My Songbird Fantasy

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 16616006
Copyright : Sergey Nivens

From the time I was a little girl, I fantasized about having a beautiful singing voice, but I wasn’t destined to be blessed with such talent.  Though I am not tone deaf, and can carry a tune, the quality of my singing voice is very basic and certainly not worthy of any type of showcase.  At least I was realistic at an early age (eight years old to be exact) about my utterly ordinary voice, and never attempted to delve into some delusional idea that I might someday develop pipes which would rival Mariah Carey.  Instead, I happily lived vicariously through my favorite singers, imagining what it must be like to have such sweet melodies emanate from one’s vocal cords.

Of course, like most of you, I’m not afraid to belt out a tune while driving my car or taking a shower.  There is something so cathartic about being able to let loose like that, so I allow myself to indulge in it frequently.  Why not?  It’s not like I’m going to try out for American Idol or The Voice.

It’s pretty sobering to think that the majority of singers never really get a chance to fully live out their dreams of stardom, despite having massive talent. I recently watched “Twenty Feet From Stardom” which follows several prominent backup singers from the 1960’s to present time. In one portion of the documentary, Merry Clayton describes her experience recording the vocals for the 1969 song “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones.

In an excerpt from an article on openculture.com, Merry describes the evening:

Well, I’m at home at about 12–I’d say about 11:30, almost 12 o’clock at night. And I’m hunkered down in my bed with my husband, very pregnant, and we got a call from a dear friend of mine and producer named Jack Nitzsche. Jack Nitzsche called and said you know, Merry, are you busy? I said No, I’m in bed. he says, well, you know, There are some guys in town from England. And they need someone to come and sing a duet with them, but I can’t get anybody to do it. Could you come? He said I really think this would be something good for you.

I said, Well, play the track. It’s late. I’d love to get back home. So they play the track and tell me that I’m going to sing–this is what you’re going to sing: Oh, children, it’s just a shot away. It had the lyrics for me. I said, Well, that’s cool. So  I did the first part, and we got down to the rape, murder part. And I said, Why am I singing rape, murder? …So they told me the gist of what the lyrics were, and I said Oh, okay, that’s cool. So then I had to sit on a stool because I was a little heavy in my belly. I mean, it was a sight to behold. And we got through it. And then we went in the booth to listen, and I saw them hooting and hollering while I was singing, but I didn’t know what they were hooting and hollering about. And when I got back in the booth and listened, I said, Ooh, that’s really nice. They said, well, You want to do another?  I said, well, I’ll do one more, I said and then I’m going to have to say thank you and good night. I did one more, and then I did one more. So it was three times I did it, and then I was gone. The next thing I know, that’s history.

Now listen to her raw vocals.  You’ll get the chills from her energy and passion:

Now that’s magical talent!

Instagram And Instant “Models”

keep-calm-you-re-not-a-model-it-s-just-instagram

Every once in a while, I will stumble upon an Instagram account for an individual who clearly is NOT a model, but who has included “fitness model” in the profile description. A perusal of the user’s images almost invariably reveals NO professional images, but will have a whole slew of half-naked selfies shot in front of a bathroom mirror, or worse yet, on a bed, with a blue steel scowl or a do-ya-think-I’m-sexy pout in every single selfie that just makes me want to laugh. Just because someone WANTS to be a model doesn’t make it so, and no amount of selfies will ever generate the monetary compensation or exposure that would equate with a bona fide modeling career (unless you are Kim Kardashian). It also doesn’t count if you just so happened to have put on some fitness apparel once during a photo shoot with one of your friends who is a photographer, and struck poses which you believe to be fitness poses. Whatever you do, don’t be one of those wannabe fitness models who throws the title of fitness model around like you earned it! And stop using a ton of filters to make your images look better, then peppering them with a hundred hashtags to get more attention. All those things make you seem like a douche.

Fitness models are seen in print and online catalogs, ad campaigns, commercials, fitness expos, and are featured in magazines. The top fitness models make a very decent living doing what they do, and they work HARD for the money they make. That is why I get annoyed when I see a wannabe making false claims on social media. I have actually asked individuals who claimed to be fitness models where they were featured, only to get a flustered, cop-out response which I fully expect. There are some people out there who are photogenic and who have well-muscled, aesthetically pleasing physiques which lend promise to the possibility of a career as a fitness model, but they must prove that they possess the talent and work ethic to make it as fitness models. If you feel that you have some promise, then you can say that you are an aspiring fitness model, but don’t claim the title until you have actually worked as one.