Kimberlee Auerbach Sings!

by Susan Henderson on November 14, 2007

Kimberlee Auerbach is the author of The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot, the story of her circuitous journey towards self-acceptance, told in the structure of a tarot reading. But today, she’s here to sing for us! I think Kimmi is adorable, funny, fascinating, and brave. I’m so happy to have her here.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll buy this book just for Kimmi being gutsy enough to sing The Rose on LitPark. And don’t think I’m not going to link that commercial she did with Matt LeBlanc!


KIMBERLEE AUERBACH is a former breaking news producer who now writes and performs fulltime. She has performed her comedic monologues throughout New York City at venues such as The Original Improv, The Kraine Theater, and The Bitter End. Her one-woman show played to sold-out houses at the New York International Fringe Festival, and she has competed in several Moth GrandSLAM Championships. Her memoir, THE DEVIL, THE LOVERS & ME: MY LIFE IN TAROT, was released by Dutton on August 2, 2007. For more information about Kimberlee check out or become her friend on MySpace.

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly November 13, 2007 at 11:35 pm

What is it with Kimberlees (or Kimberlys) and Bette Midler???

Two quick stories (neither of whose word numbers count towards my total for the day):

I’m seven years old, and playing Barbies with my older cousins and we are having a Barbie concert. They pull out cool songs from Gloria Gaynor and Blondie and what does my Barbie sing? The Rose. I got my ass laughed out of the living room.

Fast forward nine years. I’m sixteen years old and in a production of GODSPELL. Some school kids are being led on a backstage tour before the show to “Meet the Stars” and one of the kids shouts out to me: “Are you Beth Midler?” (If I could only post a photo with that frizzed-out spiral perm…)

LOVED your story, (and artful rendition) Kimberlee! Oh, and I had a purple Le Clic camera too, natch!!! What a fun fact to know about you!


Kimberly November 13, 2007 at 11:37 pm

I feel it’s important to note that that kid really did say “Beth” Midler


lance_reynald November 14, 2007 at 2:10 am

that was awesome!!
I’m so totally disturbed not so much by the story,(though it still amazes me how parents in the 80s thought we were like performing monkeys, they really may as well have given us all a fez and taught dance basics) but I don’t think I’ve ever paid any attention to the lyrics of a bette midler song and it seems the divine miss m was really trying to work some stuff out there…




SusanHenderson November 14, 2007 at 8:05 am
SusanHenderson November 14, 2007 at 8:07 am

I did not have Le Clic. Or a spiral perm. And no one ever called me Beth.


SusanHenderson November 14, 2007 at 8:07 am

Kimmi, you rock!!


Betsy November 14, 2007 at 8:35 am

That was awesome. The story about the shrimp – I felt your pain. And that commercial rocks.


robinslick November 14, 2007 at 8:57 am

I’ve already been chased down the street by foreign tourists carrying cameras hollering out “Bette Mider! Bette Midler”

So it’s kind of funny to read this.

And once I met Bette at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and she pointed to me and we both started laughing. I’m such a dope – I should have initiated a conversation instead of walking away embarrassed. I mean, I would have been perfect to be cast play her *cough* significantly younger sister in a movie.

Okay, I will watch the You Tube later. There is a strange body sleeping on the sofa next to me – I assume it’s one of Julie and Matt’s friends. Never a dull moment in Casa Slick. Oh god, and he’s a good looking twenty something. I better go upstairs and wash my brain out with soap.


Kimberly November 14, 2007 at 9:29 am

Maybe you and I are related??? (especially when it comes to brain-washing) That would be COOL!


Oronte Churm November 14, 2007 at 9:30 am

Great job, Kimmi. The story makes it.


Joe November 14, 2007 at 9:36 am

Well I don’t think I could have eaten those shrimp on a bet so that was brave. But try to STOP me from singing a Bette Midler song for a room full of drunken Japanese businessmen… just kidding.

Very cool Kimberlee. The Le Clic commercial made me want to roll up the sleeves of my Member’s Only jacket and dance to Oingo Boingo. So my wife has you to thank for that.


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Thanks, Joe. I am so glad I inspired a dance to Oingo Boingo. That is definitely a first for me.


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Thanks, Oronte! I’m a storyteller, not a singer, so you’re right, the story makes it.


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Thanks, Betsy!


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Thanks, Lance! Yeah, the lyrics are really intense. What did your parents make you do?


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 12:33 pm

No way?! You had a purple Le Clic?! So cool. And I love your story. Thanks for sharing it.


Susanna Donato November 14, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I love it! I don’t have the, er, GUTS to do karaoke. My lord. I don’t even dance in front of people ever since they turned on the lights and told me you were not supposed to dance only when wearing creepers and staring at your own shuffling feet. Let alone sing. Thank you.


Martin November 14, 2007 at 1:02 pm

I just want to hear more about this “dance” class you’re taking.


robinslick November 14, 2007 at 1:07 pm

I finally got to watch the You Tube, Kimmi. I loved it! And yes, the story with it and the expressions on your face and self-depreciating commentary definitely made it worth the listen, though I have to admit, I didn’t cringe nearly as much as I thought I would when I heard The Rose.

