InDepth InterView: Ricki Lake On DANCING WITH THE STARS, Sondheim, ANNIE, WICKED, HAIRSPRAY & More
With one of the most refreshingly unique career trajectories in recent show business history, the quirky late-80s/early-90s film star known for her outlandish John Waters comedies - HAIRSPRAY, CRY-BABY and SERIAL MOM included - parlayed her big screen success to a decade-long running eponymous talk-show in the 90s and early 00s that is still talked about to this day - look no further than Nicki Minaj's verse on the remix of Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" for proof - and, now, with news of the 2012 syndicated return of a new iteration of her show, a new memoir, as well as her current compelling casting on the new season of DANCING WITH THE STARS, Ricki Lake has clearly reached a new career high. Imparting her contagious energy and enthusiasm and amply displaying why she is the foremost queen of gab, Lake generously shares her thoughts on a range of topics - Broadway, Hollywood, GLEE, Sondheim, BOOK OF MORMON and much more included - and reveals details about her many upcoming projects and passions, as well as dishes about her ongoing star turn on TV's hottest reality competition, DANCING WITH THE STARS. While in rehearsal on Friday night, talking to me from the backstage costume fitting for DANCING/STARS - tutu included - and on the road back to her LA home - before attending Chaz Bono's party later that evening - Lake and I cover it all and she shows why she has been a TV fixture in millions of homes for twenty years and most likely will continue to be so for the next twenty or more - if we are lucky, that is. Plus, she also happens to be a big BroadwayWorld fan, to boot! Who could ask for anything more?
Be sure to catch Ricki Lake on the 13th season of ABC's DANCING WITH THE STARS on Monday at 8 PM for the kick-off of Broadway Week, with the stage celebration continuing into Tuesday's episode at 9 PM - with the show featuring a performance by Tony-winner, GLEE star and previous InDepth InterView participant Kristin Chenoweth! Don't miss it!
Mama, She's A Big Girl Now
PC: Do you think HAIRSPRAY was a milestone for you in your career? It will be a classic film forever - with or without the musical version.
RL: Thank you. Yes, I do. By the way, do you know that Carson Kressley - I did not know this - was an extra in the amusement park scene?
PC: No, I didn't! That's crazy.
RL: I know! He was. He was 17 and I was 18 and he just told me that he was there - he was in school - and he was there that day at one of the amusement park rides.
PC: Have you had any other strange encounters like that over the years where you found out someone was in a movie you did?
RL: Oh, yeah - totally. You know Josh Charles, who is on THE GOOD WIFE?
PC: Of course.
RL: Well, he was one of the kids in HAIRSPRAY.
PC: No way!
RL: Yeah. He was there in Baltimore when we filmed.
PC: Kathleen Turner spoke so favorably to me about the experience working on SERIAL MOM and how it is now one of her favorite films.
RL: Oh, my gosh - I know! I mean, SERIAL MOM was on TV last night! I saw it! OK, hold on - I'm putting on my fishnets and tutu. [Laughs.]
PC: Scandalous! Did you know Sam Waterston just started previews of his KING LEAR at the Public? Do you have any memories of working with him?
RL: Oh, he's amazing! He's such a pro. He's such a great guy. I had a crush on him back then, actually.
PC: That's understandable.
RL: He played my dad and I had some seriously incestuous feelings for him. [Laughs.]
PC: What was with Bruno telling you that you were like the US Mail "always delivering" - more like a Broadway star always delivers, I'd say.
RL: Oh, well, you know what? If only you were there to give me a comeback, Pat! [Laughs.]
PC: That's so funny. It's true, though - do you want to be a Broadway star someday?
RL: Oh, yeah. I am hoping to do Broadway someday. I mean - really. I am not a dancer - clearly, I am not a dancer - but, I am working really hard to make it look like I am. I am singer, though. So, if this leads to some opportunity onstage, I would love it.
PC: Lance Horne and I spoke about you in our interview a few months ago and your "Haircut" song on his album is fantastic.
RL: Oh, I love Lance Horne. He is one of the most talented people I have ever met. I met him through my friend Alan Cumming and I just adore him and his music.
PC: That album is a great accomplishment - so many genres.
RL: Yes! Oh, my gosh. And, Alan Cumming and Cheyenne Jackson are just so amazing!
PC: Are you a fan of Cheyenne's?
