BY Job Brother
March 27 2009 12:00 AM ET
In her recent tour, Sandra Bernhard tells an amusing story
of spending Thanksgiving with you.
I've been in a lot of social situations with Sandraâ€¦ She's
always amusing. We were at a
party together, which was highly amusing because Madonna was
there. I must say I find Madonna a bit irritating.
And I can quote you on that?
Joni Mitchell once described herself as a "painter
derailed by circumstance." Is there a gift or aspect of
your life that is as much a part of you as singing or acting
that we don't know about?
No. No. I would've liked to have gone to university. It
would've been great for me, because I could have got three
years to grow up a bit. When I left home, at 17, my mother was
still buying my clothes. I didn't know anything about money
or looking after myself.
What do you think your major would have been?
English lit or philosophy. It would have been a lot of fun,
though not very useful. Anyway, I didn't do that. And for 17
years I regretted it, then sometime -- maybe around
[her album released in 1987] -- I suddenly realized that if I
just accepted my life it would be a lot easier. Acceptance is
the key to happiness.
There's a beautiful irony in your being skeptical about a
major in English lit being useful when you ended up becoming so
successful in the impossibly unsure field of pop-star
When I look back, I must say, I was very lucky to make a record
and have a success.
Luck is something you consistently remark on in interviews.
When you say "luck," what does that really mean to you?
I don't really know if I believe in destiny. Maybe I'm
beginning to believe a bit more. I think for a long time I did
believe it was luck. Of course there was an awful lot of hard
I read an interesting
interview with Elvis Presley when I was young, in which he
attributed his success to luck, which I thought was very wise,
because obviously it wasn't just luck -- he had enormous
talent. But it looked very modest.