Overthinking My First Talent Show (with Lance Bass)

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I did a podcast with my childhood crush and favorite member of NSYNC, and only freaked out a few times. The incredible Lance Bass tells me about growing up while performing with NSYNC. As a closeted teen, Lance had to hide a lot about himself. But no longer – Lance lives proudly as his true self with his husband and two children. Plus, he invites me to Disney World and all I can think about is eating a turkey leg.

Please note, Funny Cuz It’s True contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners.

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Elyse Myers, Lance Bass

Elyse Myers  00:00

What was my first ever experience performing? Great question I would love to tell you. The year is 2000. My elementary school had just announced that the annual talent show is like quickly approaching. And that means one thing for me, girl band, I gather my two closest friends, I find somebody’s big sister, and I have them choreograph and do the entire dance for us, and then teach us that dance. Because this was like a time before I had access to YouTube, I couldn’t just look something up. Other people’s Big Sisters really came in handy in pretty much every way when you’re growing up, especially in the 2000s. So I begged my mom to help me iron on some like matching patches on the shirts that we already owned. We burned a couple CDs of our song, we put our sick outfits on. And then we showed up to that elementary school talent show, like our life depended on it. We got everything to lose everything to prove. We are the Nitro girls. Do not ask me how or why we named ourselves this, all I remember is thinking this is the most badass name. And I think we’re going to be famous for it, like in a different, like 8 year old way. But I think that we’re gonna go all the way. So we’re just like patiently waiting our turn standing in the wings of the stage. And I’m silently like running through my choreography and the smallest movements my body will possibly allow me to do just in the event that someone might be watching us on the side of stage. And I wouldn’t ruin the magic that was about to happen in our performance. I think I’m also like giving my friends a pep talk, even though I am quite literally the most nervous person in that entire gymnasium. But I think to myself, Elise might be nervous, but a nitro girl. A nitro girl wouldn’t be nervous right now. She would think this is everything. Be the Nitro girl. I really embody that spirit. For better or for worse, the curtain drew closed and the act before us just left the stage. The magic was good. I’ll give him that. It was good. It wasn’t gonna win. But it was good. So we took our rightful places on that stage. I stood in the middle with like one friend on either side of me. We tilted our heads down, looked at the floor popped our right hip and I ceased to exist. It was only the Nitro girls on that stage. I waited for our music to play. And then I hear my principal’s voice begin to announce us over the loudspeaker as she had done like for every act before us, and then I hear it. Next up, we have the Nitro girls. Nitro girls without even skipping a beat. Everyone in the audience heard my voice quickly correct. Or through the closed curtain nitro girls. It’s Nitro, nitro, not nitro, nitro. Does she correct herself? No, she just says into the mic. Sounds good. And then presses play on the boombox not off to a strong start. But the Nitro girls do persevere just as you would expect them to the dance, it could have been better the outfits 11 out of 10 the confidence off the frickin charts. We finished our dance. And though it was not physically taxing, I had just washed enough Britney Spears and NSYNC in my life to know that when they finished their performances on stage, they were breathing really heavy, probably because what they were doing was very hard compared to what we were doing. But somewhere in my subconscious I had internalized that famous people breathe really hard when they leave everything they’ve got on that dance floor and finish their performance. So what do I do I start breathing really heavy, almost like too heavy. And then both of my friends pull away from the group posts that we nailed, by the way. And they both think I’m having some kind of like medical emergency. Or maybe they think that finally my nerves caught up to me, but they both looked very concerned. And they’re like, are you okay? Are you doing okay? Which caused my principal to then ask me if I’m okay. And then I think a few people on the front row joined in and asked me if I was okay. It’s not until as an adult now I am looking back on the story realizing that it looked like I was probably hyperventilating. But I would like to forget that I understand that now. And just go back to believing that it made me look like an extraordinary dancer and that I belonged in Hollywood for like literally any reason. I just walked around my life believing that like I belonged in Hollywood, for no reason. The clothes of the show finally came and I was waiting for them to announce the winner. Did you know that in elementary school talent shows they don’t always pick a winner. Like they just like waste your time and they don’t pick a winner. So what’s this is all just better for nothing kind of a thing like why did I just spend the last two weeks of my life dedicating my heart and soul and all of my free time to learning a dance that wouldn’t even have a prize at the end? Did you know that? Or was it just me that didn’t know that. My eight year old body at that moment was experiencing the highest of highs and also the lowest of lows being disappointed that I had no chance of winning something that night. And that was the last time the world saw the Nitro girls. Thank you. Hello, welcome to another episode of my podcast. I’m Elyse Myers. This is Funny  Cuz It’s True, a show where we talk about the knots of funny moments that become funny over time.

