Hanging With Macy Gray & The Women’s Health Foundation Party.

Me & my new friend Macy Gray. A Kindred Spirit!

I am still buzzing from my great night performing (with Raymond on solo piano) for the Women’s Health Foundation at my all time home away from home: City Winery Chicago. It was a great party for a great cause: Women’s Pelvic Health – (the party is cleverly called “Below The Belt”) which offers education and access to health services and health options for all stages of life (adolescence, childbearing, menopausal and older women) They really encourage women to be proactive and act as their own advocates in regards to our reproductive health. The party was packed and well-funded. I believe the enthusiasm is due in great part to the group’s founder and chief Missy Lavender, a petite dynamo with a sweet disposition. Y’all know I do a lot of parties for all kinds of charitable groups but rarely do I get to be in the “front line” as a guest and performer. Since I opened the evening, I was able to do both.

But the ultimate perk of performing for this event was the chance to meet and hang out with Macy Gray! It was supposed to be a simple “meet and greet” backstage in the Green Room – you come in, meet the artist, take a photo and get the Hell out so they can have their privacy, but it turned into an almost two hour visit where we watched basketball, sipped wine and really got to know her. This of course was due to Macy’s open and kind hospitality: “Have a seat! You want a drink?” I am so impressed by her. She was so cool, mellow and funny. We watched the game (she’s a huge basketball fan) talked about big feet (Macy stands at six feet tall with feet to match) kids: her son graduates from high school next week, one is in college and there’s a 16 year old still at home, Pharrell: “I don’t know if I love the song “Happy” or that I’ve heard it so much that I’ve been programmed to do so!,” show business, her enthusiasm for her new record (due this Fall) Ohio (She’s from Canton, I’m from Dayton) being a grown woman in this business (she’s 44, I’m 52) and just general girlfriend chatter about MAC make-up brushes. We exchanged emails and promised to “stay in touch.” You betcha!

I meet a fair amount of celebrities but this really was the first time I felt like I actually made a friend.

I also got to perform with solo piano again which is something I used to avoid but now I am recalling my old gifts of reaching an audience. It takes a lot of confidence to break into a buzzing crowd of folks with just solo piano and get them to listen. I really stepped into this thinking I was going to be ignored as background music but folks were listening and once I got the vibe of the group I just took command of the room and sang my booty off. It was a triumph on so many levels.

I am loving my vocation today!

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