your complexion.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I'm all for information diets, which are helpful for the mood and for the art.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I don't like being choreographed to a T. I like to take steps and make them my own.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Oftentimes, experiencing tragedy very young can strangely give you a kind of equilibrium.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I was brought up very Catholic, and the character of Tommy Gnosis got his name from there.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I went to a very small Catholic school. It wasn't an easy place to be growing up gay.
- John Cameron Mitchell
My favorite playwright is probably Samuel Beckett, and he was always laughing at the abyss.
- John Cameron Mitchell
As you get older, you treasure the beautiful things of the past but also see things more clearly.
- John Cameron Mitchell
After the first 'Hedwig,' interestingly, I was offered to play Hamlet a couple of times.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Coming out as a gay man, it was very much about finding my own identity and dealing with labeling.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Drag is a little scary, especially for a gay man who's not comfortable with his feminine side.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Isn't it funny - why is it called a tennis bracelet? It doesn't seem very tennis, does it?
- John Cameron Mitchell
I realized that theater was the perfect thing for me, in short bursts of intense community building.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I did take comfort in the vespers and compline. I might have become a monk if I hadn't come out.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I really want as many people as possible to relate to something, without compromising or dumbing down.
- John Cameron Mitchell
It's the weird thing that actors do: You jumped across that building because the scene required it.
- John Cameron Mitchell
'Hedwig' was born in '94. I was thinking of a theater piece; Hedwig was one of the characters.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Nowadays, the term 'selling out' doesn't exist anymore because everyone is trying to make a living.
- John Cameron Mitchell
'Hedwig' isn't particularly based on me, but I think that it is autobiographical in terms of emotion.
- John Cameron Mitchell
We're all weirdly single, middle-aged women with too much money who look to fill the void with too much shopping.
- John Cameron Mitchell
If I wanted to make a lot of money with 'Hedwig,' I could have spent all my time on it. But that's boring.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Chaos is the natural state, and theater tries to make sense of it, but it's got to be a little messy to be believable.
- John Cameron Mitchell
The first rock stars were incredibly theatrical. Little Richard and Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley - they were theater artists.
- John Cameron Mitchell
The things that interest me are less to do with perhaps finding myself and more to do with surviving and mercy and forgiveness.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Some people end up becoming just a conservator of the one thing they did and making sure they get their merch out and all that.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I would love for 'Hedwig' to be in every tiny shopping mall so every freakish kid like I was can have a broadening experience.
- John Cameron Mitchell
It's cool when frat boys say, 'Yeah, 'Hedwig!' I'd like to see that same thing happen with 'Shortbus.'
- John Cameron Mitchell
You can make serious pop, you know? There was a time when the best movies were the most popular, and I keep thinking that can happen again.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I guess historically, drag queens were imitating movie stars and luminaries. It's kind of nice to have a movie star imitating a drag queen.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Queerness isn't just Lady Gaga and overpriced drinks and fauxhawks. It's James Baldwin and Bea Arthur and Gertrude Stein and Gore Vidal.
- John Cameron Mitchell
My favorite model of success is when people say, 'Nobody bought that first Velvet Underground album, but everyone who did started a band.'
- John Cameron Mitchell
I remember seeing a stage version of Plato's 'Symposium' and being really moved because it was written by a man rather than a culture.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I certainly wanted Hedwig's world to be one where identification and categories are fluid, changing, and confusing, as they are, really, in life.
- John Cameron Mitchell
New York is so unique, and you are not always encouraged to consider the people in the city your neighbors because of the fast pace and surface anonymity.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I think as far as themes, 'Hedwig' is about what music meant to you as a kid and how rock n' roll can save you; that is definitely part of it.
- John Cameron Mitchell
There's nothing more Broadway than 'Hedwig.' It's very family-friendly. There's innuendo and stuff, but not more than you'd see on TV.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I thought, 'O.K., if I'm a valuable person and an independent entity, then I don't have to worry about what people think of me. I can reach out now.'
- John Cameron Mitchell
I always think that in some way, art is the best tool we have to prepare for death. It's like a sculpture that you can interpret differently every time you look at it.
- John Cameron Mitchell
You get all these French directors who have all these pretty, vacuous stars of their movies - from Jean Seberg on - who have become iconic but were never really good actors.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I don't regret anything, because I feel better every year, and if I'd done something different, maybe I wouldn't. I'm more of a whole person, the older I get.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I went to theater school at Northwestern, and I was quite conservative. Reagan at the time seemed quite revolutionary, or at least a rock star: He was radical and kind of punk rock.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I've obviously always been aware of actor-oriented films, being an actor. Altman and Cassavetes were really strong. And then I realized their structures were quite fascinating, too.
- John Cameron Mitchell
People know what 'Hedwig' is now, and that's wonderful. It's not the same as being swamped for being on 'The Big Bang Theory,' but it's much more comfortable.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Compared to other liberal cities like San Francisco and Amsterdam, New Yorkers are always trying to do something, make art or love or money or whatever, and they have this phobia about standing still.
