Eric and I recently had a chance to sit down with Red Orchid member and famous face around town Mierka "Mookie" Girten to talk about her famous charity that helps artists with Multiple Sclerosis to find out if this is a real disease and also to see what else is happening! She arrived dressed in a crazy wig and was already pretty hammered.
Nice to see you here Mierka. How is your day going?
Busy. I just cleaned out my garage.
That's nice sounding. Would you like some water?
Here you are. So tell us about your whole Mierka Jam thing.
You mean Mookie Jam? It’s a little not-for-profit foundation I started to help artists living with Multiple Sclerosis.
Why did you decide to name it Mierka Jam?
The whole ‘Jam’ thing is about artists coming together. Our logo used to be a jam jar. But no one understood what the jam jar was, or meant -- so, we changed it...I miss that jam jar. Anyway, I was diagnosed with MS in 1992, and I got super duper sick and then my mom was diagnosed, which was devastating. When my MS went into remission, I felt like I had to do something. I wrote a one-person show, with my friend Michael Thomas about my battle with MS, and with the proceeds we started this little foundation, Mookie Jam, and for ten years now we’ve been giving grants to artists with MS, to help them heal. Why did I name it Mookie Jam? Well, I am Mookie and..it was my idea…and, it’s all about me. Check out MY website: http://www.mookiejam.org/.
Oh! (Laughter) Is Multiple Sclerosis a real thing or are you trying to swindle us?
I have been swindling for eighteen years, it’s going really well.
Do people really have this?
God, I hope so.
Well, (Eric and Andy whisper to each other) we can confidently say that we have never heard of this disease. Are you sure this isn't AIDS?
God, I hope not. I don’t want to have to work for Season of Concern. I mean, I think what they do is great, but those red ribbons…I couldn’t pull that off.
When is the event?
Will we be invited this year?
I invite you every year, you just never show up. This year you’re coming and I’m going to make you get on stage.
Who will be performing this year?
So many people. Joan Crawford, some Factory Theatre folk are going to be doing a scene from their upcoming show ‘The League of Awesome’, members of A Red Orchid Theatre’s Youth Ensemble, Rebecca Finnegan, Nicholas Barron, Ingrid Graudins, Steve Frisbie, TJ and Dave, Lindsey Pearlman and tons more. Oh, and me.
Are you going to even drink this water we got for you?
No! There’s a hair in it.
Well, we think you are very awesome and strong and brave and we think what you are doing is totes rad. Have a great rest of your day and life, "Mookie".
Thank you. You guys are adorable and I love what you do, I don’t care what anyone else says.