John Cameron Mitchell: ALWAYS Meet Your Heroes

Sometimes a piece of art- film, music, stage craft – comes along at the right time in a person's life to etch a mark on the soul. For >this< writer, that's been Hedwig and the Angry Inch and writer-director-performer John Cameron Mitchell.

John Cameron Mitchell: ALWAYS Meet Your Heroes

Originally created as a stage show by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, the live piece soon became a cult favorite, drawing parallels of passionate fervor akin to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 2001, a film version of the musical was released by New Line Cinema, directed by and starring JCM. In 2014, the show was brought back to Broadway in a Tony-winning revival starring Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall. (There were several other notable Hedwigs during the Broadway run as well; Michael C. Hall, Andrew Ranells, Darren Criss, Taye Digs, Lena Hall (during the tour), and John Cameron Mitchell).

I was lucky enough to see the show, both Broadway and tour, 9 times during the revival. It was a religious experience, one that left me in tears every single time. Imagine my delight when finding out I could have the chance to see JCM in person, doing live commentary for both Hedwig and his newest directorial outing, How To Talk To Girls At Parties during an appearance in Portland, Oregon at the Revolution Music Hall.

John Cameron Mitchell: ALWAYS Meet Your Heroes

The atmosphere was incredibly chill, as the kids say. Everyone there was obviously a fan of JCM's, and we were there to share our love and appreciation. It was delightful to be in a theater of like-minded Hed-Heads who knew the show as well I as did, who laughed uproariously with JCM's wine-fueled commentary, and shared in our tears when he was emotionally overcome during the end of the film.

John Cameron Mitchell: ALWAYS Meet Your Heroes

I was able to have a one on one with Mitchell, something I never thought I'd be able to do. To tell a creator thank you for their art, to tell them thank you for saving your life (on more than one occasion), and have a moment of calm and beauty, was everything I ever wanted. I believe that meeting your heroes, the special people you look up to and love from a distance, is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

John Cameron Mitchell: ALWAYS Meet Your Heroes

Thank you JCM, for everything. For your humor, for your Mozart In The Jungle character, for being YOU, for "Midnight Radio" and "Wicked Little Town", and continuing to help us freaks and misfits and losers feel whole.

Lift. Up. Your. Hands.

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About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool. 

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

 Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

 Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional
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