2003-09-08 @ 8:59 p.m.
|I have a friend I write to out in California. The mother of a childhood friend who turned out to be cooler and more accessible than her daughter, my ex-friend, in her later years. I hadn't heard from her since early June, so I had decided to write her. I just finished her letter today, set it on my desk and went out and there was a letter from her. Must have been ESP. Here's a lady in her late 60's, a Sicilian, great sense of humor, who always tells me what music she's listening to while writing. Usually things like Metallica. AC DC. KISS. And me, well, I'm sitting at my desk listening to George Gershwin, Eartha Kitt and Ella Fitgerald. I'm 45. We're certainly an odd couple.
I've never liked the music I was supposed to. I grew up in the 70's. Talk about a freakin' boring decade for music...especially if you weren't enthralled with disco. My boyfriend in high school was really into Elton John, so I knew his music. And I knew a little of Billy Joel's stuff. But other than that I was plunking out Broadway show tunes with my gay boy pals in the band room.
I played the piano for all the choral groups in high school, and we sang a lot of the bland 70's ballads. "Come Saturday Morning", "On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever". God, they're so bland, I can't even remember them at the moment.
I am embarrassed to admit, I did like the song, "Feelings" at the time. I'd always turn it up on the radio in the car and emote right along with Debbie Boone. I vaguely remember an episode of the Gong Show where everyone on the show sang "Feelings" with varying degrees of success. It was actually pretty funny...and painful. Like so many Gong Show episodes. That was actually the first reality show as far as I was concerned. I could tell Chuck Barris was a whack job as the show progressed and was later confirmed by the George Clooney movie, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". (I loved that movie! It definitely never got the attention it deserved.) I used to come home from college in the afternoon just so I could watch the Gong Show. How sad was that?
I guess I've always been attracted to any kind of lampooning of show business or backstage stories. Some of my favorite movies have included: "Cabaret" (a somewhat dark backstage story with Liza Minnelli before she became a punchline), "All that Jazz" (which had jerky stage director Joe Gideon, directing his own musical death sequences), "The Producers" (two schlubs raise money to purposely produce a flop and inadvertently produce a hit), "The Night They Raided Minsky's" (can barely remember it, since it was from my childhood, but it was about a strip club and all its colorful occupants. Why I was watching a movie about a stripclub as a kid I don't know), "Gypsy" (another movie about a stripper, are we starting to see a pattern here? Oh, that one had a dominating mother in it too. Maybe that was the attraction.), "Sweet Charity" (oh, here's a change, a movie about a hooker, but also a show business story). Even one of my favorite films, "Some Like it Hot" was about two cross dressing, jazz musicians in the twenties.
Show business is fun to watch and I always wanted to be in it. I tried writing movie and television scripts in the 1980s (had slight interest in one "Moonlighting" script, but it didn't sell, although soon after submitting an idea for a "Casablanca" take-off, the idea mysteriously showed up on the show. Hmm.). I also had musical talent. I attempted theatre in high school and attempted one musical in my twenties, but I was too shy to make it a career. I preferred the solitude of writing. I always did like the people in theatre. They were always colorful and needy. My kind of people. I was a good fit too, because I was good at idolizing people. And they were good at needing people. Just like in the movies.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty