I ask if […] she has in fact created Gaga, so that she can have a grandiose alter ego to absorb all the attention, criticism, adulation and insanity while the quiet, steady, industrious Stefani Germanotta gets on anonymously with the professional nuts and bolts in the background. I couldn’t be more wrong.
“I actually don’t identify myself as two separate people and I don’t view Lady Gaga, me, as the protector of Stefani … I do see myself to be in an endless transformative state in the way that those performers you’ve mentioned were. I just am committed wholeheartedly to theatre with no intermission.”
We talk about masks and Oscar Wilde and the nature of performance and the need of artists to pursue their vocations. She quotes to me the line of Rilke that she had famously tattooed on to her left arm: “In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?” It’s quite a big tattoo…’ she confesses.
I counter with another quote about writing from Thomas Mann: “A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” She gets the point of it straightaway.