In this series of brief interviews, cruise ship worker, wannabe performer and celebrity stalker Lance talks about fame with the boldest and brightest names in the business we call show. Lance also hosts his un-famous chat show Late with Lance! all around the world and currently in New York City. Fame may cost, but the show and this feature are free!
Hi everybody! My name’s Lance. What’s yours? I got to talk about fame with Bob Brader, who’s getting ready to open his new solo show, “Smoker”, at the United Solo Festival. This guy is on fire!
First things first, is Bob your real name?
Yes, it is. I never wanted to use a fake name because there were so many people who told me I should never go into acting ever, that I wanted to use my real name so if I ever did become famous they would know it was me.
We have a lot in common, cuz everyone I know told me not to go into acting, too!
I can’t believe that’s true.
Hey! What’s your favorite musical?
Oh, I was a huge fan of Avenue Q. And uhm, Les Miz when it first came out. I kind of overdosed on that soundtrack…
Ahhh, that would be “original cast recording”, but go on…
And RENT, I loved. I’m a fan of many musicals.
Do you mention this when you go on job interviews?
I do not. It’s never really come up. I wish it would. That would be fun.
It’s never too late to be what you might have become! Speaking of becoming someone, when was the first time you realized you were famous?
Actually, the first time I’ve been called famous is by you on this interview, so I’m thrilled.
So, what’s the best thing about being famous?
I really don’t notice too much of a difference from when I wasn’t famous to now. So, not a whole lot? I mean sometimes people will say, “I saw your show.”
Yup. We all just need a little recognition – even from a stranger. What’s the worst thing about fame?
Not being able to go to a movie or a restaurant that you really want to go to because they would have to close the place down in order for you to go in and enjoy yourself.
I once closed down a Wendy’s in a shopping mall by pretending I could fly like Peter Pan.
If you could be friends with one famous person, who would it be?
Robert DeNiro is a big hero of mine. I’ve loved his work forever and to sit down and talk with him about acting would be amazing.
Do you think it would be amazing for him as well?
No. No. I think he would be bored out of his skull.
I don’t think so. Hey, DeNiro has been in a lot of movies. Have you ever seen the movie Fame?
I did. I like the part where they sing the song “Fame” and dance on the cars. I saw that film before I came to New York City, and I thought for sure that people would be dancing in the streets all the time, and I was very surprised when I got here to see that that was not true at all.
But you’re talking some serious truth in your new solo show, “Smoker.” What can audiences expect?
Well, I talk about smoking. And my love of smoking … and how I started and how it helped with a fairly rough childhood. Smoking kind of helped me get through it.
You talked about your rough childhood in your other acclaimed solo show, “Spitting in the Face of the Devil”
Yes. I really thought I was done with all the daddy issues.
Oh, we’re never done!
And then I started writing this one and realized that he had such power and influence over me that for me, smoking was the only connection I had with him. So, he’s a presence in the new show.
Are you going to smoke during the show?
No. I don’t smoke anymore.
Is this a spoiler alert?
No! (laughs) Because it’s about quitting and how difficult that is when you have smoking woven into your entire life. I will admit, when things get really stressful, the first thing I want to do is smoke.
Well that sounds a lot like show business, ya know? We all want to quit show business sometimes but it’s a part of our lives and we can’t and every time we think about quitting it pulls us back in like that line Robert DeNiro had in that movie. I’m so glad it circled back around to Robert DeNiro.
Hey Bob, any last-minute advice you would give to me about becoming famous?
Take it slow. Enjoy the journey. Sometimes we don’t get the recognition we want or feel we deserve for certain things and it kind of hurts us when we try and do other things…and I think the journey is a lot of fun. Do new things and different things and enjoy the ride to the top.
Oh! I like that. Both of my two gay dads enjoy riding on top, so I can relate. Good luck on your success, Bob and whatever you do, don’t smoke!
SMOKER is award-winning monologist Bob Brader’s new show about his 28-year love affair with smoking, his fear of being without cigarettes and losing himself, and the love that got him to try to quit. Directed &developed by Suzanne Bachner. Encore performance at United Solo Theatre Festival, November 17 at 9PM.