I had a show in Philadelphia the night before, November 4th. It was a great show, but a long night. On my way upstairs I asked my road manager for my music that he left in the car. He didn't want to go back downstairs: "Judy, they already have the showtape for tomorrow, so you don't need it." I argued, "Yes, David, but if something goes wrong, I need back up." He didn't budge, and I admittedly was feeling too tired to argue with him. I arrived home from the show at 3am. I already knew I would be sleep deprived because I had to be up at 8:30am in order to arrive at my soundcheck on time. Walked through the door, took off my still sweaty clothes, wiped off the tons of black mascara from my eyes, threw on a t-shirt and went to bed...
Almost 10 minutes later, just as I began to have my first dream, my house phone rang. Who the heck would be calling at this ungodly hour? It was my road manager, "Yo, Judy, you gotta call the driver...call the driver..." He was ranting with incomplete sentences. "David, what happened?" "The driver left me." What do you mean 'the driver left me'?" "I mean...the driver stopped for gas, and I told him I would be right back. I went into the store, came out...and yo, he was GONE!" I immediately got on the phone, called the limo company's owner and told him what had occurred. Wow, I thought, that driver is probably almost at David's house...without David. The owner called me back, and told me, "Hey, Judy, Mike knows about David, and is on his way back to the gas station." And then it happened -
A little gurgle of laughter began to rise out from my stomach...
I could just imagine David standing there...This very large, muscular guy coming out of the store with some sort of food in his hand, and then with his mouth agape...thinking, "Oh s...t! Where's the freaking limo?" LOL.
I called David back to let him know that the driver was returning to his rescue. LOL. I began to laugh...and I didn't stop for almost ten minutes...I'm not exaggerating. I would be severely sleep deprived now, but damn, that laughter was ALL worth it! Everytime I thought of him standing there in complete disbelief that the driver was there, I lost it. Then it hit me. That's what he gets for refusing to get my music back to me. Karma is funny.
I got back to my bed. Closed my eyes. Ten minutes later - screaming coming from the park down the street. She was screaming as if she was being hurt, but then when I heard the screaming followed by her laughter, well, I didn't find it funny at all. The immature teen kept me up. It was 4:30 when I finally fell asleep. Oh, well.
I woke up, and out of sheer determination (and excitement - The Quiet One was going with me), I woke up with tons of energy. Or was it adrenaline? I arrived at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City a little early, so the Quiet One and I decided to play slots for a minute. And in about two minutes of playing with just $20, I was $60 richer. Cool. We went to the theater for soundcheck, and there was Aby, Tony & Angel, formerly of TKA, on stage doing their thing. It had been a long time since I'd seen them on stage. Afterward, I see a red-head on stage, and for a second I wondered, 'Who is this girl?' And in just 5 seconds of her first song, I was catapulted back to the 80's, and instantly realized it was 80's teen heart throb, Tiffany! She began singing, I Think We're Alone Now, and I had a smile on my face. And then The Quiet One turned to me, and innocently asked, "Who is she?" There are times when I don't realize our 12 year age difference...and then there are times like these, that I think, "Oh, my God...I am SO much older than he is!" So I briefly educated him...and she began to do her next song, "Could've Been". I cried. Yep, right there during her sound check. I cried because, to be completely honest, I have not heard a voice sound as pure as hers in my life!! Take out Could've Been if you still own it on a 45" and give it a listen one more time. Her vocal range, power and tone are simply amazing, and I just could NOT believe that I was witnessing this with my own ears, in person. Sabrina, a member of the Cover Girls, had the same look on her face, and I took comfort in knowing I wasn't alone in my sentiment.
Well, it was showtime, and I was excited...and I was tired. I honestly wasn't even sure I would have a voice to get through the show. If I don't have enough sleep, I simply don't have enough voice either. But I took a nap before the show, drank something like 3 cups of coffee and three cups of tea & sucked on lozenges like a woman dying of thirst. I got to watch Tiffany perform again, and I just felt like, 'I have to meet this girl!" I went on right after Tiffany...and I was just elated at the thought that I could say, "Yes, I peformed with Tiffany...I even went on right after her." To me, that was a highlight of my career!
