[This post is part of a series on Mentors and Heroes]
Heather Gold tours North America as a comedian, speaker, interactive solo performer and social artist. She is the creator of the hit interactive show “I Look Like an Egg, But I Identify as a Cookie” and hosts her own talk show podcast, The Heather Gold Show. Follow her on Twitter @heathr.
Heather Gold’s hero is…
Oscar Wilde, Writer
How long have you known of your hero and have you ever met?
I first became acquainted with Wilde’s work in high school I think. It’s only possible for us to meet in my imagination.
How has your hero had such a profound impact on your life?
His work inspires me with it’s consistent excellence, wit and insight. He wrote across genres and stretched them. He was incisive and conversationally brilliant. The Ballad of Reading Gaol taught me that you can always draw a larger frame around any experience (in this case imprisonment for being gay) and that beauty and the search for understanding outlast actions from fear. He is a big influence on a show I’m working on now about the Law and how it handles Art and Life (or doesn’t).
How do you gain knowledge and inspiration from your hero?
Read and re-read his work. I’ve been particularly inspired by the transcripts of Wilde’s three trials.
What is one piece of wisdom your hero has been quoted as saying that has stuck with you the most?
“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.”
What else do you want the world to know about your hero?
He wrote brilliant social criticism and essays. Most people today only know his plays.
Thank you Heather for sharing your hero with us!