Thursday, May 24, 2012

A guy who REALLY should be selling-out Radio City by now...

Last night, I went down the block from my former elementary school to see Peter Cincotti perform. (While I was waiting for my friend, my cousin Vincent walked by and we talked for a bit. Vincent bears an uncanny resemblance to Tony Danza...this will play into our story later.)

I've been a fan of Peter for over ten years and have been singing his praises to anybody who will listen for just as long. A line in his song "Cinderella Beautiful" also inspired me to write a character (one who does not like Christmas time) which eventually led me to create the play which would be my off-Broadway debut. For that inspiration, I will always be very grateful to Peter.

I think it's a combination of the fact that I really do just think his music is completely brilliant and I feel a kinship with him since we're both from Italian-American New York City families and lost our dads as kids. (He also said in an interview once something along the lines of, "I wish I was around back in the day when people would go-out to dinner and wear nice hats." That pretty much sums-up how I feel about the world.)

I'm just really rooting for this guy and I want the rest of the world to take note of him.

He's awesome.

Peter did songs from his new album, Metropolis, which I am currently listening to on repeat. I actually kinda wish I was going-through a break-up right now because there are two fantastic break-up songs on it which I could be quoting and being all dramatic about. There's also a song called "Forever and Always" which makes me just want to break-out the roller-blades and head to the boardwalk and skate as I eat frozen yogurt and this song plays in the background. (If Jake Gyllenhaal is available to join me in this scenario, he is very welcome to.) And, of course, "Do or Die", which I have mentioned before and inspired me to ride elevators nonstop until I met somebody in one.

When he talked about his last album, East of Angel Town, the crowd cheered and Peter said, "...I thought that album only sold about two copies in the States..."

With that comment, Peter addressed my only problem with him.

Why isn't he hugely famous?

Why isn't he on the radio?

Why do I have to explain to people who he is? (Or, worse yet, when they think he's "that guy who's like Michael Buble/Harry Connick/Jamie Cullum." No...Peter Cincotti is like Peter Cincotti. I used to refer to him as The Next Billy Joel...because nobody does it better with lyrics and a piano...but he's the First Peter Cincotti.)

I'm not sure why I'm taking this so personally, since I don't even know this guy. I think I'm just frustrated...maybe because we live in a world where people become cultural icons for no reason at all and Snookie is a best-selling author and somebody as wildly talented as Peter seems to be playing to a crowd which mostly seems to consist of people who know him personally. (Considering he hugged and kissed so many people there last night, I took it as a safe bet...and I don't understand it at all.)

I'm not looking at it from a superficial point of view...that Peter needs to be famous because he deserves to have a $14 million townhouse in the West Village...but because if he was famous, many more people would be inspired by his lyrics and his style...and for that, the world would be a better place!

One person who was not related to Peter at the show last night was Tony Danza. (I did a double-take and wondered what Vincent was doing there.) When Peter announced he was doing a number from a musical he wrote, Tony joined him on stage, playing himself in a dream sequence.

That Tony Danza duet wins every single last point for random hilarity.

Being around somebody as talented and versatile and creative and hard-working as Peter gives me a push to be the best I can a writer and a person.

I feel like I'm writing an 8th grade essay on somebody I admire right now.

You know, I can only imagine how proud Peter's mom must be of him.

I mean, I feel very proud of him and I'm not even old enough to be his mom!

Diana Rissetto

Friday, May 18, 2012

I think I give people the impression that I am way more together than I actually am.

I remember when I was a junior in college and my mom's friend wanted me to talk to her son. We were the same age and pretty much grew-up together. She said he wasn't sure what he was doing with his life, and she wanted me to talk to him since I was "so good with stuff like that."

Was I?

Was I, really?

I didn't really know exactly what I was doing.

I always told people I was going to be a writer, and I remember when I made my off-Broadway debut in 2010 telling my former high school English teacher (who is today a good friend...just the way I work) that I realized how lucky and blessed I was to be doing what I always said I'd do. It was luck. It was blessings. I recognized that. Maybe people mistake that for me having my act together.

