21 August 2012

Chapter 3 – Male Models and LA waifs

We’d nearly finished our recordings, so on my next trip to LA I stayed for a few weeks as Jud had arranged for us to film a music video. So to get me looking ‘the part’ Jud said I needed to ‘trim up.’ I was slim before I started, so after three weeks of NO carbs and a gym session with a personal strainer EVERY morning I was LA slim! While I’m naturally slim (thanks mum) I hate going to the gym with a passion. It bores me stupid and I’d much rather walk through countryside than run on the spot whilst staring at some fat bloke’s arse. Perhaps I’ve never made it to the stage where all the endorphins start flying around, but regardless, I hate it.

Every morning my personal trainer Billy would have to bang on the door until I got out of bed, put me in the car and shove a no-carb smoothie in my hand. Since it was Hollywood I did see a few familiar faces including James Spader (actor) who I’ll admit to having a crush on. I sauntered over and did some lunges in his vicinity but sadly nothing came of it. Now I don’t know if this is normal but men were shouting abuse at themselves in the mirror whilst lifting weights … do they do that here? For three weeks I was starving, and I dreamed of potatoes and cake most nights. In fact just the memory of this has made me hungry so I need to stop writing to go and make a sandwich … OK I’m back. I admit I did enjoy being thin for that short while, but it didn’t last. When I got home my parents and friends were quite shocked. Out there in LA it’s the norm so I didn’t look any different from the belles of LA, but next to my lovely porcelain white curvy brit girls I looked like I needed a good meal. I missed my curves, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting them back. As for the gym I haven’t set foot in one since.

At the time I didn’t realise just how much money and time Jud had put into me as a project. Recording costs, personal trainer costs, make up artists, video costs, flights etc etc even down to the small things. I had a sore throat one morning and asked to see a doctor. He took me straight away.The doctor said I had a throat infection and gave me some pills. That visit cost Jed $100!! I didn’t know they had to PAY to see a doctor?! I though it was just like here, you rock up and get stung a measly £7.50. We complain about the NHS but how lucky we are. So before filming commenced Jud said we needed to find a guy to be in the video with me, then gave me some catalogues FULL of male models to look through and choose ……… ? : ) I of course was more than happy to oblige! in fact we had a lot of fun choosing which one (while trying to figure out which ones were in fact gay as i’m not sure I could do a convincing performance if that was the case). The guy I wanted couldn’t make it so we got our second choice, Benny. He wasn’t gay that was for sure. But you’ll have to wait until the next chapter to find out how that went.

So we needed to show record companies the ‘whole package.’  So our next step was a photo-shoot with photographer Denise Duff. Then we’d go on to make a music video. We shot on various locations including a disused railway, grungy underground car park and the beach. The outfits were controversial,  ranging from a demure white cotton dress ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ ensemble to a saucy  jacket – with just a bra on underneath – not something I was used to wearing for sure.  Jud (my producer) was keen to have a sexy commercial image and sound, where as my background was firmly rooted in alternative music …. more PJ harvey than Britney shall we say. So finding a happy medium was quite a challenge. Plus I, like many women, dress to suit my mood … one day It’s floral and demure, other days I look like I fell out of a skip and my other half has to intervene before I get to the front door.

The photo-shoot was very exciting but quickly became hard work. I have NO idea why ANYONE would want to be a model. Skipping through an ice-cold sea with not much on while SMILING like you mean it is not glamourous / fun / worth the money … in my opinion. My energy was also low since I was still carb free,  fat free and staring at people eating potatoes with an unnatural intensity. Personally I prefer curves and would take a rounded tummy over a six pack any day, but this was Hollywood baby and thin was in!  Thankfully the photos turned out great and did suit the music perfectly. I can’t say they were all a true representation of who I am. Now I make my own music, my natural image suits my music perfectly and thankfully both are a true representation of who I am.  But this was an adventure I agreed to embark on and I was happy to ride it out to see where it took me … and our next adventure would be the most fun yet!