No, I don’t plan on changing my name to Esther!
He’s a two-time U.S. National Figure Skating Champion, his nickname is “Tinkerbell,” he’s expected to shine at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, he thinks Paris Hilton is a riot, he’s a 20 year old Catholic and he’s totally into Kabbala. Salon interviwed Johnny Weir about all this and more. Weir is actually pretty funny. Here’s what he had to say about Kabbala:
You practice Kabbala.
Yes. My string actually fell off while I was up here, so I’m purged of all my negative energy …
While you were where?
My string, my red string that I wear?
It fell off while I was in New York, so it means that I’m purged of my negative energy.
So, while the string is on it collects negative energy and when it falls off you’re free?
Yeah. And the red string kind of saves you from other people dissing you. It kind of saves you from the evil eye, is what the story says. It sort of collects your evil energy, and then when it falls off you’re done. But then I put another one on just to be safe after. So it’s a cycle, but when it comes off it’s a nice feeling, like a weight’s off your shoulder or something. It’s weird …
So it’s like a karmic muffler?
That falls off when it’s full?
So, what do you get from Kabbala, and do you plan on changing your name to Esther in the near future? [Madonna changed her name to Esther after she began studying the Kabbalah.]
No, I don’t plan on changing my name to Esther! But, um, I’ve always had a big interest in the Jewish faith, and I was raised in a Catholic family, and my mother would like it if I stayed Catholic and that sort of thing … Judaism is just something that stuck out to me, and a friend introduced me to Kabbala actually before Esther started doing it … It’s about living your life as a good person and trying to be the best person possible and not worrying about what criticisms might come your way, and at the same time not criticizing other people for their shortcomings. For a while I was getting a big head about how good I was becoming and what was going on with me, and it just sort of helped me stay centered and that sort of thing. You know how you tie a string around your finger so you can remember something? It’s like that. You have a string tied around your wrist and when you look down you see it and you think, “Oh, well that was really mean what I just said.” It makes you kind of realize what you’re saying and how you’re acting.
Esther’s gotta be a better nickname than Tinkerbell! And yes, the red string in the photo is yet another BAD photoshop job.