Ask Alan, Judaism and Dub Poetry

Thursday 18 Mar 10

Ask Alan:

I heart gay people! I believe in equal rights for all citizens of all nations. Unfortunately, I live in the South U.S. Alabama to be specific. Almost on a daily basis I see people trying to tell other people how to live. It is the bible belt after all. So my first question is, have you ever been to Alabama and if so how was your experience? And my next question is, will you ever come here to perform? I would love to catch any show you are doing. I don't really know how someone as fabulous as you would be received here. I wish I could say with open arms, but knowing this place, I doubt it. Please say you will come somewhere close to here so that me and my friends can come see you! I need some culture!!!  I know that there are a lot of our more reactionary and prejudiced brothers and sisters living in the South, but I don't believe everyone is like that.  And I know it must be hard to be there and feel like an alien in your home but I am sure you will find other people who agree with you soon, and some culture! But the fact that you think as you do and are striving for what's right and for inspiration as you are is really amazing and the sure sign that the future will be a rosier place for us all.  I have been to Birmingham, Alabama once, to receive an award at the SHOUT film festival. I had a blast.  I will keep you posted if I am coming back!

Lynn from Florida asks: How do I find my inner child without shirking my day to day responsibilities? Well, Lynn, I don't see that the two have to be mutually exclusive at all. I think it's all about keeping an open heart and not falling into the trap of receiving and perceiving things and people in ways you're told is appropriate, instead of just being spontaneous.  I think it's also about trust, being prepared to be vulnerable. Of course that means you can also get hurt, but I bet not as much as you'd think, because people appreciate openness and trust when they see it and I think most people cherish it.

From Ainslee: Alan love,what is your middle name?  Alas, I was never given one.  I am plain old Alan Cumming. It means I can never play that game where you give your middle name and the first street you lived on's name and you find out what your porn star name would be.  I never lived on a street growing up either, so I am a total washout!

Jane writes: Picture the scene ..... You have invited all of us who read your blog round for a three course dinner (a bit like 'Come dine with me'). What are you going to cook for us? What is your speciality? Also what made you decide to become a vegetarian, & how long have you been a vegetarian? As there's quite a lot of you I would just do one course and it would be stovies.  It's a real Scottish peasant meal of potatoes and onions and usually mince, but I use soy mince, and it's just really hearty and delicious and you can have a huge pan of it on the stove (hence the name) and go back and get more all night. It's excellent for nights of drinking, and is a staple fare every Hogmanay (New Year's eve). You can get my recipe here. And I became a vegetarian really because I don't like the sensation or the taste of eating meat, and it feels horrible having rotting carcass in my body. Sorry, but you asked. And I have been a vegetarian for ages, like maybe 15 years and then other spells earlier. I ate fish till a couple of years ago but then I stopped that too.

Lisa says: Hi, Alan -- You're doing a wonderful job on "The Good Wife!" Quick question: Who designed your site? My site was designed by Keith Shore, and it is maintained and updated by the lovely Alex at Droplet. Both very talented and nice young men.

Eric asks: I am a young actor in the Philadelphia area. How did you get your start? Connections? Just being fricken amazing? You are my biggest inspiration especially as the Emcee and as the Narrator in Reefer Madness the Movie Musical.  Thanks, Eric.  I went to drama school. I think if you're serious about acting you should go and try and do some kind of formal training.  It will mean you have more options later on, and also it's good to have a bit of technique to fall back on.  I didn't have any connections to showbiz when I started.  I was purely attracted to it because i liked the way it made feel and I felt I might be quite good at it. 

I went on the train to Boston the other week just after a big snowfall. The scenes I saw from my window reminded me of the opening of the movie 'Valley of the Dolls', and so I decided to film it. But as I did, the very nice girl sitting opposite me began confiding to the man next to me that although she had been confirmed as an Episcopalian, she still observed Jewish holidays.

Random youtube clip of the day comes from a film I did for BBC2 in 1991 called Dread Poet's Society