RL: Oh, I love him so much. I know him and he is a friend of mine and I just love that guy.
PC: He's having such great success - and he just got married, too.
RL: Amazing! I have met his husband and they are just awesome.
PC: Did you enjoy working with Lance in the studio on that album?
RL: Yes! It was so fun to record. I felt so privileged - just the fact that he asked me to record that song for his album. I think Lance is about to break out in a big way - I think he is the next Stephen Sondheim, as far as I am concerned. PC: You also had a moment in your preparation of the tango on DANCING WITH THE STARS that you reached a similar impasse recently, it seems. Would you agree? PC: Well, given it's a DANCING WITH THE STARS party, I'd expect no less.
PC: "In The Name Of The Father" is a great song.
RL: Oh, my God! I love that song! And "Strange Bird"!
PC: That song we world-premiered in this column, actually.
RL: No way! That's awesome. My favorite Lance Horne song is "American", though. When he sings it it just sends chills down your spine, you know? You just feel it.
PC: I know you are a big Broadway fan and I wanted to ask you about some of your favorite shows.
RL: Well, first, you have to know that I was supposed to do a Broadway show once - I was cast in CABARET. I was supposed to do it on Broadway. I auditioned for it and I got the part of Sally Bowles.
PC: Oh, really? I don't remember that!
RL: It was after Molly Ringwald was in it and it was toward the end of the run. But, I ended up not doing it. I took the job and then I started working on the script and working on the action - I had two little babies at the time and I was going through a tough marriage - and, so, I was just like, "You know what? I can't take this on right now." So, unfortunately, I couldn't do it - and that was a huge letdown for me.
RL: Oh, yeah. It was really tough. I have to say, this dancing thing - it does come naturally for me. I mean, I work really hard and he is a genius. I do have the best dance partner for sure, though. Derek is just awesome. OK, now they are stuffing my bra, Pat. [Laughs.]
PC: Shocking! You've looked unbelievable on the show - it's the best you've ever looked.
RL: Oh, thank you!
PC: The longer haircut is great - the Susan Lucci look.
RL: Oh, my God - well, I was kind of going for the Pat Benetar, actually. Just wait until you see me this week, though - it's gonna be crazy!
PC: What are you going to be dancing to on DANCING WITH THE STARS this week, especially since it's Broadway Week?
RL: I can't tell you - but, it is one of my favorites!
PC: What can the BroadwayWorld fans expect from Broadway Week?
RL: Honey, BroadwayWorld.com - I am on it all the time! I follow you on Twitter.
PC: So, can I assume you are you a Sondheim fan, then?
RL: Well, Sondheim is not my favorite, really. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I remember seeing SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE when I was a kid and I just hated it, so I think that might be why.
PC: Yeah, it's not a kids' show, really.
RL: Right now, though, my absolute favorite is BOOK OF MORMON. And I love RENT. I am such a RENT-head. I've seen it like 40 times.
PC: Are you an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan?
RL: Eh, he's all right, but I do really like EVITA.
PC: How have you been enjoying your time on DANCING up until now?
RL: Well, I have to tell you: we just had this halfway point party and at the party people were just maniacs - they were throwing down on the dance floor!
RL: It was crazy! I mean, it was a bar, but people were cutting loose. It was really the crew that was doing it - there were the dancers, too - but the crew went crazy! I didn't stay for too long because I had to dance the next day.
PC: How have you been handling all the responsibility and pressure inherent in the experience of doing this show?
RL: Oh, like, right now, I am racing home to get ready for the Chaz Bono event tonight. He is being honored and we are going. I am a lunatic - but, I am having a great time, at the same time, you know? [Laughs.]
PC: You must be stressed out.
RL: Yeah, it's a lot - and, I have Derek beating me up. This week, in this dance, I am doing the quickstep and I am doing a little tap-dancing in it, too. It's just exhausting. It takes so much out of me. Just doing it once, I am just sweating buckets.
PC: Have you noticed major changes in your body since you started the show? People always seem to lose weight over time given the intense training.
RL: I haven't weighed myself. The mistake I made is that I didn't weigh myself in the beginning. And, I haven't weighed myself, really, during the process, either. But, I've lost well over fourteen or fifteen inches - probably a size and a half. So, I've gone down a lot. It's crazy.
RL: I was an eight and those are big now so I'll probably be a four by the end of it.
