|An Anecdote of My Life as a Male Rock Star
Author: kaiburns PM
It's been a dream of Aaren Visser to become a bassist in a famous band for as long as she can remember, but when her agent finally brings her an opportunity she can't miss there's one tiny catch. Tryouts are for male bassists only and there's already a guy suspicious of her disguise... Full summary in profileRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Drama - Chapters: 10 - Words: 36,007 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 06-28-12 - Published: 05-24-12 - id: 3025634
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An Anecdote of My Life as a Male Rock Star
Chapter 2: On The Road
I walked around my sterile apartment to double check that everything was locked while Charlie talked to me through the cell phone pressed to my ear. When I made sure there were no possible way intruders could break in while I was gone, I moved to gather my bags by the door that so the roadies, Chad, Brett, and Cameron, could grab them when they got here.
I should probably back up a little to the audition. Immediately after Mathias gave me the greatest news of my life, Mike informed me that in two weeks time we would be touring around the country for almost four months.
"Wow, taking it slow I see," I sarcastically remarked even though inside I was a total nervous wreck. I mean, I was a good bass player and everything, but how did they expect me to get settled into the band and learn an entire tour schedule and set list in the span of two weeks? Not to mention the preparations I needed to start on if I was going to be leaving my apartment behind for four months. Thom and Clayton chuckled at my comment and Clayton immediately worked to relieve the stress that I was trying hard not to show.
"We didn't mean to scare ya little guy," Clayton stated, gaining a grimace out of me from the new nickname I just acquired. I knew I was just skin and bones, but my tall stature certainly eliminated the "little" in my description. "This tour was planned before John quit, and we've already sold a whole bunch of tickets."
I rubbed my temples, feeling a headache coming on while I decided to just go with it and see where I would be in two weeks time. "So what's the plan then?" I questioned.
That was two weeks ago, and since then my life has been completely different from my days sitting on a chair and playing my cello for endless amounts of time. Every day in between the time of the auditions and now I've been rushing to get my apartment prepared for my absence in the days ahead: getting my utilities turned off, covering everything in sheets, and putting my car in storage. I also went to band practice with Stella once a day to learn the hour long set list, and learned little about them in that time besides their nicknames. Finally, even though learning 11 songs in two weeks was mind boggling by itself, scheduling symphony appearances with Charlie these past couple of days had to be the most stressful.
After news got out that I would be travelling around the country for the summer to "find my creative niche" (God forbid anyone knew that I was now dressing as a guy to be in a rock band and they it leaked to the press), I started to get gig offers from orchestras around the country. Now, I wasn't at the point in my career for composers all over the nation to start requesting my talent for a cello concerto, but because I previously requested Charlie to only accept job offers from local symphonies, the out-of-state orchestras grew an interest in my talent and found the chance to test my skills as valuable. It just shows how good Charlie is at his job by managing to keep them asking for appearances from me.
The extra money coming my way from these gigs did a lot to relieve the anxiety that was built up from trying to schedule around an already tight schedule. Lettuce was definitely needed seeing how Chapman was not a cheap school in any way, shape, or form, and now that I wasn't in school anymore I had the constant reminder of cursed student loans hanging over my head.
After long nights on the phone with Charlie deciding which jobs to take and which ones to let go, I was scheduled for appearances in Chicago, New York, Boston, Hartford, and the always-lovely Las Vegas. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that all of these needed to stay hidden from the band members? As a cellist I'm known as Aaren Visser, the woman. Not Aaren Visser, newly appointed male bassist for the band Stella. Yes, I know it isn't a good idea to hide things from my new band mates, but I'm already in deep with the whole gender thing so why not dig a little deeper and go for the secret symphonies? Somehow I just knew that eventually this would all blow up in my face, but my new philosophy as declared from two weeks ago stated, "Just go with the flow". It's all thanks to Stella that I'm turning into Henry David Thoreau over here with all this "what happens, happens" bullshit and even if it doesn't sound like I'm enjoying it right now, there's a hidden person inside of me that's jumping for joy at this fast-paced change.
"They should be there any minute now, so I'll let you go. We'll talk more about this web we got ourselves tangled in later," Charlie groaned. I could nearly see his depressed dog-like expression through the phone at the tone of his voice.
I sighed as well and replied to his grumblings with a, "'Kay, I'll call you tomorrow and tell you how the show went tonight." With a quick exchange of "Bye" I tapped the end button on the screen of my phone and set it on the kitchen counter, leaning on the fridge opposite of it to relax for a bit. I scanned my apartment through the opening over the bar, engraining the image of it into my mind. I noticed my forgotten piano in the corner of the room covered with a yellowed blanket and my empty guitar stands with their counterparts locked up in storage along with my car. The posters of all my favorite musicians looked out of place on my wall without its fellow instruments to accompany them.
My eye caught on my favorite poster and I moved from the kitchen to the posters to trace the face of my male look-a-like, Jim Morrison with my finger. Unfortunately I heard a knock at my door, interrupting my parting gesture with The Doors' singer. Running my slender fingers through my hair as a soothing gesture, I opened the door to reveal roadies Chad, Brett, and Cameron, as well as Thom, Matt, and Clay.
