Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bahston and "My people"

Here I am, back on the Megabus back to New York. Already? Sheesh, that was fast.
This is only my second post in this blog and already I'm exhausted. The responsibility is killing me! No wonder I don't have a job. Fewf.
So, Boston was fun! But it came and went far too quickly. I'm not into that. Let me tell you what- I've never had a city that I was so happy to arrive in. I grew up in the Cuban sauna of Miami, Florida where I clearly never belonged. (Who's idea was it to ship a borderline albino irish sun-hater to Miami? And more off, what is my family thinking still living there?) From there I made the brilliant and drastic move of re-locating to Syracuse, New York for college. For those of you who have never been to Syracuse, congratulations- keep it that way. Syracuse, put nicely, is a hellish frozen tundra of seasonal depression where the sun dare not go, strewn with some of the most impressive projects you've ever seen. It was not uncommon to pass out drunkenly to the lull of gunshots outside your window, while a blizzard buried your Saturn Vue in the parking lot of your dilapidated crack-addict filled apartment building. Ah, memories. And then of course after college I moved to New York City to pursue .......?, which USED to be my favorite city in the world. New York is the greatest city on Earth, UNTIL you live in it. Specifically, until you're spending the summer or dead of winter there.
I have tried to remain positive about living in New York since "if I can make it there blah blah blah midgets will bring me pots of gold" or whatever.... but the longer I bake in that concrete oven, the longer I curse the B'way for not just calling me up and offering me a lead role already. (Auditions shmauditions. Who needs 'em? There's gotta be an easier way to achieve this. WITHOUT taking my clothes off...)
ANYWAYS, I digress. The point is, I've lived in a few places here and there... and everywhere has had it's "home" stamp on me at one point or another. But nothing has ever felt like Boston.
When I arrived at South Station on Tuesday, I was greeted by a wild hoard of butterflies-on-speed doing Tina Turner dance impersonations in my stomach. I heaved such a sigh of relief, and felt happy all over to be there. What the HECK is that?! And how? I only spent 6 weeks in Boston in May/June working on a show there. But something about that dang town got it's fangs in me, and almost everywhere I go makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. (Except the North End. Screw those Italians and a-hole bike cops. Who wants to eat pizza for every meal? I can stay in NYC for that.)
On Tuesday night I competed in a karaoke contest in North Quincy, about 40 minutes out of Boston. I know what you're thinking... who would travel all the way to Boston to compete in a karaoke contest in North Quincy??? You're reading her blog, that's who. Hey- there's a $1000 first prize and I have never heard of making such an astronomical amount of money in one sitting so, bugger off if you think I'm retarded for trying.
The contest was being held at a place called the "Cathay Pacific". I didn't really know what to imagine... maybe a Hawaiian themed bar, or a reggae night club... the possibilities were endless!
I was not prepared for what I was met with. The Cathay Pacific is a chinese restaurant strewn in the most gloriously tacky 1990's oriental decor-- the "lounge" where we were singing was like a cross between one of the "don't go there without your switch blade" hotels in Las Vegas, and what the dining room on the Titanic would have looked like if it was built in China in the 1970's.
You know you're in a classy joint when there is a vending machine INSIDE the chinese restaurant. Where else can you eat wonton soup and then buy a box of whoppers? This was clearly my kind of place. I never wanted to leave.
What was even more impressive than the decor of this heavenly restaurant- was the crowd.
For those who don't know, I am adopted. (My parents are rolling their eyes right now if they are reading this, because they get all huffy when I mention this fact. "Why is it always the first thing you have to tell people?!" They say with disdain. It's not the first thing, it's usually AT LEAST the second or third, right after "no, I don't eat that" and "I have a really tiny bladder, I can't help that I pee this much." . And here, I put it in my SECOND blog. So there.) The reason I bring up my adoption right now, is that when you're adopted- you always wonder what is hiding deep within your blood that you don't know about. And in my blood, or somewhere within my make-up, i'm pretty sure that I am part-black. (shut up, just because I have the whitest skin shade possible and don't eat collared greens does NOT mean it's not possible!) Me most-likely being part black means that I have an un-natural gravitation towards my black brotha's and sista's. In college, they called me "White Chocolate." No joke. So needless to say, I was happier than pigs feet in shit when I walked into the lounge to find that my friends and I were the only white ones there (aside from the asian staff of course.) I was prepared to sing my best Whitney Houston ballad, and these were my people! I love singing for black people. Because black people are THE MOST responsive people there are to perform for. Not only will they clap and scream inappropriately- they will also yell out precious things like "you go girl", "sing it sista'", "Aiiiiggghhhtt Erica", "Sing child", "You gonna eat that last chicken wing?"... the things that really make me push harder and deeper to sing my bestest. Tuesday was no exception. They made their outbursts, and I saaaannnggg. It was glorious. After my performance I headed to the bar for some water, and the brotha sitting next to where I was waiting told me I did a good job. "You sang that nicely" he said "but don't be afraid to growl."
"I threw a little growl in there, at the end..." I parried.
"Yes, but don't be afraid to REALLY growl. You sang from here" he said, gesturing to his diaphragm, "and it was good, but you gotta really feel it. You gotta sing from down HERE" he added, pointing to his crotchal region. "Sing from the vagina. Sing like you just had amazing sex."
"I'll work on that" I assured him with a wink, to which he quickly extended his hand and introduced himself. (I can't ever remember names so let's just be racist and call him Jerome. That might actually be right.) I completely didn't mean to mislead him with my wink to thinking that I meant I would have sex with HIM (I love black people but I don't love them THAT much! I'm a tiny girl, that would be dangerous.), so I quickly shook his hand, told him to come back for the semi-finals and vote for me, and scurried back to my table. I made a mental note to work on my vagina singing when I got home.

OK I am tired of my over-use of commas, so I'm going to call this "PART ONE" and leave you all in suspense about what happens next... unless you're my friend on facebook, and you already know the results of the trip. To be continued...

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