PC: It's a constant battle. Do all the Perfect 10 dancers on the show ever get you down at all?
RL: Well, my body is really changing quickly - and, I am surprised. I mean, I'm not in the best shape and I am 43 - and these are 20-year-old dancers - but, it's inspiring to be around them, actually. We rehearse five or six hours a day, you know - and, some days, we rehearse from 9 to 5. It's intense.
PC: How are you holding up?
RL: Well, I think I pulled something in my rib cage - I feel this bad pull happening. But, I'm holding up OK.
PC: Much more than that!
RL: For an old mother of a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old, I think I am holding up pretty well. [Laughs.]
PC: How time flies! Are your kids GLEE fans?
RL: They are not GLEE fans - but, I love GLEE!
PC: What do you think of it?
RL: My kids - as much as I want to make them musical theatre geeks, they aren't. They are, like, snobs when it comes to music - although they do want to see THE BOOK OF MORMON, but I don't know what I think about that.
PC: The SOUTH PARK connection.
RL: I would take my 14-year-old, but my 10-year-old? I think I might have child protective services called on me.
PC: When a song is titled "F*ck you, God"...
RL: Oh, my God! It's brilliant. It's such a great show. I really do have to say, it's one of my favorites in a long time. I also saw War Horse with my kids recently.
PC: Seth Numrich did this column - what a talented guy. What a show.
RL: Oh, my God! I just loved it. I was mesmerized.
PC: What did your kids think of it?
RL: Oh, of course, they liked it - you know, "Eh, it's OK. How much longer is it?" I don't know how I am related to my kids. I am the biggest musical theatre hoarder there is. I just love Broadway. That's the main thing I miss about New York, living in Los Angeles.
PC: There are some good out-of-town tryouts on the west coast coming up, though.
RL: Oh, you have to tell me what to see!
PC: I'd be happy to. What are some roles that you would like to do on Broadway someday, being such a big Broadway fan? I could see you as Mrs. Hannigan in ANNIE in an instant.
RL: Oh, my God - that would be awesome! ANNIE was the one show that, you know, the light bulb went on. I was 6 or 7 years old and my grandmother took me to see it. I will never forget, I went backstage - my mother worked at the Manhattan School of Music, so she knew one of the little actresses who was one of the original cast members - so, she got us the tickets and we went to the show and then we got to go backstage. We met Andrea McArdle - I still stutter when I have seen her over the years in BEAUTY & THE BEAST and things, because I am still that 6-year-old girl in awe of her - and, Sarah Jessica Parker was the understudy at the time and she came up to me and she said, "I'm the understudy. Do you want my autograph?" [Laughs.]
PC: That's hilarious! Already a little diva.
RL: I was like, "Umm, yeah!" So, she signed my book. And, that was the moment in my life where I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
PC: Have you told Sarah Jessica Parker that story since?
RL: I think I have told her that story - I know her; Andy Cohen is one of my best friends.
PC: Oh, of course! You've make some appearances on WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.
PC: You also had a moment in your preparation of the tango on DANCING WITH THE STARS that you reached a similar impasse recently, it seems. Would you agree?
PC: Well, given it's a DANCING WITH THE STARS party, I'd expect no less.
RL: I have to say, though, that we really have to talk about Kristin Chenoweth performing on DANCING WITH THE STARS on Tuesday! PC: Hasn't Cher been in the audience recently, too?
PC: She has done this column and was so unbelievably amazing. Are you a big fan of hers?
RL: She is the best! I did a play reading for her - she directed a play reading that I did with her. She is so amazing and so much fun - just this pint-sized talent that I frickin' adore. It's like being around these people that are so inspiring and they are such stars - they light up the world. It's just the best.
PC: Her Stevie Nicks and Heart covers on GLEE were incredible.
RL: Incredible! Incredible.
PC: Are you a fan of she and Idina Menzel in WICKED?
RL: Oh, my God - yes! I went to the opening of WICKED, actually. I did a benefit once with Idina - we did a benefit together. I do sing, as you know...
PC: Of course. Why don't you tell me about your theatre roots.
