Stardom

Byron stood in front of the microphone, the beats thumping around him and up through his earpiece. He readied himself, listening for the pitch and trying to be ready for it. Not that it really mattered, but he did still like to sing along for real. He felt it gave a certain authenticity to his performance.

In the ensuing seconds between the start of his hit and when he was to begin lip-syncing, he thought back – as he always did – to the record producers finding him on the street. “You’re very attractive,” they had said, “and you look like you can move. Or at least learn to.”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Byron said.

“Your voice is okay, too. Want to make a million dollars?”

“Yeah, sure,” Byron said.

“Put down your guitar, stop singing that crappy little love song, and come with us,” they said.

He had followed them to their car, signed a deal right where they told him to, and two weeks later he was in the recording studio for a promo video. The next day, he was in rehearsals for his first big concert. They taught him how to move, how to act, and gave him copies of the songs to learn so he could sing them if called upon.

Two weeks later, he stood before his first audience. He was nervous, sweating, and worried, but it was a smaller big concert, so there were no cameras projecting him on to huge screens. Just a few hundred people paid to scream his name.

It was a terrible show, but the producers had invested enough, and saw enough potential, that they kept him on. Now he stood before ten thousand, all of whom had found him “organically”, and were screaming for him.

Byron smiled, stepped up to the mic, and took a breath. The vocals started as he opened his mouth, and he held his nonfunctional microphone, singing his heart out to the music like everyone in the audience.

This was the dream. Everything he wanted.

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