Boobs, A Starbucks Bathroom, and A Bank Teller
This blog was inspired by a tweet that read:
“I wish I could move to NYC to be a super famous composer like @DrewGasparini”
Here are some truths. I don’t feel like sugar-coating too much, so I will just lay it out. For some reason, sometimes people see what I do, some become familiar with my work, some are awesome enough to become fans, and a lot of these people develop this idea that I’m some version of “famous.” Here are a few true stories to fill in all of you lovely readers what this “fame” can look like, and then I’ll tell you a story that highlights the other side of the coin… aka the truth… aka super NOT famous.
Drew’s FAMOUS stories:
One time after a show, I was asked to sign an autograph. To be asked to sign an autograph is always the most flattering gesture, and I’m always happy to oblige, but this one specific instance went like this:
LARGE BREASTED WOMAN: Drew! I’m such a fan! Can I get an autograph?
ME: Thanks so much! Of course you can!
*****she pulls out a pen… then pulls out a boob.*****
ME: Good lord! Are you serious?
LBW: Hell yeah!
*****I should mention that she was, of course, SUPER drunk*****
LBW: Write whatever you want!
ME: Oh god… okay???
I wrote what I thought said “THANKS FOR DIGGING THE TUNES –Drew” … After I took a second look at what I wrote, it actually said: “THANKS FOR DIGGING THE BOOBS –Drew” …This girl thought I was of the stature in popular culture that it would warrant a boob signing, and I (being a boob signing virgin at the time) was so excited and overwhelmed that I wrote the word “BOOB” on her BOOB!!!! Boy, did I fuck that up! Here’s hoping she was drunk enough to laugh it off or just not understand.
I’m happy to announce that over the years, I’ve signed 2 more boobs since that day (totaling 3 boobs… which is generally just a weird number in relation to breasts), and I have not made the same faux pas since then. Next blog I write will be all about boob signing etiquette… I’m kidding… boob is just a silly word and it’s fun to write out a bunch… moving on!
About a year and a half ago I was strolling around midtown, close to Times Square. Something happened to me on the walk… I needed a bathroom… and to further paint this picture for you, let me just say this… it wasn’t number one that I had to do and it was becoming something of an emergency…. Sorry, I forgot… I’m trying not to sugar-coat. Let me rephrase… I was in Times Square (aka a version of hell) and I was scared I was going to shit in my pants. Something people learn about me right away is that I am NOT a fan of public restrooms. Too much can go wrong, not to mention the smell and state of most of them… gross. #FirstWorldProblems.
I found my beacon of hope. A Starbucks! The one right next to the Winter Garden Theater. I ran in there. I felt like I was also being chased… but there was no time to look and see if I was being chased. POOP WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN! Luckily there was no line, I ran into the Starbucks bathroom, did my thang, washed my hands, and opened the door to leave. On the other side of that door were 4 girls and 1 guy who had all chased me down the street into the Starbucks and waited for me inside so they could take a picture with me. WAITED FOR ME. They knew I wasn’t going number one, and to make it worse, we took pictures right there in that little hallway to the bathroom door with the stink of Drew just emerging from the bathroom. Something they can never un-smell… my crap as they took fan photos with me. That being said, if those people are reading this blog, thanks so much for such a flattering afternoon, sorry for the smell, and thanks for listening and being fans. You are cool.
Drew’s NOT so famous story:
About a year ago I went to my bank… I like to talk to people. Online banking freaks me out. Call me old fashioned, but there’s something about a face to face transaction that I really enjoy and feel good about. I was there to deposit a check… this check was from NewMusicalTheatre.com (thanks!). I know I said I wouldn’t sugar coat, but I still feel weird about writing the “C” word, so I’ll just go ahead and say that this bank teller was a total “twunt.” She saw the words “musical theatre” and asked which Broadway show I had written. I laughed. Then she straight up said the following: “My kids are into music. It concerns me. Does your mom worry about when you might find a real job?” A REAL job. I wish the rest of the story was me yelling at her “Fuck you! People will follow me to where I poo!!!” then dropping the mic and leaving in slow motion as the bank explodes behind me right before my helicopter takes me to my secret island… alas, I just informed her that musical theatre is my job and I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been making my living in New York for years with my music.
That day was a true reminder. There are still plenty of people who do NOT support the arts. There are still several people who don’t think anything in the creative field of music or the arts is a “real job.” It’s so sad… especially when it comes from a fuckin’ bank teller. A BANK TELLER!!!!
Guys. I’m not famous… not even close. I’ll let you know the day I become famous, I promise, but here’s the truth. The love we (us writers and performers) get from fans is what gets us to the next project. Because, and I’m sure my peers can side with me on this, we are not doing this for the money. You work hard, the payoff comes, SURE! But, until then, it’s just the work. Words like “famous” were killed the second phrases like “youtube famous” became real. I write so that it can touch people’s hearts, or strike a chord with their imagination. I write knowing that one day, if I work hard enough, I won’t be late on rent, or better yet, not WORRY about rent. It’s a job. And I love this job. And for those who are looking for sage advice, know this… fame doesn’t necessarily mean success. Success is how you define it. I won’t stop till I reach what I consider success, so please don’t stop me short by calling me “famous” already! This party’s only just begun!
So thank you for the flattery, thanks for the love and support of this community. Let your favorite writers (and there are plenty to choose from on NewMusicalTheatre.com) know that they are your favorite… it just fuels their fire even more! And for all you twunty bank tellers… yes… this is a job, and though we might not be famous (yet), we love it. We just hope you can find something that you love too.
You guys are the sexiest little buttheads, and I just love ya!
Keep workin’ folks! You’re doing great!