Elyse Myers  05:01

Actually, can you just pretend that you’re listening to a fully complete theme song here? I got really in my head. And I tried to make it perfect. And I couldn’t. So, this is going to be the theme song right here. This week I’m chatting with Lance Bass. Lance Bass. Have you? Have you heard of him? Okay, I’ll say I have to. Lance is best known for being the bass singer of NSYNC. He is an actor and producer, not to mention he’s been trained to go to space, like astronaut status in space. Can you believe that? Also, Lance owns Rocco’s, a bar restaurant and nightclub in West Hollywood. His new nightclub called Heart just opened right across the street. It’s now the largest gay club in the US. Also, last year at Lance and his husband Michael became parents. They have twins and guys, they are adorable. Okay, two things that are funny because they’re true. Number one, I became friends with Lance after confessing my love for him on the internet. Did I think he was gonna see that video? Absolutely not. But here we are. So number two, when I was interviewing him, I actively had to try and not think about the fact that when I was a child, I would buy his CDs. Take the insert out of them, hang them up on my wall and kiss them. Do you know how difficult it is to try and interview someone when all you can think about is the fact that you’ve kissed photos of their face hung up in your bedroom? That’s weird. That’s really weird. So here we go. Lance, Lance freakin Bass, how are you? 

Lance Bass  06:39

Good Elyse. How are you? 

Elyse Myers  06:41

I’m good. I’m nervous. I’m still very new to this. And so I’m just like, kind of trying to figure it out as I go. And so I’m really glad that you’re with me. I feel like I’ve got my family here.

Lance Bass  06:51

Yes, we’ll get through this together. We will be very gentle. Okay?

Elyse Myers  06:57

So for people that are listening to this, and you’re like, how the heck does Elyse know Lance Bass. So I made a TikTok about you. I said, You’re my celebrity crush. The first celebrity crush. Great question. I would love to tell you Lance Bass second […] We made it like a whole audible like short film together. And now we’re here. And by the way, it turned out very well. I’m very excited about it.

Lance Bass  07:18

That was perfectly written. I loved it. And I love that TikTok brought us together.

Elyse Myers  07:34

I know that’s so cool. And are you enjoying getting like started on TikTok not started. But like, I know that Instagram is more of like a platform that you’re used to and to see you kind of get more involved on it. Like, is it fun for you to do that?

Lance Bass  07:46

Tick tock is really, it’s made me so happy. Because, you know, I got rid of Twitter, Facebook, all that kind of stuff. Because it just was so negative. Yeah, it wasn’t good for my mental health at all. And I find with TikTok for now, it’s just been all positive and fun. And I’m enjoying that. I love comedy. I love music and dancing. So it puts all my favorite things into one thing. Oh, and animals too.

Elyse Myers  08:12

I will say I feel like we’re getting to see a different side of you on tick tock, which is really fun. Your experience in the spotlight has never been like you. It’s been a group that now for the first time we’re kind of getting to see you and your personality come out. And like, it’s so so cool.

Lance Bass  08:25

No, it’s true. It’s an I’ve noticed that, you know, in the group within NSYNC, you know, when you’re in a group like that, and especially at the time where like Spice Girls happened, everyone was kind of put into, you know, their own lane. Yeah. And the fans do that to you. The record label does that to you. And yeah, as a kid, I was always kind of the very crazy outgoing funny guy. Like everyone’s like, Oh, you’re gonna be a comedian. But then when I joined NSYNC, I became kind of the quiet like serious one. You know, the Shy Guy was the shy guy. And I think mainly because, you know, I had such a huge secret to keep and so I didn’t want to show that and so I just you know, as the years progressed, I just really became the one that didn’t really speak much and I just didn’t want anyone to hear me. So having a platform like Tic Toc where you actually get to do fun things and actually speak it shows the real you.

Elyse Myers  09:19

Okay, pause just when I thought I couldn’t love Lance more I start seeing him on tick tock just like beatboxing with like a box of cheeses or something. I don’t know. I’m like who is this person? I’ve never seen this person but this isn’t the person like I taped inserts of CDs on my wall and like stared out and like thought I was gonna marry like this is even better it’s cool to see him just become this different person in front of our eyes. It’s really just who he’s been all along. We just haven’t really gotten access to that yet. Okay, start, my mind is like genuinely blown right now because I never put two and two together that that’s like why you weren’t so like yourself in front of people was because you are hiding such a huge piece of you.

Lance Bass  10:00

And it was easy because you had such personalities around you, Chris Kirkpatrick was always joking. He didn’t really have time to do that. But pretty much every interview with me back in the day, I look at them like that is not me. I’m the most boring person in the world.

Elyse Myers  10:18

Just different.

Lance Bass  10:20

Yeah, but now I can speak.

Elyse Myers  10:23

It’s so cool to just watch you like, really celebrate yourself and your personality and your quirkiness. But what were you like pre-NSYNC in your personality? What did that look like for you when your grown up? I think was it Mississippi?

Lance Bass  10:34

Mississippi. Yeah.

Elyse Myers  10:36

What was that like?

