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So Val Emmich has a new album out, “Looking For a Feeling You Never Knew You Needed” and to promote the CD version of it, fans can purchase “Extra” packages. It goes from something simple to buying just the cd with the unreleased tracks to buying a whole day with him where he would play a personal show for you and your friends. It’s a genius idea and he’s been having fun with it. A few fans already had their lunch date with him and even had a personal studio time with Val where you write a song with him. He posted videos. To read more about the album packages, go to his site.
I mention all this because I purchased a lunch date with him. I’ve spent lengthy times with him before after his shows, but never in this setting where it’s just him and I. It was fun. We were supposed to have the date the week of 3/07 but our emails were funky with each other and we ended up filling the week with our own stuff. So the following week had to be. The day before his birthday, which was perfect since I had all this crap to give him.
Before all this went down, him and I exchanged messages for most of February. I wanted to run a contest in my site and he had an idea for a music video and needed my help. So we brainstormed and such about those. I wanted him to sign a bunch of stuff that I would be giving away. He told me, bring whatever you want and he would sign it.
Morning of our meeting, we send each other a few messages again. I warn him that I have presents for him and that he might look at me funny because he would have to lug around this heavy thing. He asked how heavy because he will be around and about in the city for a couple acting auditions. And that it was raining that morning. He tells me to make sure they don’t get wet. Then he asked me if I like Dashboard Confession at all. I told him I don’t listen to them. He said, “me neither but I’ll bring this anyway.”
He picked a cute little restaurant called Westville in the Chelsea area. He mentions he ate at the other locations but never this one and he loves their food. All fresh. I arrived on time and a few minutes later I see him walking up to place. We go inside and it was packed. It was small and quaint, so the tables felt like they were on top of each other. But still it was a comfortable setting. We look through the menu and it took awhile to decide on what we want. He said he couldn’t get anything heavy because he’s signing in his audition and he can’t sing with a full stomach. I said that I would want the codfish po’boy but I was a little hesitant because I never had a po’boy as a codfish. I went with the crab cakes as a main dish. He suggested that we should get a couple side orders and share it. We did. He went with the roasted tomato and zucchini with basil, and I picked sweet potato fries. He ordered a vegetarian burger for himself. I got the fresh brewed iced tea and he picked the lemonade, which by the way looked like an avocado shake. He said it was good. We shared a small plate which I thought was cute. We ate a lot of the fries. We didn’t finish it though, and he asked if I wanted to bring it home. My crab cakes were spicy which I didn’t expect. It was good, but not great. He didn’t finish his burger. He exclaims, “I didn’t want to eat so much and look at me. I ordered all this food.”
When we looked through menu, he mentioned he didn’t eat meat. I told him I kind of figured that and I asked him how long has it been. “It’s been a year.” He knows I’m such a foodie and that I love to cook. We talked a lot about food. Food is the number one common interest with everyone. You have to eat. I told him I went to high school a few blocks away from there, Fashion Industries. He asked, FIT? And I told him that FIT is the college, I went to the high school but they’re a few blocks away from each other. He then asked if I always knew I wanted to be in fashion even in high school. “Fashion Industries also has a textile design program which is why I went there,” then I went on about FIT and how I took a few interior design courses there as well. He asked me if I ever did anything with my interior design degree. I said no and explained to him that I worked at Ethan Allen for eight years and the designers were miserable because of the pressure. That totally turned me off. When EA asked me if I wanted to be a manager or a designer, I picked manager. I explained that I use my design degree on making dollhouses. I design, build, furnish and even put in working lights. He asked if I sold any dollhouses and I have. He was impressed and said that he doesn’t know anyone who builds them. Then I went on about my life after getting laid off by them two years ago. I tell him that all my life that I supported my family financially because I made much more money than my husband. Now that I no longer have a job, I needed to find other ways on supporting my family which was to cook. I never cooked before this. He understood.