But I had no idea what to tell this other kid about what he was supposed to be doing with his life. I felt as completely lost as he did!

The other night, I got a text message from a very old good friend from high school (and junior high, for that matter). We catch-up every so often in person. Her text said that she was freaking-out about nothing working-out, about ending-up all alone, what if she was too picky and would be alone forever, what if she already REJECTED the right guy and would never have another chance...etc.etc.etc.

I called her right away (it's hard to have heart-to-hearts over text message). After telling her that I have MANY of the save fears and I wasn't sure if that made her feel better, but she wasn't alone in her fears, I ended-up saying something which is probably the wisest thing I have ever said.

"NONE of us look at ANY our friends and think, 'She's going to be alone forever!'...So....WHY do we look at OURSELVES and think that?"

There was silence...

And then my friend told me that that made her feel a lot better.

Hours later, another friend (also another fabulous girl, as all my friends are) called me and we ended-up on the same topic.

I told her the words of wisdom I had shared with my other friend a little while ago.

Once again, the friend told me how right I was and how she never really thought about it that way...but that it made her feel a lot better.

Maybe I AM a good person to go to for advice, after all...

I wish we wouldn't all worry so much! I wish we weren't so hard on ourselves. I wish we treated ourselves with all the love and respect and admiration we treat our friends with.

How much easier would life be if we did???

Diana Rissetto 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yesterday, I grumbled grumbled grumbled...

...that chivalry was dead.

I held the door open for a middle-aged man who was behind me, expecting him to take the door from me, like a normal person would.

He didn't.

He walked right through it, not even LOOKING at me or making ANY attempt to take the door from me.

I was too annoyed to even give a sarcastic, "You're WELCOME!" I spent the next few hours rolling my eyes. What kind of a man expects a young woman to hold a door open for him and treats her like a common doorstop?

However, the Universe must have recognized how annoyed I was, because as I was leaving for my lunch break, I was in an elevator with a group of people who obviously all knew each other. When we got to the ground level, some people got-out...and then a young man with floppy brown hair gallantly (yes! GALLANTLY!) held-out his arm to show myself and another woman out of the elevator.

I smiled to myself and heard the other girl say, "What a SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN! Where are you from, again?"

The young man responded with, "N'Awlins!"

They raise nice young men in N'Awlins.

This guy is from N'Awlins, after all.

I couldn't resist turning around and saying, "And this morning, some guy let me hold a door open for him and didn't acknowledge me!"

The girl said, "You see? A true Southern gentleman."

Now, I couldn't help remembering that just a few weeks ago, after listening to Peter Cincotti's new single "Do or Die", I announced to the world (Facebook status readers) that this song about a guy trying to come-up with something to say to a girl in the elevator was inspiring me to spend all my free time riding elevators until I met a nice guy.

And what happens after I say that?

A true Southern Gentleman walks into my elevator.

(Of all the elevators in New York City...)

Today, as I was entering the building after my lunchbreak, I was behind a group of people with pizza.

And one young man with floppy brown hair.

He held the door open for me and I said, "You waved me out of the elevator yesterday, too!" (I couldn't help it! It slipped right out of my mouth! At least I didn't say, "You GALLANTLY waved me out of the elevator yesterday.")

He said, "Why, yes, I did" and I mentally "filed that one under 'oh my gosh, he talks just like Harry Connick.'"

The dorky hopeless romantic in me had very fleeting, "Maybe the entire reason I ended-up at this temp job was because I was supposed to meet this Southern Gentleman" and "the next time he holds the door open for you, SCAN HIS LEFT HAND FOR A RING!"

But the realistic part of me (which isn't too much of a percentage) gets that I'm probably not going to end-up with this guy, and I'll most likely never see him again (even though my friend Nick's parents DID randomly meet in an elevator.)

I do think, however, that there are no accidents in life and that gallant wave of a hand came at the perfect moment...there's some really good guys out there left in our age just have to hope they walk into your elevator.

Diana Rissetto