Lance Bass  10:37

I grew up in a very, very small town where it was great, because it felt just very safe. You knew everyone in the town, it was all about your family and your church. And it was great. And, you know, when I was a kid, I was like I said, very hyper and just funny. And, you know, I was always the short kid. So you know, you always had to kind of use your humor to fit in. So always trying to make people laugh. But then I think, you know, when I turned into a teenager, and I started, you know, hitting puberty and getting to high school, unfortunately, that’s when you start like looking at yourself, and saying, oh, wait, I have to hide this part about myself and I can’t do this. So I think that’s where I started, like teaching myself, Okay, I gotta like, step back a little bit, because I don’t want people you know, to see my true self.

Elyse Myers  11:22

Wow, see, what’s funny is I always felt like, I couldn’t show who I was, but more because nobody was listening. Okay, pause, has anybody seen that video of this audio, or the guys like, Oh, you like my personality? Thanks. I made it specifically for you. That basically sums up this entire conversation right here and is exactly how I felt for the majority of my life until I learned that it was okay, that I was the way that I was. And I could show people who I actually was and let them love me for me. I just felt like that really fit here. Okay, go back. Not because like, I felt like I didn’t want to talk but because I just was like, it doesn’t matter. No one cares. And so it’s wild that you had all these people around you. They’re like, No, we love you. But you’re just like, I can’t actually, you know, show who I am. And like what were you afraid of? of people seeing like, why did you get so quiet when you felt like you couldn’t be yourself?

Lance Bass  12:24

It’s when you’re starting to find out. Okay, yes, I know. I’m gay. I knew I was gay since I was five years old. But you know, growing up in the South, especially you always just fool yourself into thinking that it’s a phase or there’s no way that I’ll act on it. Right? And then you would, you know, hear all the jokes about you know, making fun of gay people. And then you just have to laugh at them too. Because there was not one out gay person in my entire town.

Elyse Myers  12:49

You didn’t have any example? 

Lance Bass  12:51

Every school I went to there was there was not one person that was out. So you didn’t feel safe at all, being you know who you were. And so and then you would hear things, like just right now when I’m saying the word so it always reminds me of I remember someone saying, oh, you know, how you can tell someone’s gay is if they use the word. So a lot when speaking.

Elyse Myers  13:11

The way that Lance Bass feels. I don’t know why I said Lance Bass. I’m like not used to Lance being my friend. So I just didn’t get I think forever, say his entire name. Okay, let me go back the way that Lance feels about the word so and that he had to remove it from his vocabulary, to not be found out as gay in the south, is the way in a weird way, the way that I felt about adding things into my vocabulary to not be discovered as like, a neurodivergent person when I was young. I would just watch everybody around me and speak the way that they spoke. I just learned very early on that. When a kid spoke more than they felt like they should have they said sorry, at the end. So I was like, okay, speaking too much, is a bad thing. And I should say, does that make sense? Or I’m sorry, at the end of anything that I say. And I adopted that as like my entire personality, because I just watched what other people were doing around me and thought that makes sense. They seem normal. They’re liked. I’m going to do that, too. I just think that having a personality feels so wrong. For no reason. Why does that feel so wrong to be different? I don’t know. That’s something I’ll have to work out probably in therapy. But anyways, okay, back to the interview.

Lance Bass  14:32

And so those kinds of things. You’re like, wait, I say so a lot. And then you catch yourself saying so you’re..

Elyse Myers  14:38

Wait, you’re overthinking so many things. We’re gonna take a really quick break, but stay tuned because we’re gonna find out how the heck Lance even got started in music given that he came from such a small town. And like because it was such a small town and you didn’t have examples like, how did music even happen then? Like, I’m sure there weren’t a lot of famous people that came out of your small town like, what? How did that even start for you?

Lance Bass  15:18

Yeah, you know, it just kind of landed in my lap. You know, as a kid I always loved music. You know, I always sang in the church choir and in school choir and, but nothing that I ever had a dream of doing as a profession, because I didn’t know that was anything possible for some like small town kid. And then I remember I moved to a place called Clinton when I was 10 years old. And the people that I met just also loved music and being in the choir. And my best friend Darren Dale. He’s the one who really kind of pushed me into joining my first boy band called seven card stud. That’s right. There was no such word as boy band back then. But it was definitely a boy band, there were seven of us wearing sequined vests and performing at state fairs. So that’s when I learned that I was a bass singer, and I love doing acapella, and you know, being in a group. And so basically, all the music that I was doing was just because my friends were doing it. And I was like, I just wanted to hang on my friends. And that led into being in the biggest show choir in the world. And me really, you know, loving the choreography and just doing the harmonies. But again, I had no idea that it was possible to do it professionally. Especially a bass singer. I don’t know many bass singers. I mean, Randy Travis. But no, I never thought that I would actually do something like this. 

Elyse Myers  16:43

And the show choir called that you were in? 

Lance Bass  16:45

It was called attaché. Yes. And it’s still the number one show choir in the world. And I was so lucky that my town was all about two things. You either played football, or you were an attaché. And both are equally as cool. For some reason. Our town it was the thing to do our star football players were also an attaché. Yeah. So it made it so much easier for me, especially knowing that I was gay, to be able to do that and not worry about people thinking, Oh, you must be gay if you’re trying to sing and dance.

