News & Politics

So You Want to Be a Rock Star

I Never Had the Attitude and Certainly Didn't Look the Part. Then One Day . . .


I grew up listening to Dad's stories of when his rock band traveled across the country in a VW bus. My mom has pictures of Bob Dylan hanging in our living room. My sister Chelsea has the voice–and the ambitions–of Joni Mitchell.

But I didn't get any show-business genes. I can't sing. I've never had the patience to learn guitar. I dress like I've walked out of a J. Crew catalog. And I have as much rock-star attitude as Peter Jennings. So when Glow Salon, Day Spa and Cafe invited me to get a "rock-star makeover," I jumped at the chance.

I knew it was going to be an interesting afternoon when I arrived in Annapolis and got a stare-down from my stylists, Kelly Fisher and Cristina Sevin, who own Glow along with their husbands. Both looked like they'd stepped off a Manhattan runway. Kelly eyed my long, frizzy braided hair. Cristina frowned at my eyebrows. "Would you mind if we did a little waxing?" she asked.

After my brows were shaped up, Kelly, who has a tattoo of a bird in her armpit and one of a woman up her side, began straightening my hair with a hot iron. She then pinned four long brown hair extensions into my blond hair.

Then came the hair teasing. And more teasing.So much teasing, I worried my hair would fall out. When it was done, I looked like a cross between Cyndi Lauper and Taylor Dane. I was embarrassed to sit in the salon's cafe. A soccer mom waiting to get her hair cut looked at me like I had three heads.

At the makeup station, I closed my eyes while Christina Croston used an air-brushing machine to spray on foundation and blush. "It's why Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry have skin that glows," she said. The air-brushing was very relaxing.

Next stop: the salon's tattoo studio. I sat for an hour while artist-in-training Matt Taylor drew an '80s glam-rock dagger on my left arm. It was going on the fourth hour of the makeover, and I was restless. I hinted that maybe the dagger wasn't worth coloring in. He kept going.

Next they dressed me in a red tube top adorned with silver balls and skintight capri pants that laced up the sides. I felt like a streetwalker. For the camera, I tried to pretend that my spirit matched my punk clothes. "Give me sultry," said Chris Usher, the photographer. I pictured the Victoria's Secret models and made a pathetic attempt to pucker my lips. I burst out laughing. "Can't I just smile?" I asked.

That's when it dawned on me. The rock-star thing was too much work. I didn't want to care this much about what I looked like.

I walked out of the salon to where my boy-friend, John, was waiting. People walking to their cars stared.

"You look so cool," he said.

I did feel cool. It was fun to stand out. No one knew what I had looked like before the makeover. As far as they knew, I was a punk rocker hanging out in an Annapolis parking lot. I had reinvented myself. Maybe that's why I had wanted to be a rock star. *

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.