Meet Mimi. She is a wonderful fan who loves to sing and dance. So it is no wonder that Damian’s musical side – from Damian playing the guitar to Damian doing Karaoke to Damian loving to sing and dance – has inspired her as she thought about the dream role she would like to cast him in. Huge thanks go to Mimi for taking the time to write her deeply personal “dream role” story. ENJOY!
I think they all thought America would solve their problems, make them happier in some way. Because after all, this is the land of opportunity – where DREAMS really do come true! My mom always tells me that before she came here from Israel, she imagined that everything was going to be PINK! THEN SHE ARRIVED IN BROOKLYN. It was dark, gloomy and depressing. She would take the subways, walk through the “dirty” streets and say to herself: “I want to go back home.” And she did, shortly after arriving in the U.S. to visit her sister, Leah. Leah, the middle sister, was already here working her first job as a hairstylist in Brooklyn.
My mom returned to Israel and already had a few jobs lined up, one of them at a hospital where her mother was working. But she didn’t stay for very long. Leah was lonely in America. She called begging my mom to come back and live with her. They were very close– opposites in many ways– but extremely close. Leah was fierce, fearless, beautiful and ambitious. TALK ABOUT GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS! She did it, she really went after it. Leah worked hard for years, built a successful business of her own and ended up in Scarsdale, where she ran a high-end beauty salon. Leah was my hero. I remember her always running around SOHO looking for pieces of clothing for her beauty shop boutique. She was always in great shape, wore the trendiest clothes and of course had the best hair! She reminds me a little of SJP’s character on Sex and the City.
So, when my mom came back the second time, she landed a job at the Board of Jewish Education in Manhattan. Even though her English wasn’t great, she managed. They wanted her to type in Hebrew. It was here that she met my father who came into the office looking for work. My mom found him his first job in Bayside. He’s a Cantor/musician, also Israeli. My mom always says to me now (they’re divorced) that if it wasn’t for that DAMN guitar and the music, she never would have married him. A broke Israeli with no job …. No way! But she loved to sing. They made two albums together and went on to perform together as the ‘Kol Golan Duo’ for many years in NY and FL.
Things were pretty great for a while. Then, my brother and I went off to college.
Fast forward, 20 years later, and my mom now sits alone in her house. No one gives a fuck about her anymore and she’s basically a recluse! I feel bad when she says things like, “I never should have left Israel… my life could’ve been so much better right now.” But so many years in America, she’s grown accustomed to life here and the convenience and access to basic things. Also, at her age she’s afraid to start a whole new life somewhere else. Besides, she always says she wouldn’t go back now because me and my brother are here.
Sometimes I wish she could go back to Israel. Two of her brothers went back after living in America for a very long time. She has lots of cousins, aunts & uncles there too. I think part of her is just afraid. Also, she and my dad remain friends. She lives right near him actually and I think there’s still a part of her that doesn’t want to be too far away from him, despite everything.
This is just part of my parents’ story but there is so much of MY own story that I want to tell. More importantly there is so much more that I want to experience in life. Part of me would also love to see Damian in a role that showcases his singing and dancing. When I think about all the trips I’d like to take when it’s safe to travel again, I fantasize about being a hotel lounge singer who sets off on an exciting journey to find the person I always longed to be.
Let’s call this singer Mimi.
Mimi feels restless and anxious. Too much time has passed. Everything seems to be moving so quickly now. There’s still so much of this country she hasn’t yet seen. A road trip seems like the perfect idea.
Mimi has felt for a long time that there’s so much more she wants to explore. Now that the kids are getting older she has more time to think about herself. Could she really be a traveling hotel lounge singer and begin a new career at her age? Maybe, if she finds the right partner (enter Damian😊).
Mimi always felt like she missed out on so much because she didn’t follow her heart when it was time to make the decision on where to go to college.
But maybe it’s not too late to fulfill some of her lifelong dreams.
One of my favorite interviews with Damian was the 2014 one he did with Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs.
Damian is so witty & funny and clearly an amazing storyteller! (There’s a great one he tells in this interview about him meeting President Obama when he was on Homeland). Damian would be a great person to have “on the road” while making our way across country as a lounge singing duo! He has a great sense of humor and every time I hear his cast mates speak about him, they always say what a wonderful person he is and what a great work ethic he has.
As an 11-year-old in his first big school production, Damian says he forgot the whole 3rd act, but instead of running away embarrassed he soldiered on. He seems to make the best of every situation! I don’t think I would have to worry if we blew out a tire on the way to one of our gigs. I have a feeling Damian would be able to handle it!
When he talks about his own parents it reminds me of my early home life too. A very musical family, a compassionate and loving mother and a father who sang in the choir.
One of the reasons I chose this type of dream role for Damian is because on two of my favorite shows –Billions and Homeland – we rarely get to see that side of Damian that comes out in the interviews. That funny, silly, musical side.
But mainly I chose it because I learned also that he’s a huge fan of Jazz. That’s the genre of music I’ve really been delving into over this last year during the pandemic — when I decided to make a serious effort to return to my music.
I noticed that he posts quite a bit of jazz clips on Twitter from Kansas Smitty’s club in London, which I’ve really enjoyed listening to. He also chooses Bix Beiderbecke’s “Goosepimples” as one of the tunes he’d like to be cast away with — during the interview with Young.
I started watching the Ken Burns Jazz documentary during the early months of the lockdown and I clearly remember the story of Bix — mainly because he died so young – but also as Damian said because he was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s!
“Being on stage is like swimming. You forget for 90 mins about everything else… It’s a lovely place to be.”
I love that quote from Damian and it was so true especially during this past year, when we all needed an escape (within our homes) during the pandemic. I saw a few posts on social media from Damian as he played his guitar from home and it reminded me: There are no other things in the world I’d rather be doing than singing and dancing!
Damian makes it very clear too that HE LOVES TO DANCE!!
I could see myself (as Mimi the lounge singer) after a long night of sets just wanting to kick back with a glass of bourbon throwing on some Supertramp and dancing with Damian till the sun came up as he described doing during the “Second summer of Love” (1989) when he grew his hair long, went to raves and rode his motorbike through the south of France.
You can see Mimi perform my all-time favorite song “Dance me to the End of Love” here. She is fab!