I cannot express what this was like!
Thanks to my wonderful guy, Richard, I was blessed with front row seats and a spot at a meet and greet on March 22nd at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.
If you are fan or friend, you already know how much "characters" are a love for me and that Lily Tomlin was not only a light in a dark childhood, but THE influence of all things comedy to me.
It started with Laugh In and continued from there. Watching Edith Ann and Ernestine as a child, I have vivid memories of her on TV when she was younger and taking over America's hearts.
I can remember so many times doing my Edith Ann and Ernestine impersonations....I still do them :)
Amazing, sitting there watching her doing probably? about 15 characters in a two-hour show with no props...just her, two bottles of water and energy that would make even a 30 year old jealous.
Here's what happened at the meet and greet:
We heard some laughter coming from the hallway and then she entered. Lily stands about 5'6"-7", about 130 lbs. I guess? Great skin, hair, simple yet oh so elegant!
I was probably in some sort of "frozen state" as I couldn't even believe I was in this same small basement room in Riverside (of all places) with my funny heroine. She speaks out, "well, come on, don't be shy!" Everyone laughed. I took the opportunity to get the first alone moments with her. Cameras were snapping everywhere.
"Lily, my name is Norma Jean. I'm a comedian too."
"Well, you know my name's really Mary Jean"
I smiled big, "Yes, I know that."
"I just want to tell you, you've been my biggest comedy influence. Because of you, I started doing characters with my comedy. It's such a pleasure to meet you."
"Well, it's good to meet you too."
"One thing I wanted to be sure to tell you, I worked with you on 12 Miles of Bad Road. You were way across the courtyard at that big mansion patio up in Pasadena where we were shooting."
"You know, they didn't pick it up."
"Yeah, I know, I was very disappointed. I love that show."
"I asked the PAs where you were so I could introduce myself and meet you. I went up the hill as one sent me to your wardrobe trailer. You were already changing for another scene and they wouldn't let me see you. I said, "but she's my idol...please, please."
"Sorry, if we weren't on such a tight schedule..."
"Lily, I cried all the way home, I was so sad."
She was holding my hands the whole time I was telling her this and I'm sure she was moved.
"Here's my card, I'd love for you to visit my site and see what I'm doing."
"Ok, I'll do that."
Reporters shouting: "Here Lily, Over here Lily"
As we posed and they started snapping away.
Lily (Mary Jean) Tomlin will be 69 this year. I still can't believe it. If I look this good at 69, I'm going to BRAG about my age! And, yes, the name similarities are ironic, aren't they?
I could only DREAM that she'd consider me for protege status before she retires.
People, I held my tears until I got back to the car and cried for a good five minutes. I don't usually hold it in when I'm excited but this time I did. I think Richard was shocked too...haha!
Here's some great memories I want to share with my readers:
Press Photos by: Rose Botkin-Beuck