“I’m just an aging show pony, but they trot me out anyway,” sighed Leslie Jordan during a recent phone interview.
The Emmy Award-winning actor is best known for his role as Karen Walker’s diminutive foil, Beverly Leslie, on “Will and Grace,” and he’s returning to South Florida on Saturday, March 14 for one performance at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale.
The show, “Say Cheese, My Life in Front of the Camera,” is not one of his “cleaner” acts, he warned.
“Oh, I’m not going to really clean it up. It’s not X-rated, just something you’d never hear in church,” the comedian explained.
After a long pause, Jordan added, “But it is a ‘gay’ church….kinda like a theater, I’m sure there’s lots of drama.”
Jordan will share thoughts on his journey looking for love “in all the wrong places” and featuring the photographs of his friend Jim Cox.
“I’ve never had a proper gay boyfriend,” Jordan explained, noting he has a propensity for falling for good looking, straight twinks, so-called “gay for pay” rent boys. “My spiritual adviser keeps asking me why I keep repeating the same mistake over and over.”
Jordan actually squeezed the Fort Lauderdale performance into a weekend appearance at the Florida Roundup, a major annual meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous members in Miami.
“I guess they’re not anonymous anymore,” he said with his wry chuckle. He has been open about his own struggles with substance abuse and dogged recovery. “Recovering alcoholics don’t have attention spans, so I’ll just have to adjust.”
These appearances are just two of 44 he makes each year from LGBT cruises to corporate events for Disney and Frito-Lay.
“When you get to that corporate level, you can make some real money,” Jordan said.
He was most recently seen on television in the United States in 2013 on “American Horror Story: Coven.” He wasn’t written into last year’s edition, “Freak Show,” but hopes to return in next year’s installment with Lady Gaga.
Jordan also made a disastrous run for the prize on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the United Kingdom, only to be foiled by his nemesis cast-mate, actor Gary Busey.
“I had no idea what I was getting into,” he explained. “We were 20 minutes outside of London. I thought it would be like Downton Abbey, but instead there were 14 people under one roof who are ‘celebrities’ and it was just awful!”
“I’m hypoglycemic and really have to watch what I eat. When my blood sugar goes awry, I turn into a nightmare. They took away my food….I suffered sleep depravation because everyone was sleeping in one room….people would fart and their feet smelled,” Jordan added.
He remains circumspect about his career, however.
“I may have painted myself in a corner because the only parts they offer me right now are aging queens. But, one thing I’ve learned in 33 years in Hollywood is it all goes in a cycle and I really do think I’m nowhere near where I’ll be when things turn around,” Jordan concluded.
Leslie Jordan, “Say Cheese, My Life in Front of the Camera,” will be presented at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door and $55 for VIP seating and reception. For more information, go to SunshineCathedral.org.