I didn’t even like her in the beginning. My girlfriend shamed me for hating on Pokerface and Just Dance. Back then, she sounded like everyone else. I still can’t really tell the difference between the Keishas and Katys.
It wasn’t until I finally heard Gaga belt out Born this Way that I fell in love.
I started to dig deeper.
I watched a few concert documentaries and trolled the interwebs for details about her.
What I found was a long career that began before she hit the radio.
Lady Gaga pulls inspiration from everywhere; Madonna and Bowie are the obvious ones, and I love it! The Artpop album rivals the secret Beyonce record on my iPod. Now, I had to see her live, so when the Artrave show was announced I immediately bought a ticket.
She told us during the show that she wanted her stage to come into the audience so she could see us. “I need to see you so I know it’s real,” she said to a crowd of thousands. My section was practically empty because of the date change and I was thrilled. This meant I could strut up and down the aisle, singing each word without annoying anyone. She sang and danced her pants off – literally. Gaga was in a g-string with fish nets a la Cher all night. It was divine. She changed wigs no less than 10 times and was sweaty and fabulous. “OMG if you knew how sweaty I was under this latex you would die” she said while at the piano.
I was dying seeing how NORMAL and EXTRAORDINARY she was. She talked to us throughout the show. She would break in the middle of a verse to chat up someone in the crowd, complementing their shell bra and telling them to fight for their dreams. I cried a few times. The first time was when she read letters that flew on to the stage attached to toy unicorns. They were from teens who used her music to find the confidence to come out to their families. It was real. The camera cut to the kid crying and reaching for her. She said they don’t have to pay her back, that her thanks is the opportunity to perform for us.
She knows fame is temporary and dangerous. Even behind the sequins and platinum wigs, the elaborate alien set and flashly lights, Lady Gaga proved to be one of the most authentic and empathic performers I have ever seen. The only thing I could think of to help me channel the inspiration I felt after seeing the show was to do a workshop. Let us channel the power within ourselves to do whatever we want, let our freak flags fly. Let’s Dance.