Queen Esther: Unemployed Superstar
If Keith fired Mick and decided to let Tina Turner front the band with Gram Parsons riding shotgun, they would sound a lot like Queen Esther. – CDBaby.com
Album cover shot for Talkin’ Fishbowl Blues
INTERVIEW BY RAPHIE FRANK
You grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. And now you’re in New York making your career as a vocalist, actor and writer. What brought you here?
You have to understand the myth that is New York. It’s like the Emerald City. I can remember wanting to live in New York when I was very very little. I can remember watching old Saturday Night Lives with John Belushi and seeing the beginning and seeing little pieces of New York and thinking “I want to live there. I want that energy.” Watching things from the Harlem Renaissance and thinking “I want to be a part of that.”
It’s hard though because it’s so much worse when you’re imagining how horrible it can be. When you’re living in a little town and all you have to go by is Scorsese movies and the rude people you meet that come through and all the stories you hear about how expensive it is and how everything smells like urine – you can intimidate yourself out of even coming for an extended visit.
But you came here. How did you get past that intimidation factor?
I put the fear of not fulfilling my destiny, of carrying regret around for my whole life before the fear of living in New York. I didn’t want to have to say “What if.” I didn’t want to have to live with the idea that I could have done something wonderful if I’d just gone to New York.
When did you come to New York?
I came to New York from Austin, Texas in the early 90’s. After college.
And you came to be a superstar?
I think I already am a superstar! The question is whether or not everyone else is going to find out about it. I’d like to, you know, I’d like to take my little arrow and shoot it into the air and I want it to go as far as it possibly can. If I hit something, hooray, but if I don’t, hey, at least I came to New York and I tried.
MORE GOTHAMIST INTERVIEWS by Raphie Frank
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