Le Miz – My Life With a Perm | From The Vault #567
It will be slow going on the spirit of molasses as Scoots calls a bank and tries to hop on the phone with Morpheus. As you slip into slumber, fur follicles will be discussed and that will lead to “Old Broadway”. We will step behind the curtain of “Le Miz” as curly locks guide the way. This episode is a blast from the 400+ episode ago past. That lines up with the fundraising we are doing over at https://www.sleepwithmepodcast.com/waterwheel
Black Lives Matter. I cannot create a safe place for everyone without stopping to pause and look at what changes I need to make to support that fact. When I say “you deserve a good night’s sleep” it means black lives matter. I have a lot more work to do to back up my words with my body, mind, heart, and spirit. I support The Loveland Foundation- https://thelovelandfoundation.org/
I am trying to gather more resources here- https://linktr.ee/dearestscooter
Here is a list of Anti-racism resources- http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES Here is one place you can find support during this or any crisis. If you have more please share them! https://www.crisistextline.org/
Ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls and friends beyond the binary. It's time for the podcast that believes in human rights and that black lives matter, and the podcast that is striving to improve and to make people feel seen and welcome. It's time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. This is a repeat episode from a little while back. You'll be hearing more about that at the top of the show, but yeah, let's keep it going.
It's time for the Sleepy Supporter Zone, the one part of the podcast I need you to hear because it's where I thank the listeners that who supported the sponsors. That's first part of the Sleepy Supporters Zone. I wanted to thank Apepplemen who put in oil for some sun soil CBD and Danny who got a UV clean from Homedics. Thanks everybody for supporting the sponsors. If you support a sponsor tag them, tag me in a social media post, just so they know their partnership with the show is valuable. And I can try to thank you on the Sleepy Supporter Zone like Danny and Apepplemen. The second part of the Sleepy Supporter Zone is you getting the support you need, whether it's for your own self care and mental health or it to support the Black members of your community and our community here around the podcast, I'll have links to things you can support in the show notes.
And the third part of the Sleepy Supporters Zone is something I support. And I started this Waterwheel Foundation fundraiser originally just to support Waterwheel Foundation, but I've expanded it. If you go to sleepymepodcast.com/waterwheel, you'll find a link to a bunch of other organizations you could support in addition to Waterwheel Foundation. If you support any of them, let me know about it. Tag them, tag me in a social media post so that you build more awareness around their organization. And let's get this going and raise some money. And you can find all those things in the show notes of the podcast in your podcast app. And that is the end of the Sleepy Supporter Zone. Oh, Mystery Bard, a lot of people help out on this show, who are they? (singing)
Thanks Mystery Bard. I met dear Scooter on Twitter and Instagram. That's where you could find me. And what do you say we get on with the show?
Hey, everybody, it's a Scooter here. And I just wanted to let you know that this is a old episode, about three or four years old, maybe. And it's a silly one that I've always had a special place in my heart. It also kind of lines up with the fundraiser we're doing. So this episode was recorded a while ago. Let's get out the show.
Hey, you're up all night, tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble, getting to sleep trouble, staying asleep? Well welcome, this is Sleep With Me the podcast that's here to put you to sleep. We do as a bedtime story, alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights and press play. I'm going to do the rest. And what I'm going to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever it is that's keeping you awake. Whether it's a thinking or feeling or sensing or a noise, whatever it is, a safe place is a place where you can either lay that stuff down before you a NRN or ideally I'll distract you from that.
And what I'm going to do is I'm going to send my voice across the deep dark night. I'm going to try to use the lulling, soothing tones, pointless meanders, you go slow going. I don't know if I've ever used that before, but tonight I may use that slow going. It will be slow going here at Sleep With Me. Essence of molasses I've never used that, but tonight I might use essence of molasses. The spirit of molasses I think that was a ship that ship didn't sink, it just took forever da doom a little molasses joke. There took forever to get there.
But what I'm going to use, all those techniques for is to take your mind off of stuff like distract you. So that either I can escort you across the threshold from wake to sleep, or I can distract you as you float across, ideally waking well into the waiting arms of Morpheus or just a pill, which I think Morpheus is covered in pillows in this particular Morpheus. Not the other famous Morpheus, because is this Morpheus, the pillow God, the God of pillows. It's a it's gender neutral Morpheus, just so everybody knows, but also hypoallergenic.
This is what I said, “Can you send me some talking points for Morpheus?” Because I said, “Can you have your people get in touch with my people?” And they said, “This is a bank.” And I said, “Right.” I said, I need to get ahold.” I said, “I thought this was”, and they said, “No, this is Michigan.” I said, “Oh, I'm trying to reach Morpheus, snap, Michigan.” And I said, “Whoopsie.” I said, “Do you have a number for Morpheus?” And they said, “From the movie?” I said, “no, no, no.” I said, “Movie? No, no, I'm trying to reach the God of sleep. I think it's the God of sleep. Actually, I didn't do my research clearly. Because I'm calling you.” I said, “Is your bank sleep friendly?” And they said, “Actually, no one comes to the bank, barely, so it's pretty dull here.”
And I said, “Man, could I speak to your manager? Could I do an on location episode there?” And they said, “No, no, no.” They said, “Mo, no, you're not allowed here.” And I said, “Well, okay. Anyway, back to my problems, kids, you do have a number for Morpheus and not Morphis from the movies, the real Morpheus, the God of pillows, the God of snuggling in. It could be with another person. But you know, when you get your face in there, you buried in and you go, with your cheek, stuff that cats do. That's a Morpheus is the God of. Well, Morpheus is not the God and goddess. I wish there was a word that covered God and goddess, doesn't that bother you?
Oh, you've got to get back. You have a customer. I thought you said it wasn't busy? Don't most people just take pictures of their checks? Well, anyway, dude, believe it or not? I'm sorry to call your bank. Believe it or not I'm recording the opening of a podcast. So I've got customers too, a lot of them. And they're wondering what I'm talking about. Could you put me on the phone with your customer first? I think that would be pretty good material. Well hello ma'am. Yes. I'm here. Did you get to toaster when you opened your account at the bank? You did. That's good. I was wondering, are you familiar with Morpheus? What am I saying? Morpheus. Morpheus. Are you familiar with Morpheus? Yes, the God asleep.