Elyse Myers  17:15

And it also I feel like it’s cool because it allowed you to have mainstream community as well. I didn’t feel like you were like, ostracized for your love for music, which is a really big deal. Did your family like support you in that? Did were they like go for it become famous? 

Lance Bass  17:32

They were very supportive, you know, because when I was asked to join NSYNC, because of the seven card stud, our vocal coach at the time Bob Westbrook was Justin Timberlake’s vocal coach. And that’s how I got to know him. And he knew I was a bass singer. So when Justin called him to suggest someone to join the group, he was like, oh, Lance will do it. But his mother would never let him in the group. Which is, you know, kind of understandable. Because yeah, I didn’t know at the time that my mom was really not for this, but she never let me know that. You know, when they asked me to come to Orlando and meet the guys and sing with them, and just see if I even wanted to do this. My mom was like, there’s no way I’m letting them do this. He’s not going to quit high school and go to Orlando and join a group that’s probably gonna go nowhere. This is ridiculous.

Elyse Myers  18:21

Because how old were you when that happened? 

Lance Bass  18:23

I was 16.

Elyse Myers  18:25

So you’re still in school and everything?

Lance Bass  18:26

Yeah, I was a junior in high school.

Elyse Myers  18:28

Okay, pause really quick. Before I became a parent, I would hear this story and think, oh my gosh, his mom is being so protective in like a negative way. As if parents shouldn’t like want to protect their children. But now as a parent hearing, Lance’s story feels actually like miraculous. I cannot imagine how, like fearful his mom would have felt when you know, Lance presented this opportunity to her and said, You know, I have to drop out of school, I have to travel, I’m gonna go do all of these things and make my dreams come true. At 16, there is like no, no atom in my brain that would Greenlight this situation, if I was in her position with my son. Like, there just is not a single cell in my body that would say yes to that, or want to say yes to that. I just can’t imagine. I cannot imagine the feelings that his mom would feel in this moment. And so shout out to mama Lance, Mama Lance Bass. I don’t know. I don’t know her name. Hold on. What is Lance Bass’ mom’s name? This feels like a weird thing to Google. Diane, shout out to Miss Diane for allowing her son to follow his dreams because that was a scary decision. And she just did it. And now we have the beautiful Lance.

Lance Bass  19:53

And what the moment that I was saying with the guys, I knew to myself like, holy crap. There was something magical and I’m like I’m moving to Orlando, and my parents were so supportive of it never let me know that they were so dead set against it.

Elyse Myers  20:07

That’s some good parents though, because they had the fear, like they had the normal human fear of like, even I don’t know if my son August, like, had a dream like that in my brain, I’d be like, Absolutely not a doubt for them like you want to give them every opportunity.

Lance Bass  20:23

Oh, yeah. But it was crazy, because she didn’t tell me that they call twice. The first time it was Justin, Lou Perlman and his mom on the phone, you know, introducing themselves saying what they were trying to do. My mom’s like, yeah, no, thanks. And then they call back and she’s like, okay, let’s talk about and then she finally told me the situation. And once she said, two of the guys are from the Mickey Mouse Club. I’m like, Why? Because I love the Mickey Mouse Club when I was a kid. And I’m like, well, if they’re on the Mickey Mouse Club, then I mean, this could be huge. They already have a fan base. So then I knew it could be like real.

Elyse Myers  20:58

Okay, pause. I originally wrote like the 10 minute complete history on the Mickey Mouse Club. And it did get cut for time, but I just couldn’t leave without you knowing that that happened. Okay, back to the interview.

Lance Bass  21:10

Yeah, it’s just like, there’s no turning back. Now we got to take you to Orlando. But I remember I was really all I cared about at the time was homecoming dance, the Homecoming Parade, which I was in charge of? And then yeah, I got shipped off to Orlando.

Elyse Myers  21:23

How did it feel the moment that you knew that you were going to be shipped out to this like dream of yours? What was that feeling like?

Lance Bass  21:30

Well, what I didn’t know it was a dream at all. Okay, I didn’t think that they would really want me in this group. I’m like, well, it’s probably like an audition with 500 other guys and like, sure, once I got there, and I knew that I was the only person that they were looking at one of the guys, Joey’s best friend was in the group. And he was the bass singer. But last minute decided he didn’t want to do this, because he didn’t want the kid market. So he left the group. And so they were desperate to find a bass singer quickly. And that’s when I flew down and we sang the national anthem. I mean, we everyone had, you know, chill bombs. And it was just, it was a magical time.

