Alan Cumming pictured with his "Club Cumming" sign.


Alan Cumming stood at a podium adorned with red lights that spelled out “Club Cumming.” The man of the hour balanced socializing with guests and controlling the music, a mix of classic feel-good songs like Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real” and “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” by Barry White.

Cumming was celebrating the release of his latest book, “You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: My Life in Stories and Pictures,” at New York’s The Blond. The book, Cumming said, consists of four dozen stories he’s written through the years, as well as photos dating back to when he was a kid. “The first chapter has pictures I took with my very first camera, which I won in a raffle in a church when I was 10 or something,” he says. “There’s photos I took when I was 10 up to stories from last year.”

The book’s title was inspired by an encounter Cumming and his friend, Eddie, had with none other than Oprah. Cumming took Eddie, “who was obsessed with Oprah,” to an event where the media mogul was being honored. Eddie was on a mission to get a photo with Oprah and got his chance when Cumming spotted her heading to the bathroom, next to which they happened to be seated.

“I heard Eddie go, ‘Oprah, may I have a picture with you? It would be my dream,” Cumming recalls. “And Oprah went, ‘You gotta get bigger dreams.'” Cumming says he snapped a photo of the two nonetheless. “It’s a terrible picture, but it’s perfect.”

“You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams” marks Cumming’s third book. “It’s a little more of the fun side of my life than my last book, which was very intense — a series of events relating to my childhood and my grandfather, who died playing Russian roulette,” he explains. “I feel that both my audience and me need a little bit of a lift. [This book is] more indicative of my spirit and my life now.”

You might not be able to judge a book from its cover, but in this case, the cover of “You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams” perfectly fits the sprightly, uplifting read its author describes. The cover is white with black lettering and features a close-up of Cumming’s face.

Cumming partnered with Rizzoli for the book. “They’re so good at doing books that have images in them — both art and photography,” he says of Rizzoli. “I really like the way [the book has] turned out because it doesn’t feel like it’s just a photo book. It’s definitely story-heavy. I think the balance and the design of it is really perfect. [Rizzoli is] just really good at that sort of thing. That’s their bread and butter.”

“You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams” is out now.

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