“Is It Live Or Memorex?”
Guest Writer: R. L. Norman
I, along with everyone in the audience, stared at the big screen with shock! As I slowly looked around, I saw people whispering and gawking with disgusting looks on their faces.
That was because on the screen, there were four naked men. It looked like they were in a hotel room. A couple of them were on their hands and knees on either side of the bed. The other two were standing up behind each man. They were “doin’ the nasty,” as the saying goes.
The cameraman was getting close-ups of the faces of the men as they were doing all sorts of sex stuff to each other. As the lens landed on the last man, the screen froze! And as “big as day” was my face–there for all the world to see on this national TV talk show!
I didn’t know what to say or do! I gazed at the host, who was about to ask me a question. And I thought, “If this is a dream, I want to wake up because it has suddenly turned into a nightmare!”
You see, this was the last scheduled program that I was on to promote my new book, “Honey Hush…Don’t Ask & I Won’t Tell.”
First, I appeared on the radio program, the “Russ Parr Morning Show.”
Russ said, “R. L., this is your fifth book about the trials and tribulations of the character Norman. I have read all the books and loved them. While I am not gay, it is so interesting how you write these stories and how people can relate to them whether they are gay or straight. Was that your intention?”
I answered, “Not at all. I just write what I know. But everyone needs to realize that life’s relationships have no boundaries. The only difference between gay and straight is who your partner is. We all experience the same feelings for each other.”
Next I was on “LIVE with Kelly and Michael.”
Michael stated, “Your books are full of sex, sex…and more sex. And some people think they are gay X-rated books. Now I am not gay, but….”
“Yes, Michael–you are a big muscular football player. Hmmm…” I said, smiling and jokingly looking at him.
“Watch it R.L.,” Michael said, grinning and folding his legs like he was hiding his manhood. Everyone cracked up!
Then he added, “Well, some people say the books are just full of men having sex, which is not really writing.”
“I disagree with that,” I responded. “If you read the stories and take away the fact that it is two men doing it, you are left with the feelings and emotions of the people involved. And for that, it doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight. My books are about the passion of love for another person. And sex is just the reality of life! It’s part of the love of a relationship. And I am sure there are several people here who have done some freaky stuff! I just let you read about it.” The audience clapped.
Then came “The View.”
Whoopi announced, “He has written several books, has a monthly column, a podcast and a one-man stand-up show titled, ‘Norman’s One Night Stand’. He’s here to do the G-rated promotional version of his show because I’ve seen the X-rated version–and some of you couldn’t take it.” She laughed.
“Now, here is R. L. Norman with his promo for ‘Norman’s One Night Stand’.”
The audience applauded. After I gave my three-minute performance, I sat down with the ladies.
Raven Symone commented, “Now, ‘Norman’s One Night Stand’ is your stand-up show. However, I heard that you performed your very first routine in elementary school–and it involved a shoe! Tell us about it.”
I smiled and explained, “When I was in the sixth grade, the teacher had each of us read a passage from a book in front of the class. My classmates were getting up there and boring us by reading a page or two.
“Well, I decided that I was not going to just read to them. So, I stood in front of the class and started reading ‘Hamlet’–which was just a ruse! In actuality, I was going to read from one of the books from the ‘Get Smart’ series. It was a series of books based on the old‘Get Smart’ TV show about secret agent ‘Maxwell Smart’. Remember that old TV show?
“So after a few moments of reading ‘Hamlet,’ the class heard a phone ringing, which was actually a tape recording that I’d placed under the desk! I then told the class that I had to take the call.
“Next, I removed my shoe and turned a piece of cardboard that I had tacked to my heel. I was pretending to unscrew my heel. I then answered the call from the ‘Chief’. You see, the secret agent’s shoe was actually a telephone! I placed the shoe to my ear and I said my part as the ‘Chief’ said his part, which I recorded in a different voice. Then, I told the class I had to go meet ‘Agent 99’ for a mission! I exited the room.”
The audience laughed and clapped.
Next I went on “The Talk.”
Julie Chen inquired, “R. L. you have a monthly column titled ‘Honey Let Me Tell You Something’ and…”
Smiling, I immediately interrupted her… “Julie, you have to say it right, and with a little ghetto soul! It’s ‘HON…NEEEE….. let me tell you something’,” I corrected her, placing emphasis on the “NEEEE.”
The audience erupted into laughter.
Then, Julie tried to say it. “Well ‘hon…knee’, how did you come up with Nathaniel Octavius Nerdo, which is your pen name for the column? And secondly, how do you, month after month, create such different, diverse and interesting topics?”
“Julie, I have to credit Wyatt O’Brian Evans, my good friend and the person who publishes my column every month on his website, Wyattevans.com. Wyatt suggested the name. And when I first heard it, I thought it was crazy! But after I said it over and over again, I started laughing to myself.
“As I go about my day-to-day activities, the topics I write about just pop in my head. I try to write about those things that make people think about life.”
Then I went on the “Steve Harvey Show.”
“R. L., your books have some very colorful characters! Just how do you create them?” Steve inquired.
“Well Steve, I call myself a realist. I try to write my books as real life situations,” I revealed. “Situations that we all may have been in and can relate to.”
Then, Steve jumped in, “Does that mean you have slept with all those men as Norman has in the books?” Everyone howled, waiting for my response.
I stared at him and thought for a moment. “Steve, let’s just say I have many friends,” I chuckled. “But don’t ask me that ’cause I can’t tell you.” More laughter.
On the next program, I sat on the couch and stared at the host with sheer amazement! She was so kind, thoughtful–but also slightly commanding. I listened in total awe as she was interviewing me. It was always my dream to one day be interviewed by Oprah! And here I was; on“Super Soul Sunday,” being interviewed by none other than Oprah herself.
