If you’ve listened to my Do-Over! audiobook, you know I’m a sucker for gutsy, ballsy women like the ones I discovered here in Texas. Today I found another one, in Manhattan. I went to see “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” and just loved it. (Run, don’t walk, to the theatre.) Here’s what I took away from this portrait of the comic as a still-outrageous woman:
1. Follow your obsession
Even in such an impossible industry, Joan can’t ignore her call to the stage. “I have no choice,” she says.
2. Stake out your own territory
When warned by an early manager that she “didn’t want to go there”–talking about the taboo subject of abortion–she counters: “That’s exactly what we need to be talking about.”
3. Go where the action is
Joan’s agent paints an image of her as perpetually standing out in the rain, because she knows that’s where lightning strikes.
4. Take a breath, then start over again
As soon as her play goes bust, Joan is on to the next round of projects, looking for that lightning to strike.
5. Focus, focus, focus
Joan’s focus is “maniacal,” her agent says. Forget the three-year plan. She wants to know what’s doing this Monday.
6. Confront your hecklers
Joan doesn’t let anyone silence or diss her.