Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pieces of April (Three Dog Night)

I remember it was a rainy day when I decided to come to New York. Things in my life weren't looking up. At school I was bullied relentlessly. I was overweight, had cystic acne, braces, and nothing else going on. There were three things I excelled at: Storytelling in Forensics, Story writing that won me local awards, and secretly practicing with my Groucho Marx ventriloquist figure. I was told by teachers I had a gift. When I watched the TV, Mae West hooked me in. Madonna's BioRhythm on MTV enthralled me. And then I saw LA Confidential.

Afterwards, I went on a walk with my mom and poured my heart out. My mother who had gotten me my ventriloquist figure the year before didn't tell me no. She didn't laugh at my pipe dream. Instead she looked at me, all barely five feet of her and declared, "Baby, if you want to do that you have to move to New York."

Yesterday I got some distressing news. Otto Petersen, a ventriloquist I admired, had passed away. He was the human half of Otto and George. Notorious as both a ventriloquist and comedian, Otto could pack them in wherever he played. He offended people at the XXX awards. What I loved about him most was that he was fearless onstage, but offstage he was kind and supportive to young comedians finding their voices. The same went for Otto's friends. Yeah, on the radio, onstage, or TV they ragged on each other. But offstage, they had each other's backs. Comedians are backstabbing pricks. This is rare.

Yesterday I also got some good news with my ventriloquism. An opportunity I had been scouted for months ago finally is moving. This is very exciting, and could be very good for me. It was the bright spot in a day filled with darkness, and filled with the pain of the loss of someone I admired so much. It is just just a pleasure to work alongside a hero. It is an honor, especially when they say, "I like your stuff."

I was excited about this news, and went to a friend's house to watch RuPaul's Drag Race. I got an email from this opportunity, the link I sent them didn't work. AHHHHHH!!!!!! I emailed the woman and searched frantically for the link on my computer. My head was going to explode. One of my spirit animals insisted I go to bed.

In the morning another spirit animal friend helped me find it. He sent me two versions of the link. It was fine. They were happy. Having worked in production, I know in my heart they were as stressed out as I was. Our heads were exploding together. Then there was nearly a mix up in the time I delivered the telegram this morning. Oh and I forgot to email my mother goodnight and it seemed everything was going off the rails before 9 AM. As I ran to the train seeing I missed one and another wouldn't come for an hour I took a breath. I stuffed a chocolate donut in my mouth. I agonized over my DVD taping. Oh, and I added a singer friend to the bill.

I got caught in the rain again on my way to the delivery, I took a wrong turn. However, when I got there they were awesome people. The most extraordinary delivery I have done in a long time. They liked me and my energy. I put on a good show and got a surprise tip. I handed them a post card for my filming.

The guys looked at it and said, "That puppet looks familiar. That puppet has been on TV."

"Yeah, she's been on TLC, Rachael Ray, and The Today Show. Hardest working girl in show biz, May Wilson."

"She has a last name?" The other guy laughed. They got a kick out of it. I explained a well known ventriloquist told me to do it. A well known ventriloquist named Otto Petersen. I tried not to well up at that moment.

As I walked back in the rain I thought of everything in my life coming together. All the hard work looking as if it was finally paying off. I gloated, May Wilson was recognized. I also sent some facebook messages as I battled the rain under an overhang, reminding my friends that my taping was a week away. I feared my venue cancelling my taping. I feared everything crashing down.

And then I remembered Otto. He was fearless. He didn't give a fuck. George would say, "Brush your teeth with my cock." For everyone that hated him, twenty more loved him. I was blessed to have worked and learned from one of the greatest. Maybe someday, when I get over myself, I will be an eighth as cool. Of course, perhaps some of what he had will rub off on me. Perhaps the basketcase will be replaced with the freedom he had.

There were people who wrote me telling me they would have never known about me had it not been for The Pig Roast. So many friends I would have not met if it weren't for the Pig Roast. Some naysayers have said that I am a hack, female version of Otto and George. Not true. Otto was original, funny, and unique. Rip off would have meant that I had some of his charm. Again, I could only be so lucky.

Then I remembered someone had seen May Wilson. Maybe people were going to come see my DVD taping. Maybe my dreams were coming true. And somewhere, maybe just maybe there is a kid who has heard about me, and has been following my career. Much like Otto, there are quite a few ventriloquists who don't like my brand of humor. Otto was better as shutting them out. Yeah, I feed into it from time to time, downside of being a woman. Again, only hoping to be almost as cool.

Maybe that kid's mother will tell them to move to New York. And maybe that kid will seek me out.

That's when I will tell them, "You figure needs to have a last name......"

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

Come see me April 22nd @ 7pm
Metropolitan Room
34 W. 22nd st.

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