Comedian Jackie Monahan Talks Recent Film ‘Wild Nights with Emily’ and Having a Divine Connection

ATM: Do you believe the role of a sister was the same as during Emily’s time?

JM: Yes, Lavina was protective of Emily. Wait? Maybe not as super close. I do not think Lavina knew about the poems until later. Whereas, Susan knew about the poems. I do not have a sister. I have friends who were sisters that said they were sisters, but then they did horrible things to me. I do not really know. My best friend is a gay man. He has been more of a sibling to me than anything else. Madeleine said I was like her brother. We are like brothers.

ATM: Do you believe having Does a sister make a difference in an individual’s growth?

JM: Yes. You learn more about compromise. Relationships are how we learn. I am the only child. I did not learn in this way. I was married and have been in relationships. It is hard for me wanting to be with one person. I want to be by myself.

ATM: This is because you were by yourself.

JM: Yes. I do not have to share. I do not want to share my time.

ATM: I understand.

JM: I am an extrovert. I do standup comedy and this a part of it as well. I am out every night. I do not want to compromise this.

ATM: Meaning you do not want anyone to say, “Hang with me” or take up your time. 

JM: Yes. I could go to a show or an audition. I would want to do the audition or show. I have dated people who take it personally. I would rather be alone. This is just now. I have been in relationships since I was 14 years old. This is my first time being single. I love it. It could ruin the excitement and could end up with someone. I equate this with being the only child. I have been in more long-term relationships than anyone I know. Since I was 14, I have gone from one relationship to the next.

ATM: At 14, what did you base your expectations for a relationship on?

JM: I have never thought about it. But now that we are talking about it – I wonder if it was from the emptiness. I needed to be attached to someone because I did not have a sibling. I have always been in a relationship. My family was in New Jersey. It was just my parents and I. It felt like family having a relationship.

ATM: What do you believe was around Emily to make her think she was worthy of having a relationship with Susan?

JM: Emily was extremely passionate. It worked out for it. I feel she would have loved to be married and have wanted to be with Susan every day, all day. As a writer myself, it was convenience because she did not have to do the whole marriage thing. She got to stay and have great conversations with Susan. She got to have intimacy with Susan. She did not have to do the whole mundane stuff. She got to work on her craft. Susan loved her poetry and she was her muse. It was perfect. I want a Susan, but I do not want to be with someone who is married.

ATM: It seemed like she was the aggressor in her poetry. She is famed for having her short poems. I believe as a writer or poet you only hold the truest meaning of what you write. Other people who read it is their perception. She can try to perceive what she might be meaning, but they are the only one to interpret it. This is also associated with the literary term biological fallacy.

JM: Definitely. Even Susan knew all the time. You are right only Emily can know the true meaning. Susan inspired her. Susan was smart.

ATM: I would assume the social problems Emily had with her parents was the reason why she attached so close with Susan.

JM: Yes. Definitely. Emily felt she could be herself with Susan. There is nothing more beautiful more in the world where you could be yourself.

ATM: During this time of the middle and end of the 19th century, she was special and different. To be frank, these were the evolutionary times of poetry. These are the times and poets that we study now on different levels of education. Another poet is Charles Dickens. He never specifically said he was gay, but most of his poetry had blurred lines of homosexual language or desiring for same-sex love. They both were themselves and expressive in their poetry. This is where their truest self-lived. Their writing was not of the normal. It was hard for people during their time to understand them and their work. It made it difficult for people in her house to understand her. 

JM: This was during no television and other things. The only way to feel heard was through your writing. It did not matter if people read it or not. It was the need to get the words out of you and on paper.

ATM: You are a comedian. So, you would be a comedic poet. Your words are poetry. They go in line with each other. The huge difference between a poet and a comedic poet would be people’s response to poetry is feeling sympathetic and mellow. Whereas, people’s response to comedic poetry they receive the response of laughs and hope.

JM: This is interesting. I have never paid attention to poetry in this movie. I watched the movie over a hundred times because I identify with Emily in wanting to get your words out and wanting to see the words in print. I do not think she carried about fame. It is the need to feel heard and reach people who feel the same thing. It is interesting for me with writing comedy. Sitting down writing comedy never works. It is never as good as when the jokes come to me. If I have an idea, then it does not come to me. I end up doing automatic writing to where I am not thinking. My hand is just moving. I have to allow it to come to me.

ATM: I understand. This means you are a natural. Some people cannot do this. This is something I had to learn about other people. I am great with doing things on the spot. Nothing goes great when it is pre-thought or prewritten. This is the naturalness of a writer in whatever entity you are in. You cannot force a writer to write. This is how a person knows whether they have tapped into the writer’s space or a true writer. Nothing comes to mind when you try to force them. Automatic writing is a technique that is also used for people who have problems aligning their thoughts onto paper. It is more authentic when you let things flow. It is more authentic when you pick up the pen and let the ink just flow. It is more authentic when you let your fingers dance on the keyboard and just let things flow.

JM: In comedy, we have jokes and repeat them. You still have to make the same jokes but leave space for the magic and other stuff to come out.

ATM:  Do you believe she received any inspiration from men?

JM: Probably with what not to do. Women artist has a masculine quality because they are inserting themselves into the world. We all have male and female. I feel very in touch with my male side. Emily was in touch for this part of her in wanting to insert herself into the world.

