I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and the subject of favorite movies came up.
“Annie Hall.” There’s never any hesitation from me.
I receive the usual perplexed look followed with a slight, I don’t get it, but, okay grin.
“Shawshank is a GREAT movie.”
“Totally. Love the friendship between Red and Andy, and that scene when Andy locks himself in the room and blasts classical music on the loud speakers is one of my favorites.”
“Yea. It’s a great flick.”
“Have you seen Almost Famous?”
“Only half of it, on TV.”
“Ohhhh, you have to watch the whole thing. It’s so good. Every music lover-writer’s dream!”
It’s been years since I watched Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film, but there are so many things I love about Almost Famous, that I started You Tubing it immediately.
One of my favorite lines from the movie comes from a conversation William Miller has with Lester Bangs:
“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”
Nail. Head. Lightbulb.
Back in my stripping days, I thought I was a rock star – untouchable – the coolest of the cool. My friends and I always got the VIP treatment at the clubs, and the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll were in full swing.
Part of feeling invincible at the time, was just from being 23, but most of it (for me, anyway) stemmed from having my head so far up my g-string, I didn’t know my implants from my garter belt.
When the party ended nearly ten years later, I was struck with the reality of living an ordinary life. No velvet ropes, no limo rides filled with champagne and devious laughter. I stretched in to the morning with the rest of the world, buttoned up my business suit, and took the train to work. I had my implants removed, and tossed my old costumes (except for one stunner I kept, which is safely tucked away).
It was an adjustment.
I kept my stripper-self and drug induced history from my new co-workers and most friends I made along the way. In time, if I felt comfortable and trusted no judgment would come my way, I shared my secret life with you. This was always followed with questions I was happy to answer.
As time floated by, I settled in to my new life. The rear view mirror of neon lights and stripper poles became smaller, and I welcomed the normalcy of it all. No longer was it uncomfortable to mix with the rest of the world. I didn’t need the protective blanket of the stage.
Part of growing older is settling in to who we are – knowing ourselves. The weight of worrying about what others think is lifted when we lace fingers with confidence and self love. For me, it’s been an extreme adventure. On the road to finding who I am, without the validation of stripper money and circumstance, I’m starting to embrace the beauty of feeling uncool, which, when you think about it, is pretty fucking cool.
For those who haven’t seen Almost Famous, here’s the clip of that quote and one of my favorite conversations of all time – enjoy!