Oh, you a big fan of Bulfinch, because one day I play name reading Bulfinch. You are? You used to teach them theology, excellent. I guess I've reached the right person. Do you have a contact number for Morpheus? Believe it or not, I don't have a way to get in touch with Morpheus. That's what I do. Ma'am, you're going to laugh yourself to sleep tonight. But my job is to escort people into the arms of Morpheus and I don't even have a way to reach Morpheus. Isn't that wild? Wait, I'm sorry, what? If Morpheus wants to talk to me, they will get ahold of me. Well, I'm glad you used a proper pronoun. At least ma'am clearly you're familiar with Morpheus as I am.
Oh, you have a PhD in Bulfinch. Well, that's no bull, man, if you don't mind me saying so. Oh boy, if you do hear from Morpheus, if you could just say”, “Morpheus, Hey, reach out to Scoo.” “No smoting either. Please say I prefer not to be smoted, especially by a Pillow God. Could we do like a pillow being? They don't want to be smoted because I would rather always have positive memories of pillows. And not be in some afterlife where I'm like, “Oh, he's the one covered in pillows. That Scooter cross Morpheus.” Okay, thanks man. I'll let you get back. Are you making a deposit or withdrawal? It's none of my business. Of course it's not. Thank you. Ma'am thanks. No, you don't have to put me in with the teller because actually, I'm in the middle of the podcast intro. It's the craziest thing, I know. Actually, could you just ask the teller? I'm having a problem with my toaster oven and I don't want another. Okay. No? Bye.”
Sorry folks. I'm back if you're new to the podcast, oh boy, that is what happens here. Here's a little proposal, were are you thinking about all the stuff that normally keeps you awake while I had that little bank transaction? Well, that's good. Wait. Oh, is this, I'm still on the phone with the bank teller? Did I put you to sleep? Oh boy. Okay. Well I thought I had broken away from your call. The call is coming from within my brain? Oh boy. Okay. I better get back to my audience then. Excuse me.
Sorry about that that was my brain, nothing to worry about. So if you're new here, my podcast is a little bit a different, a little bit goofy, but made to take your mind off stuff, So that you can fall asleep. So clearly you don't need to take me seriously. You're under no pressure to fall asleep, but if you do, you can stop listening, whenever you feel like it. I'll be here the whole time. Tonight I'll be here really like over an hour, so if you're having trouble sleeping or you just can't sleep and you want a companion in the deep dark night, that's what I'm here for it to tell you a bedtime story. So as you've seen, I'm going to use to get distracted, I'm going to indulge in those distractions.
Talking to bank tellers, that's a great way to put people to sleep, talking to bank customers. I'll be curious about the misfires of my brain, but with the whole purpose, whatever you may be into polytheism when it comes to your Pillow God and goddesses, or you may just have one, whatever it is, I love to help you fall asleep. Because I've been there. And I know what it's like not to be able to fall asleep. So that's it, clearly there's not much to cover here. You don't need to take me seriously and I'm glad you're here. I realize it might've taken some skepticism to overcome and to say, “Well, let me check this podcast out. Let me give this a shot.” And I appreciate that. And I hope I can earn your trust. This podcast doesn't work for everybody, I hope it works for you because I'm glad you're here. And I really hope, and it really yearn to help you fall asleep. So thank you so much for stopping by.
Hey, everybody. It's Trending Tuesday here and I don't think we could officially call this Broadway Weekend Sleep With Me Podcast, but I guess I've got Broadway on the mind or I'm in a New York, specifically Broadway, nostalgia state of mind. And there's probably going to be another episode related to this, but the main reason or where it started was I started thinking a lot about the song Nothing from A Chorus Line due to an interaction on Twitter where with Maggie, and we were talking about feelings, and that song gives me the chills in a good way. And then I was thinking about dissecting that episode so then I was like, “Okay.” And then I listened to Nothing, the 2006 edition, Natalie Cortez, about 9000 times maybe. And you say, “Well, it's not possible.” I'd say, “Well, I'd say… called super person.” I said, “Stop spinning the Earth, man. I got some listening to do.”
So I was in a Broadway state of mind and when you do that … Then I started thinking of other Broadway stuff and then when you're an over thinker and an over daydreamer, you start to daydream and then you start to think about regrets. And when I go down that road, it becomes what this episode be, my life with a perm episode, so this is going to take also multiple layers of setting up. If you're new, we don't do these my life with a perm episodes very much. So I'll set that up, then I'll set up my relationship with the Broadway.
But, so my life with a perm, I'll try to do as quick as I can. But I don't have human hair on my head. And I can hear people's knee jerking or their partner's, “Wait, did he just say he doesn't have hair on his head, so he's bald?” No, no, I have hair. I mean, I have hair. I don't have human hair on my head. I have something which, the easiest way to refer to it is, I have fur. Something much more similar to animal fur than human hair on my head. Yes, and I was born that way. And once you start to notice fur, and you go out in the world, you'll see other people out there on the hair margins of society. I've never seen Eddie Snowden up close but I believe he also has fur. John Ronson, I think he has hair but he has fur like hair. There's a couple other people that recently I talked about that I said, “They might have fur.” But what that means, is they say, “Okay, but you're blowing my mind.” And I say, “Well, just try having your mind encased in fur instead of hair.” It doesn't do well for …
It doesn't damage your self esteem, it just shortens it. They say, “Okay, most people's self-esteem's in a zero to one-hundred but you have fur, so you're going to be graded on a curve. What it means when I say fur, well that's what my dad told me, he said, “You have fur.” But it's extremely straight, no natural part at all. My hair just grows out in all directions from it's follicle. Extremely thin, very, very thin. And you'd say, “Is it thinning?” And I'd say, “I don't know.” Because I say I've always had this. Possibly, but I'm not sure. You'd say, “It's fine.” My hair has no body. It's bodiless. And it can't be styled. I found one particular hair product that will somewhat control my hair, but I've given up on style within the quotes for my hair. It's just not a thing that's going to happen, so it's best to just keep a buzz going. Probably why I kept a buzz going for whatever 26 years. Just get my hair buzzed, but also I hate hair cuts. Who could be surprised about that? It involves people touching me. I don't like that. And it always ended in disaster.