Now if you had sung You Light Up My Life, Kimmi, I might have had to slash my wrists…but that was the seventies, wasn’t it?

Good job, and here’s a question from a techie-tard. Are you guys all using the new macs to film yourselves for You Tube or regular video cameras? I’m dying to venture into You Tube territory and I’m asking for a new mac laptop for xmas. Or am I totally dreaming and there’s no such thing as a mere laptop which can actually film you.

And one other question. What was the next step business wise for your Dad? He definitely had a pulse on pop culture and I’m wondering where he ended up next because people like your father fascinate me. (Oh god, please don’t say “in a place far better than this where he is being watched over by Sid Vicious and Joe Strummer” though if that’s the case, I apologize in advance for being so tactless)

Christ, all my father ever made me do to further his career was french kiss Sammy Davis, Jr. at age twelve….


Carolyn_Burns_Bass November 14, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Oh yeah, Kimmi. That was guts, all right. I lived in Japan in 1987, I remember the looks of fascination on the faces of the men in their dark business suits, skinny ties, and tobacco-stained teeth. Did you wonder if the men were making offers for you as part of the business deal? That’s how geisha were bought and sold–by the daddies.

I see much success in your future. Does the Tarot agree?


Nathalie November 14, 2007 at 3:12 pm

What a great video!
and what an awful evening (even if I must say only the karaoke bit is rally awful for me, the shrimps sound nice – no doubt they disagree)!
That took a lot of guts indeed. But it was a great experience. Wasn’t it ?


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 10:16 pm

I want to see you dance in your creepers!


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 10:20 pm

You Light Up My Life would have been an ironic choice, for sure. My dad is well. He is definitely a boot straps kind of guy and picked himself back up. We actually have a great relationship now. It just took years of therapy. As for the YouTUBE stuff, I have a digital camera, so I filmed myself on the couch and then transferred it to my computer. I think a webcam would work just fine. Be bold and have fun!


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Thanks, Carolyn. God, tobacco-stained teeth. GROSS! But what a great detail. I can assure you I was not part of any deal, although there was obviously some exploitation going on. As for the Tarot, I don’t believe the cards can tell the future, but that we project our meaning onto the cards. But thanks for that too.


Kimmi November 14, 2007 at 10:26 pm

I wouldn’t say it was a great experience. I would say it was an experience that I turned into a great story. I think no matter how shitty our experiences, our stories can heal us. Thanks for liking my story.


lance_reynald November 14, 2007 at 10:36 pm

being raised in DC, and being one of those odd kids with too many books there is nothing like a room full of grownups drinking highballs and quizzing a ten year old on political legacies and the more colourful amendments to the constitution, then once everyone was good and lit and I was tipsy from drinking from the half empties I would have the awesome task of playing whatever the piano teacher had drilled in that week…very badly.

outside of that type of crap it was “seen and not heard”

I parlayed that into $2 shoeshines for a handful of senators until I became old enough that wasn’t really appropriate anymore… and a damn good thing as one of the page scandals broke right around that time…


ErikaRae November 14, 2007 at 11:27 pm

I have a new hero. Thank you Kimmi for your lovely song. I will totally seek out your book and buy it.

OK…so now for my confession? I totally sing The Rose to my 4-year-old at bedtime sometimes. I, um, yeah. I don’t know if I can do it anymore. I think I will close my eyes and all I will see is a smoky room full of Japanese business men. With shrimp breath.

Slight segue – I’ve never been to Japan, but I lived in Hong Kong for 2 years. Once when walking down the street, a big ol’ shrimp jumped from its fishtank into the street right in front of me. Feeling sorry for the little fella, I reached down to pick him up. But the second I touched him, he snapped like a mousetrap three or four feet into the air. After that, I had to go home and change my pants. Last time I ever try to prevent a shrimp from crying freedom.


ErikaRae November 15, 2007 at 12:39 am

Oh God. I just had a flashback of my younger sister and me singing a song in German for a living room full of guests. My parents didn’t drink – so God knows they had no excuse.

And…I’ll be calling a therapist in the morning.

Thanks, Lance – lol


EllenMeister November 15, 2007 at 11:10 am

Kimberlee is so adorable and so charming I not only want to buy her book, I want to be her friend!

Meanwhile, I don’t know how I missed the LeClic during the 80s. I guess I was too busy “feeling it” to my Jane Fonda exercise tape.


Kimberly November 15, 2007 at 1:14 pm

I now have a serious girl-crush, too!!! I did some major procrastination yesterday and got delightfully lost in Kimmi’s blogs on Crucial Minutae… it’s now on my morning must-reads, and if you’ve got time, one and all should check out that site! It was a joyful new discovery!

