“Leave Britney (and everyone for that matter) Alone….”Posted by admin on Jun 25, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments
I know I said I would blog more, but I think I need more discipline in that area. I guess I will start small and say that I will blog when something moves me to blog, that way I am not filling this page of my website with “so…….”.
Speaking of things that move me to blog (thanks for asking! ha), I just watched HBO’s documentary series latest installment, “Me @ The Zoo” about Chris Crocker of “Leave Britney Alone” fame. The documentary (using his much of his own footage) follows Chris’ early upbringing, his video-taping of himself, rise to internet fame status, and the aftermath. I have never met Chris and didn’t really follow much that he did other than what I saw posted from time to time, but I found this documentary interesting to watch. It not only tells his story but I feel it tells the story of fame in general. The popularity of his videos didn’t seem to be intentional at first and I got that he was surprised when hits on his YouTube videos rose to the millions. Being sky rocketed to fame, which is assumed to be the dream when in the entertainment field, seems more like a nightmare because it can’t be controlled. The video that brought his name out into the forefront where he defends Britney Spears (“Leave Britney Alone”) was covered in every form of media and led to positive reviews, negative comments, and even death threats.
I am a pretty sensitive person. I fully admit that and I make an effort to be sensitive with others. I don’t like posting negative comments on videos that people post on Facebook and YouTube. That is why I was amazed when I watched this documentary and saw Chris posting his videos on YouTube (that are not directly aimed at anyone individually) and being bombarded with so many hate-filled messages AND death threats. Death threats? Because he dressed up like a girl or defended Britney Spears?
Recently, I heard someone complain about Adele in a “Ugh, please don’t cover any more Adele songs, she is so overplayed.”. Here is an artist that has an amazing voice, great songs, rose to popularity for these reasons, was played on radio, TV, movies, and praised for that. Why does there have to be a fallout? The radio stations might have played her music on the hour every hour, but it wasn’t Adele herself in the radio station hitting the play button. Fame is wierd like that. I get told it’s the price that comes with fame so “get used to it or grow a thicker skin”. What is too far though? Photographers hiding in your backyard spying on you because you wanted a song at the top of the iTunes chart so you can pay your bills without having a day job? Because someone wants to act alongside their idols/heroes, they have to read about how fat they are in the tabloids? How do you ever get used to that?
From time to time, I am reminded that the goal of being in the music world is to be famous. I can be pretty shy so being famous makes me nervous but I do want to be successful in music. I want people to show up to my shows. I would even love to play Madison Square Garden some day if I ever get the chance to perform for that many people at one time in my career. Do I want people hiding in the bushes of my house, do I want to be criticized for everything I do other than my music (my clothes, my hair, my body, etc.), do I want my partner to be harassed on a daily basis for being with me, do I want to have so many people get to hear my music that later on they beg some other singer to not cover/play my music? No way. I struggle with the hypocrisy of the entertainment business all the time. I do want to get out there more with my music, I do want to perform with/open for the people I have dreamed to work with since I started playing music at 8 years old (Natalie Merchant, Ani DiFranco, and many more) but I have a hard time with the idea of people (who I don’t even know personally) wanting to end my life because they didn’t like what I had to say or worse what I didn’t say at all.
When watching Chris Crocker’s documentary, I became a bit afraid at first of what is out there if by chance you are thrown into the gauntlet of being famous. But should it stop anyone from putting their voice and opinions out there? I say NO. When I sing my “Protest Song” on a Pridefest stage, I know someone in the crowd could get angry if they have a differing opinion than mine on the subject of gay rights. I also am well aware that my life could be in danger by being out there and vulnerable in a time where gay pride festivals are still controversial and draw protestors. Does it stop me from playing Prides or singing my “Protest Song”? It doesn’t. Should the fear of fame’s trappings stop me from getting my voice out there too? Label me a sellout, but at the end of the day, I hope I am fortunate enough to be more successful in this business and if I get to be famous for it, I want it to be for the right reasons. Good luck, Chris Crocker, and I hope Britney Spears thanks you someday for sticking up for her when it could have cost you your life.