"Hey," I greeted in my male voice, the change of tone coming easy to me from two weeks of practice. There were an extra two people here to help me down I noticed, causing me to state, "I only have a bag and four cases that need to be brought down." At this I motioned to the pile of black bags by the front of the door.
Thom smirked at my tone, replying, "Yeah, we figured you wouldn't have much stuff, but we just wanted to see where our rookie lived before we hit the road."
"Well there's not much to see, but I guess you guys can walk around." All three nearly bumped into me as they walked past the threshold of the door and into my not-so-interesting apartment. Mostly everything was covered in blankets, and the stuff that I considered valuable or interesting were being kept somewhere safe, but it seemed that they were enjoying themselves anyways. The roadies walked into my apartment as well, but their intention was to simply grab my bags and start to haul them down to the bus.
I noticed Chad reaching for my Cello, but stopped him short of grabbing the handle. "Um, I'll take this one down myself. It's kind of fragile," I excused. I saw the roadie furrow his eyebrows at my weird excuse and simply shrugged his shoulders to move to another bag. Like my bass and amp aren't fragile either? Idiot, I cursed to myself. With my cello safely in my hands, I turned to see what the other guys were doing, worried that they might do something unpleasant. It seemed like Clay and Thom discovered my piano as they were messing around with a couple of beats and tunes. Matt was just standing by himself, observing my poster-clad wall with an undistinguishable look in his eyes.
"So you like The Doors?" I mentioned, noticing him staring at the same poster I was a few moments ago. I went to stand beside him as he slowly nodded his head, mumbling an "uh huh" in the process. Matt was known for being quiet and with only a few words to say, so I wasn't concerned when I barely got a response out of him. I continued the one-sided conversation with, "He's still one of the best poets to this day."
He turned to look at me with that penetrating gaze of his that allowed me to look into his soul, and stated in a low voice, "You kind of look like him." The comment made a smile grow on my lips. Now that I was dressing as a guy, I looked more like Morrison then ever so I could understand where he was coming from, and even though I was still a girl the compliment brought a warm feeling to my stomach.
It was hard to act like a cool bass player guy, but I managed by stating. "I do, huh?" Matt's eyes were smiling, noticing my red cheeks and seeing past my poor façade "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?" I mumbled while walking away towards the door, trying to disguise my blush as an effect of the California heat. He chuckled in amusement before turning back to view my posters, but soon Matt's, as well as Thom and Clay's fun was cut short when Mike walked into the room.
"What are you guys doing?" Mike frustratingly growled, rubbing his hand on his shaven head. "We have to get to Santa Cruz on time for your show tonight so let's get going."
I waited for my band mates to get out of my apartment before grabbing my suitcase in the other hand and locking the door behind me. Clay offered to take my giant cello case off my hands, but I politely refused and walked a couple of paces ahead of him, eager to get onto the bus and settle in.
The sun was bright and reflected off of the giant black tour bus in front of me and shone straight into my eyes, causing me to curse myself for putting my Oakleys in the suitcase instead of on my face. After I stopped seeing spots I was able to allow excitement build up within me from the sight of the bus. This was it. This was my initiation into rock-stardom, and the fact that it was in my reach now was thrilling. I chose to bring my cello up with me into the bus, not trusting it to be in the hands of anyone on the bus.
"You're bunk is under mine on the left," Clay shouted from outside of the bus as he was the last one to get on. I listened to his directions and found one very neatly made and untouched bunk. Luckily, there was enough space under the bed for me to slide my cello and suitcase in it, and as soon as they were in place I turned to observe the inside of the bus.
Apparently being in a popular rock band made you rich (who woulda' known), and this fact was obvious as I looked at the interior of the bus. With the walls in a cream shade in various textures to upholstery in a dark brown fabric with different patterns according to the chair, the bus exuded elegance. A large mirror spanned across the ceiling, allowing the smaller space to expand via optical allusion, and along with the crown molding that adorned the top of the walls were tiny beaded lights that brightened up the space. Behind the driver's seat hung a large television in the center of the mirrored ceiling with a comfortable looking couch to the side, an Xbox sitting on the coffee table in front of it. A couple of comfortable lounge chairs were placed smartly around the faux living room, and a tiny little bookshelf containing worn spines sat beside a chair that was off to the side. The kitchenette was contained in the middle of the bus and separated from the first and second part by a partition. The counters bore a dark marble and the appliances were a sleek a stainless steel. Lastly, a table long enough to fit 5 people in the booth it paired with sat on the opposite side of the kitchenette, accessorized by a half eaten bowl of cereal. The only imperfect thing in this entire bus it seems… I finally reached the back of the bus where two bunks on each side of the wall led back towards what I assumed to be a bathroom on the right side and a mysterious closed door in the center.
