So I went back to the book, which has a little more detail about Bess, and then I studied women of that era. I studied African American women of that era.  I studied cocaine usage.  I studied  the effect it has on the body. I studied opportunities that would have been available to women of that time if you didn’t have a job or a husband, and you were addicted to drugs. You don’t have many choices nowadays, but certainly not then.  And all that helped me just to understand her a little better. I also wanted to get down to the core of her, which for me was she’s an addict.  Once I understood this is someone who is an addict, I was able to understand her choices a little better.  She goes from being addicted to Crown to being addicted to Porgy, and then gets sucked in by Crown again, and then once Porgy and Crown are both gone, she gets addicted to some sort of comfort again, which is the cocaine.  But that addictive personality helped me make more sense of who Bess was.  That’s something that probably hadn’t really occurred to me before.  Everybody else used to say, “Oh, what. She  just loves life. She’s a fast woman, that’s all. She’s just a fast woman who loves life.”  Well, that’s not true.  That’s surely what she projects, but that’s not what’s going on underneath.  And that’s what I wanted to get to, what’s going on underneath.