But I had this one fateful meeting, and I think about how the universe can bend, or there's alternate realities, and I know there's one alternate reality that started long ago when I was just in middle school. What I believe was someone at the time that was incredibly confused, they're brilliant, and I'll say their name because I guess they're kind of a public figure. [Frank Zizza 00:04:53], a barber in Syracuse, New York that me and my friends went. Frank, at the time, I don't know if his hair was naturally curly or he had a perm. I saw a recent picture of him and I think he had a perm at the time. But he used to cut my hair and he felt bad for me because it wasn't … His job was just to cut it. He was a barber, not a styler. But even then he knew that once hair started growing on other parts of my body, I was going to be in for it, because they say with hair like this on your head, it's going to cut down on your chances of finding a mate. Let's just put it that easy.
Frank said to me one time, he said, “Why don't you grow your hair out and we'll give you a perm? And then it won't be …” He said, “I just can't believe how straight this is. Give you a nice little curl.” I mean, he said it like, “Like a nice little curl,” or something like that. But I said, “No, no, no, no, no. I have enough problems, and the last thing I need is a perm. I know it will be super tight, it will probably turn green because my friends will throw me in a pool.” I said no. That was the call of adventure. And I said, “No, that's not the adventure I'm looking for. I'd rather just lie low. I'll just have to deal with this.” Plus, I mean the whole idea is totally ridiculous. You're going to give me a freaking perm? Nowadays you do that, you get on the news. You become a thing.
But Frank was just trying to help me in his own way, because he had a perm. I'm sure he was just like flying high. He had the barber shop at the mall. He could go get the best pizza in Syracuse was at this mall. I think at the time it was Fairmont Fall Mall. Maybe Camillus Mall. It doesn't really matter. Because that's where Pavone's Pizza was, the only place you could get New York style pizza by the slice in Syracuse that I was aware of. He knew. Let's see, was this the 80s or the 90s? On the cusp, i think. So where better to work than a mall? It was like being in a John Hughes movie, except he was too old. It would have been creepy. But he could have been an extra. I always think about just what would have happened, how would my life be different if I said, “Yes. Let's get a perm.”
And at some point in some other universe little Andy did get a perm, and his life was much different than mine. Every once in a while in one of these episodes, I like to revisit what Andy's life is like, the Andy with a perm. Hence, “My life with a perm.” So that's set up number one. Now set up number two is, I went to University School College in New York City, in The Bronx. The boogeydown. Borough of the city so nice, they named it twice. New York, New York, one hell of a town. And it was. It's a place I loved. Once a year, my parents would come visit me. I believe it was in January every year, we would go to a Broadway show. And even then, I was a bit like I am now. I tended to stay to The Bronx, and I didn't get into Manhattan as much as I should have to enjoy … I did get to go to some student shows, where you'd get really cheap tickets to Broadway shows. But I guess, like you say, Andy with a perm probably went to a Broadway show every week.
The Blue Man group, this was when they were off Broadway, was when I was living in New York. The Wetlands, The Hee Bee Geebies, all these places, this was the heyday. And meanwhile I was just pulling tubes in my room, lying low. But that's not the important part. The important part is, so every year we would go to a Broadway show. One year, and I think this is, again, at the height of the fame of Les Misérables, we went to see Le Miz. I don't think Le Miz was as big as Hamilton. I guess the only thing that was even close to as big as Hamilton was The Book Of Mormon, maybe. I don't know, I'm not a Broadway expert. But it was pretty big, Le Miz, and Jean Valjean, and the prisoner 123489, and the rest of the characters, Susan, the Prime Minister Pete Nice, I think he was in it. I don't know if Horatio Hornblower … But there was Cosette, I can't say, I haven't listened to it in a while. But it's a beautiful, beautiful musical.
And we just happened, not only did we get to go to Les Miz, but one of my dad's friends, and I barely ever had any celebrity interactions in my whole life, so this was a big time one was one of my dad's friends was dating the inkeeper's wife. And she was the show stealer. Her number was the one everybody … When you left the show, she wasn't the star, she stole the show in the best way possible. When you go to a Broadway show, you say, “Well, she really stole the show.” It was awesome. And then the inkeeper's wife came … and I hope that's what it was, the inkeeper's wife. My dad's friend happened to be dating her. Literally she was … People fell out of her seats. Her performance was that good. He was not with us, but he had arranged that we would meet her after the show and get a tour behind the scenes of Les Miz. I mean, can you imagine going to meet Lin back in Hamilton? I've not seen Hamilton, but one day I will, like 27, 28. Anyway, it's not important, because I don't live in New York and Lin's gone, so … I'm sure I'd love to see it anybody.
But let's see, we were going to get to go back stage. That was my point. Another cockamamie theory I have … Now this is just a theory based on … So I was like 20 years old, maybe 19 years old when I saw Les Miz. But I'm pretty sure, and this is 100% circumstantial, so not sure at all, that the inkeeper's wife at the time, she was the woman that wrote the music for Frozen. But that's not based on zero facts about that, that's just a guess. I don't even know … I think I tried to check on the internet one time, and I couldn't confirm. I used the internet, but I couldn't confirm or deny it. So, if that is the case, I'm extremely proud of this actress, and you could see it then that she was just brilliant.
We went outside the stage door just like adoring fans do … I don't know if there was anybody else waiting to meet, but it was like, “Who are you?” “We're meeting the inkeeper's wife.” People were … They said, “You got to be kidding me.” She brought us backstage, and we got a tour of the backstage. And if you've been backstage at Broadway … I guess the movie Birdman kind of shows what it's like a little bit. It's not glamorous, but it's so cool. Actually, Game of Thrones did a pretty accurate job of just being like, “It's a workplace. Behind the stage, it's a workplace. In New York, real estate is expensive, so most of the real estate is spent in the front of the house. Everything else, you got to be adaptable.” To talk about a gracious act, here's someone that in Broadway terms, she was the Belle of Broadway. And she took the time to show me and my parents', and I think maybe a couple of other people around.