"Like what you see?" Thom loudly broke into my thoughts; causing me to whirl around and look at him with my wide eyes from the momentary shock I felt when I realized I wasn't the only person on the bus. "We only rent out hotel rooms when we decide we want to party, so make yourself at home because you'll be on here a lot." I looked past Thom to see Mike close the bus door and get into the driver's seat. The bus rumbled beneath my feet once it started, and soon we were slowly on our way to Santa Cruz. I furrowed my brows as I asked Thom, who was now looking for food in the refrigerator, "Where does the road crew stay?"
"Huh? Oh, well they have a huge bus they all sleep on. They're all at Santa Cruz already," he mumbled with a piece of Hawaiian roll between his lips that was partially covered by his mustache.
"What do you mean? I just saw them in my apartment a few minutes ago," at this point I was severely confused, and admittedly I felt totally new at this thing… something I was trying to avoid with my whole "cool" act and everything.
Thom smirked, noticing my unsatisfied expression and decided to enlighten me. "You really are a rookie, aren't you?' I scowled in his direction before he continued with, "Those guys are kind of the main roadies of the crew. They took the band car to meet up with the others that so they could get there faster to help out."
I thought about it for a moment and frowned at my lack of experience. Of course all the work of the road crew would be too much for three people. Duh, I said to myself, thinking of the lights that needed to be controlled as well as the soundboard. If I wanted to keep up my almost effortless disguise I was going to have to quit it with my girlish sense of naivety, and I made it a point to work on it later. For now, all I wanted to do was relax and prepare my nerves for the show tonight.
I felt Thom's eyes on me as I moved past his tall figure and into the living area to look at the books that were on that shelf next to the seat in the corner. Immediately I noticed a used copy of A Streetcar Named Desire and quickly grabbed it from its holding spot as if it would vanish in thin air before I got the chance to touch it. With a grin of pleasure I made my way to the couch and opened the cover to the first page.
"That's how we got the name Stella," Clay mentioned, causing the cushions in the couch to compress from the weight he put on them.
I thought for a moment of what he meant, and grinned devilishly before suddenly I shouted, "Stell-ahhhhh!"
"'Quit that howling out there and go back to bed!'" Clay continued the line as best as he could before he broke down laughing, eliciting a bark of laughter out of myself as well. I felt Thom and Matt's eyes on us from various parts of the bus, and they soon joined us in our laughter.
"'I want my baby down here. Stella, Stella!'" shouted Matt, the loudest I ever heard him. Truthfully, I was surprised that rock stars like them knew a literary canon such as this. I was always interested in their back-story, but this connection over Desire caused a sudden craving for this knowledge that needed to be fulfilled now. Go figure.
"What made you decide on Stella, besides the fact that it's from a great piece of writing?" I questioned after my laugh died down to random chuckles. Slowly their laughter quieted down, and now as we all sat on either a couch or a chair facing each other I felt like I was finally going to get to be able to know them.
Matt spoke up, another surprise for the day, and explained, "When Clay and I were still at the university we had this lit survey class together, and because Streetcar is a play, the teacher offered an extra credit opportunity where you would have to act out a part in a scene."
"Since we weren't doing so hot in that class," Clay interrupted, "we had to do it in order to pass with a C. Matt and I paired up with three other people, and we all drew out of a hat to see who got what parts. Go figure, I get the part as Stella and Matt gets the part of Stanley. I swear Matt plays the roll of a drunken Pollack extremely well."
My eyes widened in amusement as I stared at Matt's grinning face, trying to imagine him playing the part of Stanley. I had to stop before I burst into uncontrollable laughter. "You'll have to show me that sometime, Matt," I chuckled, happy that I had this little nugget of history to myself now.
"Oh trust me," Thom cut it, his back slouched over his knees and his hands cradling his chin, "On the last day of the tour you'll get to see it. It's a weird tradition we have even though I wasn't there to witness the original in action."
"We all get tanked before hand, though so it's a lot funnier than it sounds," mentioned Clay with a smirk.
I looked each guy in the eye with an appreciative gleam in my eyes and couldn't help but feel grateful towards them for allowing me to join their tight knit family. Yeah, I wanted to join a rock band mostly for the music, but my only real friend was Charlie and I knew for sure that if I wanted more of that type of connection I had with him, I needed to find a band to play with.
"Thanks, by the way," I simply stated, unable to say what I really wanted because "men" like me did not gush and express their feelings openly. It was good that they knew exactly what I meant, and I received pointed smiles in return. Their smiles caused me to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and for a while I only sat, sucking in the feeling and pondering it in my mind. I soon had to say my goodbyes though and headed to my bed to take a nap, knowing that if this was a true rock band there was going to be a giant party that I needed to rest up for after the show.
I slid my curtain shut and enshrouded my body in darkness, anticipating the show tonight but still falling asleep with a happy grin on my face to the sound of Matt's laughing from the living area.
A/N: Here's the third update for all you story-alerters out there :) I'm going to try and get another out tomorrow, but I have one more final that I need to study for on Tuesday. If I don't get one out till tomorrow, then unfortunately I won't be able to update until Saturday because I'm going out of town. Anyways, feel free to let me know what you thought of this chapter. I promise it will get more exciting! I just have to focus on all the boring stuff before I get to the good stuff.