Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Emily and Pee-wee
So, I got to briefly meet one of my heroes the other night: Pee-wee Herman, aka Paul Reubens. I saw his new Pee-wee Herman Show in L.A. It was incredible to see Pee-wee perform, and watch, basically what was Pee-wee's Playhouse, play out live. After the show, he let fans speak to him, ask him questions, etc. I had burned a c.d. of my song "Americannette," which is my musical tribute to Annette Funicello, just in case I'd have the chance to give it to him.
Pee-wee is a friend and fan of Annette's. He made an appearance in her and Frankie Avalon's late beach party movie, Back to the Beach. Annette soon went on to appear in Pee-wee's Christmas special episode, and I believe the two of them maintained a close friendship since first meeting.
In my song, I have one line about Annette playing on the beach with Frankie Avalon and Pee-wee ("too!"). There are only so many people who can appreciate my song about Annette, since it is in complete reference to her life and career--and is basically fan music, akin to "fan art." Anyways, it's still a charming little recording, and I thought Paul (aka Pee-wee) would be one to enjoy it.
Well, towards the end of his talking to fans, it seemed that more people were going up to him to give him things they made for him; shirts, dolls, etc. A little voice cried out inside of me, "Just go up to him, Emily," and luckily I listened. In the picture you can see me in my grey Pee-wee Herman-esque jacket waiting for my turn to speak. I told him, "Pee-wee, I wrote a song for Annette Funicello, you're mentioned in it, and I think you'll really enjoy it" and handed him the c.d. (I also managed to slip my business card into the jewel case). He looked me in the eye, mentioned something about "copyright," which I only partly absorbed, but then said, "I'm just joking. Thank you, I'll listen to it every day," or something of that nature. I kind of wish, in retrospect, that I had mentioned I was a CalArts student, as another girl after me did. There's a certain camaraderie between successful CalArts alumni and students.
In any case, I got to come face-to-face with a man, a genius creator and character actor, who has intrigued and inspired me since childhood. It made my heart flutter. I hope he listens to Americannette.