“You’re going to sing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show,” my agent said over the phone.
“Really?!” I asked surprised and elated. “Wow!”
“Yes, it is you Taylor Swift and Drake.”
I could feel the nerves bubbling inside me, the dreams being made feeling rising inside me. Victoria’s Secret was one of those few performances that a musician dreamed of.
Two weeks later, I showed up to the first rehearsal eager and ready to preform. I soon realized, however, I was the happiest person there. The models greeted each other unenthusiastically, grumpy and competitive. Taylor and Drake had yet to show and I was informed that they do not rehearse, they already know what they are doing. My energetic mood quickly transitioning to slight annoyance.
Then it came time for me to preform at the rehearsal. I stood in the middle of the runway and listened to the director tell me what to do.
“So we’ll start playing the track and you can just lip sync,” he said.
“Wait, wait. I don’t want to lip sync,” I said. “It’s not really my thing.”
He gave me a miffed look. “Listen,” he said. “This show isn’t about you. Either you lip sync or you leave. You weren’t even our first choice anyway.”
I raised my eyebrows and put my hands on my hips. “I will do as you say, as long as you treat me with respect,” I said, unsure of how to approach the situation. I knew I wasn’t going to give up this opportunity.
“Whatever,” he replied.
I went home that night and cried, in denial of the reality of the situation. I knew I was just starting out and this was a major opportunity, but it didn’t feel right.
The show quickly approached, however, and I was under contract so I could not back out. Rehearsal after rehearsal went by and I felt worse after each one. The models were increasingly competitive and jealous. They gossiped about each other’s walks and the arrogance of the “Angels.” I had yet to see Drake and Taylor, and was doubting whether they would really be there. The director was as rude as ever, to the models more than me. He commented on their bodies like they were pieces of meat , it made me sick, but I had no way out of it.
The day of the show I was bursting with nerves. I had no idea how I would be treated and the whole production intimidated me. I got ready back stage in my rather dull outfit.
“You can’t outshine the models,” the stylist explained when dressing me.
Taylor and Drake had, in fact, showed up, as glorious as ever. Taylor greeted all her model friends giggling with them like a school girl. Drake looked the models up and down and occasionally grunted in approval. Neither of them knew who I was.
Finally it was my turn to go on. The announcer introduced me and I walked down the runway, smiling and waving, a powerless microphone in my hand. I stood in the middle and began lip syncing, the first model was going to come after the first verse and I was ready.
I could hear the models steps clinking down the runway and I moved to the left as she walked around me. I then moved to the right a second time and then to the left again, dodging models and their gigantic wings left and right. I bobbed and weaved around the models, unsure of how this was ever going to work. I attempted to keep lip syncing but I got off track after I almost tripped from a wing shoving my shoulder. I nervously kept with it, however, praying it would end.
When I went back stage the models gave me dirty looks, I messed up their show, apparently. Taylor approached me.
“You’ll do better next time,” she said, smiling and giving me a hug. I said thank you through a clenched jaw, anger rising inside of me.
My second performance was worse than the first. This time the wing actually hit me and I fell on my face, my dress slipping up to show more skin than the models. I quickly scrambled up, threw caution to the wind, dropped the microphone and strutted down the runway, blowing kisses and smiling as my song kept playing.
I left the show, happy with myself although my agent was not happy with me. It turned out, however, that the show brought me more fame than it ever would have if I didn’t take the risk. I revealed it for what it was. I booked countless interviews after that show and my agent could not be more proud of me. I never sang at the show again and instead, moved on to bigger and better things.