Author, actor, director, artist and surrealistic Renaissance woman Miranda July visited Seattle last night for a performance she called "My Autobiography." Part of the Seattle Arts & Lectures series (lectures.org), the sold-out show was equal parts confessional, performance art, stand-up routine, and improv. It was a blast. She's funny, thoughtful, and charmingly odd. She wore zebra tights.
July discussed the evolution of her creative process, from her first book (around age four) to her first film (in her teens), to her shaggy 20s plays and performances at punk clubs in Portland, all of which guided her toward a diverse work life as a filmmaker (Me and You and Everyone We Know won awards at Sundance and Cannes), author (It Chooses You featured characters she found in Pennysaver ads), and artist (her work has been presented at MoMA and the Guggenheim).
July is currently working on a novel, while raising her son, now eight months old. I didn't get a chance to interview her (though I did get to play dueling iPhone photos in her mirror-filled green room--see below). But the Seattle Arts & Lectures folks conducted this Proust Questionnaire, similar to the "Amazon Asks" Q&A questions I would've asked her anyway.
~~What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Having accomplished some great feat of writing on the previous day, a day laid
out in front of me that is mostly full of reading and eating and sleeping in the sun.
Clothes and almond flour.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Saying that one extra thing that ruins everything.
Which talent would you most like to have?
A great, throaty, singing voice.
What is your current state of mind?
Always worried in a kind of upbeat way.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
When I saved someone's life.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Waiting for someone to come save you.
What is your motto?
Whatever you put energy into grows. So notice what you're feeding.
That's just a sample; the rest can be found here [PDF].
And Miranda's books can be found here.
And all about Miranda is here.