I guess the title might need some further explanation. I’m a huge “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan. I’ve watched every season (at least twice) and there’s a special highlight episode that every fan is usually waiting for. It’s when they are playing the “Snatch Game”. The rules are simple – the contestants have to impersonate a celebrity during a game show. You can watch the winning performances here. (If you’ve never seen it before, it’s worth taking a look, sooo much fun, honestly). Now the challenge for my singing class was kinda similar this month – everyone got assigned an artist with a special live performance and had to impersonate and fully slip into that character for the final video.
For most people this sounds like a lot of fun – not for me though. I don’t even like Halloween or Carneval and I feel most comfortable to just be myself. Don’t get me wrong. I am fully aware that we all play different roles in life and that’s something I am very comfortable with. But impersonating someone else is not my kinda fun.
So here’s the song and video that I got. It’s “Price Tag” by Jessie J in a live performance from 2014.
I really like the song (I’ve actually done a ukulele video of it some years ago), so that’s usually a good start for the month. Adding the performance part of that special video is the challenge.
Getting into character
To get into character I first needed to find out what made the video so unique. It’s of course the very exaggerated facial expressions and the extreme use of different sounds. Not something that I’m particularly known for 😉 The feedback that I usually get is “Why you look so mad” or “Why you always look so happy”. I can assure you, that neither is correct. I have a natural bitchy resting face (so what, sue me) and I noticed that in the last about 1,5 years I started to kinda over compensate it with a fake smile. So now I get the feedback that I should relax more and not smile. People really need to get a grip on their judgment and take a second to think about how it might mess with someones head.
Anyway, the challenge is to get this character from the video down so that means working on my face and all the crazy things it might or might not be able to do, getting more variation in my voice and start moving. Since I don’t usually perform without my ukulele (or intend to do so as of now) doing anything with my arms (except for playing ukulele) isn’t even a topic I think about. So yeah, it’s all quite a challenge.
I guess the easier part is getting the look down – the miracle of make-up will do the trick 😉
Have fun with it?!
Tbh, singing has felt more like a chore recently. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things right, progress fast, make everyone around me proud and make sure I don’t let anyone down who so incredibly believes in my abilities (usually a lot more than I do myself). Plus, with work being crazy right now and singing class I can’t make a lot (if any) time to practice ukulele, write songs, work on covers or anything else ukulele related. All that combined leads to a lot of frustration and doesn’t leave any room for fun. So trying to have fun with my homework song was a top priority for me.
This also means to let my guard down (at least a bit) and leave room for imperfection (ugh). Very tough challenge for me but I did find lots of moments during this month, where I had fun with it and could let go for a little while.
When will it be enough?
A feedback that I got from several coaches during the month was to make it more, to make it bigger and make it believeable. This makes me uncomfortable even thinking about it now. It leaves a feeling of not being/doing enough but also puts a lot of pressure on me to be more and to do more of, yeah, what exactly? My jaw was already hurting from all the facial workouts and it was still not big enough and more enough and I don’t know. But as you konw, I’m a fighter, so I try and always give it my all. Not everyone might see this though which leads to some frustrating conversations and I’m now at a point where I am just exhausted.
Is that me?
So here’s the final video. If you’ve read all the way down here, you’re already influenced from my story, if not, you can make up your own mind, if you like it or not.
There’s two things I’d like to add before you watch it though: I am really proud of how the video turned out and the steps I took to get me there. And I can see a lot of myself in it, even though it was meant to be an “impersonation challenge” (which I guess was the real challenge anyway).
If you missed the other parts of the series, you can find them here: