Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Story behind Feelin Dirty

Now that the video has been released online, I thought I would share the story behind my new song, "Feelin Dirty."  The story begins with my first meeting with Scott Anderson about one year ago.  Scott explained to me he wanted to create a song for me that was a vision of how he saw me in song. 

What's interesting about this point is that we don't always see ourselves the same way others do.  Although I'm aware men and women see me as attractive, I never really think of myself as sexy or sensual.  I grew up with a lot of shame of my sexuality, and it didn't help that when I finally started to explore my own sexuality through nude modeling that I found out that society frowned upon the act.  When I looked at myself, I saw the same being I saw when I was 17, or even 11.  I simply saw myself and my existence.  I didn't see a life of the party or a sexual being.  On top of that, the negative reaction I received from "Storm" made me want to put my clothes back on, so to speak.  I was afraid to be shirtless in any form of publicity.  Nevertheless, challenging myself is a forte of mine.

When Scott handed me the lyrics, I nearly fell over in my chair.  I did not think I could sing these things, it was so pop, and I was so not.  I was a hermit who had an acute phobia of crowded rooms like in bars and nightclubs.  The recording process was just as much as a struggle.  He asked me to use parts of my voice I've never explored, softer more sensual tones.  At first I couldn't quite get it right.  I wanted to go back into my baritone or fake it with falsetto.  Eventually I got the hang of it.  What Scott doesn't know was that the way I channeled that voice with those specific emotions the song needed in those moments was by touching myself when he his back was turned.

The first time I performed the song I had some difficulty.  I was nervous on that giant stage at LA Pride, plus I had four dancers and Amanda AbunDANCE on stage with me.  I wasn't use to that, let alone performing with a cordless mic.  I practiced and practiced, but I never really could get the hang of the song when I performed it.  I felt detached still from it.  I wasn't connecting with the lyrics.

It wasn't until I really sat with the song and asked myself, "what feels dirty?  what makes me feel sexy when I sing this song?"  that I started to break down what was blocking me from enjoying this song.  That was where my good friend, Victor, came into play.  He designed costumes for me that challenged my own sensibility, he had a collection of size 12 women's stiletto heels and stockings he let me sample.  It was through just challenging my limits and allowing myself to try on these different "personas" in these wacky costumes that I started to feel a little dirty, I felt like I could feel what I was singing about.  I saw the dynamic, center of attention alpha male Scott had written about.  You see, the alpha male for me is a man that is so in touch with himself and his emotions, that no matter what he wears he always is himself, and whatever he wears is simply an expression of the emotion he is feeling at the moment.

The process was not over yet though.  When it came time to shoot a video for the song, originally we were going to explore the costume fetish and situations I could be put in that would shock people.  It was the director, Bruno's, vision that we create a video that was inspired by one of his favorite adult coffee table books.  However, when we hired Evan to come up with a storyboard, all the previous concepts were vetoed, and this new concept was formed where I would pretty much be nude the whole video.  At first I was troubled because just as I had grown into this new concept of flashy outfits, I now had to take them all away.  I realized after reading the treatment a few times that, it was still the same concept, I was still the alpha male, but I was now so comfortable in my skin that I needed nothing at all to express myself.

The question was still asked, why are filming a video of intertwined boudoir scenes if the song was about someone who is the center of attention of a party?  The answer is we were trying to capture the essence of what a party is based on: love.  Parties are based on people coming together to have a good time, to free themselves, and in that sense, acts of love are just that, instances where we free ourselves.  When we make love with someone we are into, we let go of all of our inhibitions and live in the moment, the same way dancing on the dance floor with all your friends is liberating.  The video displays the intimate side of partying: scenes of boding love.

That is the story behind the song.  This was not just another song for me.  It was a journey where I learned a great deal about myself, and I am so grateful I took that chance.  What sort of things are you thinking about that challenge your image of yourself?  You might want to try them on for size sometime.

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