Funny little story. I was truly stressing about what I would wear for this show. I ended up purchasing a leopard print, one piece jumpsuit. It was simple, but it was comfortable, and I thought it was flattering. As long as I dressed itup with a lot of cool accessories great shoes, it would work. When I was getting ready for the show, and The Quiet One saw me, he asked me something he had never asked before: "Um, is that what you're wearing for the show?" "Um, YES, why?" "Well, it kind of looks like something you would sleep with ...it looks like something you would have worn in like the 80's." I was too nervous to even take in the comment. But just before I went on, I thought it would be useful for the show.
The emcee who introduced me was AMAZING! He gave me such an incredible introduction that the crowd was on their feet!! Wow! I wish I remembered it because I would have thanked the man myself! The crowd was ON THEIR FEET and I didn't even walk on yet. It's so exciting, so exhilarating and So SCARY!!! Now, that I have them on their feet, I somehow have to keep them standing! Pressure! I walked on with a smile that no one could ever erase! When you see the people standing, looking with hope in their eyes, you have to smile! These are moments that will be ingrained and burned into my memory for the rest of my life, so it has to count! So I began to sing and the dancers of T.R.U.E. dance company came on and joined me. They are simply amazing and determinged kids, for whom dance is such a passion! One of the dancers, Gia, stole the show! I was doing my chest pump dance move, and as the dancers were clearing the stage, she remained there, tapped me on the shoulder, and totally out-danced me...and then another dancer came back on stage, and literally picked her up and took her off stage. I heard the crowd laugh and applaud, and I thought, 'yeaaaa! She did it!' The crowd cheered, applauded so loudly, I got chills!! Didn't want to get off, but there were more people to be heard, lol.
My girl, my friend, the woman I look up to, Lisa-Lisa, was up next. As I was passing her on the stairs, she appeared upset. "Lisa, you ok?" I asked her. "My voice...it's just not there today." I want to take a moment to share something with you. If you are not a singer, most people say, "Oh, just drink some tea with honey & lemon." LOL Yes, tea with honey and lemon aer helpful, but sometimes it's not the cure-all you think it is. There is nothing more depressing and anxiety inducing for a singer than knowing your voice is not up to par. And when you are performing at a HUGE venue, where people have paid LOTS of money to see you sing JUST LIKE THEY REMEMBER, you feel like a failure before you even step onto the stage. My heart broke for Lisa-Lisa. I cannot tell you how many pep talks she has gifted me with throughout the years...it was my turn to give back to her and help out. I asked her, "Would you like me to help you?" "Yea, what ever, mama!" She had such a look on her face, one I'm all too familiar with. It was that - Oh, my God-how-the-hell-am-I-supposed-to-do-this - face! I asked the sound guy, "Do you have an extra microphone you could give me? She needs help." I stood backstage and anytime I thought she may need help with the higher notes, I sang along...if I could harmonize with her, I did...anything to help. When she came off stage, she thanked me, but she had tears in her eyes. To be 100% honest, she did GREAT! The crowd was with her, and I felt it in my heart that the audience sang with her, for her, to her...they just wanted to SEE her! I told her she did great...I just hope she believed it.
I eagerly watched the rest of the show, and then the Quiet One said to me, "Hey, Judy, I think that's Tiffany right next to you." I looked at him, and squinted my eyes, "Are you sure?" "Yes." I slowly turned my head as to not act like an idiot too much. And yes, that was her. I introduced myself, and she was THE BEST!!! She was totally humble, sweet in nature, and we talked a lot. I told her I had seen her on The View..and next thing I know she was asking me if I had a Facebook page. Suddenly, Slick Rick went on stage, followed by Vanilla Ice...and I really didn't care that they weren't freestyle artists...it was just nice for me to feel EXACTLY what the fans are always telling me that they feel - I was transported to an earlier time, a happier, more care-free, and innocent time!! It was a GREAT night!!