Local attorney, life-long Madonna fan, and recent YouTube sensation Shaun Sperling took a few moments in between talk show appearances to chat with Nightspots about the now-famous Vogue-themed bar mitzvah video. He discusses how he broke the whole idea to his mom, how the video became so gosh darn viral, and whether or not he can still pull off the whole routine.
Nightspots: What was your reaction when you saw that your video had gone viral?
Shaun Sperling: Here's how it went down: I got an email from my friend Scott that he sent it to Perez Hilton. I brushed that off immediately because I didn't think anything would come from that. Immediately Scott forwarded me Perez's email that simply said, "I'm dying." Then Scott messaged me about a minute later with the link to Perez. I jumped out of my office chair and I ran around my office in circles, literally. I then ran into a friend's office and screamed. After I calmed down, I came back to my office and called my sisters and my mom and told them to go to perezhilton.com immediately.
That day was like a dream — I was flooded with messages, texts and calls from people in shear disbelief. As the video got posted all over the place, it was just surreal.
NS: Do you remember what your parents said when you told them your Madonna-related plans?
SS: I remember exactly what my mom said. I was dreaming of a Madonna-themed bar mitzvah for a long time, but hadn't said anything. One Saturday, my mom and I were shopping and I saw a pair of Madonna earrings; they were little Madonna records. I showed them to my mom and I said, "You know ... if I had a Madonna-themed bar mitzvah we can give these away to all my girl friends." She said, "I guess, if that's what you are really into, we should do it." My dad also supported my decision.
NS: How much, if at all, have you changed since you were that 13-year-old sensation?
SS: I really haven't. That is the great thing about all of this. I am the same flamboyant, outgoing, ridiculous guy as a 13-year-old, as I am now as a 33-year-old attorney. People from my past who have contacted me through this all say that I haven't changed.
NS: Do you still know all the steps?
SS: For sure. Although, on the Today Show they asked me to do a certain part, and I had to review the night before the show.
NS: What would you say to today's 13-year-old who is considering, say, a Gaga-themed bar mitzvah?
SS: Do it! I think the message that 13-year-olds are getting from Lady Gaga is the same message that my generation got from Madonna (man, that makes me sound old). The message was, and is: Be you, and love every part of you.
I would also tell the parents of that 13-year-old to support and love your children for who they are. That is the only path to happiness and success, which is what every parent wants for their child, I think.