As Jessie J’s iPhone rings, she holds her sheet to her mouth, eyes still closed. She presses the button on the Beats by Dre and leans over in the bed. She says “morning” to her manager. He tells her she has twenty minutes. She ends the call.
On a split screen, she plays with a toy airplane on the left side and spins a globe on the other. In another, the left side shows the airport while the she is walking inside it with her team.
She lies back in bed, rubbing her hands over her eyes. She gives herself a pep talk, reminding herself to remain thick-skinned. She sits up and stretches. Once she gets dressed, she pours herself some coffee. She dances around the hotel room, flexing her muscles, as though she were in a boxing ring. She rubs her t-shirt into the camera.
In a t-shirt and baseball cap, jeans and sunglasses, she stands on the balcony and looks at the city. She packs her clothes into her suitcases and gives it to her assistant. Then she changes into black pants.
At a photo shoot, she smiles as the photographer puts his camera near her, figuring out his angles. Taking a moment for herself, she thinks of the promotional work that she needs to for her album. She wonders if it will budge the numbers at all. She wipes her lips and takes a deep breath. It’s going to be a long day.
In the hotel room, she tries to balance her hat on her hand but she catches it before it falls off her arm. She places it on her head, backwards.
She leaves the hotel and enters a car, waiting for her. She plays with the dial on the car and listens to her album.
In a parking lot, near industrial buildings, she gestures towards the camera, swinging her fingers. She puts her arms out, telling the world that one failed single isn’t going to stop her momentum. She folds her arms, knowing her best work is still ahead of her.
They arrive at the photo shoot. She hugs the stylists there. In another split screen, she gives a big, smudgy kiss to the camera while the vanity lights flash orange.
At the photo shoot, the stylist curls her hair while she talks with one of her employees. With her hair finished, she walks over to wardrobe. There, the stylist shows her a red dress. After changing, she walks by racks and racks of clothes to reach the other part of the studio.
With her arms on a red box, she poses against a velvet red curtain. She laughs after the photographer makes a joke.
During a break, she stands on the concrete right before rail as the photographers prepare. She takes a picture of one her band playing and then goes through a song with them. Then, she gets in the car and waves goodbye.
She is helped off a plane tarmac and then is taken to a meet-and-greet with fans. There, she signs autographs and takes selfies with them.
Outside the parking lot, she makes the sign of the cross and folds her hands, thanking God for the success He has given her. Her employees cut the rope line and fans run towards her. She dances and sings with them. She stands by the group, with her arms out and a grin on her face. Without them, she wouldn’t be here, making another video. She gives a fan a high-five and runs her fingers through a young woman’s afro.
Back in the hotel room, in bed, she thinks of all of what she still would like to accomplish – work with some legendary producers and duet with some of her more successful peers. She puts the pillow over head, excited for that day. She takes another breath.
In another split screen, the forest, lit by early morning sun is on the left while she views it from the balcony above on the right, putting her hands on her chin.
Being a singer is like any other job, just more public. She has to wake up early, drive to an all-day photo shoot and then in the evening, have a meet-and-greet with fans. Where, despite her doubts, she has to project confidence and not let whatever is bothering her show. If she slips, her fans may pick up on it and then someone will talk it about it on social media, it’ll go viral and turn it a news story.
She appears without makeup, wanting to sleep in a while longer and hopes today will be good. It really gets the point across that although being famous is glamorous, it’s all surface. At the end of the day, her paycheck says Jessica Cornish and she still has to promote herself and her album in order to remain a professional singer. Otherwise, she faces getting dropped from the label if she underperforms.
She also realizes that she hasn’t released that one great album yet. She knows it’s in her. Her current work has its flaws, perhaps some of the criticisms are justified, but she has to keep pushing herself to do better. Then, critical acclaim will come her way. Again, she emphasizes it isn’t easy, it’s not going to happen overnight but she hopes her record company and fans will continue to believe in her. Given she has a realistic attitude towards her career and the talent to go with it, hopefully she will be given the time to develop.
Director: Tabitha Denholm Year: 2014
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