Troy Mink
Mink has brought back his alter ego Carlotta Sue Philpott as the hostess of a late-night, on-stage, improvised talk show, Carlotta's Late Night Holiday Wing Ding, at Northwest Actors Studio Cabaret Space, 1100 E Pike St, 325-6500, $8 general, $7 students/seniors, Fri-Sat at 10 pm, through Dec 29.

Who's your favorite elderly relative? "My grandfather, now deceased, had a rascally side to himself--actually, he's a big part of who Carlotta is. Especially later in his life, I guess he figured he was so old that nobody would mess with him. He was at this cowboy museum in Colorado with my aunt and uncle; they were walking through this darkened part of the museum, and, as my aunt put it, 'he started farting like a motorboat.' She and my uncle were just mortified. They were waiting in the lobby area and he came out with, as my aunt said, 'a big grin on his face.' She said, 'Daddy, what in the world did you think you were doing in there? That was a shame.' And he said, 'Oh, it was dark in there. They couldn't hear anything.'"

What aspect of growing old do you most fear? "Losing physical ability, I guess. Self-reliability."

Becoming dependent on others. "Yes."

Not being able to go to the bathroom by yourself. "There you go."

What aspect of growing old do you most look forward to? "Being able to do what I want and say what I want, and people being able to write it off as, 'Oh, he's just old.' I withhold my opinion a lot. If I get older, I'll just say, what the hell: 'You look bad in that dress.'"

So you only want to offer criticism when you know it will be dismissed. "Yes."

Are you afraid your friends will shun you if you say what you truly feel? "What am I afraid of, that's a good question.... I guess so--for one thing, it would shock the hell out of people because I'm so reserved. I let all my characters talk for me; they can get away with it. It's like puppets."

So you're your own puppet. "I guess so."

I won't ask where you put your hands. "Well, when no one's looking...."

Interview by Bret Fetzer

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