Gender-Bending with Janeane: My Life on the D List

She turned her attention toward me and, without skipping a beat, introduced me to her companion as the "young lady who gets her coffee."

While attending college at USC, I worked at the Starbucks in West Hollywood described as the gayest that Santa Monica Blvd. has to offer.

I had been watching Janeane Garafolo order lattes for about a month before I had a chance to talk to her. Then one evening, I dressed in drag to attend an open-mic amateur night at a club on Robertson. Looking up from my cocktail as I sat at the bar, I said hello to Janeane, who sat on the stool beside me. She turned her attention toward me and, without skipping a beat, introduced me to her companion as the "young lady who gets her coffee."

I explained that I happened to be dressed in drag as part of an acting exercise I was doing to hold character. Because I was often sent out on auditions for roles requiring a gender displacement, being undetectable was necessary. I told her I had often seen her carrying boxes down Fountain Ave., which she explained was part of an exercise regime. "I want people to think I am moving, but I am really only working out," she said.

I found it rather odd but expected nothing less from the kooky comedienne. She invited me to stay and watch her friend perform, noting that I might recognize the tarty redhead from her role on _Suddenly Susan,_ the Brook Shields sitcom. I admitted that I had seen her but secretly wasn't entirely thrilled.

Years later, when Kathy Griffin's _My Life on the D List_ achieved an Emmy and worldwide fame, I fought back tears as I remembered the way I casually passed up a chance to meet the irreverent funny lady in person. Janeane and Kathy had been friends since meeting at the "Groundlings.":http://www.groundlings.com/start.htm Lisa Kudrow was among their castmates. Kathy was the last to achieve groundbreaking fame.

For the rest of the time I worked at Starbucks, I fostered a rapport with Janeane that transcended drink orders. How I have since yearned for a date with Kathy.

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