An Interview with Eddie Sarfaty

Ok folks, here you go, An interview with Eddie Sarfaty, author of Mental. I got this via email. Enjoy!

I could not stop laughing when I read the party balloons incident. Is there anything funnier than that which you would like to share?

Well, actually, no.   The balloon incident was pretty much the funniest – and most bizarre – experience I had while meeting guys online.  If there had been anything funnier, believe me it would have been in the story.

Tell me something, have you ever been attracted to a straight man and if yes then how did you deal with it, considering that he was not up for or rather up to it?

Of course I’ve been attracted to straight men – that is to say that there are straight men I’ve found attractive – but I’d never pursue anyone unless I knew that they were gay.  Why would I bother?  What would come of it, other than making them feel uncomfortable and making me frustrated? I’m currently in a relationship, but if I weren’t, there are plenty of gay guys out there who are handsome and smart and funny.  There’d be no need to waste my time barking up the wrong tree.

I like the candor with which you speak about your sex life. It is not only refreshing but also makes me think about mine. So is this how you also are on stage?

Everyone has sex – or at least thinks about it a good amount of the time – so, it always strikes me as ridiculous when people feel like it’s something you’re not supposed to talk about.   One of the things I appreciate most about being gay is the atmosphere of sexual frankness.   As a stand-up comic, part of connecting with the audience is talking honestly about stuff that they can identify with.  Sex, the concerns surrounding it, and the attitudes of society about it, are issues everyone can relate to. 

How does the so-called straight audience handle the gay gags and jokes when you are up there on stage?

I think that “straight” audiences are generally appreciative of the honesty – and the comedy.  My humor is smart and I’m not just talking about sex to shock people.  Plus, it’s not the focus of my act, just part of it.  It also helps that I’m always quick to laugh at myself as well as others.  Sure there might be some folks who are prudish and uncomfortable hearing about sex, but you can’t please everyone, and besides, if we didn’t talk about things just because some people might take offense, we’d never talk about anything!

 Besides the title being so self explanatory, what makes you blue?

What makes me blue?  Well aside from the obvious – sickness, death, global warming – I find the autumn and winter hard. I definitely suffer from seasonal affective disorder.  Plus, I’ve had bouts of depression since I was a kid.  Sometimes the chemicals in my brain just get out of whack.

I loved the first chapter of the book. I think that’s my favourite by far. May be because when I came out to my family, I did not get the support I expected. Was that ever a concern with you?

I wasn’t 100% sure how my family would react – homosexuality wasn’t really something that was ever discussed at length – why would it be?  I do recall one time when I was a kid and there was something about gay people on the news, and my mom remarked how sad it was.  That stayed with me for a long time.  But that was decades ago, before people were exposed to all of the information that’s available now.  My family has been extremely supportive right from the beginning.  I’m very lucky.

One moment that is ingrained in your memory about someone you love/d.

Well unfortunately the moments that are the most deeply embedded in my memory aren’t from happy occasions.  There were a lot of tragedies in my family when I was growing up, and there are faces full of grief that I saw as a child that are still crystal clear.  The upside to that is that I – and the rest of my family – have developed a very strong sense of humor.  Humor’s helped me get through some awfully difficult times.  You can’t control so much in your life, and In the end, there’s often nothing you can do but laugh.

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