I follow some divas for their greatest hits, personalities and live performances; Taylor Dayne is one such diva. I’ve seen her many times at retro festivals, casinos, gay bars, and town greens. She’s tough and distant with a voice that will knock you on your ass. Last month she did a free concert near by at the Mohegan Sun Casino’s Wolf’s Den. Free is always good but shows at the Wolf’s Den are work. The venue only holds three hundred, seating is first come/first serve, and the casino reserves a huge chunk of seats for high rollers. So we waited hours, hoping and praying, that we’d get a seat. Sometimes you get to the front of the line just to get turned away but thankfully, our perseverance paid off. Seats were ours as Taylor strutted on stage, in a see-through sequined outfit, and owned the stage while singing all the songs she’s known for.
After the concert, Taylor went straight to the mall portion of the casino to sign copies of her autobiography, Tell It To My Heart: How I Lost My S#*t, Conquered My Fear, And Found My Voice. A free concert and a book signing, my idea of Heaven. Now I get to find out how a girl from Long Island who struggled through parental abuse, a life-threatening childhood surgery, bulimia and agoraphobia became the diva in front of me.
Tell It To My Heart is the tale of how Leslie Wunderman used her voice to score roles in school productions, singing back-up for bands, and performing in a Russian club before recording under her new star-studded name Taylor Dayne. Originally it was going to be Taylor Dane (without the second “y”) until her brother discovered a porn star with the same name. Taylor’s singles led to a record deal and a gig opening for Michael Jackson. Her career skyrocketed from there and for over three decades she’s had a career in music, Broadway, TV and film. Thanks to her fame, a few highlights in the book are getting hit on by Robert Plant and almost snatching the gum right out of Prince’s mouth.
Taylor talks about the self love she discovered through working with therapists and life coaches. Most of the book doesn’t sweat the details of her life but instead the techniques she used to deal with the bumps. She also doesn’t name names when it comes to guys. She’s like me and my girlfriends, we never bother to remember names just nick-names like The Drunk, Ten, or Coke Can. Taylor was more classy, dating The Chef and Manchild. One relationship was so meaningful to her that she dedicated an entire chapter to reprinting the 8 page letter her therapist suggested she write to him and his one paragraph reply. Not only does Taylor talk of the love of herself and her men but also being a mom to a set of twins and the village of friends she’s amassed over the years.
If ever there was a diva to take into a knife fight who would kick ass and have your back, in my gay opinion, Taylor Dayne is the one to pick. She’s strong, resilient and loyal. Plus she got more fierce dance moves than any Jet or Shark out there.