Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday, Lucille Ball!

The other day, 100 years ago, Lucille Desiree Ball was born. If you don't know who she is, I'm sorry for you and I honestly would like to seriously question your upbringing. If you do - you already know about her. She'll be The Queen of Comedy until this world stops spinning. Personally, she is an inspiration. As an actress, she is my teacher and mentor.

When I was growing up, I always watched I Love Lucy. I remember sitting in my grandparents living room in Detroit, MI watching her on TV Land. Did I know what was going on? Nope. More than anything, I remember the bouncy lights on the Lucy Desi Comedy Hour intro, and the conga drum in the beginning. When I got older, still, that is all that was allowed on the TV in my Uncles house. I was only allowed to pick from the array of I Love Lucy VHS tapes on the shelves for entertainment.

As I got older, I didn't care for or watch her much or at all. I still loved my classics, and would watch when they would be on. Here and there I'd catch a TV Land marathon of I Love Lucy and The Golden Girls, but Lucille Ball wasn't heavy on my radar.

When I turned 21, my best friend Kyle's mother got me 'Love, Lucy' by Lucille Ball. I had spoken with her on the phone several times while I had watched my I Love Lucy marathons, and so she knew I had some kind of interest in her. I had a flight to take the next week to Georgia, so I started reading the book on the plane... I can't tell you how much I gave a shit about Lucille Ball after that book.

Personally, as an aspiring actress, that book spoke more to me than anything else I could find. More than any class I could take. More than any living person I could talk to. She gives so much advice to aspiring actresses, and tips and hints on how to behave and what to do. After reading that book, YouTube and I became best friends. I made it my mission to research everything she had talked about - see every movie she had refrenced - and watch every lecture that was availiable.

Lucille Ball cared about the younger kids, like me, trying to make it in this industry. She brought on Carol Cook, helped out Carol Burnett, and worked on several other things with other people and other kids trying to further them. She would look for kids who really would work, she she expected you to work. If you didn't work, you got axed. She expected you to do as well as she knew you were able. Lucille Ball! The biggest star in the biz! Can we even think of any huge A-List celebrities who would do that now'a days? I sure can't.

Would go to schools and answer questions... and when people told her how much they loved her, and how amazing they thought she was - never once did she take it light heartedly. It really meant something to her every time she heard it, because she fought for it for so long. She made me realize what it means to develop as a woman first, and an actress second. She taught me what it means to work hard in this business, and how to 'pay it forward'.

I guess I'd just like to say an official Happy Birthday to you, Lucy, on your 100th. I can hear you now, "100 is depressing! Why in the hell would anyone want to celebrate my 100th?!" ...but you'd be elated just the same. Thank you so much for leaving so much behind for people such as myself to learn from. Thank you for being an inspiration - from a girl who just had a dream, being kicked out of Drama School - to being the Queen of this whole industry! Classy, and full of morals - but loved no less. I admire you. I aspire to be half of what you still are. Every time I re-watch anything you have done, I still ALWAYS learn a new lesson. I have everything via comedy to thank you for - I know you always say you can't teach what you do, but your a great study... and I hope you think I'm doing pretty well. People quickly forget that you weren't just amazing in comedy, but drama and all else too. You were all around an amazing actress.

Anyways, thank you. I know you recognize how much I do truly look up to you. I hope one day I can use your old dressing room at Paramount. I hope one day I can shoot a film where you shot I Love Lucy.  I hope one day I'm at your studio, and I get to have one hell of a memorable experiance. My only wish is that I had the opportunity to get to work with and learn from you first hand.

It's been said to you a million times in a million different ways, but I do love you, Lucy.

Happy Birthday, love. You truly are missed.