[Begin speech with dim lighting and face away from crowd] Hello, everyone. First of all, thank you all for attending my concert here at the Providence Civic Center! [Pause for audience cheering] I bet that you were expecting Cyndi Lauper; totally radical singer and songwriter. Right? Well, I’m sorry to tell you, you will not be meeting Cyndi. [Wait for audience boo’s and questions] I wanted to give my fans something even more special than that. So, tonight, you will be meeting the real me. Who I am off stage, who I am when I’m not in the recording studio, on stage, or even at an interview.
Tonight, folks, you’ll be meeting Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper. [Pause for audience to applaud] [Turn towards audience and grab the microphone] [Bow jokingly] And I think that the real me will surprise most of you. Now, who am I when I’m out of reach of the public eye? Let’s see. I was born on June 22, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. Although | was born in Brooklyn, I was raised by my wonderful mother[point to mom in the front row, smile]in Queens. | have two rockin’ siblings, Ellen and Fred. When my parents divorced, my mother raised all three of us, waitressing for a living.
And after getting kicked out of several schools and finally after getting a high school equivalency degree, I tried some odd jobs as well to help out the family as well. See, most people think that just because I was born and raised in New York that I’m not a proper lady, but on the contrary! I do speak the Queen’s English. It’s just the wrong Queens, that’s all. It’s over the 59th Street Bridge. It’s not over the Atlantic Ocean. [Let audience laugh] Thad a number of jobs before I was able to become a successful musician, though.
I waitressed several joints, tried out being an office assistant, played in a few bands and I was a singer at a Japanese restaurant. I was even part of the WWE “Rock and Wrestling Connection”, [Flex arms comically] Where I managed champion Wendy Richter. That’s why I was with Hulk at the Grammys, in case you were wondering. [Smile] I bet most of you didn’t know that I was Blue Angel before I was Cyndi Lauper, though. When I was younger, I was the lead singer in a band called Blue Angel. We only released one album before splitting up, and a very unsuccessful album, at that.
Fashion, aside from music, is one of my passions as well. I actually went to Fashion Industries High School as a teen. There was this one killer store in the 70’s called Screaming Mimis’ that| absolutely adored. It helped me through some hard financial times back when I used to sing at night and work retail during the day. It inspired my fashion that I wear today, and shopping there was one of my favorite pastimes. But I love to shop anywhere, of course. See, most people shop to live. Well, not me. I live to shop. [laughter from the audience] And I have to confess, it’s an addiction of mine.
Although that tiny little vintage store in New York was fun while it lasted, my real passion now is music. Back to Hulk Hogan for a minute. I’m not involved with wrestlers anymore, rest assured, but Hulk did accompany me to the 27th annual Grammy awards ceremony last year. Climbing out of the limo, it was a dream come true. Music stars from everywhere strode into the Shrine Auditorium with confidence and poise. Ever celebrity in the music world that you could imagine was there that night, from Tina Turner to the Judds.
Have you ever been to Los Angeles? point to audience member] Have you? [point to someone else][shake head in disbelief] Then I don’t know how I’m going to possibly explain this place to you, but I’ll try. [laugh] Growing up in New York, I’d seen some large buildings, but none of them compared to this place. It was gorgeous. I felt tiny standing in it’s shadow. Now, I’m no architect, but it was some beautiful architecture. Palm trees lined the spotless sidewalk, and the yellow-topped steeples were absolutely stunning. An American flag waved proudly above the jam-packed building.
Hundreds of what seemed like thousands of people milled around, waiting anxiously just like myself. Walking inside was one of the best feelings. John Denver stood at the podium patiently as musicians from all around filed in one-by-one to the gigantic auditorium. As names were called and people with smiles accepted their awards, I sat by Hulk Hogan, studying the layout of the huge room. A crystal chandelier dangled above rows upon rows of red velvet chairs. Lights brightly illuminated the stage that I would soon walk up onto.
Anyways, the kickin’ night zoomed by, with Denver presenting a variety of other awards like “Best Classical Performance” given to Yo-Yo Ma for Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites, “Best Inspirational Performance to Donna Summer for Forgive Me lyrics, “Best Reggae Recording” to Black Uhru for “Anthem”, “Song of the Year” to Graham Lyle and Terry Britten, who were the songwriters of “What’s Love Got to Do With It? ” performed by Tina Turner, and “Best New Artist” to my personal favorite, Cyndi Lauper. [pause for laughter] I felt like I was on Cloud 9 when I stepped on the stage.
Hulk towered over me as I gave my thankyou speech. I felt the exact same way when I accepted my Best Female Video award for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the 1984 Video Music Awards and when I found out that I had four topfive singles from my album She’s So Unusual. Thave to admit, it was fun being Cynthia again for one night. I’m so glad you all could make it out here to see my True Colors world tour. Although I have to go back to being Cyndi Lauper for now, let me tell you something: This girl is having fun.