Even More Tales of a Has-Been “Scene Queen” (Part Three)

While my obsession for The Matches (and the bands who led me to them) was growing, I had to face the reality of my financial lacking. I was just out of my teen years and working either retail or food service (who can remember the details anymore?) neither of which brought home the proverbial bacon. One of them brought home literal bacon from time to time. I needed a plan that would get me the same benefits I had in high school, without having the newspaper as a platform. After some digging and some exaggerating on applications (we all do it) I ended up joining several volunteer promotional teams for bands and record labels. Epitaph, Fueled By Ramen, Victory, Fearless and eventually Capitol Records. They sent me free music and merch in exchange for my promise to spread the word and sticker the world. Not a glamorous or even coveted job, but we all know how I feel about free stuff.

Since I was so good at showing up to ANY show on short notice, I moved up from handing out stickers outside to helping sell merch inside at almost every Plain White T’s show in Michigan. My burst of ego at this “promotion” didn’t last long, since Tom (lead singer of PWTs) introduced himself to me every time without recollection that he had met me before. Several times. He was always enthusiastic and meant well, but I wanted to be remembered. Who doesn’t? It was shortly after that when I decided I needed a tattoo to cement my “scene” status. There was no better representation than the star. They were everywhere. On elbows and hip bones and collar bones galore. I didn’t have any protruding bones to tattoo, so I went with “somewhere halfway between my shoulders and boobs”. It worked. I have been remembered as “the girl with the star tattoos” (before The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) by many a boy in a band since. Especially since I insisted on only wearing clothing that showcased them and consistently making this face/gesture:

Star-gazing homemade T-shirt and requisite “horns” up onstage during Atreyu’s performance.
In this picture, I also have an asymmetrical hair-do inspired by yet another Matches song: “…she cuts her hair shorter on the left side, and if you called her cute she’d be horrified…” Yep, I was REALLY into them. When this picture was taken, my sister and I were onstage (off to the side a bit) during Atreyu’s performance at a Taste of Chaos tour. I had been summoned to work the SmartPunk merchandise table and decided to drag my sister along as an 18th birthday present. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. We were sold into slave labor to As I Lay Dying. They made us turn out homemade poster after poster until I couldn’t think of any more “hardcore” slogans if my life depended on it. Truthfully, the Taste of Chaos tour was full of douches who were all hopped up on energy drinks and moshing, but it was free and we had passes that made us feel important. I did a lot of things like that. Working for free just to get into shows with special bracelets or laminates. I was stupid.  
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