ATM: And Susan let her do it.

JM: Yes.

ATM: Did this film give you a different perspective on how to express your feelings or love?

JM: It is also interesting because I have always been open about being out of the closet with liking women. I did not know the end of the movie would end as it did. I just could not stop crying. Their relationship was very special. For me, I do want to hold out to be in a relationship with their dynamics. To be with someone who appreciates their art and pulls my art out of me. And have their own lives.

ATM: Meaning someone that can unconditionally love you.

JM: Yes, and I would unconditionally love them.

ATM: And someone who would give you emotional security.

JM: And somebody who is confident with themselves and gives me room to create.

ATM: Sigmund Freud had a theory that the daughter picks a lover who is like their father. The son picks a lover who is like his mother. But there is not much talk on people who are attracted to same-sex love. Freud did not take this into account.

JM: I might get in trouble for saying this. For me, if someone takes time by themselves, they can heal themselves, then they will not date someone like their parents. If they heal their wounds, then they find someone who is their perfect match vs. somebody who is like their parents. Unless their parents were great. All must heal from all relationships in some way.

ATM: This is the thing about life. Everyone goes through things whether they grew up with the picket fences or not. Money does not change human emotions and dysfunction. The stereotypes that are put on age and the growth mindset you should have by a age gets in the way of people healing. It rushes a person to the point they do not get to heal. A lot of people are 30 and if you really tap into their emotional level, then they go back to 17. They go back to a space in which they never healed.

So, you have a lot of people in marriages and relationships who are like this. “When did I ever get a chance to heal because life is progressing.” We live the type of life where you have to progress with it. No one wants to feel left behind. There is an elementary school, junior high, high school, college for some, then you have to get married and have children. These are the expected things for us. If you are trying to keep up, then when would you have the time. There are so many things that are put on us by the American standard and societal standards. Then you get into a relationship and realize you might be the problem or what you are putting out creates a problem.

JM: If you do not heal your wounds, then you end of getting in a co-dependent relationship where you want what the other person has. They feel this and it is hard to detangle. Instead of it being, “you have to get married and have children.” It should be you have to “be a whole person and be by yourself for a while.” Anybody get to be in a relationship. People settle. I see it everything because they do not want to be alone.

ATM: More people are afraid to be alone than they are afraid of being with other people. When you are alone, you have yourself. This can be excruciating for people. When you are with other people, you might gaslight and manipulate to hide your own problems.

JM: Right to create chaos to not be honest with yourself.

ATM: Everyone has it in them to be a loving individual. It takes the right person to bring out these positive elements.

JM: And each person has to do it themselves. I agree with this. People are not born monsters. I am curious about narcissistic people. What about them? Are narcissistic people made? Or are they born narcissistic?

ATM: For narcissistic people, they have a void for validation. They feel this void with self. A person who is narcissistic received no attention as a child or receive too much attention. It is one of the two. This spills over to their adulthood. Yes, you can go to therapy, but when do you fit this in. Because if you tell someone, then they said you should have gone to therapy five to ten years ago. You keep putting all these time periods. This all stems from how they were treated as a child and the environment they were in. No one is born a certain way.

JM: I think this too. Everyone is born beautiful loving people. It all depends on our environments. 

ATM: How an individual is shaped is based on their childhood. Imitation is everything. There was a sociologist named Albert Bandura who did an exercise with children. The results showed we as people behave solely on imitation without even knowing it. Self-consciously someone could grow up mirroring the same things in their house without knowing it. 

JM: Everyone now is pointing towards hating people. Like pointing fingers at everyone. It would be beautiful if it was taught to be the change you wanted.

ATM: No relationship or marriage is perfect, but there needs to be a mutual understanding of where the other person is coming from. 

JM: I had this happen today. I had a change in perspective on something and everything has opened up. I try not to take anything personally. You will get a better viewpoint and change everything into a different perspective.

ATM: Some people can be oblivious and unaware. It takes the right person to tell you the right and wrong thing. You get to connect the dots. Some people are not going to tell you how you are. It takes a person who really loves you to tell you how you are.  

JM: And they want someone to always agree with them. A real marriage or real friend will help you see a healthier perspective. Once you identify the negative and accept, it can change into a superpower. I am sensitive and people have told me I was so sensitive. I have changed in not being sensitive to what people say but to what I am.

ATM: This is a mature thing to do. People should make a list of the positives and the negatives. Be true as to what these are. Or another tactic is making a list starting from your current age to your earliest age. These are steps to finding out who you are as a person.

JM: I agree. Susan and Emily’s relationship were so beautiful. They were honest with each other. They were in secret. They understood each other and could hear each other. A lot of people want to keep people separated and not let them grow. This is common in woman to woman relationships. Women want to see each other grow. Whereas, in heterosexual couples, I have seen the other one fearing the other is going to leave and keeps one small.

ATM: I would call this emotional abandonment and emotional issues.

JM: And they did not want the other one to flourish. They thought this was love.

ATM: This is not love, but only a sit in the therapist chair.

JM: We do not see their love often. It was unconditional love.

ATM: Susan let Emily see herself for who she was. Emily was the most emotional one. Susan brought this emotional side out of her. She gave Emily emotional security.

JM: I like this. I enjoyed this and learned a lot.