He asked about my two boys, their age and who was watching them. I tell him. And I brought up how people ask if my oldest son is my brother because I look young and no one would ever think I have a 12 year old. I also mention that my oldest looks just like me and my youngest looks just like their father. This is where Val finally had his chance to ask me. He asked, “where’s their father?” I tell Val he’s at home. Val just looked at me for more answers. So I continued, “I’m married to him. We’re married.” Val said, “Ahhh…I never knew because you don’t talk about him.” I knew he wanted to know from last year when we talked on phone for the pod cast. Val tried to ask me about their father in a subtle way. I just didn’t answer, completely. I tell him, “My husband didn’t like the idea of me seeing you today.” Val laughs and says, “I wondered about that. He knows that I‘m married too, right?” I nodded and he goes, “Good then he shouldn’t worry.“ We actually talked a lot about my husband and a few other personal things, like his family such as his mom, sisters and brother. He tells me a story about his Filipino neighbor after I tell him I’m 100% Filipino.
On a side note, I also told Val that my husband is really jealous of him just by the fact that he madeout with Lucy Liu. Val laughs and said, “my friends are jealous over that too.”
I asked about his auditions after the lunch. He couldn’t really talk about the one where he sings, just that it’s for a movie. He wasn’t really into the part but his agent really wanted him to do it. And for his agent to be persistent after saying no to her, it must be “something“. The other audition was for a recurring role on an original Showtime series. He’s really interested on how it would be on a steady recurring role for a show. More recurring than his role on Ugly Betty. I asked him what he’s doing musically. He talked about a release of a boxset of unreleased tracks throughout the years. He wanted a new album by next year but he doesn’t see that happening because he’s been so busy with other things in his life.
There was one face-palming subject he wanted to know about and I really can’t talk about it because I couldn’t even begin to explain to him. Let’s put it this way, I was responsible for him being nominated in “Best Drama” in a community in live journal called Must Be Pop. He says out loud, “But I’m the least dramatic person!” I tried to make it better by telling him that if I was still around using his journal he would have been nominated as “Best Male Musician”. He remarked with a smirk and said, “But I got best drama instead.” then asked, “People really submit names?”
We finally finished our meal. By that time, the sun is starting to come out and the chill from the rain was subsiding. It was comfortable. He wanted to go to a Starbucks and sign all the stuff I have for him. He didn’t want to do it in the restaurant because it was too crowded and he would feel embarrassed. He looked up a Starbucks on his iPhone and found one just two blocks away. We find it and go in. It was packed. We’re inside figuring out what to do. My mobile rings and Val hears my ringtone. He goes, “wow that’s annoying.” I laugh and tell him that the most annoying part was the end when it yells really loud. It’s the ringtone from the movie Bedtime Stories.
So now that Starbucks was out of the question, we stepped outside once again, three banks in front of us. I suggested, “why not the bank?” He jokes, “yea we can pretend to make transactions.” And there we are in Bank of America by the ATM machine where people fill out forms. I grab out all my stuff, which were all of album sleeves from his cd’s. He asked me if they’re mine or if that’s for the contest. I told him he didn’t tell me if I could have them so I just brought my own stuff to sign. He included little notes in some of them, like Little Daggers. A guy stood next to Val to fill out a slip and I looked over Val’s shoulder as he was about to sign the Daggers CD. I tell Val, “Yea I’m reading over your shoulder. I want to know your bank account.” He laughs and that’s why he wrote that on the CD. I also had him sign a magazine article that was in YM magazine 2003. The article is amusing so I just had to get him to sign that. He looked at the article for a good while. He saw the cookie monster bracelet he had on in the photo and exclaims, “Oh my God, I remember that!” I asked him if the story about piano lessons and sweaty palms is true and he said, yes. Reason why he wrote what he did(you can read the article and the autograph at valemmichfans.com). I also asked him where the photo was taken. He said, “Chelsea Hotel” which is a few blocks away from where we are.
Now for the presents. First mine. He gave me an event poster from when he toured with Dashboard Confession and it has his name on it. He said there’s only two of these posters. One is hanging on his wall and the other, he’s giving to me. He signed it just in case I want to give it away for a contest.
