Of recent times, the most asked question I get is not where is my ehem-ehem (to use my auntie’s charming description), but this:
(my apologies to SL & faiz for using theirs as the example but theirs came recently so it was perfect timing coz I have been meaning to explain this for some time now)
Oh for heaven’s sake, mana datang cerita I am an artiste ni? It’s flattering but not true. Well not completely true anyway.
Here’s the explanation. A few years ago, pre-2005 to be exact, I did the club rounds. It was not motivated by anything in particular; it was one of those things, I woke up one day and thought mmm.. I wanna try my hand at doing gigs. So, I toted the stolen Applause from one place to another, doing a handful of gigs, it was all very nice and for a while became my main hobby.
Anywho, so I did my gig rounds; some invited me back, some took pictures, some I crashed during open mic sessions, some were just parties and people asked me to play and I did – the usual stuff. I did a couple of radio and online interviews and what-have-yous — but it was not about promoting myself or the music: mostly we talked about self-expression and putting yourself out there, getting over the fear (am I good enough, would people like this, will they hit my head with beer and bong bottles), you know, casual coffee shop talk that wasn’t pretending to be something that it was not.
Now, this is the important bit, one of the sound engineers in one of the clubs made a bootleg of one of the jam sessions. It was done without my knowledge, but the next time I came around to the club he came to me and said, hey I made a recording of the last gig you did, do you wanna hear it? I laughed and told him, naah it’s alright, I am sick of listening to myself. He asked if he can pass it around coz some people have been asking him for songs by supergirl (no one really knows my name, they keep on giving me nicknames like supergirl, or layla or whatever and I never bothered to correct them).
Anyway, so I said, sure go ahead, knock yourself out. He gave me a mini disc with the songs, I kept it in the back pocket of my jeans and promptly forgot about it.
Fast forward to early this year. I was loitering around a movie set one late night. By sheer dumb luck, some of the people on the set are old friends whom I haven’t seen for a while (in fact one of them used to sleep on my living room floor but I won’t name names haha, he will commit suicide if I reveal that backstory).
Anyway, we were talking about old times when one of them stared at me and said, wait a minute, didn’t you use to do acoustics sets at ——-? You had a CD, right? Do you still perform?”
So, I think the bootleg CD probably had made its way to a lot more people that I expected. And then in July when I joined facebook and reconnected with old friends from high school and college etc, they keep asking me the same question in different variations. (Next time they do, I’ll just direct them to this post)
I don’t know if the question “are you an artiste” originated from this backstory but I know a little of it would have been contributed by my gigging past and the friends that I made back then.
Oh well, no harm done. Like I said, I loved doing the gigs (still do) and it was a fun, cool phase of my life. I got to know a lot of people that I otherwise would not have known; sure I don’t really keep in touch with them but it’s nice to have different friends with different interests and outlook towards life.
But no, I am not and wasn’t an artiste and am slightly embarassed when I’m mistakenly taken for one. Real artistes would cringe and strike a protest if they knew.
I am just a girl with a stolen guitar that hogs the stage whenever the mood strikes. That doesn’t make me an artiste, just an exhibitionist.
And that is what I really am :-)