As the second-youngest of 11 children, Emmy Award– winning comedian Louie Anderson knows a bit about family dynamics. Now, more than 20 years after publishing his best-selling memoir Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child — which chronicles the struggles of growing up with an alcoholic father, through unsent letters written after his death — Anderson is bringing the material to life with a one-man show January 10–14 at A.C.T.’s The Strand. act-sf.org
MM: What was your original goal when you first began writing letters to your dad?
LA: I had no intention for the letters to be a book. I was just writing out my thoughts and emotions to my father, getting them down in letter form because I couldn’t do it in person, as he had died 10 years earlier.
MM: Does translating Dear Dad into a stage format require any shifts in tone?
LA: Well, we will see; this is a true work in progress. I plan on letting it all hang out at The Strand. I have the book to fall back on but I’m a (very large) bird on a wire, hoping to make it across and back on that wire, all without a net.
MM: What did you learn about yourself through this writing process?
LA: What I learned, and am learning, is that I’m at once a 64-year-old and a 10-year-old. And that there’s no such thing as one-sided correspondence if you believe somebody is listening — even if that somebody is yourself.