Then she said to me, she took me aside, and she said, “Would you like to meet Cosette?” Or Colette. I don't know the actual … And I'd fallen in love with her I think, during the … Both the inkeeper's wife and Colette, maybe, I don't know. I'm trying to remember if the actress was an adult … I can't picture the ages. Okay, so I just looked it up. So, it's Cosette, not Colette or whatever. I think I was in love with a Colette once in ym life too. Pretty sure … I would like to know when that was. Maybe twice. I think there was like a twenty something version of Cosette, that was who she was like, “Do you want to meet Cosette? You're the same age and …” She said, she was like … I don't think she was trying to fix me up, because I didn't … But I always think, what if I had become friends with Cosette or the actress playing Cosette, this woman. But I was very quiet and shutdown and nervous.
So, I guess I thought if we just take a moment here, and it's not to invoke the spirit of Carol King now that she has a Broadway musical based on her life, to help me with music. So, I check and communicate with Carol King across … We trained verses, we're stand outside probably the New Amsterdam theater … I don't know if that's actually where it was playing, but let's just say, because that sounds like a nice theater. And we feel the music that Carol King has brought casting across the different realities of the universe. It's a Piano Sonata 13 from Mozart, and it's playing. It's coming out of the stage door. And as it opens up, we see the actress who's played the inkeeper's wife there. My dad grins, and he says, “I think we're here for my friend.” I think his name … I don't know. And she says, “Oh, well, come on in.” And then she meets my mom, and my dad's grinning from ear to ear, excited, ready to … He's cracking jokes. And my mom is grinning, a little bit like me, both out of anticipation and awkwardness.
And then I stand just on the edge of the shadows, half bathed in the lights of the Marquis, and half in the darkness of the backstage of Broadway. And then she says, “Who is this?” And I step into the light, curly locks flowing off my head, as this was my life with the perm. And I say, “Mozart, that sounds great. I'm Andrew. Nice to meet you. Your performance was beyond mesmerizing. It was enthralling. And I know this must happen to you all the time since my dad's friend is dating you. I fell in love with you at the time, and I still can feel your performance within me.” And she says, “Well, thank you, thank you.” And I said, “I'm sure that hours and hours and hours of crew time you spent … I hope you get to enjoy it.” She says, “Well, I'm exhausted, but thank you so much, and thank you so much for coming.” And I said, “You are so gracious. We really appreciate you giving us this time.”
And she says, “Why don't we go on the stage?” And I said, “Well, I used to tap dance. Would I be able to tap dance on the Les Miz stage?” And then she says, “Well, only if you can shuffle ball step and shuffle off the buffalo.” I said, “I can heal toe, heal toe as well.” And so we have a chuckle, a laugh, if you will. This is the late 80s, early 90s. Oh, no, no, it's the mid 90s actually. I guess just maybe I am mixed up with time. And Tommy is on Broadway. And I say, “I feel like I can hear, see me, hear me, feel me leaking through the walls.” And she says, “You can, actually. That is from Tommy.” And I say, “You know, this is going to sound like lunacy because I just saw Lunacy, and it was great, but not the same as this, your show. Your show is lifesaving. I don't sing, and I barely dance …” And we're doing a shuffle ball step discussion, and she's watching me, and then adjusting me. And I say, “Is master of the house in?” And she has a laugh.
I said, “When I watched Tommy, I was imagining that Mike Myers was Tommy.” And she laughed hysterically, because she said too, “Holy cow, I just saw it.” And she goes, “I'm friends with that actor, but in that wig, he does look like Mike Meyers in that wig.” And I said, “Well, thank goodness I'm not the only one. But during this performance of Les Miz, my attention was so overwhelmed. I was there.” And she says, “Well, thanks.” She goes, “You're a regular …” And then I did a heal toe to do, like where I put my hand out. And then I did the one where I cross my knees and put my elbow on my knee, and then my fist on my chin, my hand on my hip. And she laughed at that.
And I said, “Thank you so much.” And she said, “Well, let's go on the rest of the tour.” And I said to you, “I'd love to see the barrier.” They said, “How do you do that?” And she said, “That's the magic of Broadway, son.” And I said, “Well, thank you for protecting me from …” And she said, “You seem a little nervous though.” She goes, “Do you mind me asking about your hair?” She goes, “There's just something about it.” She goes, “Your hair, can I …” And she said … And my parents were kind of talking, and they were analyzing one of the tables. And my dad wanted to lift it up to see if it was made from Balsa wood. And she said, “Go ahead and lift that table up, sir.” She goes, “Feels like your hair is singing to me.” And I said, “You know, there's a curly haired woman named Carole King.”
And I said, “This is going to sound crazy, but she broadcasts through my hair.” She goes, “I believe …” And I said, “It comes across in music, but music that stirs your soul. And I like the music of the night, but not that different either.” And she goes, “Is that a perm?” And I said, “Listen to this, it's a perm in a perm.” And she goes … And I said, “This man Frank Zizza, he called me one time, and I made a choice. I went to his barber shop one full blue moon of the year after dark, of course. That's when the moon is blue. And I went into his shop, it was closed, but Frank was there. As soon as they closed the door, clouds covered the moon. Lightning started, and Frank was wearing the lab coat. And I said, ‘No, no, no.' Then I say, ‘Is that a barber coat or a lab coat?' He said, ‘Both.' And then I say, ‘You know, Frank, put on this.' He put on this Roy Orbison Candy Man, which to be honest, creeped me out for a minute. But I said, ‘I'm just here to get my hair permed.' And he said, ‘Permanently permed.' And he goes, ‘I've been waiting to meet you.'”
And I said, “Sorry, I know you're trying to give us a tour of this Broadway show. I'll be through with this backstory as quick as I can, but you asked about my hair, and I wanted to …” And she goes, ‘I'm enthralled.' “So, he put on Candy Man by Roy Orbison, and I said, ‘I want to see where …', and he said, ‘Don't worry.' He says, ‘I'm here to help you. This permanent perm is going to change everything.' And I said, ‘Well, why?' And he said, ‘In another universe, you're gathering circumstantial evidence that a woman who appeared in the musical Les Miz is going to be the same person who writes the transcendent music of the Anna and Elsa thing, Frozen.' And I said, ‘I don't know what you're talking …' I said, ‘Is that anything like the Little Mermaid?' He said, ‘Like that, but better.' He goes, ‘One day, you'll know what Idina Menzel means.' And at the time, I didn't know what it meant. Still don't,” just because it's only 1998 or ninety something.