Personal note to Kimmi: I have a wonderful (to me, the Catholicus-ex-feminia) story /memory about Rabbi Burt and The Shul of New York and I had kind of forgotten about it, until I read your lovely writings from this past New Year. Le Clic, Bette Midler, Rabbi Burt… I’m starting to wonder if we haven’t met at some point in this tiny cosmos we call Manhattan… anyway – another shout out for your delicious storytelling abilities! Can’t wait for Amazon to come calling, and December to roll around when I can return to the ease and simple pleasure of reading books!


Kimmi November 15, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Thanks, Ellen and Kimberly. I feel so flattered. Thank you also for getting my book. Please email me on my website to let me know what you think of it.

Kimberly, what’s your Rabbi Burt story?


Kimmi November 15, 2007 at 6:04 pm

I love that you sing The Rose to your 4-year old. That’s awesome! And that is an AMAZING, and scary, shrimp story.


Kimmi November 15, 2007 at 6:05 pm

Susan, you’re the one who rocks! Thank you so much for having me here.


Kimmi November 15, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Yikes! Politics and shoeshines. Have you written something about that??


troutbum70 November 15, 2007 at 7:13 pm

That was cool and I enjoyed it a lot. I remember being moved by The Rose when I was a kid. I have a bit of darkness in me and I guess I’ve had it a long long time.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Ooh, so sorry to be absent all day. Had a very inspiring lunch with Ellen Meister (have I said how much I adore her?) and then I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I think I see that flickering light at the end of the tortuously long tunnel. Okay, time for me to catch up and read everyone’s posts.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I think Kimmi’s version is better.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Ellen, it was so so great to see you today. I feel like you saved me from falling off a cliff.

If I had time on my hands, I’d upload a photo of me doing the Jane Fonda workout. My friend Stephanie (oceanographer/physicist/friend since first grade/and Bach-Boy’s godmother) and I used to do the workout every day after school (with hair mousse!). I know and hate every song on that tape! xo


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Let’s go to one of her readings together. Or! We could do a tarot reading together!!


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Ha! I have those visions now, too. Worse, I find myself humming The Rose everywhere I go. Then, I’m thinking, oh hell, I did not hum The Rose in the checkout line, did I? But I did.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:35 pm

I agree. The best way to get over a not-great experience is to write about it. And all the better if you can make it funny. You are a superb storyteller, Kimmi.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:36 pm

She is already a star.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:38 pm

I used to babysit at this one house that was almost all windows, and when it got dark, I’d get so terrified that I would never send the little girl to bed. Instead, we would do “shows” using her giant staircase. And mostly the shows consisted of us walking slowly down the stairs singing You Light Up My Life.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:39 pm

My dad helped invent artificial speech, and consequently, Speak n Spell. So we had one of the first ones, and whenever it said, You are correct, we would crack up, because it said it just like my dad!


troutbum70 November 15, 2007 at 10:42 pm

I loved the story that went along with it and the closeness of the camera. It was very intimate and personal.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Me, too. Also, I want everyone to take 10 minutes between now and Thanksgiving and put a picture up so everyone doesn’t look like the same quisitive quizzitive qui oh fuck it little blue man.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:43 pm

I’m too shy to sing in the shower.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:44 pm

I once got Roy Kesey to suck the brains out of a bird skull on a bet, and he did it.

I haven’t heard Oingo Boingo since my wedding. Maybe I’ll download some.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Put your photo up here, Churm. Also, hi!


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Yeah, that was some excellent dancing.


SusanHenderson November 15, 2007 at 10:48 pm

That’s a great and awful story. I would love to see a photo of you at one of those highball parties.


lance_reynald November 15, 2007 at 10:54 pm

great and awful is the soup du jour at chez reynald.
once I get unpacked in early december I’ll see what I can do about some of those pictures… as well you know, my DC past is something we like to get distance from…vast, expansive distances.


lance_reynald November 15, 2007 at 10:56 pm

thank god, I’m not the only one.


Kimberly November 15, 2007 at 11:16 pm

I’m so down for that, I can’t stand it!


Kimberly November 15, 2007 at 11:22 pm

I was attending my dear friend’s daughter’s Simchat Bat, and before the Torah reading, everyone was taking turns dancing with the Torah scrolls and singing and generally carousing (like no good Catholic ever does) and Rabbi Burt (with whom I had easily grown enamoured with from the start of the service) FELL as he was dancing up and down the aisles – he didn’t let the scrolls touch the floor (of course) and everyone rushed to his aid, but I was just so moved by his joyfulness and passion and the general gestalt of the service (not to mention the beauty of the AOF) that I just took that memory away with me and tucked it away when I needed it.

I also think he was a little stoned, and I thought – hey! I can get down with any spiritual leader who is cool like that!


Kimmi November 16, 2007 at 12:39 am

That’s hilarious! I love picturing him fall. I mean, I wouldn’t want him to hurt himself, but that’s a funny image. Thanks so much for sharing it.


Kimmi November 16, 2007 at 12:40 am

Thank you so much, Susan. You are such a generous spirit. I’m so sorry I got The Rose stuck in your head though. 😉


Kimmi November 16, 2007 at 12:42 am

Yes and yes!


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