Red shoes have always held a magical quality for me. I remember reading Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Red Shoes,” a fairy tale about a girl whose red shoes made her dance to her death. I’m choosing to ignore the whole death part, which was pretty messed up, because to me it was still a magical story. I needed some magic myself a few years ago when I decided to try being a rock-star…
A friend of mine was a successful lawyer until one day he threw in the towel, moved to Los Angeles and became a musician. Within weeks of acquiring a drum set, he was booking gigs at basement parties and the local pub. Fast-forward five years, and he had become a full-on working musician with a real band and a record deal. So, when he heard me tipsily singing at a girlfriend’s birthday party and suggested I come into his studio to “lay down some tracks,” I thought it was fate.
The only problem was, I hadn’t sung in years, not to mention I had a year-old baby at home who woke every few hours… But, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Hey, if Gwen Stefani could lasso Gavin Rossdale into staying home while she went on a world tour, I could convince my husband to play Mr. Mom for one night.
Ten o’clock rolled by, and I started to get tired. I lay on the couch for a few minutes when I heard a strange pita patter on the window. Wait, was it raining?
When it rains in Los Angeles, people lose all ability to drive. They may have come from the rainy Northwest, or like me, the snowy Northeast, but the seemingly endless days of sunshine somehow deaden one’s motor muscle memory. As soon as the first droplet falls, the freeway morphs into a sea of metal and insurance claims. This was going to be a problem. Leaving the house after eleven pm and facing the 10 freeway in the rain? I had to remind myself that the show must go on!
I dusted off a raincoat and a pair of polka dot rubber boots from the back of my closet. I started to close the door when my inner diva told me to grab my red closed-toe pumps. I wedged the shoes into my diaper bag and set off to meet my destiny, no matter how harrowing the journey.
Walking through the studio door, my confidence deflated. This was a real recording studio, filled with musicians holding, like, instruments—which they could play! I waited in the corner with the other backup singers and tried to warm up. Damn, these chicks could sing. I inched my way towards the exit. My friend sensed my uncertainty and threw his arm around me, forcing me to stay put. Then I found myself standing in front of the mic. Panic. What the hell was I doing? I had to do something, anything, so I pulled off my rubber Wellies and stepped into the red closed-toe pumps. I shut my eyes and let my feet move to the beat… The music swept over me, and I started to sing. Like the red shoes in Anderson’s tale, my feet started moving in ways they never had moved before. There I was, dancing and singing with the best of ’em.
The music quieted, and I opened my eyes. I slipped off my pumps and thanked the group. My friend assured me that I was a natural. I smiled and felt a sense of relief and tiredness. I grabbed a chair and collected myself for a few moments before trudging back through the rain. I stared at my pumps in my hand. I’d actually done that. I might have sucked, but I had the confidence to get up in front of group of professionals and sing my heart out. For that one, fantastic night, my red shoes and I were bona fide rock-stars.
Shoes by Prada