I face a dilemma of how to rapidly get from one place to another, and enjoy the 20 Feet From Stardom film about backup singers.

The dilemma of being human

While out today playing at dungeons & dragons, I was struck with the contrast between fantasy and reality.

For example, during a final battle my halfling rogue in just one round where we have 3 actions (standard, move, minor) charged the leader and attacked, shifted a few squares as a part of that attack, used a minor to open the storeroom door, used an action point for an additional action to perform one last attack where my rogue can move a few steps before attacking, which just so happened to be in to storeroom with cover, and performed a sneak attack killing the leader – before taking a seat in said storeroom to enjoy a refreshing flagon of ale.

Meanwhile in the real world I’m trying to work out f I can attend two different events tonight, that would mean close to 5 PM cycling 10 kilometres home, making a pavlova, cycle with that pavlova 7 kilometres to the second week of a house warming, then back in to town to attend a movie, and then back out to the housewarming afterwards to finish things off.

That’s the fantasy of what I want to achieve but in reality it just can’t be done. Not only is the timing too short to cycle from one to another against headwinds, but getting things like a pavlova over is just not feasible. So I’m looking forward to Monday when I’m told that I have a scooter ready to own once again.

20 Feet from Stardom

Tonight the movie group attended 20 Feet from Stardom (2013) at Alice in Videoland. It’s an interesting exposé revolving around 5 black backup singers who have been influentially involved with many of the best songs we know. It goes through a history of backup singers, and becomes a tale of how difficult it is for backup singers in today’s environment, where auto tuning and other such techniques result in less of a perceived need for talented artists, and yet songs end up being better when they are used.

The main challenge for backup singers is that to become great at their job they have to give themselves over to the group dynamic – but once they’ve honed their skills and feel like breaking out, it requires a completely different mindset to individuate yourself and become a solo artist.

After a downbeat note though, the movie ends with an inspirational look at Lisa Fischer whose talent today still shines with Sting, and towards the end the movie also becomes a springboard for Judith Hill who was last working with Michael Jackson and is trying to break out as a solo artist.

There are some incredible performances throughout this film, and it’s amazing to see what they’ve accomplished, and gives hope for what more there may yet be to come.

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