know I’m a bit late but I finally got around to watching Almost Famous (2000),
about a teenage boy getting the break of a lifetime after being hired by
Rolling Stone Magazine to follow a band around the United States, in the early
’70s, in order to write a story. I was feeling a sense of nostalgia as I
watched this very sweet and earnest story about a young man striving for
independence from his overbearing mother, and credibility as a journalist in
the world of sex, drugs and rock & roll.
don’t often talk about my very early days in the entertainment industry, back
when I was, first, a roadie for In & Out, a popular band that was part Duran Duran, part
Glass Tiger (Oh, man, am I ever showing my age!), and, then, lead female
vocalist for an ’80s pop-rock cover band, performing songs by Bryan Adams,
Madonna, Journey, Alannah Myles, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin and The Eurythmics.
was as a roadie for In & Out when I learned just how suffocating ‒ and
disturbing ‒ it can be to have dozens of fans follow you around
everywhere and who just won’t leave you the fuck alone. Anytime I was with any
member of the band, shopping at a mall, going to the movies, taking a walk
through a park, there they were, chicks following us, giggling, gawking, asking
them for their autograph. It was at one of In & Out’s concerts that I
received my very first request for an autograph, from a girl who wanted my
signature on a piece of paper, just because I worked for the band. Strange, yes,
but I complied with her request because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
there were the hardcore groupies to contend with which, as a roadie, was part
of my job to manage. Thirteen, fifteen, eighteen year-old girls who pulled
every stunt imaginable in an effort to get backstage, and who would do anything
to score a romantic interlude with one of the band members, who were all very
handsome, very intelligent and talented young men, aged 18 to 21. I was 18/19
when I worked for In & Out but, more often than not, felt like their
babysitter ‒ and moral compass ‒ trying
to keep them happy, do their bidding and, yet, keep them out of trouble I knew
they might later regret.
the 20 year-old lead female vocalist in a band, called Mirage, was
another eye-opening experience. The four male members, age 42 to 49, and married with kids, hired me to complete a six month contractual obligation
to perform at various venues across Ontario, after their female singer was
seriously injured in a car accident. While we didn’t have giggling teenagers
following us wherever we went, there were still the groupies to deal with.
Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who tried to get noticed by the guys, deluding
themselves into thinking that they were more than just a quick fuck or easy
blowjob in a nightclub washroom. This was also my introduction to a more public
life as a semi-celebrity, with my own fan base of adoring men of all ages,
trying to seduce me. I never once had sex with any of them and, a few months
before my 21st birthday, became the girlfriend (and later wife) of a radio
broadcasting celebrity, who had his own issues with being a public figure with
a stalkerish female fan base.
were these very early lessons about being a public figure and handling the
adulation (and soul-crushing criticism) with class and maturity that helped me
when I later became known, worldwide, as an actress, voice-over artist, comic
book writer, celebrity publicist and talent manager.