HOUSTON VOICE • FEBRUARY 4, 2000
OUT ON THE BAYOU
> Continued from page 17
of what 1 was doing, changed and grew
into something that had too much emo-
tion.il weight and was too long, too big for
comedy clubs," she said.
The tour started out with just a few
cities and has grown to include 25 stops.
New cities and shows are being added
Cho has presented her personal life in
her comedy from the start, poking fun at
her Korean family and her childhood in
the f laight of San Francisco of the 1970s.
"My philosophy is that truly nothing is
really personal. We are all living experiences that are universal, and to show them
you do people a great service," she said.
Cho, who began performing stand-up
comedy when she was a teenage high
school dropout, confesses that "1 started so
young that I didn't have a clear perception
of who 1 was, and 1 said yes to a lot of stuff
and that caused problems."
"All I knew was that 1 wanted to get out
of school and out of my family and out of
where I was living. I wanted to change my
life," she said.
Saying that "my sense of humor has
helped me to survive," Cho explains that
when she presents images of Asian culture, it's less about making fun than just
presenting it to the world.
"There's a lot of love in everything 1 do.
I have respect and love for [my parents]
and for my culture," she said.
"Throughout my career, I've been pulling
out my culture and presenting it."
Cho says that when she first started performing she just did what she knew—her
"I began doing my mother. There has
always been truth in the way that I show
Asian culture," she said.
Her mother takes it all in stride it seems.
"She loves it. She feels like a star. She's
just so happy about my career," said Cho,
who was the first Asian American to be the
focal star of a sitcom.
"I never saw people representing me, so
I always had a slight inferiority complex
about what 1 was doing. For me, personal:
ly, I want to inspire a younger generation
of people who want to do better than me.
Not just Asians, but anybody who feels
that they're not represented," she said
I ler performing has brought her closer
to some women who she considers inspirational. She recently performed for First
Lady Hillary Clinton.
"We first met at the White House and
she asked me to come to New York for a
benefit for a fund-raiser for her Senate
race. We've been acquainted for a while,
and she is a hero for me, so brilliant and so
lovely," said Cho.
"Her and Madonna," she added.
"It's sort of a joke about gay men and
Madonna, but it's really not a joke. She is a
cornerstone. For me and my friends,
everything that she does is really important," she said.
Despite her admiration for other intelligent, creative women, there has not always
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Margaret Cho hit it off big with the audience
at a gay bar in Atlanta last Sunday when she
contributed live broadcasts from the bar for
'Politically IncorrectY post-game Super-Bowl show.
been love in the way she looked at herself,
"I used to cringe and be sad about
myself, but now I'd want to be my friend if
1 didn't know me. That's pretty cool," she
She explains that an active spiritual life
of meditation, healthy living and good
friends has helped build this empowering
"It's not about really valuing mvsel!
over other people but about not being negative of myself," she said.
She doesn't let the road keep her from
staying in touch with all of her friends.
"We hook up all over the world, and e-
mail is an amazing thing," she said.
These friendships and relationships provide the foundation of Cho's beliefs about
her own self-love. The key to finding love
for yourself comes from giving it to others,
"It you believe in world loving, then
you can't help but to also include yourself
in that, and love yourself," she said. "Once
I made the connection that I had to be my
own support system, sobriety was an outgrowth o\ that. It grew from that thinking."
While Cho says that she would consider
another sitcom if she were to have more
control, for now her plate is more than full.
"Everything I'm doing now is self-generated," she said.
She just finished the filming of her show
for cinematic release this fall. She's writing
a book, working on a new show and considering a European tour.
"I find it very joyful. My life is full of
love," she said.
I'm the One That I Want
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