I am at such a loss today with the passing of Joan Rivers. Just a week ago, Wednesday, August 27, I was at her sold-out, what is now, final comedy show in NYC at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. She was on fire on that stage with classic jokes, new jokes, and a few jokes reworked. It's truly incredilbe that her last fully functional night on this earth was spent doing what she loved best...making people laugh.
I have been very fortunate to have been able to have met Joan several times over the past 9 years and she was always so kind and interested what was happening with me because I was her fan. She loved her fans so much! I will never forget the first time I met her in 2005 after seeing her perform at Fez in NYC's East Village. It was great to see her live on stage and then I snuck my way backstage and got to meet her. She was so nice. I remember her asking me, what the pink ribbon on my bag was. I told her it was for Breast Cancer because my mom had been diagnosed with it. She said that was too bad, but was glad my mom was okay.
It would be 4 years from meeting her at Fez to the next time I got to meet her. It was 2009, on my birthday. I took myself to see her at The Laurie Beechman Theatre and what a night it was! It was thrill to get to meet her after. She was just as nice and really took time to speak with me.
I then met her two more times in the next few years and again, including the Opening Night party of Broadway's Priscilla Queen of the Desert. She was always kind and friendly. I had asked her a few times to sign a few pieces of memorabilia for me and while I am glad to have them all signed, the two items that are most cherrised are the DVD of Joan and Melissa's 1993 TV movie, "Tears and Laughter: The Joan & Melissa Story." I remember watching this movie when it aired on NBC and never forgot that movie. I was thrilled when it was finally released on DVD. I watch it pretty often as it gives me hope and inspiration when going through rough times. She wrote on that DVD it was a pleasure to meet me and then she said that she was so proud of this film. It really meant a lot to her. The second most cherished memorabilia is the DVD of Joan's documentary Piece of Work. I was so moved by Joan's documentary. It really showed what it meant to work hard!
I remember watching The Joan Rivers Show in the 90s. My favorite part of that show was when she would do "Gossip, Gossip, Gossip," and then read the gossip columns as to what was going on in the world of entertainment. That segment as well as her whole show made me smile. Two particular episodes I remember clearly were when she had "Madonna Maniacs" on her show when Madonna's Erotica & Sex book came out in 1992. It was so much fun to watch these fans talk about their love of Madonna. I also remember when she had select cast members from Beverly Hills 90210 on including Gabrielle Carteris. Another really fun episode.
I have several of her books, but the one book, I remember buying Bouncing Back: I Survived Everything...and I Mean Everything...and You Can Too because I was going through a rough time. I may never have finished that book, but just having it, always makes me feel better. All I have to do is look at the book cover and see that determined look in her eyes and I know I can get through everything.
I have so many Joan memories...watching her documentary, Piece of Work, seeing her in Spaceballs, watching her Red Carpet coverage (watching her made me want to do red carpet coverage, which luckily I have and always feel like Joan, minus the fashion questions because that's not my thing), and just laughing when watching her on stage.
She was an iconic trailblazing comedian who was strong, funny, compassionate, and determined. The world will never be the same without Joan Rivers, but I am sure glad we had her for as long as we did!
Thank You for the years of laughter and inspiration! I will miss you!