“But then he put me in a chair, and science in mysticism and barbery, and the stupid smelly stuff that makes your hair … Hair curlers. They all came together. I can't talk much more about that night, but it wasn't just my hair that got curled. My toes were curled, but not in a toe curling way. It also curled the DNA within my follicles, so my hair is … Sperm is permanent, so it is my hair. And I can do this thing, I call it curl bounce. See that? When I raise it.” And she said, “It's hypnotic.” I said, “I just want to let you know that I believe in you. So whatever your dream is, in those moments, don't give up on it. Whether it's here on Broadway, or somewhere else, or you have some dream that has nothing to do with this. Keep at it. Come at it from different angles, change it around.”
Then she said, “Are you nervous about meeting Cosette, the actress who plays Cosette, or something else?” I said, “I'm going to meet the actress who plays Cosette?” There was a silence in the room. And I said, “I thought I was just here to encourage you to follow your dreams.” And I said, “Yeah, I do have a crush on Cosette from the musical, but usually I don't meet the …” I said, “This could be breaking the rules.” And she said, “I'm sorry, I couldn't …” She goes, “I was just watching your curls.” She goes, “It's like watching something under the sea, like sea grass or kelp or something waving.” She goes, “Do you want to meet Cosette or not?” And I said, “Well, I guess I'm here.” I said, “Is everything okay with the actress that plays Cosette?” And she goes, “I think you're here, like a bridge over troubled waters.”
And I said, “Is there trouble here in the backstage …” Then I noticed my parents had left with the … I said, “I think my parents left with that table.” And she said, “They have.” She goes, “They did.” She goes, “Actually, we were selling some props and they bought that and left you here.” And I said, “Left backstage at Les Miz. And there's trouble you say?” Because I said, “These curls carry the power of Carole King.” I said, “I guess I'm on a dual mission.” I said, “Do you believe in yourself?” And she said, “I do.” And I said, “Well, in the moments when doubt creeps in, remember that you said you believe in yourself. I believe in you as a witness to your performance, a witness to your talents. A witness to your hard work paying off on the stage. Your ability to take the term ‘stealing the show', and throw it in the garbage, because they should have never called it as stealing the show, because the only person that would say you stole the show was a fool. You made the show better. You made the show wonderful.” And she blushed.
She kissed me on the cheek, and she said, “I think it's time for you to get a tour of …” I said, “I don't know.” I said, “What's the trouble backstage here at Le Miz?” And she said, “Are you familiar with the song, ‘Ohio' by Neil Young?” And I said, “I am.” I said, “Is it [inaudible 00:27:44]?” Then I said, “I like the [inaudible 00:27:48] version, and I know Carole King does. So, I know we're on the right level here. What does this have to do with Les Miz and Cosette?” And she said, “Sometimes, success doesn't bring the things we think it does.” And I said, “Like [inaudible 00:28:06]?” I said, “Because I can hear you on that one.” And she said, “Some people are looking for different things than what you're searching for.” I said, “Before I head onto this Cosette related mission,” I said, “I got a few questions …” I said, “You're going to believe in yourself.” And I said, “If you're the person craft in the next 10, 20 years from now, if you'll steal the show …” I said, “We need you. The world needs music.” She said, “I'll move forward one step at a time. One night at a time here on Broadway. Sometimes two,” she goes, “If I do back to backs.”
I said, “Well, okay.” I said, “Can you do a curl bump for me?” And she bumped my curls with her elbow. She giggled, and she said, “I hope we cross paths again.” I said, “So, I should just wander from the backstage changing rooms of Les Miz?” She goes, “Maybe you're right.” She goes, “Because it's a bit Labyrinth-y back there.” I said, “Ohio.” She said, “You have to figure out why you're here.” I said, “Okay.” I said, “Cosette, her ambitions are bigger than Broadway, aren't they? Somehow,” I said, “There's something going on here, because I can't even remember anything about Les Miz other than Jean Valjean, and the dude trying to go get him.” And I said, “Is Cosette in love with the general or something like that? Or he was in love with her? One day in the future, they'll make a movie about this that I haven't seen.”
And she said, “You're nervous.” And I said, “I'm trying to say yes. These curls help …” I said, “I think the whole thing about this, not only is this permanent perm permanent, and imbued with this spirit of Carole King, and whatever powers are at the hands of Frank Zizza, the barber, but I could also use it for self soothing. I think that's the main benefit it has for me. Because I can do curl bump. See how I hold the top of my hand and I just rub it on my curls every once in a while? That's another self soothe. Then I do curl pats, which I guess it's so effective I don't do it obsessively. So I just do a couple of curl pats at the top of my head, and pet my own curls.” And then she said, “Are you still soothed enough to meet Cosette?” And I said, “Maybe we shouldn't meet. Maybe we should cross paths.” She said, “You're rising your curls.” I said, “Carole King. We'll probably count that one towards Carole King, or Frank, or Pavone's Pizza.”
As we headed back stage, I heard the sounds of Bob Marley. There's this love playing, and I didn't know if it was playing within my curls, or across the room. Then I saw the presence that I seen on stage earlier. That it captured my attention. It stirred my guts and stuff below my guts, and my hearts, and my mind. It took me on an emotional journey, and now … I said, “Well, boy. Is this love that I'm feeling?” But then I decided to pause and really listen to Carole King. “These songs …” I said, “She's playing the classics right now. Share the shelter of my single bed.” Then I blushed. Then I looked back and the inkeeper's wife was gone. “I never caught her name.” Then the actress that played Cosette said, “I'm sorry, what?” I said, “I never caught her name.” She said, “Who?” She said, “Are you the one …” Then I stepped into the light and she gasped, and she giggled. And she said, “You're a bit like Curly Warhol.”