Elyse Myers  22:20

There’s been very few moments in my life where I could feel the feeling of everybody in the room, but like that, I feel like it’d be one of them where I would just like, hold on to that forever. I just feel like that would be such a powerful moment to like, this is right where I’m supposed to be right now. And it’s happening. And I’m, I’m aware of it. Fun fact, the first time I had this moment was when I was about to quit this podcast. This one, I had just had a panic attack on zoom with everyone, the whole team. And I’m like, you know what, I’m good. Thank you so much, find somebody else. And I was with my assistant and my manager on my living room floor. And they’re like, don’t quit. And I’m like, okay, and then I get sent a five minute example of what an episode will sound like. And then we play the five minute sample. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, okay, I’m not quitting, this is it. And it was like, We didn’t say anything for like a few minutes of just like, listening to this and consuming this final product that we hadn’t really heard before. And I was so scared to even listen to it, because I didn’t want it to even further confirm that I was like, This is not for me. And then I just heard it in I was like, Oh my gosh, this is everything I wanted it to be in so much better. And I’m so glad that I feel this way. And everybody feels this way. And it was like this, like collective sigh of relief. So that was like the first like group understanding that like, this is right, like green light from the universe kind of feeling. And here we are. So back to the podcast. Like, that doesn’t happen. It’s like deja vu in the moment.

Lance Bass  23:50

It’s very true. And yeah, I mean, I, you know, I look at that moment. And I just, I love the beginning of our group, because it was so innocent, you know, and it’s just, it was just us five, and it was all about the voices and the harmonies and I missed those days. Because you know, the larger a group gets, and it gets very corporate and commercial. And then you get started persuaded to do different types of things that you didn’t know. And you kind of get out of that core of what your group really was. So going back to that moment always just reminds me of what we really were.

Elyse Myers  24:19

Yeah, I feel like whenever something starts like that, it is like the beginning is so sweet. And it’s so the rest of your career. You’re always chasing why you started what you started and it always feels like you have to fight for that. Because if you don’t, it can get away from you so quickly, especially when an opportunity comes to you. It’s like you almost feel guilty saying no, because you’re like these are things people like would kill for and you’re it’s like getting handed to you and you’re like But is this really going to keep me focused on what I really really want. You know, and like, especially you were young, like, what was it like when you left knowing like, okay, I’m trading this childhood basically for this dream like what was that process like for you?

Lance Bass  24:59

Hardly not as scary as it should have been. I was just super excited. Like I, that’s when I first started to dream for the very first time. So once I knew that this is what I was going to do, and I was in this group, my dream was that I just thought that we would be this acapella group that would you know, be known in Orlando singing at Disney maybe get hired by Disney and be like that group that you go to the park and we’re like, singing around. 

Elyse Myers  25:28

The striped like outfits.

Lance Bass  25:29

Yeah, exactly. Like with a hat.

Elyse Myers  25:34

Like the, he thought it was gonna be like those like, like those, what are they called? The singers, the barbershop quartet singers. He thought that they were just me barbershop quartets. I just imagined him like in this full suit and like, putting his head out for tips on the side of the street like, and he wouldn’t he said he would have been happy if that was all he was. I’m like, that’s how you know you’re doing something you love. Because that’s the biggest you can dream and you’re like, this is it. this is everything I’ve ever wanted. And then the universe is just like, joke’s on you. You’re actually going to be world famous, and you’re gonna hate it. Like, I can relate.

Lance Bass  26:13

You know, I thought that’s as big as it you know, probably would get. But yeah, it got a little bigger than that.

Elyse Myers  26:21

Like, it’s very interesting actually hearing you talk about that. Because your mom watched you grow up so fast, right? Like so if you left at 16. And she if I remember it, she like chaperone for everything that she came with you when you did all those things. 

Lance Bass  26:35

She came on the road the first year. 

Elyse Myers  26:36

Well, I just need to hear about that. Because having your mom with you. Things like that is just Okay, wait, hold on your mom on the road with you? What was that like?

Lance Bass  26:47

You know, in one way, it was amazing. Because you know, you had family with you and you it made you feel more at home. The bad thing was, you know, you wanted to be a mom, you know, a 17 year old with your four new best friends like living in Germany where you can get into, you know, some trouble and you know, you want to like, drink or do that. But you couldn’t do that in front of your very conservative mother. Yeah. And you know, you roomed with her. So at the end of the day, you know, you’re going back to the hotel room and staying with your mom.

Elyse Myers  27:18

Do you have any memories of like, when that went wrong?

Lance Bass  27:22

No, because we were so innocent at that that first year and we were kept so busy. There was no way of getting in trouble. Yeah, but I do remember thinking, well, if there was an opportunity to you know, be that that Rockstar on the road where you like meet a fan, right? You want to like take them back and like have sex or something of that. Yeah, that was never gonna happen. And I was glad because, you know, I knew I was gay. It was very good excuse to be like, oh, there’s no way I could do that. I would totally if my mom wasn’t there.

Elyse Myers  27:53

Your mom was your cover story?

Lance Bass  27:55

Yes. Yeah.

Elyse Myers  28:02

Coming up after the break, Lance invites me to Disney World, and I almost have a panic attack on air. Stay tuned. I know you’ve talked about Disney a few times. I just want to confirm have you been to Disney World? 

Lance Bass  28:27

Yes, I have. 

