I’ve been getting yelled at via Twitter (twelled at? Tweetled? Yellted?) to update on my Monday night NYC debut as part of Scott Alan’s Monday Nights, New Voices. And so, in the light of of the early evening sun here on the shore, I will tell all that I can recall. Here it goes.
First of all, it was held at The Duplex, a famous cabaret space on Christopher Street in the heart of the West Village. It’s right next to Stonewall Tavern, which is (I hope as you all know) where the gay rights movement began in 1969 with the riots. The cabaret took place the day after the annual Gay Pride Parade. Suffice to say, it was glorious. People were dancing, blaring music, waving rainbow flags.
Scott told us to get to the Duplex before 5 for a mic check. At 1:30 I had lunch with my mom at Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay’s restaurant (the shrimp tacos are kind of flawless), and we hung out and went shopping for a bit on 5th Avenue before going back to my apartment to get ready. I was a bit nervous about my mom seeing my apartment but when she commented “This isn’t bad for you!” I knew it was a sell. Considering I had dishes in the sink and laundry to do, I could’ve done a hell of a lot worse. My room at home usually looks like Nagasaki, so I bet anything she was shocked that I had managed to not throw my own poo on the walls by this point.
We set out for Christopher Street around 4:30 but due to the West Village being as hard to navigate as a German U-boat (what the hell is with all of my WW2 references?? I’ll stop now), I ended up running like a crazy person down Christopher at 4:50 with my mom yelling to just go and she’d catch me later. It drifted across my mind that we were on the so-called ‘gay street’ and my mom, in having to catch up with me, would have to walk past a good block of gay sex shops. That alone made me die a little bit. But I digress.
I got to the theater and Scott wasn’t there yet, so I knew I was okay. We did our mic check and Scott had a few notes for me which made me feel important (my opinion is, if they don’t like you, they won’t correct you if they think you can be better). He also said he could detect the nervousness in my voice, and he was right. At this point, I was thisclose to just falling to my knees and screaming out “OHMYGOD” over and over again while banging myself in the head with the microphone. Sometimes I’m weird like that.
We went up into the green room to relax and drink some water before the show started, and I started getting excited. Not nervous. Just really, really excited. And then the call came.
Dad’s voice was energetic. “Where are you?!”
“I’m in the green room, we go on in like twenty minutes.”
“No way! That’s so cool!”
“Yeah, I know.”
“A little bit!”
“Good. If you’re not nervous, you won’t be good.”
Ding! An alarm bell went off in my head. Should I be more nervous? Like, the “so nervous I could shit” nervous? Or nervous like “I’m going to feed off this and make it work for me”? The trouble is, I could feel myself growing in the former category. No bowel movements, thankfully.
Then I heard Dad go quiet. When he spoke again, his voice was direct and calm. “I want you to listen to me. Okay? Just listen to what I’m about to tell you. You are exactly where you need to be, doing what you need to be doing, in the city that you’re supposed to be in. This is what you’ve wanted since you were eight years old. And two things could happen tonight. Either you shit the bed, and you get up tomorrow morning and you still have a mother and father who love you and friends who love you. Or, you could blow them away and put everything into this that you’ve felt since you were eight years old. Either way, the outcome will be the exact same. We’re still going to love you exactly the same whether you’re good or bad tonight.”
And that really does say it all, doesn’t it? I could feel myself getting a bit teary, and I pushed it down deep in the recesses of my brain. But I kept his words in mind. Scott came back with good luck shots of Southern Comfort for all of us, and being a little bit dumb, I did it (I’m of legal age, don’t come after me!).
When it was my turn to sing, I got up on stage, and instantly I couldn’t feel my legs. Literally. My legs went numb. I could feel myself almost sway as I sang, and I stopped myself by grabbing the mic stand in front of me. Then I remembered Scott’s note telling me to not do that, so I immediately stopped. And then the rest of the song came to me and I performed it well. Not as well as I had when I sang it by myself, but I gave it as much as I could. And I acted the crap out of it.
By the time my second song rolled around, I was much calmer. I performed it well, and concluded my NYC premiere with few torturous moments. After the show we were invited to get drinks, but since my mom and a friend were there I skipped that and went to get sushi and frozen yogurt. It was a great night, and I’m so happy and thrilled. I’m even in talks to get my own show there. Stay tuned…