RL: Well, I studied for ten years and I sang professionally, Off-Broadway. There was a show I did as a kid at Don't Tell Mama, it was called THE EARLY SHOW and it was an all-kids revue. It was a revue and there were people like Tichina Arnold and Victor Cook in it. We were all kids - the oldest was 17 and the youngest was 5. We would sing every weekend. That's where I got my training - I mean, that's what I did. Then, I sang at this other thing called YOUNG STARS - with Debbie Gibson and all these other kids - and that's where I learned to perform; you know: to make eye contact with an audience; to win them over; to milk the crowd; that was my training and that was what I fell in love with.
PC: And your first movie appearance was in a movie musical - STARLIGHT.
RL: Yeah, that was with the kids from THE EARLY SHOW - this movie that no one has ever heard of that was, like, on The Disney Channel. It was really, really fun, though. I just got tickets for this woman who was in that with me - Mickey Barnett. It's so surreal to have this woman who is now in her forties coming to see me - with her kids - on DANCING WITH THE STARS.
RL: Yeah, she came once. And, she might be at this thing tonight - because Chaz is getting this big honor. It is crazy sometimes - it's like I have to look around and just pinch myself.
PC: Hasn't John Waters been on set of DANCING WITH THE STARS as well?
RL: John was just here last week. He was passing through LA - he is never in town, but he happened to be here.
PC: What did he say?
RL: He has been watching and voting! He and his mother vote for me every week. He is in Australia right now and he said that everyone in Australia is watching it, too. They get the show over there - it is all over the world. It's all so funny.
PC: I believe there is a hi-tech new 3D production of HAIRSPRAY down in Australia, so he may be there to see that.
RL: Oh, my God - maybe he was! He didn't tell me why, but it probably was. How cool!
PC: I love your appearance on the HAIRSPRAY movie soundtrack doing "Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now" with all the Tracys.
RL: Oh, thank you!
PC: Lesley Gore has done this column and I know she is a HAIRSPRAY fan, too, so your Gore-esque performance was well-received by the original, I can tell you.
PC: Hasn't Cher been in the audience recently, too?
RL: That is so cool! That is seriously so awesome.
PC: Did you enjoy working with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on the HAIRSPRAY film? They are so smart and talented.
RL: Oh, I mean, I was so lucky to get to work with them. We were actually in a little cameo in the movie all together - me, Marc and Scott played the agents at the end of the movie.
PC: A great cameo.
RL: And I got to sing "Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now" and me, Nikki and Marissa recorded it at Capitol Records. It was really a dream come true for me. The weird thing is that I was 36 when I did that and I was double the age of Nikki, who was the same age as I was when I did the first film. She was 18 and I was 36. So, it was just one of those things - again, how time flies!
PC: You can say that again.
RL: I can't believe this little, teeny movie we did from so long ago has lived on in this new entity.
PC: And a Tony-winning stage musical, too.
RL: It's really amazing. I am really proud of that original film that we made and having that experience of working with Divine - and having that be my first big, major role and having it open the door for me in every way; I mean, I wouldn't be doing what I am doing if John Waters hadn't plucked me from obscurity and given me the role of a lifetime.
PC: I'd love to hear your opinions on some of the great icons who have done this column. First: Liza Minnelli.
RL: Oh, my God. I love Liza Minnelli. I've actually met her a number of times. I am such a huge fan.
PC: What's your favorite memory of her?
RL: Well, I remember playing charades with her. She's friends with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and I remember being at a charades thing and her walking in. It's like the seas literally part when she comes in a room. A legend. Obviously, I loved her from CABARET - she's just incredible. I loved her, also, from ARTHUR - growing up watching that movie I just loved her so much. She's just a legend and I am so lucky that I have been able to cross paths with her a few times.
PC: Craig and Neil are such a great team and DROP DEAD DIVA is such a great show - what was your experience like working on that?
RL: It was amazing - and so much fun! I had really never worked in Atlanta before and it was a really great town. I bonded with them all. I was only there for four or five days and I just loved it. You know, I don't do a lot of acting these days - but, I hope to do more. I have a new talk show coming out next year and this DANCING thing is my main priority right now. Then, I have a memoir coming out - and, I am making these documentaries about issues that matter to me. So, you know, there is not a lot of time - but, to be able to do an episode of that show, which is such a well done show, was just amazing. I loved it. PC: Things have changed so much since 2003 insofar as marketing.
PC: This season was the best season yet. I hope you return for Season Four!
RL: Yeah, I think I did it in the second season on an episode with Paula Abdul. I just love the show and, especially, the musical numbers they do.
