Almost Famous 

Answering the call when the rock star lifestyle beckons

So I’ve thought about it for a while, and I’m pretty sure that I want to be a rock star.
So I’ve thought about it for a while, and I’m pretty sure that I want to be a rock star. I don’t have any experience as a rock star—my college didn’t have a rock star major and I have no idea what an appropriate summer internship would be like—but I’m young and my career has just begun. I could probably still be a rock star if I really wanted to. I decided on this new occupation after going to a bunch of local rock shows. I watched the bands onstage and thought to myself, “I, too, can jump around in front of people and mumble incoherent sentences in between songs!” Think about it: how many times have you been to a concert, stared adoringly into the lead singer’s eyes, and thought to yourself, “I have no idea what he’s saying, but I know it’s witty and insightful and I totally agree with it.” It happens all the time. You can’t understand the rock stars because they’re out of breath from jumping up and down, but when they stop talking, you pump your fist in the air and scream all the same. These guys are geniuses, you think, unaware that the lead singer just told a knock-knock joke that ended with the line, “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” Unfortunately, there are a few kinks in my plan to become a rock star: I can’t sing and I don’t play a musical instrument. But with the right manager and marketing gimmick, I’m sure I could get around it. I’ll just become the female Bob Dylan who plays really loud, dirty punk songs. With enough feedback, you’ll never know I’m actually playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” over and over again. I’m destined for fame, of course. I’ll become the next John Lennon, only without the murder or marriage to Yoko Ono. Rolling Stone will write articles about how inspiring it is that a middle-class white girl from a stable suburban family defied the odds and stole the hearts of other middle-class suburban Americans. What are the odds, you ask? I don’t know, but there are always odds and they always, always must be defied. Anyone who has watched VH1’s Behind the Music or Driven would know that. Once I’m a famous rock star, I will have to start making outlandish political statements so that people will know that the money and fame hasn’t gone to my head and that I still care about starving babies with distended stomachs in Third World countries. I mean, not enough to visit them. Just enough to write songs and talk to Oprah about them. U2’s Bono has the right idea. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but I think I’ll take the John Lennon approach again and lie in bed for a week. I can get behind any political cause if it means that I can wear pajamas when I discuss it. Of course, I’ll have to pick an issue not yet embraced by our celebrity culture. Paul McCartney has the animal rights movement. Moby is on a one-man quest to apologize to the world for George W. Bush. Madonna believes that gapped teeth should be embraced, not corrected by an orthodontist. And me? Well, I think women should be allowed to vote. Oh wait, we can already do that. Well, I think we should be allowed to vote twice. How about that for a political statement? I will lie in bed eating cookies, brushing the crumbs off my chest and adjusting my pillow to complain about the plight of the female voter. All men are created equal, but women are created better. Thus we should vote twice. That’s my poorly formed rock star opinion, and I’m sticking to it. Of course, the best rock stars are the ones who meet untimely deaths. I’m willing to suffer for my fame, but luckily for me, “untimely” has a pretty vague definition. Maybe I will be bludgeoned to death by a herd of angry male voters when I’m 85, when I would otherwise have lived to be 90. Or maybe I will drop dead on stage during my 2060 Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Original Soundtrack, which Will Smith and I would have co-written for Disney’s latest animated movie, Tuesdays With Morrie, made after the move company ran out of interesting stories to use. I could live with that. Or not live. Either one. As you can tell, I have pretty much everything figured out, except for the whole “getting started” part. I don’t really want to play seedy clubs for years or audition for American Idol and then have to do candy bar commercials. Is there some sort of unpaid internship I could apply for? I could be Keith Richard’s personal embalmer. Maybe I could iron Steven Tyler’s scarves or shave Michael Stipe’s head in return for lessons on how to gyrate like an epileptic maniac. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. I’ll just visit my university’s alumni career office and see if they have any openings in the rock star industry. I can mumble incoherently with the best of them. 


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