It's Tuesday and someone orders a girl jumping out of a cake. In a normal office job, the request for a female employee to do this would be classified as sexual harassment. Then there are those occasions when I am referred to as a chick. Aside from an observation about my gender, this is in fact correct. Not only am I female, but I am wearing a feathery costume that resembles that of our barnyard friends. Of course this is all after I sing a three song medley.
Yes, I am a singing telegram delivery girl.
When I tell people about my occupation I get one of two questions. The first is, "Do they still have those?" The answer is yes. Not only do they still exist but they keep a great many aspiring artists like myself employed. The second question I get is, "Do you strip?" Of course the guys ask this. The answer is, while I do the occasional bikini gram I do not go completely nude. However once a midget we employed, or little person as they prefer to be called, shed his clothing in a daring, impromptu maneuver in a gram gone wrong. While it caused my boss great anguish, I do have to admit it was a great story.
One might wonder how I got into the business of being a singing telegram. When I graduated from NYU in 2007 with my BFA in Acting from The Tisch School of the Arts, I needed a job that would pay my bills as I auditioned. As it stood, I hated retail and while I was an okay temp, I needed something flexible. So after struggling to find a job I watched Beaches one evening. After seeing Bette Midler fail in a bunny suit I said, "I could do better." Next thing I know I was at my computer googling singing telegrams. I called my boss Bruce and began my work for Broadway Singing Telegrams.
Since that time I say whenever Bruce touches me on the head with his magic wand I change costume. I have gone bananas as a pink gorilla. While a chicken, I have never run foul. During Easter I have bunny hopped. I have also sported backyard barbecue favorites such as the hot dog and hamburger. During baseball season I have been a Mets Gorilla, my song and dance being the only bright spot in their season. Through costume, I have been a pickle which means I can officially never be a cucumber. I cheered my way into Time Out NY. I showed my love on Good Day New York as a dancing heart. The love for old movies paid off as I impersonated Mae West, wore the white dress as Marilyn Monroe, and waited for Clarke Gable as Claudette Colbert. I can tell you from experience the Little Monsters go Gaga whether the Lady is real or fake, and Madonna is always in "Vogue." Sometimes I even push my limits "turning back time" as Cher, or "partying in the USA" as Miley Cyrus. Then there have been occasions when I treaded the boundaries of political correctness as a Yenta, or as Billie Holiday during a "Phone Gram."
On my job there is a song for every occasion, and a gram for every occasion. There is the traditional "Happy Birthday." Then there is the "I Love You," most popular on Valentine's Day, so take note fellas. When you have a friend under the weather there is the "Get Well," which comes with a can of chicken soup. Infamously, there is the "Stalker Gram," for those who want have serious amour from afar. There of course is the "I'm Sorry Gram," which almost always fails. If you are far away from your loved one there is the "Phone Gram." Lastly, you can never lose by sending a little person, or "Midget Gram" as we call them. Yes, we have everything. Any questions? Oh, and we deliver nationwide.
In my time as a performer I have been a mix of Sutton Foster and Rambo. One summer evening I caught on fire in my pink gorilla costume. Then I was ordered to a sweat shop dressed as a naughty nurse. While I escaped with inches of my life, it would have been cool to liberate the workers. There was that other time I delivered an "I'm Sorry Gram," innocently unaware I was settling a legal dispute. It didn't work and I was used as evidence in court. Of course I also accidentally violated a restraining order when delivering what I didn't know was a "Stalker Gram" in my chicken suit. Speaking of chicken suit, I accidentally accosted Spike Lee while in my feathery get up. Insert politically incorrect punch line here.
However, my job has been one of service. I have been blessed to be able to share wonderful moments with families, from birthday parties for the 90-year-old grandfather dressed as a chicken, to a military homecoming as a sailor girl. Sometimes I have even helped start families, because there are times I propose on behalf of love struck boyfriend in a Hershey Kiss costume. Then on occasion I am the messenger of joy, dressed in a chicken suit with a can of get well chicken noodle soup for the infirmed. Yes, I was a pink gorilla during fashion week and sang to Betsey Johnson. Alex Wang said my chicken suit needed some work but I was beautiful. I also did a "Phone Gram" to Marilyn Monroe's former piano player Artie Schaeffer as the legend herself. Oh and I even delivered a singing pink gorilla to AJ Daulerio of Gawker, complete with an Adderall Pill.
Someday, when I am an old senile woman dressed in a lobster suit to relive my youth, I will tell these tales to my grandkiddies. Until that day, if you aren't my flesh and blood, there are other ways you can hear my stories. Read my book, I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl