Hair Salon, 2007
The Popstar sits in a salon chair.
She’s facing a mirror (in the position of the audience).
When she talks, she watches herself intently.
The Hairdresser stands behind her, too intimidated to move or speak.
The shouts and camera flashes of the paparazzi echo from outside.
Adjacent to the Popstar, Lucy, Eileen and Alison sit in waiting area chairs.
They each read magazines with the Popstar’s face on the cover.
They keep their eyes glued to their magazines and flip the pages in unison.
I don’t write any of my own songs
And like I know nobody does, but there are people out there who do
But usually I just get the lyrics
And say okay
When I was seventeen
I thought it was really cool that people were asking my opinion at all
It was kind of crazy
Do you like this?
Can you do this?
Can you say this?
I said okay
I loved it
After my first album came out I started getting fan letters
Most of them were just photos that I had to sign and send back
But I remember the first real letter I ever got
It was from this dude in Montana
I remember I was so excited
I mean, I was seventeen
Like, someone wrote to me?
They took the time to write me a letter?
And he started off being like
Your music is so important to me
You’re so talented
You’re such a good dancer
You’re such a good singer
You’re so amazing
You’re so perfect
You’re so beautiful
You’re so blonde
You’re my everything
I worship you
I’m so obsessed with you
I want to kidnap you
And bring you to my basement
So that I can have you all to myself
And I’m gonna tie you up
And fuck you
And if you try to escape
I’ll kill you
I’ll fucking kill you
I’ll fucking shoot you in the head
I started getting extra security at the meet-and-greets
And my mom said to me:
Well, honey, you’re so pretty
Nobody wants to kill ugly people
I, um, I have this idea for a song
It might be totally stupid but
She abruptly cuts herself off and leans closer to the mirror.
She pulls at her extensions, fixes her makeup, and examines herself intently for a moment.
Last week I took my boys to lunch in Beverly Hills
And I kept trying to get them to eat something healthy
Or better than like
All that crap their dad feeds them
And they kept saying, “No, Mommy”
And the fucking paparazzi were there
Taking all these photos
Yelling at us to turn
To look at them
And the boys were just screaming NO
At the top of their lungs
I mean they’re 1 and 2
They know maybe 20 words
And everyone is staring at me like I’m hitting them Or worse
And the cameras keep flashing
They won’t leave us alone
“Hey, boys, over here!”
“Look over here, okay?”
So I said keep saying it
Keep saying it
Before the Hairdresser can respond, she impulsively grabs a pair of clippers.
Lucy, Eileen, and Alison look up.
About the artist...
Grace McLeod is a Chicago-based playwright and screenwriter. She has developed her full-length plays with First Floor Theater, The New Colony, and Commission Theatre, and has had the pleasure of writing short plays for Chimera Ensemble, American Blues Theater, and the Victory Gardens College Night series. Grace was a 2017-2018 playwright-in-residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center as part of the Trellis Residency Initiative, where she developed her play “Herland,” which will have its Rolling World Premiere across three cities in 2018-2019. Her debut short film "Under the Table" premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and her films have screened at venues and festivals nationwide. Grace is currently a writing and research assistant to playwright Young Jean Lee. She is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago.