I’d like – if I may – to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for what I have done. I got you excited with my big dreams of being a ONE-NIGHT-ONLY chorus performer in Manchester’s production of The Rocky Horror show. I feel like I let you down, by being – shamefully – too bright a star.
It was unfair on all of us for me to do this to you. I mean, you wouldn’t ask a carrot to just BE a golden retriever, would you? So one cannot expect a lead singer to work (with little to no experience in ‘being in the background’) as a chorus member. I should have thought this through logically before raising your expectations so high, and for that, I hold myself solely accountable. I simply couldn’t manage the ‘do exactly what everyone else is doing when they are doing it’ – it’s not in my nature. To misquote the Time Warp, I jumped to the left when I should have stepped to the right. In doing so (metaphorically), I knocked out several other performers, and for that I will never have the sweet, contented, self-satisfied night’s sleep of a successful supernumerary.
I’d like to thank BBC radio, and the several photo- and videographers present who (despite my obvious shortcomings at ‘blending in’) chose to make an example of me, by blinding me with flash photography and reassuring me with their constant recording. I can only assume that this was to showcase the play’s Don’t Dream It, Be It message; a sort of C’mon Everybody, ANYONE Can Do It montage for the contingent not in attendance – dare I say, other stars, who shied away from open call auditioning for background performance roles fearing similar setbacks and stereotyping. Look, I’m not a hero (thanks, though) and I don’t deserve an OBE for my actions in the face of adversity (thanks though); It makes my heart explode laser beaming rainbows of pantsless pride just to have stood front and centre under NOT-a-spotlight, performing in the Manchester Opera House in a bespoke basque and stiletto boots, performing 16 bars of a song that I really love, to a tempo that defied comprehension. And that’s worth stepping out of the spotlight and into the blended wash of peachy stage lighting for.
If I have any message for other stars out there who feel too nerve-wracked to dip a toe in the foreboding waters of non-speaking roles, it is this: try, and fail, and don’t try again. At least you can say you tried and failed. When people say “Hey, you’ve been signed to major record labels, written and performed top ten commercial hits, addressed the nation on live television and generally create a publicity frenzy wherever you go; SO HOW COME YOU COULDN’T GET A PART IN THE BACKGROUND OF A REGIONAL PRODUCTION OF A HIT PLAY?” you hold your head up high, knowing that YOU FOUGHT AND LOST.
Accept the things you cannot change, wear as few items as possible as frequently as same. And never, ever, be afraid to try to dim your SPARKLE.