I said, “Do you mind if I take [inaudible 00:33:04]?” I said, “I'm taking a seat here.” I said, “I'm not a billionaire, so I don't have an eccentric haircut, but it's idiosyncratic, my hair.” I said, “But I'm here … You wouldn't believe this, but I think I'm here to help you.” And she said, “How so?” I said, “I'm not sure.” She said, “Who sent you?” I said, “Well, it gets confusing, to be honest. I think, a barber, of all people, sent me to help.” I said, “I'm just here to help. I watched the performance tonight and my mind was blown. And I don't want to make you uncomfortable, and I'm sure this happens to you a lot, it's probably not even fair … But I was transported through all these emotions, so I may be projecting it on to you, like some sort of romantic projection? I don't know what they'd call it.” She said to me, “They called it star struck.” And I said, “Well, that's the right word.”
She said, “Do you want to get a drink?” And I said, “Sure.” Because this was a different life, I said, “Okay. I'll join you.” Then we went down to The Playwright, which was this place I had been before. We went into The Playwright, and there were calls to her, and there were some hoots. I guess word had got … The reverse Warhol call to me. I did curl, because I was a different person, I was able to … When you have a permanent perm, and the power that that brings, the curls diffuse any self consciousness. Even if people were laughing at me, I was curl bumping. I said, “Was this the power of people like Andy Warhol?” But I was just having fun. And she said, “Let's take a booth over here, Mr. Star Struck.” I said, “It must be hard for you dealing with star struck people all of the time.” She said, “It has it's charms.” She lit a cigarette, just like you'd expect someone in this situation to light a cigarette would, except for one pause. One momentary lapse in confidence. It let me know I was still on a mission, it broke the striking of the stars in my eyes. It let me know to do a curl twirl, another form of both focus, refocusing, and self soothing.
I said, “I'm here to help you. I don't know if my star strikes are going to do that.” She said, “Are you familiar with the song, ‘They Can't Take That Away From Me'?” And I said, “The great Broadway song, ‘They Can't Take That Away From Me'?” And I said, “I guess I am familiar with that much of it, that part.” And she said, “Ever since I met you, it's been stuck in my head.” I said, “Is it the way I wear my hair, or the way I sip my tea?” I took a sip of the tea that I had ordered. I said, “I think you might be curl struck.” She said, “I might be.” She took a long pull of her cigarette with the fuzzy, fuzzy noise that goes with it. She looked away and let it in …” Because this was back the day, when you could still smoke inside, which was not that overrated to be sure.
I said, “Okay, so I have been sent to help you …” And she said, “You've been sent to help me?” And I said, “Well, in a generalized sense.” I said, “Well, I think I'm here to help you. I don't know who else I would help. Is that easier to help someone that you're projecting feelings on to, like I am with you?” Then I paused like that, because then I got a little … I said, “Wow, holy cow.” She said, “They forget I'm not Cosette.” I said, “I don't think it's that. I think it's the power of music.” I said, “I don't know.” Then I suddenly … My face must have changed, because she said, “What's wrong?” And I said, “I don't know. I'm getting some sort of interference.” And she said, “What kind?” I said, “The kind that Carole King sends through my curls.” Then I said, “We need to get out of here.” Then she said, “Why?” I said, “Well, for some reason the Doobie Brothers song China Grove was stuck in my head. I don't even know what that means. But I find I work best in these Carol King related situations when we're moving.”
And she said, “Can I hold your hand?” As we walked out of The Playwright, and we turned onto Broadway, she took ahold of my hand and took ahold of my heart, but in a way that was fair to neither one of us. Because she was holding the hand of a man with curls, and I was holding the hand of someone that had transformed into Cosette and carried me away. She said, “You look hot.” I said, “It feels like I might as well be walking on the sun.” Carole King kind of told me to say it. I said, “Okay, is this like a Cyrano de Bergerac situation?” Then I said, “Maybe it is,” because she had laughed. She said, “I feel like that too.” I said, “Are you familiar with, I think the movie was Roxanne, when it was Steve Martin vehicle,” and I said, “I think I'm supposed to help you. Are you heartbroken?”
She said, “Kind of, but not in a way that you think. Not romantically heartbroken.” I said, “Maybe I could be your non-romantic Cyrano de Bergerac.” I said, “I'm more familiar with Roxanne and Steve Martin, but I could be your non-romantic …” I said, “This is even weirder. Because if I'm in love with Cosette, but you're really just an actress, you're not Cosette.” I said, “It's a lot of layers.” And she said, “No wonder.”
I said, “Well, tell me more.” She said, “It's my sister, Guinevere.” I said, “Okay.” She said, “I'll give you the long and short of it.” I said, “I never understood what that means. Why don't you just give me the short of it, and then I'll make it long by asking a ton of questions?” I knew this was Rick, because Guinevere [inaudible 00:40:42] was playing within my curls, at least on a molecular level. She said, “My sister Guinevere was the one who wanted to be on Broadway.” She goes, “I did too, but she had dreamed about it before I was even born.” I said, “She's your older sister, huh?” She said, “Yeah. And she was the one who taught me about musicals, and love of people like Carole King and Bette Midler.” And she said, “Cats,” and she went on and on. I said, “What about Forever Plaid? Does your sister like Forever Plaid?” And she just looked at me like she was trying to tell if I was joking, or serious.
I said, “I've seen that face before.” She said, “What do you mean?” I said, “It's like The Beatles song. I've seen the face of someone confused by what I said, but I've also seen the face …” I said, “This is the hard thing about these human relationships, huh? You feel like maybe your sister is jealous of you.” I said, “But do you really know?” She said, “Well, we don't get along.” I said, “Has she ever come to see you perform?” And she said, “Once, and she didn't wait around you.” I said, “Wow, that must be tough on both of you.” She said, “She always dreamed of being on Broadway.” I said, “What happened?” She said, “She couldn't. She didn't make it on to Broadway, not even in the chorus line.” I said, “What does she do now?” Carole King was one step ahead of me. She said, “Stay up late.” I said, “Oh, boy, stay up late like The Talking Heads song?” She said, “She works at an …”
We had been walking for a while as we'd been talking, still holding hands. Still confusing for one or two parts of me, because her hands weren't just clasped together. They were interlocked, finger against finger. Thumb against the soft, fleshy part of the thumb. I think, at least that's what my memory said, that soft, most vulnerable part of my hand. Her thumb was holding it. And I did a curl slide, which was like a little bit of I pulled my curl. Just like a little bit of snapping me out of it, a little pull on the old hair. She said, “She works at a diner right around here.” I said, “A New York City diner?” She said, “Well, she owns it too. But no one wants to work this shift, the night shift.” I said, “Yeah. This is when I'm normally at a diner …” I said, “Maybe, but any time between … You see, usually I like to hit about 4:45 if I'm at a New YorK City diner, depending on how …” But I said, “That was my other life in another universe without these curls.”