“Super Soul Sunday” is where she interviews top thinkers, authors, and visionaries exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment–and what it means to be alive in today’s world.
“Well, there is one thing that people always say about you, which is that you are humbled and flattered by any attention”, Oprah stated. “In fact my staff told me that when they contacted you for the show, your response was, ‘Are you sure you have the right person’?”
I replied, “Well yes, because to me I just wrote some words on a piece of paper, or made someone smile or helped someone think about life. I am just surprised by it all. I don’t think it’s that big a deal, but everyone tells me that I should embrace my blessings and the reality of it all. So I am surprised when anyone asks me to appear somewhere, or say they like something I did.
“But Oprah, I am just in awe to be here with you! You have no idea.” Then, I added, and with a smile, “And we have to take a selfie.”
As the audience cheered, we both smiled. And she nodded, “Yes!”
Oprah continued, “Well, R.L., I have read all your books, and I especially like the endings of each chapter. Norman, the main character, shares his deep feelings and relates them to a song. And I love the songs! And you have song tracks for each book.
“Sometimes, I put in the CD and just listen to your song choices. How did you make those particular selections? And, how would you describe your writings, and the character of Norman?”
Thoughtfully, I began, “Well, I write about feelings and the heart. First, I write what I feel, and then I read it back like I’m someone else so I can see if I get that special feel of what I wrote. I write to inspire.”
I continued, “At one time or another, we all were Norman. We all aspire to love and be loved. We all aspire to be happy. And, Norman is a fighter and a survivor when it comes to love! I write to give people inspiration that through the good and the bad times, we all can be as happy as we want to be. Also sometimes, music expresses our heart and feelings, and the songs just emphasize that.”
From “Super Soul Sunday,” I was hustled to my last television appearance of the day, the“Wendy Williams Show.”
“Tell us about your latest book about to hit the stands any day now,” Wendy asked, with a slight grin filling her face.
I thought to myself that something was up! This is Wendy and I expect something to happen. I just didn’t know what.
I stared at her a moment and then said, “Well, in the first four books Norman stopped his wedding, was almost murdered, nearly had a secret come out that would destroy his life, and then almost lost his man to a woman. This book is based on secrets! Everyone has secrets. Some should be revealed, and some should NOT. The books are about how sometimes people should “kiss and tell” or keep their mouths closed. So basically, every character has or knows a secret and has to decide whether to tell or not.”
The host continued. “Well, speaking of secrets, people say you are a very private person in real life and don’t ‘kiss and tell’. They also say that you are the one person that can always keep a secret! They say that even with people you sleep with, you are very selective and don’t deal with anyone unless you are sure they will not tell everyone. Is that true?”
Being reflective, I stated, “Well, yes. I am very private when it comes to my personal life. And one thing most people know about me is that I certainly can keep a secret.”
Wendy followed with, “Well, evidently everyone that you deal with does not agree with your philosophy of ‘don’t kiss and tell’.”
I stared at her, confused. “What does that mean?” I asked.
“Take a look at this,” she said, motioning towards the screen behind us.
Suddenly, the lights in the studio dimmed a little and the screen behind us came on. I turned around to look.
At first, I thought we were looking at an amateur porn video. I wasn’t sure what I was viewing or why. And then, I became mortified as I realized that I knew every star of the movie!Especially myself, as I stared at the freeze frame of my face, which was there for all the world to see on this national—no, international–talk show.
I didn’t know what to say or do. I looked at Wendy, who was about to ask me a question. And I thought, “If this is a dream, I want to wake up because it has suddenly turned into a nightmare!”
I just stared at Wendy and quickly said, “No! No! No!”, as the audience was yelling, “Hoe… Hoe… Hoe.”
As the chanting of the audience became louder and louder, I stood up and put my hands over my ears! Their chants got so loud that it was blaring.
But then, suddenly, I woke up in my bed wet from sweat! I peered around the room, trying to figure out where I was. What day was it? What time was it? I was so confused.
After I regained my composure and pulled myself together, I realized that I had a dream, and that my alarm clock was ringing.
Just like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I Have A Dream.” Well, I have always dreamt about being on talk shows. I tell my family and friends all the time that one day, I’m going to be on several of them.
I’m trying to make my dreams a reality. And I believe that everyone must follow their dreams.
Dr. King believed that one day, we will all be free to be what we want to be, and to follow and achieve our dreams the best we can.
Therefore, in honor of MLK and Black History Month, I challenge YOU to follow your passions, your hopes, your dreams…and your desires to be free to do what makes you happy.
Regardless of the circumstances in your life, you have to do the best you can. Because if you do that but fall short of your goals, then you have achieved because you tried and believed it.
As well, have faith in God that you will achieve–as long as you believe. MLK believed–and look how far we have come. Do your best to be your best.
I just hope that one day I won’t B saying O.M.G. on T.M.Z. telling Y.O.U. that what you C is not M.E.—me!
R. L. Norman is a writer, performer and author of the popular series of novels entitled, “Honey Let Me Tell You.” The fourth and latest installment is “Love Is Complicated.” The sizzling sequel, entitled “Honey Hush…Don’t Ask & I Won’t Tell,” drops soon. As well, he performs“Norman’s One Night Stand,” a one-man show he conceived and wrote, showcasing the main character of his series. R. L. also is writing a play based on “Honey Let Me Tell You.” And catch his Podcast, “Honey Let Me Tell You Something Else, on iTunes. All of these endeavors are part of his production company, Honey Let Me Tell You. You may reach R. L. at his on line home, www.rlnorman1.wix.com/honeyletmetellyou; by email at: email@example.com; on Facebook at RL NORMAN; on Twitter, @rl_norman; and on Instagram: rlnorman1.