Please explain what just happened.

I Googled all the past Nervous Breakdown questionnaires to see how other, wittier people answered this question.

What is your earliest memory?

It probably would be the time myself and a fellow three-year-old helped ourselves to the whiskey in her mother’s drinks cabinet. I mean, it would be if I could actually remember that. I got a head-start on wiping out neurons.


If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?

Whatever I’d choose, they wouldn’t let me do it. Probably wisely.


Please describe the current contents of your refrigerator.

This question should probably also begin “Please explain.” Mostly, when I look in my fridge, that’s what I say to myself. Please explain this. Aren’t you an adult?

Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

No. I usually just did it.

What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

You’re about to read probably the best book you’ll ever read. Someone will give it to you for your next birthday, so consider yourself lucky. And no, it’s not the Just Seventeen annual. Jesus. And yes, that does matter more than whether that guy on the school bus will ever talk to you. And no, he won’t. Also, are you wearing Mom Jeans? I don’t care if it’s 1992. Bin them. And is that a peace sign pendant? Bin.

If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

Rumors & Lies by Hoovers and Sledgehammers.

What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?

Three websites in one day! I’d never do that. I’m very disciplined about the internet. (Did I mention that I lie?)

From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

From people who work a lot harder than I do. Of whom there are irritatingly many.

Name a book that changed your life.

That’s the one I got on my fourteenth birthday. Amongst Women by John McGahern.

If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

The moment I finished my book edits. (It hasn’t actually happened yet.)



How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

There’s a vegan place at the end of my block. That probably disrupts the signal a bit.


What makes you feel most guilty?

Right now, my unfinished book edits. Generally, the staggering inequality of things. I mean, why do I get to have a vegan place at the end of my block when there are so many hungry vegans out there and I’m not even a vegan?


What would you most like to have invented?

The Oedipus Complex. Sure it’s great craic.


What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Buy a house. It’s a great investment.” Thankfully, I didn’t.


What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

“Well, everyone says it’s a great investment…you might as well…”


What do you consider the harshest kind of betrayal?

Malicious gossip.


Of all the game shows that have graced our TV screens throughout history, which one would you want to be a contestant on and why?

Where In The World. If you had grown up in Ireland in the 1980s, you wouldn’t need to ask why. You might win a holiday! And you get to be on the telly! And maybe they’ll let you be on Glenroe afterwards, as well!



What do you want to know?

I want to have my suspicions confirmed about what my cat is thinking, and then I want to tell my cat that what he’s thinking constitutes the harshest form of betrayal. Also, that he should buy a house.


What would you like your last words to be?

Look after each other. It’s been great.


Please explain what will happen.

You’ll come to see my new play, Graham and Frost, at PS 122. Won’t you?

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Belinda McKeon was born in the Irish midlands in 1979. Her plays include Word of Mouth (RTE Radio Drama, Ireland, 2005), Drapes (Fishamble Theatre Company, Dublin, 2006), Two Houses (thisispopbaby in association with The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 2008) and Fugue (Origin Theater Company, New York, 2009). In Ireland, her plays have won a P.J. O'Connor Award for Radio Drama, an Irish Times Theatre Award and an RTE Radio Audience Choice Award. She is under commission to the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Her debut novel, Solace, will be published in 2011 by Scribner. She works as an arts journalist and curator based between Dublin and New York. She recently completed an MFA at Columbia University.

McKeon's newest play, Graham & Frost, will run from September 16 to October 3, 2010 at PS122 in New York. For ticket information, visit www.ps122.org.

2 responses to “21 Questions with Belinda McKeon”

  1. Judy Prince says:

    “I want to have my suspicions confirmed about what my cat is thinking, and then I want to tell my cat that what he’s thinking constitutes the harshest form of betrayal. Also, that he should buy a house.”

    HA! Nice wrap, Belinda.

  2. meal plan says:


    The Nervous Breakdown…

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