He spoke of watching my videos on YouTube, being “appalled” and “immediately hating” my singing. Despite 13 allegations ranging from “Conspiracy for Fraud” and “Tortious Interference” the following stood out like a sore thumb:
“Defendant McLafferty was ‘too unattractive’ to front” this kind of band.
“Pink is a visually striking woman,” it read as it was further alleged that I didn’t “look the part or contribute to the overall aesthetics” of the group.
The damages sought were around $10,000,000 and the “legal fees” Chuck felt he was entitled to by defending himself. In addition, he sought to ban me from performing in any P!NK tribute band in perpetuity.
I immediately quit my job in the band.
Check out Voicelive Touch!
Has this case affected your self esteem or self worth in any way?
Interestingly, my self esteem has never been better. Let me tell you, when you get sued for millions of dollars for no reason, you get real spiritual, real quick. A friend of mine told me that if she were in my situation with the case and the press she would most likely slide into a deep depression. That really shook me up. If this happened to me at a different point in my life, I may have just given up music or done something self destructive to cope. I think this would absolutely crush a less experienced performer. Fortunately, with 20 years in the music industry under my belt, I’ve had to battle a variety of insanely harsh situations. It became fight or flight. And I chose to fight, and the fact that I am a “lifer” in the music game has been my most valuable asset. . I’m stronger overall. I do have some very sad “why me” days though. I usually just drink of wine, cry and watch Jon Stewart and wait it out.
Have you heard from P!nk or her people?
The NY Post reached out to P!NK’s “camp”. I’m guessing a publicist. We got a “no comment”. This was when the story first went public. It’s hard to say if she knows the details of this case or not. Pop stars are so insulated and there are thousands of people trying to get in touch with them on a daily basis and everybody wants something. Plus legal issues are sensitive and no one wants to get sued themselves. That being said, P!NK’s platform is all about empowerment and sticking up for the underdog. There are a lot of parallels between her music and this case. Speaking up on the matter would be consistent with the message she puts out as an artist. However, I know that if I were in her situation, I would want the facts first. And getting them is time consuming. I mean my schedule is crazy just as a working regional artist, I can’t relate to what her life is like at all.
Has anything positive come from this experience?
Yes! I have gotten a crazy amount of support, especially from female musicians my age and the New York City music scene has been AMAZING to me. I’ve always wanted to speak very publicly about the value of older performers and why we should be celebrated and not silenced. Because The NY Post decided to make an issue of my age, I now have a platform to talk about it, so it’s a gift in strange wrapping paper. It’s also taught me that as of today I can handle almost anything life throws at me and it’s going to be OK.
What have you learned from all this so far?
You have to stand in your own strength regardless of what others may think of you or say about you. I feel that I started playing it safe in my career a few years ago, because I got tired of reading the harsh comment when I would put my work out to the public. It made me want to be less open and vulnerable. But this experience has taught me to build a shield, focus on the art and those who love you. Oh, and also keep records of everything music business related! Emails, texts, everything!
Has this case affected your career negatively?
Unfortunately, in the short term it has been rather financially devastating, only because fighting this is a full time job. I spend hours everyday educating myself on the legal system instead of working on music. I’m slowly working on becoming a balanced human again. I’ve managed to work consistently for 20 years because I have always been diligent about auditioning, submitting my work, attending shows and jam sessions etc. As a freelancer, I do a lot of “one off” studio sessions, sub gigs etc, and there just hasn’t been time to pursue those things. Getting the work itself is a full time job. Fortunately, my 2 bands The Fred Savages and Lavender Steel are getting out of the “start up” hump and it looks like I’ll be busier in the fall. But it’s been a tough summer.
Also, If you Google my name, “old, ugly, bad singer” comes up repeatedly, thanks to the NY Post’s version of the story, which made the newswire. It’s kind of hilarious, but eek! They say there’s no such thing as bad press, but as a professional singer that is the worst possible press you can get! Now I can look at that and know absolutely that I am neither old, nor ugly. And I can sing, obviously. But in this business, you are constantly introducing yourself to new people, submitting head shots and demos online etc. And the first thing a potential employer does is Google you. So this has to be addressed, and I have to create new headlines for myself. Unfortunately, there’s a stigma to being sued. So there’s that too. This is going to be a huge challenge going forward to be known for my work once again and not as the “lawsuit girl”. Someone actually called me that at a concert I attended.
When things get resolved, however, if I can channel the strength I have found from this whole ordeal into my music and my artistic platform, I will be Dangerous! Pun intended!
Collette is represented by Martin Kera of Kera and Graubard, 212-681-1600
Collette on social media:
DID YOU KNOW THAT POLE DANCING IS A SKILL FOR HOES AND HOES IN TRAINING? YEA, ME NEITHER.
HEAVY SIGH – So there’s this video going viral showing a little Black girl at the playground sliding down a pole like a pro as other children watch while she lands perfectly in the splits. The insulting meme attached is “The Moment You Realize That Your Daughter’s a Baby Thot”. A thot, to put it simply is a hoe (see whore), in urban slang language. There are more than a few problems that I have with this video and its message.
#1: This is an innocent child. How dare you lay the title of hoe on her because she has athletic skills. She is on a playground pole, a place more than appropriate for her to participate in this type of activity. Is she supposed to just slide down like a firefighter? Should she have her style of play limited?
By thinking what she is doing is inappropriate because strippers also display these skills in the club, or that she is not being “lady-like”, or that she should not play this way because some pervert will be turned on is absolutely ridiculous. You are putting blame on a child for your thoughts and the presumed thoughts of others. And, again, she is on a playground. Should poles be removed from playgrounds?
#2: This child is not exposing her private parts or her underwear and though I would rather she was not in a dress, not once do we see the dress go over her head.
