Pop music icon Cyndi Lauper knows the secret to happiness.
She, in fact, wrote six steps anyone can follow to experience contentment or elation in life. The steps are featured in a song titled “Just Be,” an integral part of the Tony-nominated musical “Kinky Boots.” Lauper wrote the music and lyrics for the show, which had its Broadway premiere April 4.
The steps are: Pursue the truth; learn something new; accept yourself and you’ll accept others; let love shine; let pride be your guide; and change the world when you change your mind. They encapsulate the message of the musical, according to Lauper, who turns 60 in June.
“If you accept yourself for who you are, the good and the not-so-good traits about yourself that you don’t like, you can accept others too,” she says. “And nothing can stop you.”
Lauper, who’s scheduled to perform Saturday at the annual Evening Under the Stars benefit in Palm Springs, recently discussed her new career ventures — including her We-TV reality series, “Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual” — and plans to celebrate her 30 years in show business with fans.
DPW: How does writing the music and lyrics for a musical compare to writing and recording songs for an album?
LAUPER: During the writing process for “Kinky Boots,” I had to write songs for everyone in the cast. So I had to write for these other voices, not just my own. The main story behind “Kinky Boots” is two men who appear to be real opposites — one white, one black, one straight, one a drag queen, one from the streets, and one from middle class — and how they come together to help each other and save a factory. I had to write for Lola (the drag queen), which obviously wasn’t a stretch for me (laughs), a young conflicted twentysomething-year-old man, a brutish factory worker, etc. It was so much fun.
When I perform songs I often pretend to be someone other than myself to bring a certain emotion or intent to a song. In a way, it wasn’t a huge stretch to put myself in other people’s shoes to write songs for them.