I said, “Let's go to this diner, and let's get to this bottom of this situation right now. This is why I must be here.” Then I said, “Unless these restless feelings I'm feeling are real.” But I said, “You must have to put up with it.” And she said, “Yeah, I do have to put up with it a lot.” I said, “We could get to know each other after all this.” She goes, “You're actually too eccentric for me.” Then there was the whole quick deflation. I noticed as we turned onto Amsterdam. Of course, I thought of the Elvis Costello song New Amsterdam. Then I said, okay Carole King, we have a new start. Don't get down. We were still holding hands, so I was still confused at the same time.
She said, “You wouldn't want to get to know me anyway. I'm the kind of sister that lets her sister down.” And then the red neon signs of diner lit her face up, because we were close. The silver paneling shown across the street. I said, “Let's go in there, and let's see how your sister is doing.” She said, “Well, one more thing you should know about my sister's diner.” She goes, “Every night, it's Christmas Eve in my sister's diner.” I said, “A themed diner?” She goes, “Well …” She goes, “That was when I got the roll of Christmas Eve.” And I said, “Then she bought the diner?” She goes, “Yeah. It's years later, and I never put it together, because I used to come to the diner.” Then she goes, “Could you please like the Mistletoe Disco Band?” And I said, “Carole King. The Mistletoe Disco Band?” And she said, “Yeah. She plays music by them.” I said, “I love it. Those were some of my favorite Christmas carols by the Mistletoe Disco Band.”
And then I could hear [inaudible 00:46:15] or whatever playing. She said, “Oh, it's countdown to Christmas in there.” Then I said, “Christmas Eve, you got cast. You got the role in Les Miz.” I said, “But that role doesn't come with road mapped stardom. It just comes with the burden of dealing with star struck buffoons. No one gave you all the answers. No one you gave that. I'm sure you worked hard. I'm hoping that you're getting your talent nurtured there.” Then she said, “Sometimes.” She said, “Some people will eat you for breakfast.” I said, “Well, it's time for breakfast, our breakfast meal at the diner.” And I said to you, “Don't worry. These curls allow me to slip into many different roles anyway.” So, I said, “Let's go in.”
The sweet disco sounds of The Mistletoe Disco Band were playing. I said, “Trail behind me.” Then I said, “Did somebody say it's Christmas Eve in here? Because it sounds like it's New Years Eve.” Then a woman, she didn't just step out from behind the counter. She slid down the counter on her elbow, and she said, “It's a countdown to Christmas.” She said, “It's a Christmas Eve countdown.” She goes, “Because it's almost midnight.” So, she goes, “It would be Christmas Day, but we just reset to Christmas Eve again.” And I said, “Sounds delicious!” I said, “A couple of cups of joe.” I said, “Have you ever thought about getting a Christmas disco ball in here? She said, “No.” I said, “Well, if you put it close enough to the Christmas lights, maybe …” Then she looked over my shoulder, and she saw her sister, and she went silent. But her lips didn't go down into a frown, they just went into a straight, flat line.
I said, “I'm so happy to be here. Your sister has been telling me all about this place.” She said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. Your sister knows how much I love Christmas, and The Mistletoe.” I said, “Do you just play the whole Mistletoe?” Then the track came to an end. It was midnight, past midnight. She said, “Yeah,” but she goes, “Now I'm going to put on …” And I said, “The James Brown Christmas album?” She said, “Maybe.” I said, “Well, Merry Christmas to you. Do you have any gingerbread pancakes?” And she said, “I do.” I said, “I'll take a quarter order of those.” I said, “A full order of Gingerbread pancakes is lunacy.” I said, “Have you ever thought about putting eggnog in the coffee?” She said, “Sure. One eggnog coffee.” Then she went back behind the …
Then I said, “What about you?” And I realized we were still holding hands. Her sister walked off, and the actor that played Cosette said, “The song remains …” And I said, “The song remains the same.” Cosette, she said, “Some Christmas song started. I don't know, because I had to get back to Carole King and the task at hand.” And I said, “This is one beautiful diner.” I said, “I'm star struck in here.” And she was working on my gingerbread pancakes, and her sister reluctantly sat down. She pulled an ashtray over, and she let go of my hand, because it would be hard to pull an ashtray, and light a cigarette. She lit a cigarette, and she had a look around the diner. She said, “Huh. You have mom's decorations up on the tree.” And your sister was flipping my one pancake. Actually, a quarter. It was a order of four, so it was like 1 1/3. And she was also making something else. I couldn't catch what it was.
But she said, “Yeah. Those are mom's decorations.” Cosette sighed. The sister, Guinevere, she said, “Well, what brings you around here?” She said, “Well, like he said, he's obsessed with Christmas too.” And she said, “I'm not obsessed with Christmas. I'm obsessed with making this diner a fun place to be.” And she said, “It's not fun right now with you.” Then they had a silent stare down. I said, “Well, wouldn't it be nice?” I said, “The Beach Boys had a Christmas album. I don't know. I don't want to say. But wouldn't it be nice if just this Christmas Eve, you two, let's shut the diner down.” Because I said, “There's no customers in.” I went and locked the door. I said, “Wouldn't it be nice if you two just …” And she said, “Well, I'm making … Your pancakes are going to burn. And also, I made her some French candy cane French toast.”
Then I said, “Well, serve it up.” I said, “Wouldn't it be nice if we get along this Christmas?” Then I went to … I said, “So this is your mom's decorations on this tree? Holds special memories for the two of you, I can tell.” Then I said, “Why don't you give me a minute? I've got an idea.” Then I said, “You two could talk, or just cook silently, and you smoke silently.” And I took all the ornaments off the tree. There's little Christmas boxes … It was [inaudible 00:52:30]. I feel like I tried to get the ornaments into wrapped Christmas stuff. Then I said, “Well, that's not going to work.” Then I said, “Oh, there's all those … What are those things called? Stockings.” So, I was hiding the decorations around the restaurant, and even shoving them in the booth chairs, down, down, the chairs.
