I don’t consider myself a comic but a performer. A comic tells bad jokes- Sandra Bernhard
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That’s what Sandra told me on the set of the film Hudson Hawk when I played Girl on Donkey #6 (I ended up on the cutting room floor, which never happened to meâ€¦well except for that time I did tequila slammers with the junior assistant editor on Smokey and the Bandit II) . Sandra played the role of Minerva Mayflower and I was mesmerized by her work. I’d make sure I was front and center for all of her scenes. Studying, observing Miss Sandra work her raw sexy beast persona to the hilt. After a few days of shooting she noticed that I was watching her every move. She confronted me. â€œKid, what’s your motivation?â€ she asked me. I loved that she called me â€œkidâ€ being that I was around 10 years her senior. I responded, â€œIt’s you, you are my comic goddess and I want to be dusted by your auraâ€ That’s when she told me she didn’t consider herself a comic but a performer, a storyteller. She caressed my cheek with the back of her hand and as I closed my eyes in a mix of admiration and lust she bitch slapped me hard across the face and then walked away. I’ve been in love with Sandra Bernhard ever since.
Sandra is a one of a kind performer; you either love her or hate her. Either way I would never ask her why you feel that way. Sandra has proved over the years that she is a unique triple threat â€“ a commanding actor, a stylish vocalist and a killer storyteller. As an actress she got her big break in film as Masha in â€œThe King of Comedyâ€ with Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis and having already gotten her television chops working on The Richard Pryor Show in 1977 moved on to tv fame by portraying a recurring lesbian character, Nancy on Roseanne.
To those unfamiliar with Miss Sandra’s live shows you may say â€œA singer, really?â€ Oh honeyâ€¦the woman can belt out a wide array of songs from â€œMidnight Train to Georgiaâ€ to â€œCircusâ€ by Britney Spears and even a duet with children’s favorite Dan Zane’s on â€œThrift Shopâ€ (a must listen for fans of thrifty fashion). Miss Sandra has also had two dance hits with a cover of Sylvester’s â€œYou Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)â€ and her own â€œOn the Runwayâ€. My personal favorites are her versions of Christina Aguilera’s â€œBeautifulâ€, Bobby Womack’s â€œAcross 110th Streetâ€ and Prince’s â€œLittle Red Corvetteâ€.
BUT as a storyteller and live performer is where she is at her best. When Miss Sandra is working a live audience, giving them all of her energy, feeding off their energy and reading politicians and celebrities alike to filth with command of the stage, she is in a class all her own. In show’s like the 1988 off Broadway hit â€œWithout You I’m Nothingâ€ and her critically acclaimed Broadway show â€œI’m Still Here Damn Itâ€ to her timely show â€œHero Worshipâ€ which she performed very shortly after 9/11 to an aching and hurting audience. She brought us all back to life and love through tears and laughter. I was there that nightâ€¦
It was my dream to talk to Sandra again after so many years so I wore my most sparkling outfit with a plunging neckline to let the girls out. I whipped my hair into a bouffant for days and took my seat nearly next to the stage. Sandra sauntered onto the stage and opened the show with â€œHolding out for a Heroâ€ by Bonnie Tyler. I swear, hand to the goddesses, I wet my Delta Burke panties. The crowd roared with cheers and laughter but all I could do was focus on those gorgeous lips as I nibbled on my salty Joe’s pub fries. I knew she locked in on my gaze and our eyes met and in that moment I just knew she wanted me. I jumped to my feet as the song ended and tossed a single red rose onto the stage. She stomped on it with rage and excitement.
After the show I made my way to the backstage area and told her handler that MargOH! was here. â€œJust tell Miss Sandra that Girl on Donkey # 6â€is here to see her.â€ I waited for what seemed forever but then she came out and whispered in my ear to meet her outside by her car (â€œYou’ll know which one is mine, babyâ€) as she glided by me. I ran outside in a flurry into the chilly night looking frantically in both directions. My teeth chattered as a chill ran up my spine. Out of nowhere Sandra startled me as her arms enveloped me with her lamb’s wool lined Burberry overcoat. She said â€œYou should cover those girls up; you’ll catch a chill kidâ€.
We sped off in her little red corvette (of course that was her car!). I fumbled with closing the door and my knee hit the glove compartment knocking it open. A flurry of dental dams fell onto my lap, â€œGifts from Robin Byrd?â€ I said and we busted into a fit of laughter. She brought us to Sacred Chow. She turned to me and said â€œWe’ll share a plate of kosher vegan meatballs kidâ€. I couldn’t believe how sexy that sounded coming from Sandra and that I was alone with my muse, my love goddess. I placed my hand on her knee and she gently pushed it away. We laughed and giggled over our plate of vegan meatballs and kosher wine especially when I dropped a ball in between the girls. Sandra took her finger and scooped up the excess sauce with her finger and licked it off. She looked as if she’d done something wrong. I took her hand and placed it upon my breast and said â€œMay I kiss you on the lips Miss Sandra?â€ I leaned over the table and our lips met with a bite of static electricity and sin. Then she got up and ran towards the door knocking over tables and vegan treats. I chased after her into the cold rainy night but she was already pulling away. I was left standing in the rain soaking wet with tomato sauce on my tit and a lamb’s wool lined Burberry overcoat that was starting to smell. I’ve never spoken to Sandra again. It was a fleeting moment, a treasured jewel in my box of life experiences. As I sit here writing this in my tattered lamb’s wool lined Burberry coat I don’t wonder what â€œmay have beenâ€ because I realize it was special. I had my very own special time with Sandra and I’m forever grateful.
This is what Sandra Bernhard does; she takes you on a fantasy ride like no one else has ever done. She gives you a little and even though you want so much more, you are grateful for it. She brings you to the heights and to the depths. She tears the shit up. She is an original diva who melds song, comedy and performance art into her own genre. She’s done it all, an actress of stage and screen, a recording artist and author. Sandra is a voice for women and the GLBT community just by living her life on her own terms. Sandra is a mother and partner of a power lipstick lesbian; a trailblazer for all of those that want to follow in her path. She is a woman who made her way inside and now speaks to and speaks for those on the outside. Sandra for President! It wouldn’t shock me, kids.
Whenever Miss Sandra is performing in New York I go and I still sit front and center. There are still times when she has locked eyes with me and ever so slightly quivers those magnificent lips. I still get a shiver down my spine and a tingle in my private places. Though now there are no spoken words or vegan meatballs, just a beautiful memory of what we shared.
Sometimes I close my eyes and hear her saying â€œMay I kiss you on the lips Miss MargOH!?â€
Thank you Miss Sandra and Happy Birthday!