Stripper Song

September 18, 2008

I wonder if maybe I should have sung my stripper song at the audition.

In addition to the grand-poobah musical theatre showcase, my last year at AMDA also included a cabaret showcase, which turned out to be the highlight of my time at AMDA.  I always thought of cabaret as some slinky woman with a cigarette sitting on a piano singing sexy songs – and actually, that’s pretty close.  Cabaret theatres are super-tiny and packed with people getting drunk.  As it turns out, drunk people are my ideal audience.

In rehearsal, I ran through a few options that were all received tepidly by the teacher.  Then the semester break came along, and I left on a road trip to Maine with my visiting parents and no song in place.

Luckily, riding in a Chevy Malibu with my parents was somehow the perfect inspiration for me to write a parody song about wanting to be a stripper – to the tune of “Part of Your World,” from The Little Mermaid.   You know, the one where she swims around in a cave marvelling at spoons.  My song was similar, I just marvelled at silicone implants instead.  My parents helpfully suggested rhymes for “tassels” and “pasties” (Mom: “Hasty? Tasty?”  Me: “Ooh, that’s good.”) and in no time the song was complete.

A few weeks later, I performed at a club called 88’s and all the drunk people laughed – LOUD.  I felt drunk myself, high off their approval and knowing that not only did they like my song – I even wrote the damn thing! (Well, some credit must go to Alan Menken I suppose.)  After the show ended, I tried to scramble out the door, because small talk with strangers is around number 3 on my Big Fears list (after whales and auditions).  But I didn’t get far before a small man with gray streaks in his hair stopped me.  His name was Graham Brooks, television producer.  He gave me his card and told me he wanted to meet with me, not about my singing but my writing.  He wanted to see more, and discuss possibly developing a show with me.

I was twirling circles around the moon for about 20 minutes before my boyfriend Daniel told me he obviously just wanted to have sex with me.  I mean, I sang a song about wanting to strip, so that MUST be it, right?  My potential writing skills could not possibly be enough – it must be my body that he really wants.  

I’m ashamed to say I let Daniel’s jab affect me and wondered every time I met with Graham when he might make his move.  He never made a move – he just encouraged me and brainstormed with me and told me to send him more, more.  But I kept thinking he was going to drop the whole thing at any second, so if he didn’t call right back when I left a message, I was afraid to call again.  Now I know that’s what it takes – as Rosalind always reminds me, it all comes down to persistence.  Time passed by, I got distracted by men, and eventually I let Graham drift away.  I moved away in 1996 and never saw him again.

He started working for “Sex and the City” in 1998.

So yes I have buried my head in my knees and moaned quietly, imagining all the dinner parties I should be having with SJP and friends, drinking Cosmos and letting Patricia Field plop weird hats on my head.  But if I had, what? – No Herbie?  No Moo?  No.  No, I wouldn’t change a thing.

But I couldn’t help but wonder – if I had worked for Sex and the City, would I have come up with a line like this?:

“Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate.  Without them, what would shape our lives?  Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are.”

Nah – I probably would have just written something about strippers.

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4 Responses to “Stripper Song”

  1. kristi Says:

    No Quest? No daily entertainment for yours truly?

    No. You couldn’t have changed a thing…

  2. Beth Says:

    wow… this peek into your past life continually astonishes me. I had no idea you wrote a stripper parody song & performed it in a cabaret, no less! I had no idea that you impressed the producer who went on to work on Sex & the City. wow. K, you are awesome! Quit doubting yourself & go out there & find the people in the biz who recognize your awesomeness!!!!!

  3. Rosalind Says:

    I can’t get “Part of Your World” out of my head now! Could be worse I guess- I do enjoy the song.

  4. from the wings Says:

    I know it’s hard to look back at missed opportunities, but I’m glad it worked out this way.

    Oh and “You know, the one where she swims around in a cave marvelling at spoons.” – Priceless!


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