I totally met - maybe - Jennifer Holliday tonight in my bookstore.
Um, the stupid part was that I didn't immediately recognize her because, you know, she didn't weigh so much and have tremendous amounts of theatrical makeup on. So when she told me her name was Jennifer Holliday with a 212 area code while she was ordering a CD, I asked if she got the "Oh, like the woman from DREAMGIRLS ..." thing a lot. Then, I told her my name was Benji and that people always mention the movie dog to me.
Then I asked her if she'd ever seen the real Jennifer Holliday perform. And she said yes.
So I started talking about the original DREAMGIRLS soundtrack and the Jennifer Holliday performance of AND I AM TELLING YOU I'M NOT GOING on the Tonys from 1982 that I'd watched on YouTube. And Jennifer Holliday asked me if I knew how long ago that was. So I named off the original cast of DREAMGIRLS and said the whole thing was introduced by Tony Randall while reading a storybook. And, even though she said she wasn't that Jennifer Holliday, she looked impressed.
Then she changed her story, saying she actually has worked with Jennifer Holliday for 30 years (meaning that Jennifer Holliday employs a different Jennifer Holliday), when I told her that I was a big geek about Jennifer Holliday and LOVED the ALLY MCBEAL episodes that Jennifer Holliday was on, particularly the one where she performed SHORT PEOPLE. And she asked why that would make me a geek. (Keep in mind, she was pretending not to be the REAL Jennifer Holliday, just someone named Jennifer Holliday who knew and worked with the real Jennifer Holliday.)
Then I asked her if the REAL Jennifer Holliday was nice, and she said yes (which is different from everything else I've heard about the real Jennifer Holliday, though the woman I met tonight was very nice). Then I asked her if, as someone who's worked with the star for 30 years, if she could sing herself. She said yes, even though she was still pretending not to be Jennifer Holliday. So I asked her if she was any good at it, and she said she certainly thought so.
It was very funny.
The whole thing ended with me telling Jennifer Holliday to pass a message on to the REAL Jennifer Holliday the next time she saw her. I told her that Jennifer Holliday's music makes me happy - even though I'm not a very happy person. I said that her music lifts me up. So the woman named Jennifer Holliday told me that she'd tell the REAL Jennifer Holliday that exact thing.
It was totally Jennifer Holliday.
It was all I could do not to squeal in delight and call my mom while it was happening.
UPDATE: It continues here.