Yesterday I went to the Miami Book Fair and heard John Waters speak. I have to confess I was more familiar with his reputation as a shock filmmaker than his actual films. I had watched a little bit of the original Hairspray but that was about it. I knew he had a knack for the quirky, which I always love.
I had heard him speak on NPR a month prior, discussing his new book Role Models. He was gentle, charming, and had a sense of humor. So, as I sat in my seat at the book fair and watched him walk on stage I wasn't sure what I was going to hear.
What I heard was a man - and in hindsight this shouldn't have been a surprise - who worked hard at his craft: writing. Whether it was screenplays or books. He pays the price. His work week is from Monday through Friday, 8am to around 11, writing. He is a constant listener and news article clipper, which are great sources of inspiration and ideas.
He made it clear that bad taste without a reason has a ten minute life span. He expressed his belief that the future is where the world lies not dwelling on the past. He was cognizant and thankful for the young fans he has garnered.
Just as importantly he was a generous man who took the time to not only sign books but allowed his fans to snap pictures with him.
As I said, I haven't seen John Waters movies, but I've seen the man. I understand why both are greatly admired.