PC: We just premiered "Mambo Italiano" from the season finale of the show in this column.
RL: How great is that!
PC: Have you seen Craig and Neil's new show SMASH yet? It's really fantastic.
RL: No, but I know Deb Messing and she told me about the pilot. I want to see it so bad.
PC: Another leading lady who has done this column who I would love to know your opinion of: Dame Julie Andrews.
RL: Oh, where do I even start? SOUND OF MUSIC, MARY POPPINS - I love her. And, I love her today - she is just so elegant. Whenever I see her - you know, on a talkshow with her daughter or whatever - she is just magnificent. SOUND OF MUSIC I have probably seen 200 times. VICTOR/VICTORIA is one of my favorite movies, too. Lesley Ann Warren is just unreal in that. I never got to see the Broadway musical, though.
PC: Another icon who has done this column: Rosie O'Donnell.
RL: She's a great friend of mine - I've known her for more than 20 years. I really love her. I was supposed to do her show last week, but I had to cancel because I, literally, could not learn my dances - I couldn't take an extra day to go to Chicago to do it and come back. I was just injured. But, I will be doing it soon and I can't wait. What she has done for Broadway is just incredible. I think she is one of the hardest-working, philanthropic and most courageous celebrities out there. I love her and I love her show. She is another genius - a genius with the best heart.
PC: What do you think of Nicki Minaj's reference to you in the remix of the Britney Spears song "Till The World Ends"?
RL: Well, it is very flattering, but I am not quite sure if I should be p*ssed, too! Part of me is like "Wait a minute - does this mean I'm not hot anymore?" But, I guess just being referenced by anyone that hot right now is a good thing. [Laughs.]
PC: Are you a Britney fan, too?
RL: Of course. Of course. But, did you see the video of those little girls doing Nicki Minaj on YouTube?
PC: Of course.
RL: That brought tears to my eyes! So incredible.
PC: I wanted to wish you a happy belated birthday, by the way... a month ago today.
RL: Yeah! It's my thirteenth month anniversary today, too - I met a new guy on my birthday last year. The only thing that could make me happier would be to see a Broadway musical, too! [Laughs.]
PC: Are you back in Malibu or are you in LA now?
RL: I am in LA now - I was just renting in Malibu. Malibu is just like a little strip, you know. It's a very small town.
PC: Did you ever run into Barbra Streisand there? Are you a fan?
RL: No, that is one person I don't know - but, am I fan? Hello! I mean, I sang "I Am The Greatest Star" at my graduation. I did the benefit of FUNNY GIRL with Peter Gallagher, too.
PC: With Kristin Chenoweth as the bride!
RL: She is so hilarious. Yes! And Ana Gasteyer. And Idina Menzel.
PC: All three have done this column.
RL: Of course they have, Pat! I am such a big Barbra fan, though. Isn't Lauren Ambrose doing the revival?
PC: Yes. With Bartlett Sher.
RL: I didn't know she could sing - but, she is so beautiful. I remember her on SIX FEET UNDER.
PC: What do you think of TV today - it is better than most movies, I believe.
RL: Oh, it's so great - and GLEE is just amazing! Amazing! You know, musical theate wasn't cool when I was growing up and now it has become cool! It's so awesome. It's so amazing. It's an art form that I just appreciate and love and never get tired of it. I just saw LES MIZ with a friend of mine at the Ahmanson. It was so incredible. Musicals never, ever go out of style.
PC: You can say that again.
RL: I love THE COLOR PURPLE, too - that show is so incredible. You know, I usually have to see a show twice to totally get it. Like RENT, for instance - I went to the opening on Broadway and the first time I had to take it all in. The first time I was like, "Eh," - but, forty times later... [Laughs.] I just can't get enough of musicals. I just love them.
PC: What roles do you want to do most of all in the near future?
RL: CABARET was a role I really loved, so I really kick myself now that I couldn't do it. Miss Hannigan is one. I'd really like to originate a role someday. I will tell you, though, one show I would love to do is THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG.
PC: A great Marvin Hamlisch score, too - slight as it is.
RL: Yeah! I loved the original with Lucie Arnaz and Robert Klein. Lance and I actually did a song from it together once at Birdland. I love that show and I think a revival would be great.
PC: I agree. What are your favorite classic musicals?
