Every few months for the past couple of years I have traveled to LA to make a music video for one of my songs. I just wrapped a 6 day shoot, for 5 videos. (A video for each song off my new project, #DisasterArtist.) Whenever I finish filming, I can’t help but reminisce about how I began working with Virginia, the director of almost every music video I've ever made.
Virginia (Ginny) Crawford, one of my closest friends from childhood, is among the most creative, talented people I’ve ever crossed paths with. I’ve talked quite a bit in interviews about our relationship and why I think Ginny and I make such a good team. However, I don’t say much about how she basically saved my career.
Another thing I’ve talked a bit about is that I co-wrote and recorded TWO full albums before making and then finally releasing my first EP. I poured quite a bit of myself into these albums and sacrificed a great deal for them, but for a variety of reasons that I’ll save for a rainy day, I decided not to release them.
I did, however, put out one single from my second album- a song called “Next to Me” that I co-wrote about my mom and sister and love very much. The release went well enough, but I was new to the industry and had pretty unrealistic expectations about what would happen next. So the release left me feeling a bit defeated (putting it mildly) and unsure as to both how to proceed and also if I even wanted to.
(Insert life lesson: the music biz is tough and unpredictable, pretty much at all levels. It can be fickle and challenging to navigate. If you choose to try your hand at it, you will be tested in ways you can’t even begin to predict, but it will give you character. You will grow your resolve and develop into a person so strong you barely recognize who you were before you began. This is, in my opinion, both a good and a bad thing, but I personally wouldn’t trade it for the world.)
Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming.
As we’ve established, the release of “Next to Me” left me pretty down and out. I easily consider this to be among the darkest periods of my life so far, if not the darkest. Then one night out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from my childhood friend Ginny who I’d fallen out of touch with. She said she loved “Next to Me” and wondered if she may direct and film a music video for the song in LA with her friends and fellow artists. I said of course and was incredibly touched by her offer, but I wasn’t going to hold my breath that it would actually happen. Life is hard and hectic and shooting a music video requires a lot of work. I assumed that for a bunch of totally valid reasons it would never get done. I was so very wrong.
Ginny brought my song to life. Because she knew me so well, she instinctively knew what the song meant to me and I got to witness my story unfold before my eyes. Years later, I still do not have the words for how this felt, for the way this video made me feel seen, understood and validated when I needed it the most, but I can say with confidence, that I very well might not have made this EP let alone a music video for each song, if Ginny hadn’t created that very first video for "Next To Me".
Ginny and I (along with an incredible team) spent the past six days shooting five music videos. (An insane and I have to believe somewhat unprecedented undertaking for anyone let alone 7 months pregnant). These videos are as personal and somewhat autobiographical as the music is and have led me down an aisle I didn’t know I’d be walking just yet. (Get it?!? You will.)
As I write you from the airport, exhausted, exhilarated, on my home and so happy to not be wearing makeup, I cannot help but think about the power of friendship and the ways this friendship has helped design the course of my life. I think life frequently forces us to undervalue friendships, as we so often have to prioritize our careers, families and finances in order to survive. I know it’s an inevitability in many ways, but moments like this one give me pause. Perhaps these platonic bonds, these sisterhoods and brotherhoods we form with the people we choose to bring into our lives, are worth more than we give them credit for. Perhaps we need them just as badly to survive.
I wouldn't be where I am without mine. I am in awe of the power of friendship, and I think I will be for a very long time.