Well it’s been one downward spiral this week, especially after coming home from a fantastic break in my hometown.
I have been unwell for a week. As a performing artist any illness to do with our mouth, throat, ears, nose and abdomen is detrimental to delivering a song or script. So there I was panicking to start my new venture as South Africa’s female voiceover artist for FIFA World Cup 2010, with bronchitis and wisdoms rupturing. I had 3 days to steam, dose myself on antibiotics, take 2 boxes of painkillers, sleep, drink water like a camel and steam my vocal chords some more to ensure I was in shape for this opportunity. This job to me was HUGE, one of the biggest things in my career to be able to do to date. I nagged the agency to place me, I worked for it, I did this. So why couldn’t I pick up the phone and cancel the session until I was better? Self-pressure, perseverance, not wanting to make excuses/complain…plain and simple…I just never say no and am always driving myself at full steam. You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you?! Well yes, I lost my huge FIFA voiceover contract this year because I didn’t say “No, I’m so ill at the moment it feels like I’m dying so it will have to wait. Please can we reschedule?” It’s bad, really bad. It’s the first time I worked with this agent and client and as much as they say next time honey, all I can think of is that they really mean it was my last. So after the most excruciating recording session – of sounding nasal, unnatural, unprepared and possibly like a fashion expert asked to talk about sports enthusiastically and like a commentator with vavavoom – knowing all too well, I’d just crashed and burned, so all I could manage to say was, “I hope that was okay, I’ve just come off the back of a cold and hope it sounded okay?” Which is ridiculous, for goodness sake’s I haven’t been able to open my jaw for a week, from this frigging wisdom tooth coming out which is sitting on a nerve (so I can’t have it removed either, otherwise I might lose the feeling in my lips), and I sound like Kermit the Frog with the respiratory system of Darf Vada, full of bronchitis…not a good sound! And I didn’t to them say beforehand, I wasted their time, probably setback the programme and now it’s over. In this industry, there are no second chances, one shot baby, that’s all you have…and I did I good job in ruining it. So, I’m sorry for anyone believing and trusting in me, I’ve let you down.
Anyway, I’ve done much thinking and mainly moping about lately, something I rarely have patience for or ever do either. Wondering what am I going to do now? How do I make this better? And the only vision I have is that I’m not. I’m not going to try rectify anything. I’m not going to bounce back with some grand plan. All I’m going to do is take time out from everything. My songwriting won’t ever stop of course as we’re bound, it’s like not having an arm to not write music. So that will continue. But the rest of what I do will come to a standstill, for now.
I just need a break from all the industry nonsense for a while. Which, for me personally, ‘the industry’ basically equates to:
– working non-stop to pay the bills across sectors with no focus in one area, paying to perform, fighting my corner as an artist in every sense, selling what I do without grimacing and pretending that the artist’s really a twin…etc.
– to only face a zillion unanswered letters, a zillion unanswered calls, a zillion unanswered emails, a zillion unanswered meetings – is there anybody there actually?!
– then to meet a stalker pretending to be an A&R expert, called Damon Surridge – this idiot convinced me (after listening to me play all my new songs in my home for him) that he would organise a UK tour for my band, find the best producer for my next album and help release it, but when he confessed his undying love to me right at the end…surprise, surprise I realised…errr well, wait a minute, something’s not quite right here, DUH! I mean you guys at the Bedford even know him, it’s where I met him…and when I did phone Universal’s HR Dept, “errr, who?” is all they said…and when confronting him eventually saying “so who are you and where is the work you’ve said you’ve done – cause this whole lurve thing didn’t happen, is NOT happening, not ever”, he replied “I know people and you’ll be hearing from my lawyer”! Damon Surridge, you really do deserve an Oscar! And my advice to anyone is that you steer clear of this waste of space :> he wasted 3 months of my life, don’t let him do the same to you. Yeah I’m still freaked out about it.
– and then some people who say they are ‘fans’ but actually are inappropriate with their comments and are just weirdos perving over some image in their heads that they have concocted of me (pun intended) – the benefits of managing my own database…not!
Now, I could have made up a fantastic excuse, a more politically correct way of saying what’s been going down, but I’m tired of that ‘playing it safe, only say what’s necessary etiquette’ quite frankly. This is the real me and that’s that! I’ve worked incredibly hard for soo long now whilst being ‘Miss Happy-Go-Lucky’, with a ‘not a thing phases me’ smile and a ‘you can do it’ attitude. Phew…sorry, but this is all too much right now for my little heart, I’ve had it. Losing the FIFA job has made me realise I need to stop and right now because I’m losing my self-preservation in the process. I once said to someone who tried to stop me living my dream of being a musician full-time, “Shove your money up your ****, I’ll do this on my own even if it kills me!” Well, you know what? I’m really too young to die and do not want to do what I love and cherish most whilst dying anymore. And I’m certainly not too old to make it and I’ll still do it without his dosh, thanks. So I guess I’m saying no from now on to be able to say yes to more for later, if you follow me :>
The only plan is my gig supporting Never the Bride at the Bull’s Head, Monday, 30th March 2009 @ 8:00pm (http://www.neverthebride.com/gigs.html). Probably my last for a long time. As well as honouring bookings for cover gigs for my company Stuff Like That There: http://www.myspace.com/stufflikethatthere. Voiceover work…well if the word isn’t already out, maybe someone will hire me, one day. Anyway, main focus is songwriting and my only focus, at a different pace.
So to the real people rooting for me from family, friends, colleagues, agents, labels, publishers, radio, promoters and fans (is that everyone?!)…I’m so sorry I messed the FIFA thing up, gutted is an understatement. You’ve heard my cry…you may walk away, you may stay. But whatever you do, thank you, thank you, thank you for every message, work opportunity or for coming to say hi and genuinely meaning what you say without a warped meaning behind it. My ties with you remain unchanged and we’ll keep doing what we do.
Enough of this rough-ride I’ve had. I’m headed for Neverland to rediscover and recover me plus the hit songs in hiding. Until then, keep smiling…someone’s got to!