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First Person

The Experience Questionnaire: John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell is an actor, playwright, screenwriter, and director who created the punk musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and directed the films “Shortbus” and “Rabbit Hole.” He was featured in the TV series “Shrill” and his new musical podcast, “Anthem: Homunculus,” is available on the Luminary network. 

Where do you come up with your best ideas?  
During a massage. 

What is the best non-material gift you’ve received? 
A song written for me. 

What is the best non-material gift you’ve given?
A song I wrote. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced? 
The death of my former boyfriend. 

If you had to choose a different profession, what would you do? 
Write fantasy novels. Relevant ones.  

What is the most useful mistake you’ve made?  
Took MDMA before our negotiation with our distributor for “Rabbit Hole.” 

What’s the strangest experience you’ve had? 
Ayahuasca.

What opportunity do you regret passing up? 
Hang gliding. 

Most useful mistake? “Took MDMA before our negotiation with our distributor for ‘Rabbit Hole.’”

How do you relax? 
Yoga and meditation. 

If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go? 
Thailand and Philippines. 

What is your most indelible childhood memory? 
A recurring dream of an older man walking away from me. 

What’s the most valuable thing you learned in school? 
Typing. 

When you’re stuck how do you get unstuck? 
Read over my years of short notes that I jot down on my phone and elsewhere. 

What is your proudest moment? 
Finishing the mix of “Anthem: Homunculus,” my musical podcast series. 

What would you like to experience before you die?  
An Iboga ceremony. Or maybe a world-wide culinary tour. Or both. 

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