The influences in my life that are humans are as follows (in no particular order):
Bo Burnham, Kaelin Isserlin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Linda Garneau, Evan Peters, Julie Andrews, Lady GaGa, and my grandmother.
I will attempt to explain my reasons for why these people have a greater influence on me than others. Hope it functions properly.
An artist who decides everyday to be someone new and scary.
Yes, that is the same person in each photo. It’s hard to comprehend how versatile this women is because I seriously wonder if she is of human descent.
The first time I became connected to Lady GaGa was when she performed on a So You Think You Can Dance season four episode back in 2008. This was a turning point for me because when I watched her sing “Just Dance” to a room full of dancers, it was the first time a musician had scared me. She was too weird and different, and my ten-year-old-naive self hated that she was pulling it off. As well, I was super invested in the remaining dancers (including the likes of tWitch, Katee Shean, Mark Kanemura and Courtney Galiano) that I didn’t have time to give GaGa any more attention. I remember being quite annoyed with her performance when in retrospect, I should have been taking notes. This experience reminds me that I have to give new artists a chance to breathe, because they are basically suffocating when first trying to make it in the business.
I try to take from her music that life is a party and a struggle, but I can’t seem to understand how a person that is confident enough to appear in a meat dress has trouble dealing with other issues. I mean, what’s more terrifying than change? She constantly stretches new boundaries, and as her job, she has to make it into art. That must be exhausting!!! I would be so over-worked if I had to create a new character every day. Somehow, some way, she is succeeding.
I like living in the city because I feel like I can change up my appearance with each day and it won’t affect the way others see me. Because I travel on foot mostly, I take the time to watch the peers that stroll past me on their way. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the reactions they have towards my outfit and I wonder whether they really care. Some nights I ride the streets with heeled boots and a shall exposing my left shoulder. Other days I sprint-walk to school wearing old running shoes and the comfiest sweatpants that match the colour of my sweatshirt. On occasion, I wear a comic book dress and eyeliner that wings to my ear. As well, you might see me rocking the latest fashion-faux-pas. Look for me, you’ll find me.
But, back to GaGa. All those times I’ve roamed my city with a fresh outfit to experiment with, I spend a good half of my day worrying if I made a mistake. That means that I am wasting creative time to contemplate if my fashion statements are really saying anything at all. Fashion is a profound avenue for ground-breaking material to be made. I am not very intelligent when it comes to fashion, but I understand why GaGa makes it play an important role in her career.
GaGa seems to know that the more time she spends on impressing people, the less time she feels like a moral being. In this video, we see her wisdom come out as she looks back on her career. After every time that I watch her speak in this, I automatically stop judging her. It’s almost as if I lose my ability to judge someone when it comes to GaGa. How refreshing! What she is doing here is stating that her creative opportunities are going to come into fruition whether we like it or not. If we, as her audience, can’t let her create, we are diminishing the value of the music industry and wasting money building a platform that is manipulative and immoral. So the best thing for critics, networks, and papa-papa-paparazzi to do is take a step away from GaGa. Let her do her thing! She is a trained musician and actor who wants to start a revolution of new possibilities. She is not a person looking for approval. And I am all for it.
She scared us (maybe just mostly me) again when she appeared as Jo Calderone at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. After only three years of trying to sell sex and femininity in the business she u-turns and monologues as an aggressive man to live television viewers. What a risk to take. Honestly, I don’t have the balls for that. Mia Michaels once said in a class I took with her that artists nowadays need to be so good that they frighten others. It’s not enough to be creatively cautious because audiences are running out of attention spans. GaGa showed us that she isn’t just a singer and has the ability to transform beyond gender itself. God damn, I respect her. And the crowd is going nuts during this show because they have nothing but alive energy for her. Her commitment to this demands our attention, and that is some scary sh*t to watch.
An icon. For gays, lesbians, bisexuals, heteros, etc. If she wants to attract an audience with such a variety of sexual interests, then her music and production value HAS to be versatile. Otherwise, there would be no “Little Monsters” and therefore, no GaGa.
Just as a conclusion, my favourite album of hers is Born This Way because the track list invents so many characters throughout the album that I feel as though Lady GaGa is never one character. She births new life every time she steps into our eye-line. From “Bloody Mary”, “Judas” to the prostitute in “Government Hooker”, I find comfort in being brought on a political, religious journey with her. THANK YOU STEPHANIE!