June 08, 2016
Cathy Alter: We spent a lot of time thinking about celebrities and thinking about what our crushes (and by “our,” I mean the collective our) meant to us back when we had them and what they mean to us now. So the first thing I want to ask you after bathing in the stew is this: If you could be any celebrity for a day, who would you be?
Dave Singleton: What a perfect question to ask me since I just got back from New York City and my Night of 1000 Stevies. I don’t want to be Stevie Nicks but when I walk around New York, it feels like a city filled with celebrated ghosts. I thought of the Warhol people while I was walking through the meatpacking district, and the round table wits when I walked past the Algonquin Hotel, and of course all the ghosts hustling at Studio 54. A living and breathing celebrity? I’d like to be James Franco, and not just because he’s in our book. I think he’s the real deal and such a combination of avant-garde and power player. I’d like to hang out with the people he hangs out with and explore the projects he explores.
How about you?
CA: When I asked you this question I thought about being Kayne West because I like music and I like fashion and he seems like he lives a pretty good life in both of these worlds. But honestly, I don’t think I could handle Kris Jenner as my mother-in-law. Maybe I should be Adele and sing the shit out of everything.
Do you have a question for me or should we keep pretending to be famous?
DS: Oh I have original, freshly baked and perhaps even artisanal questions for you. Do you think we’ll ever stop projecting all our hopes, dreams, and passions onto people we don’t actually know? Is it easier to pin our wishes on celebrities?
CA: I think celebrities are the perfect receptacles for our romantic hopes and dreams, if we’ve invented them correctly. They’re objects of affection, but at a safe, heartbreak-free distance. And they’re easily discarded or traded in.
Which makes me wonder, who or what do you think we’d would worship if we didn’t have celebrities?
DS: Puppies. I say this based on the fact that I follow eight dog accounts on Instagram, including @DCGus, who is a Corgi. Major crush on Gus.
Switching gears, two questions for you. First, in seven seconds or less, respond to this quote: “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
CA: Who said that?
DS: Erica Jong.
CA: Well, then, my response to that quote is very complicated and personal since Erica Jong was one of the writers we approached for an essay—and one of the writers who turned down our invitation. So I could say she refused to give us an essay because she was worried that once she was finished with it, we’d tell her it sucked.
DS: Is it possible for two memoir writers (ahem) to ever really have the same recollection of a shared experience?
CA: A resounding no! I don’t think that phenomenon is exclusive to memoirists. I’ll never forget having dinner with my brother when we were both grownups and living in NYC. We were reminiscing about our childhoods and my brother said of our parents, “They were so selfish.” And when I countered that we had a pool in our backyard and traveled the world with them he looked at me with a straight face and said, “They got to shop at Gucci and we had to get our clothing at Marshalls.” So there you have two kids who grew up in the same family with entirely different experiences.
Speaking of shared experiences, what was it like to work with me as a co-author? Would you recommend co-anything-ing now?
DS: Working with you was intense, creative, exciting, and demanding. It was a true collaboration, with all the sparky, challenging aspects that word connotes. I would recommend co-anything-ing anytime, and all anyone has to do is look at the result. Our book, Crush, is a good kid and hell, we made that.
CA: I vote that we collaboratively end this on this high note.
Crush has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Elle, O the Oprah Magazine, Redbook, InTouch, BUST, on Vogue.com and Harper’s Bazaar Online. It was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of the Month in Humor & Entertainment and People magazine’s Book of the Week.