- John Cameron Mitchell
My mom was a little weepy. My dad was very logical about it. Once they realized you can't change, they wanted to know that you can be happy and be gay. Once they realized that, they were very cool about it.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I am just touched at how strongly the real Hed-heads feel. It feels different from other kinds of devotees; maybe it's the way I felt with certain bands when I was a kid. It feels like a band more than a play.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I've seen things change and people forget: the history of Berlin, the history of queer struggle, the history of AIDS, the history of New York changing from an artistic powerhouse to more of a financial one now.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I actually came out the year that AIDS hit the front pages. So there was this mixed feeling about it - excitement that life's finally begun, but it was completely tied up with mortality and danger and politics.
- John Cameron Mitchell
If you go for the money first and try to think of what other people want to see, you change your original inspiration and perhaps put out something that's less original and less personal and maybe less satisfying.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I remember being afraid of doing drag when I was younger because I didn't really like my feminine side - most gay guys at some point are told that that's the worst part of you, so that becomes a negative thing.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I like the fact that it's like The Ramones. You just have to change your name, and you're a Ramone. You just have to put the wig on, and you're Hedwig. Women have played it. Gay men, straight men, you know.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Obviously, when you get into larger budgets, you have less of that freedom, and I just - I'm not a person that tends to make stories for those larger budgets. To me, it's not much fun to have that kind of pressure.
- John Cameron Mitchell
'Hedwig' is not autobiographical, but what she goes through is clearly a big metaphor. She doesn't want to be what she is, but she comes to an understanding that what happened to her has actually made her whole.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I like making art that's useful to people who have a harder road. Art is a tool to get through it; it's a tool to prepare for the worst. By envisioning it in an artistic context, you can make sense of it before and after it happens.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I walk out of my apartment, and St. Vincent's is standing there like a ghost ship. That was the ground zero of AIDS in New York: a conservative institution that quickly adapted to its unconventional patients and made heroic efforts to try and save them.
- John Cameron Mitchell
'Hedwig' was pretty much all the things I wanted to do that other people said I probably shouldn't do: drag, punk rock, stand-up comedy... You know, combine them all in a thing that's supremely uncommercial from the objective point of view.
- John Cameron Mitchell
You're on Facebook, and you're supposed to know your sexual orientation at 13... Nobody really knows what's going on at that time, and people seem to... know stuff, or they have to act like they do, and they make decisions before they really need to.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Nothing is a calling card. Everything is what you do. If you do it in order to get somewhere else, you're not actually doing it. If you're thinking, 'What is the weird thing I want to make with my friends?' money and other things will come later.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Some people go off to an ashram or they, you know, have a midlife crisis and buy a sports car. For me, I do 'Hedwig,' and I see it's a midlife crisis maybe, and I see what's next. And it's a good trampoline, maybe, into the next part of my life.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Acceptance and assimilation, you know, breeds mediocrity and perhaps an even more sheep-like conformism in terms of what kind of music you're supposed to listen to if you're gay... What are you supposed to look like? What's your body supposed to look like?
- John Cameron Mitchell
I quickly found that I didn't really fit into 'gay culture,' as identified by many gay people, and that it can be just as confining as straight culture, not least in the way that bisexual people are told that 'they can't make up their mind.'
- John Cameron Mitchell
What's interesting is that some of the things I'm interested in talking about is a story which has to do with the second half of your life, which can be told through Hedwig's voice because she's older. If the timeline is consistent, she's as old as me.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Bob Fosse, even though he wasn't gay. He was certainly queer and had a huge effect on the 'Hedwig' film, as did Hal Ashby and Robert Altman, who had a weird butch queer feeling about him. His films almost flirted with camp but in an extremely realistic acting way.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I sometimes buy albums that I don't like now, but that I know I will like. Coming out was the same thing. In high school, I thought, 'I know I'm going to have to deal with this, but I'm not confident enough now.' But when I finally did, my whole life changed.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Growing up, it was uncool to admit that your family had any money. And then, instantly, money was cool. In Reagan's parlance, it was about freedom of the individual, which was freedom to be greedy... individual versus society. There was a weird seduction in that, which I still feel.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Hedwig is on a quest; she's on a quest as much as Jason and the Argonauts, as much as the boy in 'A.I.' She's looking for something. She's looking for her other half, and she's on tour. Monsters, Cyclops - maybe they're her mom? - appear on various islands.
- John Cameron Mitchell
The think that we hung the film version all on was 'Hedwig' on tour. On stage, it's one theatre, one show. It just seemed natural to change it. In the film, we were able to go to flashback rather than have her talk to the audience. And we had the play to practice and to see where we had made mistakes.
- John Cameron Mitchell
I think I was scared of the drag thing, as a lot of gay boys are. It's sort of knocked out of you in junior high. I wouldn't find guys who were very feminine attractive. Then, doing 'Hedwig,' I got to be man and woman, really butch and really femme at the same time, and I realized, this is kind of the ideal.
- John Cameron Mitchell
Having been an actor in Hollywood for a certain amount of time, I always felt a pressure to be sort of a neutral person. 'Don't do anything to your hair. Don't tell them your age. Don't tell them you're gay. Don't tell them anything that could limit you, specify you as a person.' I always hated that, actually moved out of L.A. because of that.
- John Cameron Mitchell

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