See the extended excerpt I posted on Facebook from Royally Flushed >>> (Something I didn’t post to WordPress before- only on Facebook for the past few months.)
As I was lying awake one night, I had a thought. When I was in middle and high school, I dreamed of becoming just like Kelly Clarkson. I had a pretty ok singing voice and I thought that maybe if I auditioned for a karaoke competition or American Idol, I would probably have a good chance at winning. I auditioned for talent shows at my respective schools, singing some of my favorite songs, and the judges said I was pretty good to perform in the show.
Problem was, the judges never let me win any awards.
In middle school, I sang something from Mary Poppins only to be awarded the third place spot. When I performed at my high school talent show, I got absolutely nothing out of it. My friend Jena, who played the piano accompaniment on my song senior year, won best in show, because she kept appearing in two other acts, singing and playing a song she wrote on guitar for the show.
I still remember when she won. I cheered for her in almost the same fashion the person in front of me did. The person in front of me was Mereyem Ahmadian, the most popular girl in our music department, and the most successful. She was in Chamber Choir for three years, she had performed in Maryland State Honors Choir and Baltimore County Honors Choir multiple times, and she stole the role of Kim McAfee in our senior year production of Bye Bye Birdie. Truth was, I was jealous of her and she hated me every day until graduation for being jealous without cause.
So when her friend Kevin sitting next to her said, “Mereyem, why do you think Rachel is cheering for Jena like you are?” she shouted, “BECAUSE SHE’S AN IDIOT, KEVIN!”
Those words stung my ears. And they left scars on my heart. After that, I never participated in any singing competition ever again, except for one time when my dad took all three of us to a karaoke contest at the Senator Theatre. I lost to a six-year-old girl who sang the worst country song ever written by Carrie Underwood.
So yeah, after that, I’ve been singing at karaoke bars just for the fun of it, really. I didn’t want to compete in any singing competitions because I knew I was about to get hurt emotionally by them. That’s the real reason why I was disgusted with Illumination Studios for creating the animated movie Sing, because the music was awful and I knew it was just another American Idol and The Voice but with animal creatures that could talk and perform.
At the time I was thinking about writing late that night, I realized something. Being a writer is so much cooler than being a singer-songwriter like Kelly Clarkson.
First of all, if you’re a famous pop singer or rock star, you have to get along with all of the famous celebrities, even the stupid ones who don’t deserve to be famous like the Kardashians. That means, I would have to share the stage with the one person I hate most, the dreaded prostitute Taylor Swift. If I came within an inch of her, I would have to hold myself down or have someone restrain myself from pulling her hair out and choking her so she wouldn’t sing anymore.
Honestly, I don’t want a criminal record, so I never want to meet that thing. Neither do I want to meet the other monsters in the music industry that I can’t stand: Ariana Grande (what an ugly name), Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas, Britney Spears, The Lumineers, Radiohead, Of Monsters and Men, Ellie Goulding, I could continue the list of bad musicians. I hate them all and I never want to share the stage with them because they all suck.
When you’re a writer, on the other hand, you get to meet the cool people. There are some bad writers out there, like Stephanie Meyer (God knows I hate Twilight) and the woman who wrote 50 Shades of Grey, but there are so many awesome writers and authors you can host a panel with or have tea with. Since I want to get into science fiction and fantasy, there are plenty of awesome authors like Neil Gaiman, who is married to a rock goddess, Amanda Palmer.
According to this video, both Neil and Amanda sound like pretty cool people:
Plus, Gail Carriger is one of my followers on Twitter. She’s the author of the steampunk series Parasol Protectorate, better known as the Soulless stories of Alexia Tarrabotti, last of the preternaturals, and her werewolf lover Lord Maccon of Woolsey. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind having a little tea party with her and some other writers I can think of.
There’s Gregory Maguire, the author of the Wicked books, starting off with the prequel to Wizard of Oz, telling the tragic story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Victoria Aveyard writes young adult stories, but her novels Red Queen and Glass Sword are borderline fantasies that brim with dystopia centering around Mare Barrow, the “little lightning girl”.
And let’s not forget J.K. Rowling, master and queen of fantasy writing for children and adults. She’s also written some mysteries for adults, some of them under her masculine pseudonym Robert Galbraith, but what she’s most famous for is the wizarding world of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Both of those became movies, and Rowling had the honor of being the screenwriter of Fantastic Beasts starring the phenomenal actor from The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne.
And believe me, after watching that movie twice, I can’t get enough of that thing. I’ve always wondered what the magical world looked like in America, and Joanne Rowling did it with that masterpiece. My favorite part is where Newt Scamander, the girls, and the muggle are all dressed up and at a speakeasy, better known as the Blind Pig scene. Tina and Queenie are in flapper dresses, the muggle Kowalski is getting happy off his first swig of Gigglewater, and an elf is singing a beautiful jazz song about unicorns and hippogriffs.
I’m in love with the wizards in that movie. It makes me wish I could do magic so I could go back in time to practice it in 1926. Jo, you did a fine job- stunning.
And rather than sing songs about love loved and lost, or being angry, being sad, or about dancing and having sex, you get to write some awesome stuff about characters you would never meet. Songs are supposed to be poetic, they’re supposed to be an art form, but the music industry is pushing talent-less dance music with drum machines, electronic toys and meaningless lyrics. I’d rather tell tales of superheroes, witches, scientists, time lords, and interesting people I would only meet in my dreams.
That’s the reason why sleep is very precious to me! When you’re a singer, you get almost no sleep at all because you’re beaten down with concerts night after night on national and world tours. You’re lucky if you get to have a few nights off to sleep. By the end of it, you’ll be exhausted from singing and dancing to thousands of fans that your whole body won’t be able to take the pressure anymore.
Finally, there’s the papparazzi to concern. Imagine all the people with cameras following you everywhere. You’ll have no privacy, for they’ll come in all directions and hassle you with questions and camera shutters going off everywhere you go. This is why Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan both went crazy at one point. And award winning soul lady Adele has serious stress issues with the press, which is why she doesn’t do that many concerts today.
Authors are famous, but they don’t get the same credit as famous actors and pop stars. J.K. Rowling probably gets the most attention, but she managed to hide from the press by living in a secret manor in Scotland. Other authors like Neil Gaiman aren’t nearly followed around by cameramen or journalists dying to get a good juicy story on their personal lives.
And when celebrities like the lovely Anne Hathaway or the disgusting Ariana Grande get to their interviews with People magazine, they talk about their careers as actors or singers, what the next album or movie project is, and their love lives, if they want to disclose it. They even discuss stupid things like morning habits, favorite performances, and annoying pet peeves. Boring.
Author interviews are different. We talk about our writing quirks, how we get our ideas, the joy of writing literature, what books we love to read, what viewpoints on the world we have, and what advice we can give to other writers. And we only get the best and brightest magazines to interview us, like Writer’s Digest, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, or even Time. And instead of sold out concerts, we get to talk at conventions, like San Diego Comic Con, the biggest nerd fest in the world, when our books get big promotions to become movies.
To me, that’s so much more fun than being a stupid famous singer. I’ll get to talk like a smart person and be with the smart intellectuals. I would love to drink tea or cocktails at lunch or dinner with the best and brightest before heading to a convention to speak at a panel. And then write a masterpiece screen adaptation of my novel.
That is something I could really go for. Someday, I want to be up there with those guys. They are my real rock stars.
I’m just waiting for Mereyem to forgive me. I was a bitch back then.
The Lady in the Blue Box