Friday, November 28, 2014


Joan Collins lives for the applause

Famous people don’t often tell you how much they love the applause of fans. But “Dynasty’s” Joan Collins will tell you exactly that.
Collins is in Las Vegas to perform Friday through Sunday at the South Point.
I asked her what she gets out of acting, as opposed to writing, because she has written 14 books and a newspaper column, while starring on the stage and screen.
“They’re two totally, totally different things,” she said.
“Getting up onstage, you have to present yourself, perform, and you get back from the audience love, approbation, attention — if they like it.
“Writing — you get nothing back whatsoever.”
I laughed when Joan Collins (aka Alexis Carrington) informed me that we writers get nothing back because it’s true more frequently than we’d wish.
Hear me out. We writers find validation in awards, online comments, social media and occasionally from fans on the street.
But writers don’t receive anything like the in-person affection film and stage performers swim in.
That’s not to say writing is unfulfilling. Writing takes place on an interior stage; most of the applause happens in writers’ heads.
“I love writing,” Collins said. “I find it relaxing, fun, interesting and a good way to spend an afternoon.
“But people don’t applaud you when you write books. You don’t get that great rush of adrenalin you get when you’re on the stage and you tell a joke or a story, and you can tell they’re rapt listening to the story, or they laugh when they hear your joke,” Collins said.
“A standing O is really a great feeling, so that’s why I’ve always loved the theater.”
I kept talking with Collins about writing, and about the holidays, but then she comically redirected me, with her teasing, Alexis Carrington accent:
“Anyway, we should talk about my show. You don’t want to talk about it, I can tell,” she said with a laugh.
Ah, yes, the show. So what will fans experience during her shows at the South Point?
“I don’t think people realize I have a self-deprecating sense of humor and that I have lived a fascinating life. So I talk at length about my life, some from my childhood, but in an amusing and self-deprecating way. I tell quite a few jokes.”
Collins’ show comes with a video screen showing clips of Collins in “Dynasty” and in movies with Paul Newman, Debbie Reynolds, Gregory Peck, Bette Davis, Gene Kelly and others.
She will also talk about her lawsuit fights and divorces.
“I just picked the wrong men. But not always. I have three great children. That’s really good. Now I’m extremely happy with my fifth husband, and we’ve been married almost 13 years,” she said. “He wrote the show. He directed the show. We are partners in crime.”
There are two more interesting things from my conversation with Alexis Carrington:
■ Her best friend, Judy Bryer, and her husband, Max, live here. So Collins is familiar with Vegas.
■ When we were talking about writing, she pointed out that millions of people write on social media now because it elicits immediate feedback.
But then, in an Alexis Carrington-esque dismissal, she denounced bad Tweeters thus:
“Pretty sad, some of them, I have to say.”

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