Elyse Myers  28:29

I have never been to Disney World. I’ve always wanted to go it was my dream. I live down the street from Disneyland. So I’ve been to Disneyland. But I’ve never been to Disney World. And I almost went for my 16th birthday and it fell through. So I have to find a way to get to Disney World because it would just be so fun.

Lance Bass  28:46

We’re going. I haven’t taken you if you have not been I am taking a Disney World for the first time.

Elyse Myers  28:52

Oh my god. I can’t, if I wouldn’t have already met Lance, I would have thought that he was joking when he said that. But because I have had like a full conversation with him in real life. I knew he was like fully serious. And that was even more to process because my brain couldn’t even use like the scapegoat that I usually use with my anxiety. Like they’re not serious. I’m like, no, he’s fully serious. And I’m going to have to go to Disney World with Lance Bass and I get to, but I also have to and that is a whole month of mental prep that I just like don’t have time for right now. So I don’t know how I’m going to do that.

Lance Bass  29:31

Yeah, you’d have to spend a whole week there to see every single thing you want to say. It is it’s magical. I love it and I’m taking you.

Elyse Myers  29:39

I guess we’re going to Disney World. The thing that I would want to do at Disney World with Lance Bass is eat a freaking turkey leg. The rides are kind of white noise to my brain. All I am thinking about is the food. And I’m like if I could just walk down Main Street holding a giant turkey leg next to Lance Bass. Everybody’s looking at him. And I’m looking at my turkey leg. I think that that sounds like a successful day. So okay, did you take your babies yet? And by the way, for people that don’t know you have, how old are your kids?

Lance Bass  30:15

They’re 11 months now.

Elyse Myers  30:17

11, oh my gosh, and you have a girl and a boy, right?

Lance Bass  30:21

I do Violet and Alexander,

Elyse Myers  30:24

And they’re twins, and they’re so sweet. What was that like? I know that you guys did like IVF? I think right? You and Michael, your husband? And like, I know that you were very vocal about that experience. What was that process like for you? I know that it has gotten a lot of ups and a lot of downs.

Lance Bass  30:42

Oh, yeah. I mean, everyone that we know, that has gone through the IVF process and surrogacy kind of went through the same problems we did. You know, it took us about five years. And at the time, especially, it was very taboo to even talk about that. Yeah. Like no one really wanted to talk about their IVF experience, because a lot of people were just embarrassed about it. And I don’t, I don’t really know where that stems from. But that’s why I wanted to be really open about our process. Even from the beginning, I wanted people to kind of like follow that journey to show the ups and downs and show that it’s normal.

Elyse Myers  31:14

It’s wild to because your kids are obviously going to be very special children, right? Like they’re coming into this like world with parents that are very famous, and they don’t know that yet. And like, I just I’m curious to know, one, like, what surprised you most about being a dad, but two, how are you going to approach being a famous family? You know what I mean? Like, what is? Are you nervous about it? Are you excited about it? What does that look like?

Lance Bass  31:39

I mean, I’m not too nervous about it, because it is, you know, it’s what our life is. And since I was 16 years old, that’s all I’ve really known. So yeah, there’s no stopping that. I mean, it doesn’t matter if I don’t do anything in entertainment again. I mean, people just know me for who I am. And not only for NSYNC, but just coming out. So publicly. So it’s, you know, I’m basically a reality star, people. You’re America’s gunkel. So you know, it’s something that we’re just gonna have to be so open and honest about, and it’ll be interesting to see if they even care which, you know, I’m sure they won’t, because it’s just gonna be so normal to them. And then everyone’s like, well, do you want them to go in entertainment? And honestly, no, I don’t.

Elyse Myers  32:23

Yeah, what are your reasons for that?

Lance Bass  32:25

Well, it’s just very stressful. I mean, you know how it is, it’s being told no, 99% of the time is not good for your mental health at all. And you can be the strongest person in the world. And I think I have a very thick skin. But still, things will just get to you, you know, and I don’t want my kids to have to feel that over and over and over and over and over again, I know whatever field you go into, you’re going to feel that way. But this is just, it’s a different beast.

Elyse Myers  32:51

And you’re like, you’re open to people’s opinions of you so open to where it’s like nobody like that. I’ll say this time and time again. But like you’re the human heart, just like it wasn’t built for fame. PS, shout out to Ben Rector. He told me this once as an encouragement, and I never forgot it. And no, like, you’re not meant to know what people think about you. 24/7 It’s very bizarre. 

Lance Bass  33:14

And it’s different these days. Because, you know, 20 years ago, when, you know, we came out. It was just easier because our social media, you know?

Elyse Myers  33:23

Do you want to know like, what’s one thing that you’re so grateful for coming from a small town? Like, what is something that stuck with you? You’re like, this made me who I am. 

Lance Bass  33:31

Yeah, I think the sense of community. That’s something that, you know, I desperately was trying to find after I left that town. And you know, I had that within NSYNC, you know, and you know, other people that was like my best friends.

