If you are still thinking of Lady Gaga as the singer-slash-performance artist who turned up at the VMA awards wearing a dress fashioned entirely out of meat – actual raw meat – then allow me to bring you up to speed.
The head-turning artist who ignited the pop scene more than a decade ago with electronica infused hits like “Born This Way” and “Poker Face” has continued to surprise and delight. After several records and tours showcasing her signature sound and style, she made a radical pivot in 2014 and collaborated with legendary crooner Tony Bennett on an album of romantic American standards.
Now Lady Gaga is starring opposite Bradley Cooper in a reboot of the classic movie A Star Is Born and she’s winning much respect for her performance.
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m pretty gaga over this lady’s moxie. Here’s why:
It takes moxie to deftly reinvent yourself every few years.
Conventional wisdom would say that to remain successful as an entertainer, you’ve got to top yourself year after year. Lady Gaga has certainly topped herself over the years, but not like you’d expect. Instead of diving into a bigger, splashier and more boundary-pushing, she turned in a direction no one expected by recording an album with an octogenarian.
In her own way, it might have been the biggest boundary she ever pushed, and just might have helped set her up to reach even greater heights as an artist.
After years of producers auto-tuning her voice into a nearly robotic but danceable oblivion, singing jazz was “liberating” Gaga told reporters.
“(J)azz is rebellious. And I’m a rebel at heart. So in that way it’s also me rebelling against my own pop music – that’s really exciting for me. But I think the thing that has been the most powerful has been, there’s a part of me that has been quiet for a long time that is now being reawakened, after years of producers and record label people telling me to make my voice sound more radio-friendly,” she said in an interview.
Lady Gaga rediscovered her talent and passion for music. The move reintroduced her to the world, this time with far less of the artistic artifice. Gone were the dramatic wigs and costumes. In their place stood a confident vocalist delivering lyrics with subtlety, nuance and just enough raw power around the edges to keep things interesting.
If you could “reset” your public persona, what would you choose to do? How would you change?
It takes moxie to revisit early dreams.
Did you know Lady Gaga studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for ten years? That’s no casual pursuit. The Institute has produced scores of notable alumni, including A-Listers like Scarlett Johanssen and Angelina Jolie.
Lady Gaga long harbored a dream to act, and there are few things that will open doors for auditions quite like being a multi-platinum recording artist. She landed the part of Elizabeth in American Horror Story: Hotel, and earned a Golden Globe Award for her performance.
Now she’s lighting up the silver screen in A Star Is Born, and awards buzz is already building.
What if she’d just stayed in her lane and enjoyed her success as a musician? It certainly would have been lucrative and less risky, but Lady Gaga has the moxie to take a risk and fulfill her dreams.
What dream have you deferred? Is now the time to pursue it?
It takes moxie to give 100 percent when you don’t feel 100 percent.
Throughout her ascent, Lady Gaga has battled fibromyalgia, a common yet mysterious illness characterized by joint pain and fatigue. The illness often goes hand in hand with mood disorders like anxiety and depression, which Lady Gaga has also admitted to struggling with.
Anyone who has struggle with a chronic illness feels like a total champion just for making it out of bed some mornings. For Lady Gaga to have achieved all she has while battling those conditions is remarkable.
If I get a chance to interview Lady Gaga, what should I ask?