bp Magazine Celebrates 5 Years!
bp Magazine is thrilled to present its special fifth anniversary issue! Marking this milestone gave bp a chance to reflect on what's changed for the bipolar community since its debuted with the Winter 2005 issue. This issue's cover story interviews Broadway Star, Carrie Fisher - aka Princess Leia. The article revisits the "bipolar cover girl" from the premiere issue for a personal update on how she's been managing her bp, work, relationships and raising a teenage daughter.
See more of bp's Special Anniversary Edition @ www.bphope.com
by Nancy Tobin
House lights dim and Carrie Fisher—film actor, author, and Hollywood icon—casually strolls onto the stage of Broadway's Studio 54 Theatre beaming at the applause. Dressed in an oversized Princess Leia wig, black silk PJs, a sparkly wrap, and fluffy slippers, she steps down to meet and greet theatergoers in the first row of seats, all the while throwing glitter on the giggling patrons.
Welcome to Carrie Fisher's salon, better known as Wishful Drinking, a highly praised and successful one-woman performance whose name doubles as the title of her best-selling book.
Helping the audience enter her famously drama-filled life, Fisher explains that "Bipolar disorder is a mood system that functions like the weather. It's independent of the things that happen in your life. I have problems," Fisher adds emphatically, "but they don't have me!"
"I'm very sane about how crazy I am," she says, padding back across the stage to settle into a comfy sofa adding that she hates the word "survivor."
Coping with bipolar disorder is merely one fragment of the tapestry that comprises Fisher's life and her two-hour laugh-a-thon on how she's made lemonade out of lemons. "I get awards all the time for being mentally ill—I'm a shoo-in because there's no swimsuit competition."
People magazine in its four out of four-star review of Wishful Drinking, put it this way: "Fisher makes each crushing tragedy hilarious."
Admitting to her 1,000 newest best friends in the theater that she's been going to AA for 12 years, Fisher says she has been sober for three, adding, "mania is better than any drug I could find." Alcoholism, she reports, was "for me the solution to bipolar. You know how they say that religion is the opiate of the masses? Well, I took masses of opiates religiously."
Fisher jokes through a sidesplitting riff using a photo chart of marriages, divorces, and procreative activities of her mom, dad, stepparents, and stepsiblings that cover a broad swath of Hollywood. This maze of connections leads to its logical and hilarious conclusion: Carrie's daughter, Billie Lourd, flirted with Billie's friend and potential mate, Rhys Tivey, the grandson of one-time Carrie stepmom Elizabeth Taylor. "I told them that they were related "by scandal,'" she says.
Having effectively and profitably found the silver bullets to wellness, Fisher is sticking with her program and skewering—with wicked, dead-on humor—the devastating tricks of life she has overcome: "Saying you're an alcoholic and an addict is like saying you're from Manhattan and New York."
A few hours earlier on a beautiful afternoon in mid-October, Fisher talked openly and frankly with bp Magazine in her rented West Side apartment where she is living for the run of the show. "Come on in," called her familiar low voice from somewhere in the spacious apartment. Ushered into a large, dimly lit bedroom, we found Fisher very cozy in her nightshirt, bed pillows, and blankets. It is, apparently, still "morning." Garret Edginton, her able assistant and full-time New York support system, pulled an armchair up to the bed and left. Glitter from the previous night's performance was still stuck here and there in Fisher's hair, where it still sparkled while we talked…
Read the full article, "The wit and wisdom of Carrie Fisher."