One afternoon, I received a phone call from a client who was planning his annual Summer bash in upstate NY. He spent about twenty minutes telling me all the details of his upcoming extravagant party. Since he was the partial owner of a football team, a ton of VIP sports stars were attending along with a few celebrities. But the one celebrity he wanted there and couldn’t get was Lady Gaga.
“I watched your videos and saw your photos and there is no one who can pull this off aside from you. You are a dead ringer.” He said. “But we need to make this super fucking authentic, so I’m going to have actual bodyguards meet you when you arrive. These guys are like 6’2 linebackers. I’m also gonna send a limo for you, but I want you to hire two guys to ride with you from NYC as personal body guards. You are gonna go right from the limo to perform and then straight back to the limo, so no one figures anything out. If we can pull this off everybody is going to be talking about this party for years. Name your price.”
Four months later the day of the gig arrived. I got into my “Fame” era look-(which was current at the time) at my apartment. My friends who were playing my fake bodyguards arrived on the early side. We decided to have a glass of wine while waiting for the limo to show up, before embarking on the two plus hour ride upstate. After a bit, I got a call on my cell phone that the driver was outside. When I got downstairs in full Gaga attire, the doorman looked really confused. I don’t think he knew who I was out of costume, or what apartment I had come from. We walked outside and people on the street looked stunned as “Lady Gaga” and her bodyguards got into the long black stretch limo.
When the driver closed the doors for us I took off my sunglasses and looked around in awe. I had never been inside a limo before in my life. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The back was fully stocked with booze, water and snacks. The driver hopped in the front and told us to buzz him if we needed anything, before rolling up the patrician. We had hardly made it out of Manhattan before busting open the booze, and take full advantage of the amenities.
Two drinks and two hours later, we were so far from the city that we had seen nothing but trees go by for a long time. Because of traffic, the ride was taking longer than anticipated, and my bladder felt like it was about to explode. I had been holding it for awhile, but I was literally about to pee my fishnets. I asked one of my “bodyguards” to buzz the driver and ask how far we were from the nearest rest stop or destination. The dark patrician slowly slithered down and he told us the next exit was about a half hour and the destination was even further away. I tried my best to hold it, but after ten more minutes I was having a true peemergancy. I knew there was no way I was making it to that rest stop. My friend buzzed the driver again and said “Hey, Gaga has to pee like NOW. Can you pull over? The driver responded “OK, but there’s just woods around here.”
We came to a slow stop as the limo pulled over on the shoulder of the road. I climbed out in my seven inch Gaga platforms, and was faced with a steep hill, leading into an area of dark woods with dense trees. It was dark out, so I used my cell phone for light. Cars were flying by us and drivers were doing double takes at this ridiculous scene. “If i’m not back in 5 minutes, create an Amber alert”, I told my fake bodyguards. I heard them both hysterically laughing as strutted deep into the trees in my Lady Gaga costume, seeking a hidden pee area. I was convinced that I was about to be attacked by some wild animal or get bitten by a tick and get Lyme Disease.
Getting down two layers of tights and a shaper wasn’t easy, but the biggest challenge was maintaining a squat in my huge platforms so that I didn’t pee on myself. Peeing in the woods was for sure not as easy as I had expected. I was tipsy, and actually tipping over. After about a minute of the best pee of my life, I realized I had no toilet paper. In an attempt to shake it off, I lost my balance and landed ass first into the wet freshly peed on ground. With my legs and huge Gaga platforms splayed out in front of me, I could see the limo through the trees, parked in the distance and started laughing hysterically at how ridiculous this all was. Once I managed to get myself back together, I strutted out of the woods as fabulously as I had gone in, and climbed back inside the limo like nothing had happened.
“Hey guys…….do I smell like pee?” I asked my fake bodyguards. They assured me I didn’t smell like pee, and plucked some leaves out of my wig.
When we finally arrived at our destination, my client jumped in the limo. “Oh my god you look amazing!” he said, and handed me an envelope stuffed with a huge stack of hundred dollar bills. He then gave me a quick play by play of what we had to do next. We pulled around to the back of his McMansion and waited. When the limo doors opened, about eight huge security guys surrounded myself and my fake bodyguards as we made our way to the red carpet. I took photos with celebrities and sports stars, while still worrying that I smelled like I had fallen in pee.
After photos were finished I was surrounded by bodyguards again, and led with flashlights to a small stage. I looked out and was shocked to see about 300 people waiting while the DJ played. This crowd went wild when they caught a glimpse of me, and started chanting, “GAGA! GAGA! GAGA! GAGA!”. My fake bodyguards took their places on both side of the stage, the DJ handed me a mic and fired up my tracks. During my set, all I could see was a sea of cell phones being held up taking pictures and videos. I reached out during Poker Face to grab the hands of a group of kids who were reaching to me from the front row. They got so excited they started crying.
After I finished my last song, the security team surrounded me and walked me back to the limo. As we started to pull away, some of the kids from the party chased us and screamed for the driver to stop. We had to roll down the window, because they wanted me to sign autographs. As we started to pull away we caught a glimpse of the private fireworks show my client was putting on. Everything had felt so surreal from behind my Gaga glasses. Taking them off was like waking up from a dream.
Our ride home was uneventful, and I luckily didn’t have to pee again. When we arrived back in Brooklyn, I thanked my friends for tagging along on my crazy adventure and handed them their $200 each. “Your life is wild and I love it” one of them said to me, before heading back to the subway.
Once I was back inside my apartment I stripped off my wig, makeup and costume, slowly becoming myself again. This was always the most depressing part after a gig. Going from the pure adrenaline rush of a screaming crowd and being treated like a famous pop star, back to being myself-a nobody who just happened to look like a somebody.