Sunday, March 27, 2011

'Gram of the Week (3/7/11 - 3/13/11)

Ashley is the lead singer of a punk rock group . The group sings locally on Long Island at various venues. Matt's in the group, too. I'm not sure what he does, but I think he might play drums. Most of the band is pretty local, but Ashley shleps all the way in from Brooklyn for the gigs and the practices.

Anyway, he really ticked Ashley off last week after a rehearsal at a music studio in Deer Park. He had a little bit too much to drink and Ashley was going to take him out and treat him to dinner. He kinda blew her off at the last minute and.......incurred her wrath.

Matt was wrong and he knew it. He wanted to apologize, but just didn't know how he was going to do it and really seal the deal so he could be sure she'd forgive him. Enter Preppygrams.

"Could you sing an apology?", he asked.

"I can do whatever you want.", I replied. "What do you want for a costume? Gorilla in a heart, chicken, punk rock singer, Goodfella/Godfather?"

"How about a nun?", he asked

"A nun?...... OK...... but why?"

"Because the name of our band is called 'The Nones' "

Well THAT'S convenient! So I trucked over to the studio after band rehearsal, caught Ashley as she was leaving, and sang Matt's apology as Sister Bernstein from Our Lady of Perpetual Motion !

One of the things I love about this job is the reaction of the recipient to being told they're about to be sung to and them trying to process that while looking at a person dressed as a ____________ (fill in the blank!). I focus on their eyes; it's fascinating.

So here's Ashley, understanding that Matt is apologizing to her via a guy dressed as a nun, who is singing to her detailed information that is all about her. Priceless!

Yeah, she forgave him.


'Gram of the Week (2/28/11 - 3/6/11)

Tiffany Pulvino is a role model to all of us in the entertainment industry. She's been plugging away and persevering in her craft for roughly ten years now, and finding work; lots of work! She might not be a household name (yet), but her success makes all of us in the industry proud to call ourselves actors. We root for her continued success.

I didn't know Tiffany before she called me the day before her Mom and Dad's Anniversary in Staten Island. She found me pretty much the way everyone else finds me; through the internet. I've dealt with major celebrities over the years ( Glenn Close, Steve Gutenberg, Jason Alexander, Cliff Robertson, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Clancy, Rupert Holmes, Comden and Green, Donna Murphy, Jerry Zaks, Barry Manilow, Natalie name a few) and because these people are essentially my peers, there's a respectful admiration.

Actually, it was Tiffany who volunteered her profession, when she asked me if I was a performer, because "You sound like one", she said. When I countered with "How would you know that?", she said, "Because I am a performer!" A quick Google-check confirmed that.

I like to please all my clients, but entertainment professionals get a little extra service. Tiffany's folks live in the beautiful Emerson Hill neighborhood of Staten Island. The child of hard-working Italians from Brooklyn, Tiffany's Mother was a model and singer who gave it all up to settle down and raise a family.

It took forever to get to the house because most of the highways were in pot hole repair mode, impeding traffic to those venturing out in the middle of the day. Still I got there within my time limit.

The street her parents live on has big homes on small properties. When I arrived to deliver my Anniversary song, the entrance to the house was around back; a very nondescript, but fairly modern style. I walked around back and knocked on the sliding door, looking in to see a large modern kitchen. Mom came to the door and let me in.

"Where's your husband?", I asked. "He's not here.", she replied. "He's coming in from Brooklyn and there's a lot of traffic." I was focused on her and nothing else; totally oblivious to my surroundings, but I sensed a dampness in the air and a faint smell of.....chlorine!

I proceeded to sing my song, made her cry (which I LOVE to do!), and turned to exit. It was at that point, I saw a regulation sized built-in swimming the kitchen! "You have a pool in your kitchen!", I exclaimed. "Yes!"she replied ( with a subtle hint of "Well you're very observant, aren't you!"). I kissed her goodbye, wished her well, and went back to my car. I texted Tiffany to say "Mission Accomplished" and to note that there was a swimming pool in her parent's kitchen (as if she didn't know!). She texted back with an LOL!

I was halfway out of my tuxedo, when this car comes down the block and pulls in the driveway. I waited until the driver got out. I rolled down my window and asked, "Are you Chris?". "Yes", he answered somewhat cautiously. "Go inside," I insisted. "Why?" he said. "Just go inside". I put my tuxedo back on and went back to the house to sing once again, but this time to BOTH of them on their Anniversary. And this time, Chris cried.

Mom was great and gracious, offering to feed me. "No," I said, " I'd rather take a dip in your pool just so I can say, I did!"

"You look like a movie star!", she said. "My daughter's an actress out in California."

That made my day. That made my year!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Congratulations Natalie Portman

Preppygrams congratulates Natalie Portman for being awarded Best Actress at this year's Academy Awards for her work in "Black Swan".

Natalie received a Preppygram for her Sweet 16th Birthday, from one of her summer camp girlfriends, on May 31st, 1997 in New York City.


'Gram of the Week (2/21/11 - 2/27/11)

Straight from the pages of Shirley Maclaine in "Terms of Endearment!"

Shoshana is newly-married and living in Israel now. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, cell phones, Facebook, Skype, etc., she and her Mother speak MULTIPLE times a day. I used to marvel when someone called me from overseas to place an order, but it seems now as if I'm getting calls two or three times a week from someone in Australia, Dubai, the United Kingdom....or Israel!

Shoshana and her Mom, Dena, have a very special relationship. It seems they are best friends, as well as Mother/Daughter. Mom is in New York, working as a property manager for a co-op on the Upper East Side. Mom is also very hip, young, and attractive...and a ball of energy. She lights up a room with her enthusiasm.

Dena loves working out, a good glass of wine, Eminem, and men in uniform, like firemen (Why didn't you order the singing fireman, Shoshana?)

They do/did everything together; watch "General Hospital", "So You Think You Can Dance?"

I was dispatched to deliver a song, dressed in tuxedo to Dena on the job, stopping first at a Barnes and Noble around the corner to pick up a copy of Sam McBratney's "Guess How Much I Love You?"

In the movie, "Terms of Endearment," one of that movie's iconic moments was when Shirley climbs into her daughter's crib. The audience howled in either recognition of a simpatico moment or at the absurdity of it.

But how many of you have saved your daughter's first diaper?

"Of memories, I'm sure there is none riper
Than having to save your daughter's first diaper"