Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dancers and Backup Singers

It is a complete paradox that dancers and backup singers don't get the glory they are sooooo deserving of, EVER.  I was watching a major recording artists live show and was watching the dancers.  I thought to myself, I might be the only person, with the exception of these dancers' friends and family, that even notices these amazing people!  

Dancers on a music video, for instance, (a very coveted gig) have the longest rehearsal hours (sometimes with the exception of the artist, but not always), the lowest rate, the hardest job and get less recognition than the grips!  Think about the blood, sweat and tears that the dancers are pouring out!  They are trained, professional and exceptional talents.  Most have been working on their craft their entire lives.  One of the biggest gigs you can get, especially in Hollywood, is principal dancer.  This means you are featured along side the artist or are cut to if the artist does not dance.  You are usually paired with a mirror or a second principal flanking the artist on the other side.  This is HUGE.  You may even tour! A bigger gig!!!  Now, name one dancer besides Kevin Federline or Chris Judd.  Can't do it?  Crazy right?  I know personally dancers who traded in the coveted principal dancer position for the "hot girl in video" and have had many offers and recognition and turned up on TV shows, feature films etc. because of it.  Glaring case in point (the Aerosmith girl....Alicia Silverstone)

Backup singers otherwise known as my dream job :) are equally as talented and totally under appreciated and unnoticed.  They are usually carrying the artist and more than half the time are stronger vocalists.  I was recently watching one of my all-time favorite performers (I lovingly say performer because a vocalist she is not) J-Lo and she was literally only bearable because of her backups.  I mean, they evened her out as best they could, but....I found myself with an intense desire to see one of them jump up, tackle Ms. Lopez to the ground, rip the mic from her hand and just take over, like "stop embarrassing yourself!  You're gonna mess up this gig for all of us!".  But alas.....

I know there have tried to be some referendum to alleviate the skewed and totally unfair world of the backup dancer/singer such as the afore mentioned Jennifer Lopez who EP'd a show all about dancers and their struggles.  It didn't stay on the air more than eight episodes.  I think, sadly, people just want their backup dancers/singers where they have historically belonged, in the background :(

Keep on getting your paper and keep on climbin! I promise to be watching.

~ Kate

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