Sandra Bernhard: You either is, or you Ain’t
Courtesy of Dot 429
While once a headline-making party girl, Sandra Bernhard is living a quieter lifestyle in the press, but you will still know when she has something to say. Nestled in Greg Ruggeri’s Hair Studio sitting room, Sandra opens up to dot429’s R. Couri Hay, about her twitter aspirations, flourishing career in the acting world, and newfound appreciation for her quieter lifestyle.
After 30 years in the business, including a revolutionary role on Roseanne, Bernhard hasn’t felt the pressure to stay relevant or maintain being current. “It just gets different. The technological era makes it so you have to shape it up to a new level of staying current. That’s why I twitter. When I started off you went to a club and performed and people wrote about it in newspapers and that was your outlet. Now you do something for the internet and it reaches a whole different market. You have to adjust with the times.” And how is her twitter following going? “Right now I’m up to almost 49,000 and I want to make 50,000 by the New Year, so I have three weeks to go.”
Bernhard has been in the spotlight and seen first hand the industry’s change in its attitude towards the LGBT community. The attitude has shifted towards progress and acceptance. “I think we are in a more sophisticated time and we’ve gone in and out of entertainment and great shows, but I think there are more outlets now than there were back then for the LGBT community.” Bernhard also doesn’t think that geography or occupation impacts LGBT acceptance in the workplace. “If you are in traditional business, and you can handle it, then you can make it anywhere. But if you’re in a creative field you have to be in a major city. Being gay has nothing to do with that.”
Having a following has never been a problem for Bernhard because of her creativity and outspoken nature. But she has always stayed true to herself. “I think for anyone starting off in this business, you’ve got to be an original. You have to have something to say. If you don’t have anything to add to the national conversation that elevates it and moves it to another level than don’t do it, don’t infiltrate a business that is already rife with mediocrity.” Staying connected to different media such as twitter and the internet allows Bernhard to keep her public Madonna-influenced life under wraps and her private life out of the spotlight.
Fortunately Bernhard’s sexuality hasn’t been as scrutinized in the business like other public figures and actors such as Oprah. She supports O in her decision and ultimately decides it’s none of our business. While Bernhard is comfortable with who she is she says “Not everyone is comfortable proclaiming their sexuality and some people don’t even understand their own sexuality. So even if she was gay, and wouldn’t admit it, I feel like she has gone above and beyond her responsibility for humanity. I don’t look at Oprah as a sexual person. I don’t think she really cares that much about sex. She probably cares more about companionship and company.”
Companionship with her girlfriend and daughter, whose father still remains unknown except to Sandra and daughter Cecily, is really what drives the actress, musician, and comedienne. “I still enjoy going out to a good party but I think a lot of people in my position understand that having a healthy family is being there and being part of it. Part of my drive, what makes me creative was having my baby.” Her companionship with Madonna however has fizzled. “I keep my friends my whole life. I’m not sure how involved she is with these young boys. She has four kids at home.” So, although they no longer share a friendship, at least they still have motherhood in common. And that’s exactly why Sandra is a thriving actress, singer, comedienne, and bad-ass mother.
See Sandra at NYC’s Joe’s Pub and help make her twitter dreams come true!
Be sure to check when dot429 relaunches on February 1st to see FULL video interview with Sandra and dot429’s On The Dot Columnist R. Couri Hay!