Elyse Myers  33:44

Okay, pause. I could not agree with Lance more about music and community. I am somebody that really enjoys doing something and like sharing a common goal with people. That is the way that I enjoy like community and friendship most. If I’m just sitting across from someone at a coffee, I just am like, I don’t know what to do with you right now. But when I was in choir I love or just like music in general, like I was in choir, I was an orchestra studio singers. I really enjoyed that. Because I didn’t have to kind of come up with things to do with these people. And I just got to have like, friends with a common goal of like making music and also naturally just having these things in common of like everybody in orchestra was great. But then also people that played my instrument like Viola, like it was like community, within community within community and all of us already had our agenda for what to do.

Lance Bass  34:40

But then, when the group split, I was on my own for the first time, and I didn’t know what to do. And I lost that sense of community, especially when I was able to come out. Because you know, when I came out, you know, no church wanted me my family got kicked out of all other churches and that’s where I learned community was through my church. So that’s something that I desperately was seeking for. And I think that’s why I just love the LGBTQ community so much. Because, you know, it gives you that that sense. And I love it. You know, it’s a beautiful thing.

Elyse Myers  35:17

Do you ever wish that you would have been able to come out when you were still in in sync? Or do you think that it would have not been the right time?

Lance Bass  35:23

You know what, I have no idea. I don’t think it would have been the right time. But I really wish I would have, you know, I was so scared. I mean, I was a teenager and, you know, stupid kid. But the only thing that I had an example of, of people coming out was Ellen DeGeneres. And, you know, when she came out on shatter sitcom, you know, it was immediately canceled. Everyone hated her she did not get the support at all. And that scared me because I’m like, Ooh, I was like, well, there’s an example of what’s going to happen to me. And I didn’t want NSYNC’s career to be completely over. And my four best friends be all pissed at me, because they’re like, why couldn’t you just keep that secret? And now our lives are ruined?

Elyse Myers  36:04

Oh, that’s true. I didn’t think about it, how it affected the other guys, too. 

Lance Bass  36:08

And you and your 5000 employees. And you know, it’s just a huge business. And so I didn’t even want to tempt that at all. And that’s why, you know, I just I stayed in the closet, so long. But looking back, of course, hindsight, 2020, I would have loved to sit and seen what happened, I think, coming out of a little earlier, and especially at the height of NSYNC could have changed a lot of people’s minds, I think could have, you know, helped save a lot of kids to share.

Elyse Myers  36:12

Because I’m sure a lot of people modeled exactly, they’re coming out the way that you were, like, you used Ellen as an example in your mind of someone famous, you know, going through that, like, I’m sure a lot of people did. And so, but you know, you can’t ever look back and like, wish she did it differently. Because it’s, you can’t change it. And like you can only kind of move forward. And it’s, it’s just so cool that as a parent, I know, for me, you would get to either like recreate the positive things that you experienced from your childhood, or redo the things that weren’t so positive. And like, I just like, I know that I’ve been so surprised at what’s kind of come up as being a parent. And it’s like, there’s some things that I’m just like, oh my gosh, like my parents were just doing their best, you know, like things that like I was so frustrated that like, what are some things that are most surprising to you as being a dad?

Lance Bass  37:20

I’m actually surprised at how much patience I’ve learned because I am not a patient person at all. Like, that’s why when we go to Disney World, we’re not going to stand in lines. They’re not doing that stuff. We’re getting a guide because I just can’t do that crap. But with these kids, they’re really teaching me patience. I mean, even just, you know, when you’re feeding them for the first time, and how long that takes, and you’re just like, oh my gosh, I am just like, how long is this gonna go? But yeah, but now I actually enjoy it.

Elyse Myers  37:51

Really, do you like one story when you’re like, as a parent, where you’re just like, this was the epitome of when I realized I am a dad or like when I it said in that like I am. My life has changed forever.

Lance Bass  38:04

I think that was immediately. When I first got home, and you know, sleep deprivation was I mean, oh my god, unreal. And I just felt like I was in a dream state. Oh, yeah. And I remember looking at Alexander and he was on the couch, and he’s just this little blob. And I’m just looking at him. And I’m so like, not in my right mind. And I couldn’t believe it was real. Like, I was poking like, is this real? Like I don’t like I just thought I was dreaming. And I’m like, I’m completely mentally gone right now. And I’m like, I’m officially a dad. I am a dad now. This is what everyone was talking about, the fog.

Elyse Myers  38:43

It is for people that like are listening that have never had kids, it genuinely. You don’t understand tired until you’re in that newborn phase. Like I remembered we were driving home from the hospital and August was born with like a snowstorm. It was like negative 14 degrees or something. And we’re putting this like tiny little newborn baby in this car seat-ish thing. And I’m sitting in the back and Jonas is driving like four miles an hour because he just realizes like, I have a person back there besides Elyse.

Lance Bass  39:19

Oh my god. It’s so true. That is That is definitely one of the first times you’re like, oh my god, this is different. Because, you know, you’re so careless with your life when it’s just about you. And you’re selfish, right? But when you have those kids in the car for the first time, I mean, you are a grandma just like.

