For this installment of the Exploration of Unemployment, I would like to explore what it would be like to be a backup singer. Yup, I said it. And, I’m not gonna lie and say this is the first time I’ve ever thought about it (I think about it on a daily basis while singing in the car/shower/empty room).
I know, it’s kind of crazy. I’m not super vocally talented, but I can carry a tune and find a good harmony when I am motivated enough. I also know how to shimmy my hips and shoulders to the beat and convey just enough attitude required. I’m particularly good at the finger wag. (I definitely have enough attitude to cover for three backup singers).
Plus, backup singers get to have all the perks without all the pressure. You’re a backup singer for Adele, no problem. You get to go on tour and stay in fancy hotels and perform on stage in front of sold out crowds, but you don’t have to worry about the press getting all up in your face. Plus, you also get to hang out with Adele. Hell, you get to sing with Adele. Every day. (If not a fan of Adele, insert various artists here). You get to be a rock star without worrying about being a rock star. Plus, you can sport all those punk haircuts and makeup without worrying about what your boss or other people in cubicles next to you are going to think (especially if it doesn’t match up to the company ‘image’).
I always find myself watching the backup singers during live performances, because I feel like they add so much more extra mojo. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely watch the main act, especially if I’m a fan, but I also like to see the people they hire to perform with them. I think on some level, it says a lot about who the artist is as a person. You can especially tell when everyone is having a good time on stage, when they click, you know they genuinely like each other. (I was definitely entranced by Taylor Swift’s backup singers during her NYE performance…especially when they played into the schtick at the end).
I know I’m not the only one who has had this ‘dream’. Everyone who has ever played Rock Band or Guitar Hero secretly wishes they were good enough to be onstage. Everyone who has ever had the lead (or a part in the chorus) in the school musical/community theater production/camp play has thought the same thing, too. It’s human nature.
Being a backup singer means all the fun, less of the hassle (and a pretty good solid career if you can get it).
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