As I awoke from another one of my fabulous dreams my bubble was again immediately burst. I was not a foot shorter. I was not an international country singer. And I most definitely was not living in a mansion in Beverly Hills.
For now it was just me and my acoustic guitar, banging on the doors of every record label in Nashville, but nothing. As I knocked a shimmer of hope flowed through my body, but every time I was knocked down. Most of them didn’t even hear my music they just saw a 6ft 9” girl with a guitar. I didn’t want them to see, I wanted them to hear.
As on most days I sat writing songs that would probably never be heard, I looked to my Shania Twain poster wondering if she had gone through what I had to get a successful career, but then I remembered we were very different. Shania was not freakishly tall!
That day as I drove my banger of a car down Music Row and knocked on the doors of record labels over and over and over again. Each time I got the same reply, “don’t ring us, we will get back to you” in other words, “we aren’t interested”.
These knockdowns made me feel like it wasn’t worth it, but then I would put in my head phones and listen to Dolly Parton and Shania Twain and I knew that this fire inside my belly was not going to leave until I sang alongside these amazing country musicians.
All my life I had been told that I was born to sing. I wanted to sing, but when you are my height, no one wants to sign you. The only positive thing I have ever got out of my height is my nick name.
“Whose bed have your Boots been under?” undoubtedly Shania best song. When it’s been a particularly rough day on Music row, I like to tune out from the world and imagine that Shania was singing about me. Long Legs Louise.
What happened next is something I will never forget. As I knocked on my 5th door on music row I was welcomed by a small, but deadly grey shot gun. My eyes shot open, I was numbed with fear and the only word I could force out through my trembling lips was, “why?” The harsh tone of door number five replied, “If you knock one more day, it will be your last!”
I quickly dashed away and suddenly it hit me. No one wanted me. No one cared. No one wanted a long legged, freckly country singer on their label.
There had been one too many knockdowns. I was finished.
As I drove to my motel I noticed a man on the corner of the street. He was wearing a Shania Twain tour t-shirt. I knew I could trust him, I slowly pulled over and advanced towards him with mascara plastered down my cheeks. Suddenly he reached out his hand and placed a small package into mine. I tried to speak but he placed his finger on my lips and signalled me to leave. “Who was he?”
That night as I sat in bed I finally had the courage to open the parcel, I was sure it was cocaine, but I knew, however bad it got it would never resolve to drugs. I was stronger than that.
As I tore back the thin brown paper a small piece of paper with a phone number printed on it was revealed. “Whose number was it?”
For days the number sat on the shelf, for days I could hear the phone screaming to be dialled and for days I ignored. I continued to knock on the doors of music row, leaving out door five for obvious reasons, but for some reason I had less hope and no motivation. I knew they were never going to sign me, I was just the 6ft 9” freak.
As I drove back to the motel with “Whose bed have your Boots been under?” blaring. I saw him. He signalled a phone and shook his hand frantically. This alarmed me and that night as the phone screamed to be dialled I didn’t ignore it.
“Hello who’s speaking?” The voice on the other end of the phone was undeniably, the one and only Shania Twain! I did not scream, she could not know I was merely an in superior fan, I was a woman on a mission.
“Hi I’m Louise and I was wondering if…” I was suddenly interrupted, “You’re the one on music row! You took your time.” She said excitedly, “get over to 22 Radley Place immediately, tell the gates man who you are and they will let you in.”
Never in my life have I driven so quickly, I couldn’t keep Shania waiting, my heart was racing and my face was gleaming. I was about to perform for Shania Twain!
The next morning as I awoke, I was still in my dream. I was a signed country singer, I lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills and I was touring with Shania Twain. This was not a dream. It was my life!