Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Story 57: Hit Song

            Ever since I was a wee tot, I’ve wanted to be the writer, singer, and producer of a hit song.  I wanted to be the one whose words people would sing to themselves until their friends were sick of them; the one they wanted to be as they sang my song in the shower.  I wanted to be the mastermind – nay, the genius – behind a song that was catchy yet clever, silly yet soulful, simple yet complicated, short yet long.  In brief, I wanted a moneymaker with heart.
            At long last, I struck gold.  After some tweaking by my team and intense, intense promotion, my song “Life Makes Me Want to Die” hit the number 1 spot on all the major music charts on its first week of release, and my album went platinum in two days.  I made history and no one, including myself, will ever be able to top this achievement.  I now am constantly showered with money, things, and adoration.  I am the voice of the age, I am the music of the heart – all love me and cannot get enough of my presence.
            As with an old-time record, there is a flip side: I am doomed.  Doomed, I say, to the hell that is having to perform the same song over and over and over and over and over and over and over and…. Till death do us part.
            The award shows are nothing; the song can only have one lifetime nomination for each organization, and I only had to perform at a few events.  The concerts, however, are a completely different animal.  The training for going on tour is similar to that employed by marathoners, and my whole body hurts until the numbness kicks in.  And sure, I usually have to do the same routine, but often I can switch out some songs, dust off some older stuff, and test out some newer stuff cleverly disguised as older stuff for my inevitable next album.  But I can never, ever leave out the hit song.  And I always have to end the show with it, at the point when I’m most exhausted.  I have to sing the song with all the vocal nuances I had used in the original recording on the 217th take, and all the movements and facial expressions from the music video that were perfected after five days of filming.  If I don’t do the song in exactly the same way each time, the fan e-mails and online comments notify me and the world, and my success would end faster than immediately.  So I give it my all, every day, and sometimes several times a day for the fans who pay extra for special treatment.
            I’m sure many of you are thinking: “Oh, boo-hoo, the star who makes millions of dollars for seemingly little work is complaining about her success.”  And you’d be right – I’m extremely lucky and blessed to be paid so much to do what I love.  But I have this to say back: Take what you love doing most in the world and imagine doing it over and over (etc., etc.) with no end in sight.  Under those conditions, all love turns to tedium.
            So I keep raking in the money and performing the same song ad infinitum.  Maybe I can retire soon and hire someone to cover it, leaving me to face the accusations that I sold out.  Wait a minute, why don’t I do that?  I’m already a billionaire, why should I have to do something I now hate?!  Why am I enduring this torture when I have enough money that I could fly to an island paradise and live there forever?!  I’m calling my agent: cancel the tours, cancel the social media accounts, cancel the talk show appearances – oh, breach of contract, lawsuits, have to give back money.  Never mind: I like singing the same song over and over and over and over and….

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