I have this rare privilege of being able to pursue in my adult life what had been my childhood dream. One of them. My daily mortician gig certainly sprung from needy childhood issues and a fondness for processions, but like any media stuffed kid, there were many daydreams to chase.
I loved the Solid Gold dancers. The show broadcasted audio clips of the Top 10 songs of the week. It was hosted by people like Dionne Warwick and Rick Dees, Liberace-ish Wayland Flowers and his puppet, Madame—an outrageous old broad who entertained with double entendres and witty comebacks.
Solid Gold center stage was pure cheddar cheese hotness. The musical tracks were augmented by the dancing. These choreographed routines were all about ’80s excess with Jazzercise moves and cat-like floor work.
I didn’t just love those dancers for their fame; I loved their sleek look, the headbands with attitude and the nude, shimmering pantyhose. I wanted to look appealing and be able to dance like that. I was struck by their talent.
My more realistic dream was to write for Saturday Night Live. That dream is still alive. You just have to be funny. I just need to work a bit on funny. First I would have to capture the attention of creator and producer, Lorne Michaels. He finds talent in people who do improv, internet videos, standup comedians, writers, up and comers. There are lots of paths people have been hired from the world of theater and film, all funny people.
For nearly 40 years, Saturday Night Live has been a reliable engine for generating new comedic talent. Though new cast members come from many different avenues, there’s ultimately only one way to get on this NBC late-night franchise: impress Lorne Michaels.
But to work at SNL, I would have to live in New York. Nothing against the place, but that place isn’t here. It isn’t home. I have goats and live in the country. I am an Oregonian. I well up with pride as I write that sentence. So I will release my inner Solid Gold dancer and remain here in Boring, Oregon.