I had a Catholic school skirt on, and my fishnets were ripped and I remember thinking, "Rip them even more before you go in." I think the ripped fishnets said something to them, because in the show, they became part of Mimi's costume. [From the very first script, Mimi Marquez was a junkie stripper with AIDS. And I was like, "Whoa, that's cool and exciting." It wasn't a typical part, not for a musical and not for a woman. The relationship between Mimi and Roger was galvanized because Adam and I were crazy about each other.
This brings us to your current musical Without You, which is based on your memoir, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical 'Rent.' Tell us about it. The book itself was such an intense experience to write and was very fulfilling. I was late to my audition because I was coming from the memorial service for a friend, which I always thought in retrospect was this wild coincidence. He was just asking me for advice in this kind of junior high school way -- like how he should approach her and if I thought she had felt the same way. The weird thing for me looking back is that I have no memory of when the labels or the words "gay" or "lesbian," etc., entered my vocabulary. I was 14, and I started fooling around with a 17-year-old kid from my high school at a friend's house. So, from when she confronted me and was a little disturbed by what had happened -- and she wasn't disturbed from a moral point of view, but because she felt like he had taken advantage of me because he was a little older -- it was clear it wasn't all right.
When you risk losing everything that matters to you, and you somehow come out of it without having lost it, for me, I just try to keep my head down and live my life the way I should live it. Because no matter what anybody told me, I had to figure it out.
And so, like I said, I want to walk the path that I think I need to walk, keep my head down and stay out of other people's business.
We're gonna do the show full-out." That's why I understand how turned into another "thing."I remember going up onstage and hearing the crowd scream.
And then during intermission, it was like, "Put on your costumes. If you have a propensity towards cravings, that's a craving that you can never lose. If Jonathan were alive, you know…" I thought, "The cost of making this is really great.