S m a l l t a l k
Shelly Goldstein is a popular cabaret singer in London and Los Angeles.
She is also one of the busiest writers of awards shows in Hollywood, New York and the UK.
She frequently works punching up screenplays and writing special material, comedy and song lyrics for performers. Shelly has doctored scripts or written special material for such artists as Steve Martin, Sharon Stone, Cybill Shepherd, Liza Minnelli, Jeffrey Tambor, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Donald Trump, James Earl Jones, Eva Longoria, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Connolly, Samuel L Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Norman Lear, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Yoko Ono.
Shelly directed "The Vic & Paul Show" a comedy revue with music at the Push Cabaret. She also opened the show with a cabaret set culled from her most popular shows.
Shelly has written lyrics for theatre, cabaret and TV - including the them lyrics for the animated series "Shelldon" and "Flying with Byrd" a show where she wrote original lyrics for songs in many episodes. She also wrote lyrics for Shawn Ryan's comedy special "One Night Stand Up" on Logo'.
We've been facebook and cabaret friends for sometime. It was a pleasure lunching with her recently and finding out more about this dynamic personality.
ROBYN: How Did You Get Into "The Biz"?
SHELLY: Many steps along the way. Like many people in the biz, we didn’t choose it; it chose us. I think I was born singing. Used to entertain my parents, aunts and uncles in the living room at age 3, got cast in my first musical at age 7, wrote my first play at 8. There was never a thought of doing anything else. In college I wrote a play that I also co-starred in that ran for two years in Chicago. It led Garry Marshall to hire me as a sitcom writer and move me from Chicago to LA.
R: Who Were Your Greatest Inspirations?
S: My parents for their decency, kindness and belief in me. Professionally? All my Groovy Girls – Carole, Dusty, Laura, Cass, Carly, Lesley, Lulu, Cilla, Petula – and in comedy: Woody, Mel, Larry Gelbart, and the joyous work of funny ladies Madeline Kahn, Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews. No Jewish girl performer born in the second half of the 20th century can ignore the influence of Barbra and Bette. I’d also add Liza. And Brendan.
R: Worst Audition Experience?
S: I love this story. The legendary Del Close asked me to audition for Second City. I showed up for my audition at 9 am. I had the first appointment. I was given an Improv topic and was about 5 seconds into it when BAM! The Chicago Cops burst into the theatre AND ARRESTED DEL! Second City producers, Bernie Sahlins & Joyce Sloane were yelling, “Keep going” at me – while they tried to keep the cops from cuffing Del. I wasn’t sure if it was real or a way to test my ability to stay in a scene. But it was real, Del was pulled out of the room, the audition was called off and a month later my play opened which ended up with me moving from Chicago to LA before I could audition again.
R: What Song Is Your "Guilty Pleasure"?
S: Too many. Many of them from the 60s, most of the Monkees’ hits, and anything from GYPSY. When I’m particularly happy or sad, I need to belt out all of Mama Rose’s songs…(Are you listening, casting directors and producers??)
R: What is Your Anthem Song?
S: The lyric I quote the most is the last one recorded by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” But Scott Harlan (my brilliant original musical director) says my anthem is the first original lyric/parody I wrote for my first show: “Just Call My Agent in the Morning.” He told me, “You must end every show with this for the rest of your life” – and I’ve done so about 95% of the time.
R: "Must Haves" Backstage:
S: Water, a loo (seemingly at cross purposes, but both indispensable), Entertainer’s Secret Throat spray, big false lashes and Brendan.
R: What One Sentence of Advice Can You Give to Industry Beginners?
S: Don’t wait for The Business to find you. To quote another anthem from my show: “make your own kind of music/ sing your own special song.” Then find the delicate balance between your absolute dream and what is realistic for your talents. And work really, really hard. Expect it to be joyous, but not easy. (OK, that’s 5 sentences.)
R: What Has Been Your Favorite Moment on Stage?
A: Singing to my Mother who never missed a performance from the time I was 3 until she died. The other would be hearing people laugh when you hope they will, applaud when you hope they will and being absolutely silent when you hope they will. My last show in London at Le Crazy Coqs was a special night I will never forget.
Shelly is currently prepping for her latest version of ONE FINE DAY: THE GROOVY GIRLS OF THE 60's for LA, London and Chicago. For more information on Shelly go to: SHELLY on YOUTUBE: FACEBOOK: MYSPACE:
TWITTER follow me @ groovyshelly