Like a lot of showgirls, I had/have/will always have a borderline obsession with Marilyn Monroe. The curvaceous lady-crooner with a panache for all things attractive. Her ethereal glow and signature platinum locks with lips as red, as the red-red rose leaping off the big screen, directly into your heart. She beams, she titillates, she’s one of a kind; but I found myself wanting so very badly to embody all things Marilyn…minus of course, all the pain, heartache, loneliness etc. As I sit absorbing her movies, no, films, I’ve tried to embody all things Monroe… And all the while I was a Lemmon.
Now, some of you not so obsessive vintage video buffs may not get the joke, so I’ll lay it out for you. There was a little movie called Some Like It Hot, in which a girl-crazy saxophone player Tony Curtis and silly bull fiddle strumming side-kick Jack Lemmon seek refuge from the Chicago mob during prohibition. Now, their only ticket out-of-town is with an all female band. So, in classic hijinks fashion the womanizer becomes the woman, and so does Jack. Not attractive women by any stretch, but womanly enough to get them into the band, onto the train and out of Chicago. Enter Marilyn, who plays “Sugar”, the bubble-headed blonde with the hourglass that takes all day. Then, just sit back and enjoy.
So, imagine teeny Gracie, daydreaming about growing up to be a scintillating Marilyn, oh what I dream-come true that would be…Fast forward a couple bunches of years and I find myself building this showgirl life. And of course there are brief moments of Marilyn, flashes. But my main squeeze is Jack Lemmon. And the greatest part about burlesque is that I get to be myself. So, even though it’s not who I wished so very hard to be, it’s almost better. I am the comedy relief, the clown, the mule, the nag, a Lemmon, through and through. You know what they say, when life hands you Lemmon, make a joke about it . And if there was one thing ole’ Jacky boy knows about its jokes. Best of all, I am looking forward to being a Grumpy Old Man…oh, you know what I mean.