As for his birthday presents, we stayed in the bank. First gift was just a nice small box. I said, “this isn’t for you. It’s for your monkey.“ He looked at me weird, “monkey?“ He opens it up and says, “Oh the monkey!“ When he saw the little guitar, he loved it. I said, “I made this showcase for a dollhouse and needed a guitar. I bought the wrong the scale, so I’m giving it to you.” Next up, he compliments the wrapping paper. I tell him it’s really wallpaper from Ethan Allen. He sees the EA name now on the inside when he opened the second gift, which was a Wallflowers CD, The Collected and a T-Shirt with the word “Special” written across it(when you watch the video I tell him where that Special came from). When he asked me this morning how heavy is the thing I got him, I confessed that it’s a book. He already knew that when he took that gift out of the bag. He compliments the wrapping paper again and asked me if I have wallpaper lying around like that. I laughed and said, “Yes I have tons of wallpaper and fabric from Ethan Allen stored up.” The first thing he did when he unwrapped it was look at the price in the back of the book. What a dork. He yells out, “Mary! This costs a lot you didn’t have to!” Right before we went into the bank, we were talking about cooking. Besides relaxing him, he likes the science of it. I said, “That’s funny you said that.” He asked, “Why?” I replied, “You’ll see.” He said, “Uh oh.” When he read the cover of the book, now he knew why. Just when he was about to put it in his bag, I stopped him and said that there’s something tucked inside. He looks for it and finds the sketch I drew of Missy, his pup. His eyes lit up and his smile grew as he read the poem attached to it. I told him I would’ve used my own poem but mine poems are depressing. The one I picked by Shel Silverstein was more fitting with Missy. He told me later that he’s planning to frame the drawing. He also said that he immediately started reading the book on the way home and it’s fascinating. I knew he would love it. I knew he was a fan of Michael Pollan. And Harold McGee is a whole other level from Pollan.
What else? Oh yes, after loitering in the bank we walked to the subway and took the train together. We passed by this place that looked familiar to me, “Oh hey, I was just here for a Chocolate Show.” He laughs and asked, “What exactly do you do at a Chocolate Show?” I said, “There’s tons of chocolate from around the world. There was a Chocolate Fashion Show where dresses were made of chocolate. And I went there for a cooking demonstration by one of my favorite chefs.” We talked about a few other things on the way to the subway station. And as we waited for the train, he was going over his script. He looked really nervous. I felt like I was in the way. But it was cute watching him be nervous for an audition. I never seen him like that before.
Sorry this was much longer than I wanted it to be but I wrote this mostly to remember the day. We talked a lot more than what was mentioned here but that would bore anyone who is reading this. I’m surprised you even made it this far. Val will post the video either tomorrow or Monday. I was really up in the camera. I don’t know why, normally I’m shy with that stuff. And you can check out all the stuff he signed for me at valemmichfans.com. You can also check out the photos from the bank in Val’s facebook. He commented to them and the one with The Wallflowers is pretty funny. I think that’s it. Thanks for reading.
“NY has the most comedy per capita nationwide. I may have just made up that statistic.” – Chris Hardwick
You know him. You may recognize him from MTV back in the 90′s with Jenny McCarthy in Singled Out. If not, you may rseen him from Web Soup or Attack of the Show. Or if you’re a night owl, and tune into Chelsea Lately, you may have caught him on the round table. Come see Chris Hardwick in New York City at Caroline’s on Broadway from August 12 through the 15th. Ticket information here. And listen to some Nerdist podcasts. He has some seriously whacky guests and listen to them nerd out.
Read the full featured article of Jakob Dylan on Acoustic Guitar August 2010 issue. Go here.
Long time since I posted here. So who’s been listening to Stay In Touch With Val Emmich podcasts? If you have, hope you’re enjoying. If you haven’t, you should. They are as raw and real as you can get into the life of Val Emmich. The podcasts is now available in iTunes. Subscribe to automatically download. It’s free! Click here.
Also, I will be in an upcoming pod. Val took some suggestions from fans of what song to cover(he will be playing the song on his podcast). I took questions to ask him. It was a lot of fun. We talked about his upcoming album and book, Jakob Dylan, he asked me about the last episode of Ugly Betty, costars he worked with, and we may have mentioned bras and panties and a lot more. Stay tuned.
27 screen captures added in valemmichfans.com