The countdown is on… Last year in December I won an auction which benefited the Adrienne Shelly Foundation (benefiting women filmmakers) to have lunch with Mr. Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman). I have always wanted to tell Paul what he meant to me growing up and how much it shaped who I am and what I do. I didn’t have the happiest of childhoods and he represented magic to me. Every Saturday morning I felt happy and safe during the time I was in the playhouse. I am now extremely grateful to be in the position to tell him myself. The secret word is “joy”.
Me – in 1991 with Paul’s handprints.
- 12 Nov
Pre wee – T-24 hours to Paul Reubens
- What are you thinking when you are on your way to fulfill a life long dream? Well, first of all you can’t sleep very well. It’s like Christmas but better, because well, you still have Christmas coming. You can’t believe it’s really happening, even though you have been assured many, many times over the last year that it’s real. You wake up to an email confirming the location of your meeting and realize in that instant that within 24 hours you’ll be walking into a restaurant saying “There’s a reservation under Paul Reubens”.
When I first saw the auction that would lead me here it was within about a month of “liking” Pee wee’s page on Facebook. Before you know it there’s a listing that Paul is auctioning off a lunch for charity, on ebay. You think about the chances of winning, and you think it’s too good to be true. How often in life does someone get a chance to say “Thank You” in person to someone who has inspired the life you’re living, to someone who’s overcome similar obstacles, a real person. Someone who’s maintained the same collaborations throughout their career and who’s innovation has inspired what you do in life? Rarely. The charity was the Adrienne Shelley Foundation, benefiting female filmmakers. You went to film school and have seen first hand what challenges women still have in the entertainment industry. So you feel, like most things in your life it’s a sign. You should do it.You gather your closest female friends together to watch the film that started it all. Inspired the first crush you ever had, on this magical, snarky, smart boy named Pee Wee. You watch Pee wee’s Big Adventure with your closest friends. You decide that you’re going to make the investment to do it. To splurge, because you’ve worked so hard to be able to do it. The night of the auction you head to one of your favourite client’s companies, in fact one of your first clients. Saatchi & Saatchi. The ones who took a chance on giving you one of your first projects when you went out on your own, when a lot of people wanted to see you fail. That night, surrounded by friends old and new, You win. You are going to have Lunch with the man who served as a bright and authentically human light in your otherwise dark childhood. The one who started the ball rolling, just like the breakfast machine in the first scene of Big Adventure.I’m going to stop writing it like this isn’t me now. I want you all to feel what it’s like to be on a plane headed to Los Angeles for only the second time in your life, alongside one of your best pals, and an artist who also believed in hitching his wagon to my truck in the very beginning. Alex McLeod. We’re in First Class. Because this is my Big Adventure now. I will remember every moment of it for the rest of my life.
We are 35,000 feet above the Earth right now, and I’m watching Pee wee’s Big Adventure. Right now we are flying over the Grand Canyon. I’m amazed. I’m inspired and most of all I am incredibly grateful.In an hour or so we’ll be landing in LA, headed to a beautiful apartment where we’ll get settled and then head to West Hollywood for dinner with friends to celebrate what is set to be an absolutely incredible adventure. I am elated.What am I going to say to Paul Reubens? A lot of people have asked if I’ll be pitching him. At first I debated it, and then I thought long and hard about what the 6 year old me would have wanted. More than anything I wanted to be friends. I always, as most children do with children’s shows, I imagined that the house in Big Adventure was real, and then that he moved to the Playhouse, or maybe it was a cottage. I always imagined growing up and becoming friends with Pee wee and being invited for a visit.So what I would love most of all is to be friends with the man who started me on the magical path I’ve been so lucky to walk down all of these years. I’ve never had a mentor, and the thought of asking Paul to be mine was what came to the surface. I’m not sure what he’ll say, but I am hoping I have the courage to ask. Because after all courage is rooted in the word full heart. And Mine is right now.
I had a lot of feelings over the last year as I waited for this lunch to be scheduled. Thoughts of joy, nervousness, anxiousness and unworthiness. I felt that maybe I didn’t deserve it. Then I realized that we all deserve it. Everyone on this planet deserves for their dreams to come true. We are all worthy of it. Something I’ve learned in my life is that we’re all equal. We all deserve magic. I’ve been in relentless pursuit of it for a long time. We’re human, we all make mistakes, we all have our wins and our losses and we’re in the end much better for it. As I write this now more than ever I realize that everything I’ve ever done has led me to this moment.
At times I’ve been a loner, and a rebel, but at the end of the day, everything I’ve ever done I’ve done it with the support and love of other people. In fact my phone was a flurry of amazing messages this morning, from all of the people in my life who love me. Telling me I deserve this and they are all so happy for me. I am feeling as if I’m surrounded right now with love and positive energy as I go to fulfill just one of my dreams. Every moment of this I will be loving, enjoying and grateful for. It still feels surreal that it’s even happening. From the person who’s consistently asked the charity if it was “Real”. I finally feel like it might be.
Dreams Come True