I was never one of the cool kids. Growing up, I was always a little weird. Maybe it’s because I grew up non-Mormon in Salt Lake City, or maybe it’s because I read too much Tolkien or spent too much time at the piano instead of playing sports and socializing. Or maybe I was just born weird. At first, I was proud of being one of the weirdos- I liked being different. My weird friends and I got creative with hairstyles, clothes, and jewelry. We talked in silly voices and made up languages and hand signals, created alter egos for ourselves, and accentuated the things about us that made us unique.
Then high school happened. Then college. Then real life. As I grew older, I became less and less comfortable in my own skin. I wanted desperately to fit in, and my insecurities only got worse, to the point that I was beginning to self-destruct.
During the process of writing the songs for my album, I started to feel like myself again. I’m learning to embrace my inner child, my inner weirdo, my inner freak. My song “Theatre Noir” is a grotesque love story about a couple of circus sideshow freaks, and the message of the song is about celebrating what makes you different. “We’ll glorify your scars, you’ll be the greatest star!”
A few days ago, director Andrea Peterson and I gathered up a film crew, my band, and a cast of specialty circus performers, fans, family, friends, and “freaks” to shoot a music video for "Theatre Noir" at O.P. Rockwell, a Prohibition-Era Speakeasy-style music hall with a Wild West vibe. Our cast of characters included aerialists, a snake-handler, a unicyclist, a fire-dancer, a strongman, a contortionist, a tattooed lady, and a whole bunch of other wonderful people dressed to impress!!
I told Andrea before we shot the video that I wanted the atmosphere of the video to feel dark and beautiful, but fun and celebratory at the same time. I was hoping to create a feeling of camaraderie among the cast, so that it felt like one big, strange, happy family. Of course, there’s no way to force that to happen, you just have to hope for that magical chemistry.
The day of the shoot is a total blur for me. I met a lot of awesome people, saw some amazing performances, and confronted my snake phobia. I was blown away by how everyone there personified the message of the song- these are people who love the things about themselves that are unique, and are expressing themselves in such incredible artistic ways. I remember watching the group and thinking, “These are my kind of people! This is my tribe!!”
In the days following the shoot, I’ve noticed that the cast members are now all friends on Facebook, connecting with each other, sharing photos and talking about release party plans. This is exactly the magical chemistry, the camaraderie that I was hoping for!!! I could not possibly have asked for a better group of people to create this music video, and my heart is so full of gratitude and love for everyone involved. Welcome to Theatre Noir!!!