Bill has left me! My strange ‘Be My Best Pal Forever?’ advances have obviously gotten too much for him and he’s legged it, replacing himself with a very pretty blonde.




Our assignment for Week 6 was to report from any city in the world that we love, presenting an idea of a story that would make the audience truly believe that they were experiencing it as if they were there with us. Being from Dublin, our fair city was my first obvious choice, so I went through location and programme options in my mind, which went as follows:


  1. ‘Hi, this is Sharyn Hayden reporting live from Dublin city centre’s boardwalk, where Deco, Peanut and Shamone have invited me to their own version of ‘Taste of Dublin’. On todays’ menu is four non-descript street pills, washed down with a shot of Aldi vodka…’
  2. ‘Hi, Sharyn Hayden reporting live from Portmarnock beach, where happy families had their sunny day out ruined by gangs of idiots firing bottles and punches at each other…’
  3. ‘Sharyn Hayden here, just dropping my kid off at crèche, where they don’t shout or beat the crap out of him….’


Erm…so no, not Dublin then. It’s very difficult to promote something that has such bad press lately (take note, The Gathering).  So to my REAL love then, my default city, The Place I Would Live In Had I The Money And Hadn’t Procreated – New York!! I love New York. There’s a certain time of year, just when Autumn begins and the faint chill of Hallowe’en approaches, and no matter where else I am in the world, I always pine for New York. You’d swear the way I go on, I had lived there for a substantial amount of time, rather than the 5 months I crammed in on a J1 visa.

‘I lived there once, you know….yar, yar. Had an amazing job…yar, yar. I was singing on Broadway….’


That’s precisely what I used to tell people. In fact, whenever I rang home (very infrequently, with a pre-paid card on a pay phone – that’s how long ago it was), I’d say ‘Mam, dad!! I love New York!! I’m singing on Broadway! I work right beside Winter Garden where Cats is on! Yes, Cats! The longest running show on Broadway!!’

The little vital piece of information that I routinely omitted from conversation was what was right beside Winter Garden – i.e. the restaurant that I worked in. So what, I had to take a few orders from some hungry tourists and then get up on the furniture to sing Mustang Sally or whatever other song from The Commitments that I could think of, while my customers washed down their burgers and shakes. So what if I was a singing waitress? SO WHAT?!! The restaurant was in Times Square. On Broadway.


My experience there (and the video footage I have since discovered of my singing on said furniture – all extra two-American stone and short purple lesbian hair of me) got me to thinking – I may have been on a J1 having the time of my life, but there were truly amazing singers who worked in Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Guys and girls who trained in musical theatre and were going to auditions every day hoping to land a part in Cats, Les Mis or Phantom. I wonder where they are now. Did any of them make it? Are they still Singing Waiters and Waitresses? Or have they moved on from the dream of fame and fortune and decided on something else?


That was my prepared piece for Week 6 – ‘The Wannabes’. I travel to New York (I wish) and hunt down the old staff and see where they’re at. Oh and then I meet Patti Le Pone, Bette Midler, Jack from Will & Grace, (I really wish), whatever 30 year old is playing ‘Annie’ now and we all take a shift at Ellen’s stardust Diner. Wouldn’t that be GREAT TV watching??


It would. And Bill Hughes…Missed….It. (Sniff)


Outside Ellen's Stardust Diner NYC (and Winter Garden!) 1997
Outside Ellen’s Stardust Diner NYC (and Winter Garden!) 1997