As one might expect, Kate Clinton has something funny to say about money. Kate has been making queers laugh for over 25 years and this year her new show, Climate Change, travels the world. I asked Kate to get personal about making money, spending it and other musings on the almighty dollar. Enjoy!
1. Is there truth to the saying do what you love and the money will follow?
I always wanted to be a professional, paid wave-watcher at Herring Cove, but so far nothing. Ditto, nada for doing crossword puzzles. Yet. So I am grateful and amazed that I do get paid for making people laugh.
2. What is your most significant memory about money?
Writing a check for my first semester of college tuition – it was all the money I’d earned – and bursting into tears. And my dad patting me on the back.
3. What is your worst habit around finances?
My extravagant girlfriend tells me I’m tight as a new shoe. We are a lovely balance.
4. You’ve been a volunteer emcee for hundreds of fundraising dinners. Do rich people really like giving their money away?
It’s a learning process. I think gay people are giving their money away much more strategically – we want something in return. We aren’t impressed with approval anymore. Maybe we should try gay tithing – see #7.
5. What was the worst service job you worked to subsidize your income during those early years?
I had a window washing business with my partner. It was called, “I Can See Clearly Now.” She hated heights and I kept bidding on huge houses.
6. Do you lease or own your car, and why?
I only have a car in PTown – my current vehicle is a thrice owned Jeep.
7. What did your father teach you about money? How were these lessons different from those of your mother?
If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. My mom had an envelope of “Mad Money” for special treats. I loved when she cracked that envelope. Not to be confused with those pastel Sunday church envelopes.
8. How many times have you done the Olivia Cruise gig? Are vacations with a ship full of lesbians worth the money?
I’ve been on five cruises and four land-based adventures with the Oliviettes. I always tell gals to try it – it’s lots of fun and you might want to try more.
9. Is there a price to pay for being funny?
My daily objective is to make three people [one family, one acquaintance, one stranger] laugh out loud. Not for pay, just for pleasure.
10. If you could buy one thing right now what would it be?
I’d like a cappuccino from Joe’s Coffee in PTown. Deeelish and excellent foam. Can I get something for you?
More about Kate Clinton
Kate Clinton is a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer who still believes that humor gets us through peacetime, wartime and scoundrel time. In 2006, Clinton celebrated her 25th Anniversary of performing with a 50 city tour entitled: It’s Come to This! This year, Clinton brings her new show, Climate Change, around the world.
Her more than two decades of material are on record in seven comedy collections, including Comedy You can Dance To; Read these Lips; and The Marrying Kind. Award. Clinton’s new DVD, here! Comedy Presents Kate Clinton, has just been released to raving reviews.
In January 2008, Kate’s 25th Anniversary Documentary will be released by Stand Out Productions. The audio companion to her first volume of work, Don’t Get Me Started, was named One of 1998’s Best Audiobooks. Her second book, What the L?, was nominated in the humor category for the prestigious 2005 Lambda Literary Award.
For the latest breaking Kate Clinton news and blog entries, please visit kateclinton.com
Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.