RL: I used to love ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and sing it all the time when I was a kid. I loved Ethel Merman's big, belting voice. You know, I'd love to do a workshop of a new show. Neil Meron actually talked about a one-woman-show a long time ago and Lance and I have talked about it, too - so, who knows? I feel like doors are opening right now for me and it's a passion of mine that I've never been able to pursue the way I want to do it - so who knows? Maybe a night at Feinstein's or something.
PC: That would be great. How can you fit that in with a brand new talk show though?
RL: I know! I know.
PC: What can you tell me about the new 2012 of THE Ricki Lake SHOW? TV has changed so much in the last 10 years.
RL: It has! It has. I think I have grown up a lot and evolved and know myself in a way I didn't ten years ago. So, this will be the grown-up and evolved Ricki Lake SHOW. There will still be the excitement and spontaneity of my old show. You know, Oprah is gone, so there is really not an hour-long TV show out there for women in the 30s, 40s, 50s dealing with real issues that we really deal with - whether having more kids or staying married or any of those things; all of that stuff is not being talked about. I am the most candid person out there, so people still trust me and hopefully the people who grew up watching my show will want a new show for them that will be fun, exciting and with something you can take away. I am very, very excited about the new Ricki Lake SHOW.
PC: Will it film in LA?
RL: Yes, we film in LA. There will be 200 people in the audience. It will be live on tape. We did a whole pilot with these amazing sets in LA. We will find out soon if we got picked up for syndication. If we are, we will start taping in July and premiere in September.
PC: What can we expect?
RL: What I am comfortable doing is being the girl with the microphone with 200 strangers talking about issues that matter to us and have a lot of fun - that is what I am really good at. It doesn't take a lot of work for me to do that. Dancing is a whole other story! [Big Laugh.]
PC: You have such approachability, plus you have gone on the same journey as a lot of people - and you're willing to talk about it all.
RL: Yeah, I am willing to talk about it. I am not claiming I am an expert in anything, but I am trying to be the best I can be by learning from others - the show will reflect that. I feel very fulfilled in my professional and personal life and I think 43 will be a big year.
PC: THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN changed my entire perspective on the birthing process. Brava.
RL: Thank you! Thank you. That is my most fulfilling project to date. You know, I came up with the idea and financed it myself and to see the impact that it has had - it's really just so fulfilling. It makes me feel that all the work that I do is about something greater than myself.
PC: I think that film will be your ultimate legacy.
RL: I hope so! I really hope so. I think after 9/11 I felt fed up with "baby mama drama" and all that - I mean, it was a lot of fun and I loved doing it, but I didn't want my ultimate legacy to be doing DNA tests on TV for ten years. So, I wanted to make a movie that shows women that they have a choice - the place, the care provider; everything - and everyone should have access to the proper information.
PC: And, no choice is lesser than the other option.
RL: No. There is no judgment - every woman is different and I wanted every woman to have the information. We actually have a follow-up series coming out on November 8th called MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN. It's a four-part series.
PC: What's in it?
RL: It's amazing. It's five hours of more information. We have all these incredible celebrity moms - Alanis Morrisette, Giselle Bunchen, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington - all of these incredible women came forward and told their amazing birth stories. They all let their candid stories about their work come out. It's jam-packed with information. We are self-distributing it and it's on TheBusinessOfBeingBorn.com.
RL: Oh, yeah! I am all over Twitter - I follow BroadwayWorld on Twitter!
PC: I'm happy to hear that.
RL: I am very much involved with social media and it is very powerful. We never made any money with the first film, but, through this work I am doing, I am learning as I am doing and I am very excited about the new process.
PC: What can you tell me about your upcoming memoir?
RL: I have worked on it for the last fourteen months and we are just finishing the second draft now and it is coming out in May of next year. I have a pretty intense story and I have been pretty lucky - but, I also have had some hardships. I think I have come out wiser and stronger and hopefully it will inspire people in some ways.
PC: How in-depth is it?
RL: It's about 50,0000-70,000 words and I think it's a great story.
PC: You are the voice who will tell the truth if anyone will.
RL: I am willing to talk about it - for sure. Happily. We learn through our mistakes and I have learned a hell of a lot.
PC: All my best luck on DANCING WITH THE STARS and thank you so much for this today. You are amazing, Ricki.
RL: Thank you so very much, Pat! Have a great day! Bye bye.
PC: Things have changed so much since 2003 insofar as marketing.