Elyse Myers  39:36

Even bumps. You’re like, oh my god, that bump was so big.

Lance Bass  39:39

Oh my God, and they love a car ride. All you think about is just like I could have a fender bender. I could just it’s so easy for a disaster. So I just want to take that out of the equation and be like a bubble wrapping you and you’re never leaving the house.

Elyse Myers  39:54

Okay, pause I genuinely forgot I was talking to like an international superstar at this point. He just seemed so normal talking about parenthood. And he is but I don’t know, I just felt like I could relate to him in a way that I haven’t before. And I thought that was really cool. There are so many things to think about you do just like kind of lose your independence as a human. For the first like year, like you’re, you’re still in it, you’re like, 11 months. Like, I feel like you’re just seeing the light, maybe at the end of the tunnel of like, they’re gonna get older at some point, you know?

Lance Bass  40:27

Yeah. Well, I think once they start walking, it’ll definitely be different because of my Okay, now they’re like, they’re turning into kids now. And there’ll be babysitting each other by two, I think in that in that the normal age that they start staying home alone.

Elyse Myers  40:40

Yeah, I think so you just throw them in a room with a bucket and like, they’re fine.

Lance Bass  40:45

You got like the hamster water, you know, you’re just kind of go to the water.

Elyse Myers  40:48

I always get people that asked me. So if you’re at work, like, who takes care of your kids all day, and I’m like, his dad? Like, there’s two people in this partnership here. Like, he’s good. He’s got it.

Lance Bass  41:06

It’s so funny how people think like, dads can’t even my family. You know, Michael is, you know, going for a while and so my mom’s freaking out. She’s like, Okay, I’m gonna come, I’m gonna help you. I’m like, Mom, I got this like exam, I’m fine. In fact, I actually enjoy the idea of having a little alone time right now. But they just think you’re still a 13 year old that just is, you know, it’s you’re not going to keep your kids alive. Like, there’s no way?

Elyse Myers  41:33

Well, I’ll wrap up with one question. It’s just like, from your childhood, in your experience, like, what is one thing that you want to pass on to your kids? And like, all the people that come after you like, what’s one thing you want to kind of pass on?

Lance Bass  41:46

You know, what I just, I think it’s so important to be able to spread positivity and, and be your true authentic self. I mean, whatever that is, don’t ever be afraid of what others are thinking about. Because they don’t matter at all. And it’s so easy to say, but it’s so hard to do. Because even today at 43 I still care what people think I do, like we just it’s just human nature. Yeah. But if you can, you know, just try to at least knock 50% of that out of your head. Because it is going to stifle what you’re trying to do. And there’s so many things in my life and like, God, I think I could have been really good at that. But I was told, no, you’re not good at that. So don’t listen to others. You know, take criticism with a grain of salt. And just do your thing and be open minded. Like I said, with my kids, I want them to be exposed to everything because you don’t know what you’re gonna like or be good at unless you’re exposed to it. 

Elyse Myers  42:45

Thank you so, so much for doing this with me. It’s just this has been an honor to get to see you again. And I can’t wait to go to Disney World with you.

Lance Bass  42:52

All right. We are planning this. I mean, God, I wish I could go. Maybe we’ll go into this fall because there’s nothing better than Disney at the holidays. I mean, Halloween, Christmas. It is as magical as Disney can get.

Elyse Myers  43:05

Let’s do it. I’m down. Okay. All right, Lance. Thank you so much. 

Lance Bass  43:12

Good to see you Elyse. 

Elyse Myers  43:18

So I am going to try and not cry. Because I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that that conversation just happened. I cannot believe this is happening. I made a video on TikTok telling the world that I have a crush or had a crush on Lance Bass as a child. He saw the video he do edit and like responded to the video. And trying to get him like yeah, he responded to the video. I responded to the video back in complete panic, like sheer panic. And then a brand called both of us and wants us to work on this like whole campaign where we get to meet and then make this beautiful piece of art together. And then I teach him how to take a shot. After it’s all over at the wrap dinner. We spend all evening talking and eating delicious food. And then now he’s a guest on this podcast that I barely made because I’m so nervous. I just I can’t I there’s no way to wrap this up. Okay, I need to pull myself together. I’m really glad that you guys got to experience with me and the fact that he invited me to go to Disney World and he really means it is  just a whole cooler conversation. That’s all for today. Thank you so much for listening if you want I would love if you could rate and review the podcast. This just helps other people find the show. Okay, see you next week. Bye. 

CREDITS  45:13

Funny Cuz It’s True is a Lemonada Media and Powderkeg production. The show is produced by Claire Jones, Zoe Dennis and […], our associate producer is Tiffany Buoy. Rachel Neel is our senior director of new content and our VP of weekly production is Steve Nelson. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, Paul Feig, Laura Fisher, […] and me Elyse Myers. The show is mixed by Brian Castillo and Johnny Evans. Our theme song music was written by me and scored by Xander Singh.

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