Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Forbes Fierstein (born June 6, 1954) is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein has won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray.

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Read more about Harvey Fierstein on Wikipedia.

A child's kiss is magic. Why else would they be so stingy with them?

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, define yourself.

But actually just yesterday we raised the key of one of my songs two steps up so my voice is obviously responding. It's a muscle and the more you use it, the more you use it right, the more you should get out of it. So yes I sing.

Beware of anyone who says they know. Trust me they don't, or they wouldn't have to say they did.

I do believe we're all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.

Accept no one's definition of your life, define yourself.

There are times when I don't take roles because I don't want to be perceived a certain way.

What looks absolutely fabulous in rehearsal can fall flat in front of an audience. The audience dictates what you do or don't change.

Never be bullied into silence.

Also if you want to reach people theatre is not always the best way to do it.

Always admit when you're wrong. You'll save thousands in therapy... and a few friendships too.

In London they don't like you if you're still alive.

Anyone with a smart phone is a potential eyewitness cameraman capturing and transmitting stories at speeds that turn Reuter photos and traditional reporting into well... yesterday's news.

My play 'Safe Sex' was picked apart because critics thought it was untrue. It was a play in which no one had AIDS but the characters talked about how it was going to change their lives.

When I write stuff and I help cast it I turn away good people all the time. I may turn them down because this one's too tall and that one doesn't have a high enough voice or this one looks to old to match up with that one - there's a billion reasons not to hire somebody.

To me, if a heterosexual has a right to do it, then I have a right to do it. And if it's important to the gay youth - who are now setting the agenda - then its important to me.

It's through sheer will that I can sing.

I got the regular call that they were doing a Broadway musical of Hairspray and would I come and audition. I was familiar with the movie because at the time it came out my lover wrote for Premiere magazine and we had to see everything.

To work all the time is to be incredibly lucky.

Theater has to resonate in your heart in a way that movies don't.

If you deny yourself commitment what can you do with your life?

It's a wonderful world. You can't go backwards. You're always moving forward. It's the wonderful part about life. And that's terrific.

So did I work with Warhol? I worked with him less on that play then I did on other things. He actually did a portrait of my rabbit and some other stuff. Warhol was definitely... Warhol.

The great thing about suicide is that it's not one of those things you have to do now or you lose your chance. I mean you can always do it later.

Art has the power to transform to illuminate to educate inspire and motivate.

I am thrilled - I can't stress that enough - thrilled when I see kids getting active.

You know I always got offered other stuff. Not the romantic leads obviously. But very often it's a role that's underwritten where the character has no personality at all. And they need a character actor who can fill it in.

You really really really have to love what you are going to do in theater because it is an unmerciful life. It's six days a week. It's eight performances a week. And that's doing the exact same thing over and over and over again.

Actually I think the average voice is like 70 percent tone and 30 percent noise. My voice is 95 percent noise.

It's a lot of fun to play someone you don't normally think of yourself as.

I'm sure there's going to be some material from This Is Not Going To Be Pretty. I usually use that song to just introduce myself to the audience although the patter in between the song is always different.

But I'm not adverse to the idea of Torch Song as a musical. It would just be different. Because the play will always be there exactly as it was and in a musical you could tell a lot of the story through songs.

I burned out on AIDS and did no AIDS work for a couple of years. I was so angry that people were still getting this disease that nobody can give you - you have to go out and get it!

And I believe that you never be limited in what you do so I like to do movies I like to do television.

Political movements always belong to the young.

Pork was in 1971 and I stopped hanging out at The Factory by like 1973.

Time will tell us what we did and didn't do.

I don't believe in the afterlife so I do think when somebody passes it's worthy of note.

Well I always looked at Mulan as a movie about a lesbian coming out.

You may feel powerless as a child but the world will one day be yours. And you're responsible for it. So seize the day and take charge of it.

As soon as I started writing other writers stopped wanting me acting in their shows - maybe they thought I was going to rewrite them.

My father was brought up in an orphanage in the Catskills. He was a factory worker. And because his family wasn't there for him family was everything. We could disagree inside the house but outside the house it was us against the world. So when I became a drag actor he looked sideways but said okay.

I have to work really hard eight shows a week to get a nice check as an actor. But when I write a play and it's a - knock wood - hit the checks come in for many years.

The world is full of more interesting things than my voice.

It would be nice to redefine ourselves - at the moment we are drowning in diversity. That's not a bad thing its just going to take a while before we refocus.

I actually pray everyday but I don't believe in God.

I actually may do a musical next year... not one that I've written, one that I may star in. Plus my concert and other people's work and all of a sudden you've got a very full life.

How time files when you's doin' all the talking.

I got a lovely check today from being a writer that I earned by sitting at home. That's rewarding.

Movies are all about plot. Theater even if it's story heavy it's about ideas.

In Torch Song I did that character almost non-stop from 1978 until I made the movie in 1987. Then I had some failure which also colors how you react to doing other things.