The Lucy Lawless Files - Help Is on the Way Benefit - 2 August 2004
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Report by DrummerLiz
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(C/O MaryD)

A behind the scenes Report

I play drums in the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and was thrilled to say the least when we were asked to perform at Help is on the Way. For those of you who attended, I was the first drummer to walk across the stage in Carole Cook's entrance.  What was great about the whole thing is the Band were the only non-professionals performing, but we were treated just like any other performer.

There was a rehearsal in the late afternoon and of course I was keeping my eyes out for Lucy.  I first saw her on stage when we rehearsed the final number and bows.  She was watching the sign language dude and dancing and doing all his signs.  A fellow band member turned to me and  said "nice cheekbones".  yeah.

Before the event, I had promised my bandmates I would be the slave of anyone who got Lucy Lawless to sign my drum.  I figured this would increase my chances if it was the type of situation where she was surrounded all night.  Turns out that wasn't the case at all.  Backstage was very laid-back and after the rehearsal I walked by the food table with my drum and there she was, all by herself, getting some food.  So I approached and tapped her on the shoulder.  I shook her hand and introduced myself and said "it's a pleasure to be on the same bill as you" and some other stuff I don't remember because I was nervous and trying to play it cool, like I run into Lucy backstage everywhere.  At first I didn't ask for an autograph because she was getting her food and I didn't want to be pesky, but I didn't think I'd get another chance so I said, "Lucy, will you sign my drum?"  She, of course, was very gracious and asked me a little about what I was doing in the show and we shared a little small talk. 

Remember the part about the slavery for signature?  Well, as Lucy is signing my drum, a bandmate yells out my name and approaches with Lucie Arnaz in tow, saying "I got Lucy for you.  Now you're my cabana girl." I handed over the drum and Lucie signed it as well.  As we left, my bandmate realized she had the wrong Lucie, but to be fair, from a distance they did look remarkably similar.  "What kind of lesbian are you?"  I said, conveniently forgetting I didn't know who she was until 2001.

I saw Lucy several more times that evening.  The women's bathroom was in the dressing room she was sharing with some of the other performers, so I had to go into her dressing room every time I needed to pee or check my costume in a mirror, which for some reason happened a lot.  We exchanged hellos a couple times and she asked me how my part went.  Of course I had gone back to the band and showed everyone my drum, after which another band member said "I shared a cookie with her"  I called her a bitch of course and she said they were both at the food table and Lucy took a cookie and broke it in half and my friend said" you're like me, you only take half", at which point Lucy gave her the other half of her cookie.

After the show, one thing I found kind of remarkable was the ease in transitioning back and forth from Lucy Lawless - celebrity, to just Lucy. There were several photographers backstage. The celebrity is really tall and glamorous with that unbelievable smile and the regular girl is open and friendly with an entirely different unbelievable smile.

All in all a wonderful experience, one I won't forget anytime soon.


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