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The harsh life of a pop star

Chris McGrady | Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It’s not so bad being a pop star. I get paid a lot of money to make mediocre records. In fact, I don’t even have to write my own music. Basically, I just listen to a beat (that’s the easy part, because most of them sound the same anyways) and then the record producer finds someone to write lyrics for me. Even these don’t have to be that decent, as my manager says, “It’s all about presentation.”

So I have this beat now and the lyrics and I’m in the studio and I am freaking out. Apparently the synthesizer on the computer is broken and I might have to actually sing. This might not “seem” like a problem but believe me, it is. As a pop star, I’m not actually required to have a good voice. In fact, I can’t really sing that well at all, probably not much better than you. You would be amazed what computers can do.

You might be thinking, “But what about when you perform live? Surely, then, your façade will be discovered.” But alas, my naive friend, I don’t actually sing when I’m live. Heavens no. I could strain my sub-par vocal cords or mess up the lyrics (you have probably seen this happen to other, less-talented artists). Besides, I’m probably too busy dancing to do much anything else. It would be nearly impossibly to hit a high note just after doing the worm across the stage. I’m just way out of breath. So instead, I just play one of my CDs over a mega-loud sound system and spend the entire concert dancing around the stage mouthing the words. Do you have any idea how tiring that is for me? Sometimes I don’t even last the entire two-hour concert and have to cut the show short. But hey, for $45 tickets, what do you expect?

One time, the CD actually started skipping while I was on stage. You can’t even imagine how embarrassed I was. Fortunately, after being booed off stage, my publicist got together with a TV producer and made a reality show about me. This really restored my public image. Plus, my older, more talented sibling had some nice quotes about me, and everyone just seemed to forget all about it.

I know what you’re thinking – this sounds like it’s all so incredibly easy. But you don’t know how hard it is for me out there. Just the other day, I was enjoying a chai tea latte and an energy bar when a seven-year old girl practically accosted me asking me for my autograph. Fortunately, I had a way out. She was holding a blue Sharpie. I can only sign autographs with Bic gel pens. Sponsorships, you know?

Besides the stinging heat of the limelight, I have to deal with keeping up with my “rockin’ bod.” I pay thousands of dollars a week for a personal trainer, a personal chef and a make-up artist to make sure I look this good all the time. On top of that, I have to have a maid to keep my house clean in case any celebrities stop by and a mechanic to make sure my nine cars are always running and full of gas. It’s a hard knock life.

I like to think that I’m an inspiration to untalented people everywhere. I am proof that it doesn’t really matter how well you can sing or act or really do anything. If you’re good-looking enough, or have an older more talented sibling who has already made it big, you can become a pop star – just like me. Despite all the terrible hardships of my lifestyle, I chose it.

Although it’s tough, all in all, it’s really not so bad being a pop star.

Contact Chris McGrady at cmcgrad1@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.