Always be nice to everybody you meet. As soon as you leave town, word will begin spreading on the lecture circuit as to how difficult or cooperative you were. There’s no better gossip than “What an asshole!” a certain celebrity was and word will catch up with you fast. I always ask in each city, “Who was the worst celebrity you ever booked?” and the stories are told with obvious relish. Always do talk shows. They treat you nicely (limo, nice hotel) and, in certain sections of the country, virtually define what is “hip” to your target audience. Avoid lecturing in discos; the audience is usually not in the mood but if you can stand it, the managements are all semi-legal and you always get paid in cash. Finally, never act like you’re bored, even if you’ve heard the questions a million times. These people haven’t asked it before. Put yourself on automatic pilot, think about your laundry, a book you’re reading, anything. Always act like it’s the first time you’ve told a particular audience. Being on the lecture tour is a little like running for office. You must act popular even if you’re secretly contemplating suicide. Living the life of a third-rate Mondale pounding the campaign trail is better than working, isn’t it? Pull lever 6-C.
— John Waters, “Singing for Your Supper” (from Crackpot)
© 2010, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.