Then I said, “I got to use the restroom,” because I had a sense … I said, “[inaudible 00:52:56]?” And she said, “Yeah.” And I know she served it at a booth with my eggnog and the candy cane things. And she'd cooked herself something. Also, the candy cane french toast. And I said, “I'll be right back.” My gut told me that somewhere nearby the bathrooms was going to be a Santa outfits. Of course, I found that in the store room closet, and I put it on. Then as I put it on, Carole King sent me Wilco, Side With The Seeds, and I said, “Carole King, you're throwing me off here.” And I said, “Side with the seeds? What does that mean?” And then I said, “Okay. Don't over do it.” I took it as that. I said, “Okay, just throw the seeds and they'll grow.” I said, “Okay, so this is even easier.”
I went out, and they were sitting at the same booth across from each other. And I came out, I said, “Ho, ho, ho, ho.” One gimmick I had decided to use was that I didn't put on the wig. I put on the beard, but not the wig. So, when they saw me, they both looked at each other and burst into laughter, because my dirty brown, blonde curls, were sticking out. I went from looking strange to ridiculous. I said, “Ho, ho, ho.” I said, “Well, this is a special Christmas, these two. Santa has a special surprise, because I know you two have worked so far, so many different things, and you've had a couple hard years here. And I've heard from the both of you. I've been watching you both close, and I know that both your hearts are so full of love. Which, Santa doesn't always tell kids this, but it's complicated being an adult person out here. Complicated being a kid. Not as simple as naughty or nice, is it?”
I said, “You know, your friend Santa here, [inaudible 00:55:13] around the restaurant will say all the decorations for your mother's tree, and I'm going to be back at midnight to make sure that the tree has been redecorated by both of you. And I know that life is … You know Santa knows, okay? And Santa is going to give you both a hug here. And I want you both to choose what comfort message you want. Oh, Santa never told you … But I'm sure you know ways to soothe yourself with your hair, because Santa's hair is so curly, he uses a lot of different methods. So, choose.” And the actress that played Cosette, she chose to flick it with a little flick. And again, my heart skipped, but it wasn't hurt. And then she kissed me on the cheek. I said, “Well, I'm never going to get over this. I'm going to be heart broken.” And I said, “Santa's heart is breaking, oh!”
Then Guinevere, she chose actually the old, she wound a curl up in her finger, and then tugged it, and then sprung it. I said, “Well, tomorrow is Christmas, so get that tree ready for Santa. Take your time to remember. You'll do great, you too. Guinevere, maybe you and Santa could go to a show sometime, but you don't have to decide tonight.” Then, they both looked at me and they said, “Who are you?” Carole King, she did two Who songs in one night. I said, “Who am I is right.” I said, “If Santa doesn't return, every time you think of the turn of a curl, think about him wrapping around your hearts and comforting you. Then I think, well, geez what can I do to say, hey, I need a little comfort, right? I'm dealing with star struck dudes all the time. I've got a diner, and I also have some dashed dreams. We all do. And then just give a little your version of a curl bump, okay? Now get around and look around that restaurant, and get that tree decorated. And you'll find your ways. All right.”
I set off into the New York night, my diner at my back. My heart left behind. It was a projected version, so I guess whatever they call that infatuation mask. So, not real. I trotted off into the night, just me and my perm. All right. Goodnight.
I want to say thanks again to all of the people who support the show. Rhonda B., thanks and goodnight, Madison R., thanks and goodnight. Jack M., thanks and goodnight. Taylor Ann, thank you. Misty M., thank you and goodnight. Joe D.W., thanks and goodnight. Thanks and goodnight to Michelle S., thanks and goodnight to Rhonda C., thank you and goodnight to Karen P., thank you and goodnight to Karen N., two separate Karens. Thank you both. Thanks and goodnight to Joey C., thank you and goodnight to Mike W., thank you and goodnight to Amber J. Thank you and goodnight to Jonas E. Thank you and goodnight to Jillian S. Thank you and goodnight to Rachel K. Thank you and goodnight to Lindsay N. Thank you and goodnight to Cindy L. Thanks and goodnight to Katherine M. Thank you and goodnight to Jennifer R. Thank you and goodnight to Brenda W. Thank you and goodnight to Good Run. Thanks and goodnight to Ethrum. Thanks and goodnight to Antoinette. Thanks and goodnight to Kathy K. Thank you and goodnight to Laura B. Thank you and goodnight to Carl B. Thank you and goodnight to Mark M. Goodnight and thank you to Dehorn J.
Thank you and goodnight to Judith R. Dana C., thanks and goodnight. Thank you and goodnight to Shelly V. Thank you and goodnight to Melly M. Dylan, thank you and enough. Lisa G., goodnight and thank you. Dawn H., thank you and goodnight. Lina, thank you and goodnight. Pamela J to the K, thank you and goodnight. Gerald M., thank you and goodnight. Goodnight and thank you to Robin V. Goodnight, thank you, goodnight Eduardo P. Saying thanks and goodnight to Nate to the O to the M. Thank you and goodnight to Jennifer S., and Natasha, thank you and goodnight. And Terri F., thank you and goodnight.
We're on PayPal. I want to say thanks and goodnight to Pat W., thank you and goodnight to Derek W., thank you and goodnight to Jared S. Wendy F., thank you and goodnight. Debra B., thank you and goodnight. Goodnight and thank you to Jennifer R. Gregory H., thank you and goodnight. Miranda R., goodnight and thank you. Anna L., thanks and goodnight. Katherine U., thank you and goodnight. Germaine W., thank you and goodnight. Rebecca M., goodnight and thank you. Tessa B., thanks and goodnight. Jamie L., goodnight and thank you. And Sharon D., thanks and goodnight. And then of course the king of Venmo Bill K., gotta thank Bill K., thank you and goodnight. And Tom D to the A, thank you and goodnight. And Nora C, thank you and goodnight.
Thanks, and goodnight everybody. I'll talk to you later.