#3: Making statements like she is being raised wrong, or that she must have seen this behavior somewhere, or that her mother should be ashamed is making a negative judgment call when you know absolutely nothing about this child or her family based on this short video.
#4: Ain’t nothing wrong with grown women stripping or being a stripper for a living. And, all strippers are not hoes. Furthermore, the strippers that are hoes don’t deserve your unkind words and assumptions either. You owe strippers an apology for thinking so low of them.
#5: Pole dancing is a legitimate skill, an art, no matter who is doing it or how old they are. Kids do it on the playground, it’s also taught in fitness classes all over the world, gymnasts do it and there are even international competitions, and yes professionals dance on poles in strip clubs or on an even larger scale in awe inspiring shows like Cirque du Soleil.
#6: I’m pretty sure that pole dancing came before stripping in clubs. I haven’t and won’t fact check this one; but I’m pretty sure…just logically speaking.
I really wish more of us would stretch our minds beyond our slanted view. To help you I’ve done a little research and found the following article. You’re welcome. Enjoy!!
11 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Pole Dancing
1. Most pole dancers, regardless of age, are in the best shape of their lives.
Pole dancing is a full-body workout. It is resistance training and cardio in one. Flexibility is improved as well. Pole dancers perform acrobatic tricks either suspending their weight or propelling it around a metal pole. The simple act of climbing a pole is an incredible display of strength. It is no surprise, then, that most pole dancers insist they have never looked or felt better. Natasha Wang is a world champion pole dancer who didn’t even start until age 29. Greta Pontarelli is a champion pole dancer at age 63—and she only began a few years ago.
2. There are many different types of pole dancing.
When most people think of “pole dancing,” they tend to think of the kind performed in strip clubs. While the sexy side is still very present, there are actually three main branches of pole dancing: sport, art, and sexy.
3. Some are pushing for pole to become an Olympic event.
These are the serious athletes performing death-defying tricks and displaying unfathomable muscular strength. Then there are also those who embrace the artistic side pole has to offer. The simplicity of a vertical apparatus is appealing in that so much can be created and so many stories can be told. Many of these dancers perform barefoot and have been known to incorporate modern dance, props and costumes into their routines. Finally the sexy side of pole is still practiced by many. These dancers usually wear heels. And although there is some debate within the community about which direction pole is heading, all three forms flourish, and many pole dancers enjoy all styles. There is something for everyone.
4. You need your skin exposed to grip the pole.
I am still surprised that people don’t understand this concept. In order for skin to grip the pole, pole dancers must have their legs, arms and stomach exposed. This is a safety concern. There are some grounded spins, poses, and floor work that can be performed while wearing pants. But in order to perform more advanced moves, we must have the proper amount of skin exposure. Most pole dancers do not have an issue with this at all, since our focus turns away from what our bodies look like and onto what they can do.
5. It can be dangerous without proper training.
Although pole dancing is fun, it is still a serious athletic endeavor that should not be taken lightly. Some people do not realize how challenging it is when first starting. In addition to the bruises, pole dancers can experience shoulder and/or back pain with improper technique or over training.
Some people don’t learn from from certified instructors and instead try to figure it out with an improperly installed home pole and a YouTube instructional, which is a recipe for disaster. Some people can be too eager to flip upside down. This can be especially dangerous and can lead to head or spinal cord injury. This caution isn’t meant to scare away hopefuls, but rather to encourage everyone to go through gradually progressive training.
6. Men can (and do!) pole dance.
The number of men pole dancing continues to grow every year. There are men’s divisions in competitions now, and I usually have at least one man in all the classes I take or teach. Men’s natural inclination toward upper body strength makes them ideal candidates for the sport. There are many ancient forms of pole dancing such as Chinese pole and Mallakhamb, which have been performed throughout history and almost exclusively by men.
7. “Not having upper body strength” is not an excuse to not try it.
This is quite possibly the most irritating argument I hear against wanting to try pole dancing. There will always be hundreds of reasons not to try. Maybe you aren’t at your ideal weight, or you have two left feet, or you think you’re too old. Why not stop creating roadblocks? You’ll build skills as you grow and learn. That is part of what’s so inspiring and empowering about it.
Whether you’re uncoordinated and can’t lift your own body weight or you’re an athlete with gymnastic capabilities, there is always a new trick or transition to learn with pole dancing. The process of growth never ends and the possibilities can be as creative as your imagination allows them to be.
8. Even though pole dancing is growing in popularity, we still can be judged.
Despite progress in the public’s understanding of what we do, many of us still fight stereotypes. Some of pole dancing’s loudest critics have never tried it themselves. Just last year, Marina Heck, a schoolteacher, was forced to resign from her position following controversy that she is a pole dancer. Even if what we are doing is completely athletic and far removed from the type of pole dancing performed in strip clubs, we still need to explain ourselves. Many times when revealing to strangers what it is I do, I find myself hesitating because I don’t feel like justifying my passion to a skeptic.
9. It’s not always so sexy. (And our significant others don’t get free shows all the time.)
Don’t get me wrong; Pole dancing can be very sexy. But it is not always as overtly sexual as people may believe. We end up with bruises, burns and scrapes from trying new moves. And although we may wear sports bras and tiny shorts when performing, we opt for comfort over fashion in between training sessions.
Our partners soon become all too familiar with pole dancing. We bring them to competitions, we send them videos, we practice the latest tricks at home, we talk about which grip aids work best. Many spouses are affectionately referred to as “pole husbands.” They are supportive. But do they feel forbidden allure? Not so much.
10. The community is very tight-knit.
Because what we do is still considered taboo by many, there is a unique closeness that bonds us together. There are pole dancers of all professions, ethnicities, religions, cultures, sizes, and ages. I have friends all over the world because of pole dancing. I have friends who have been able to travel the world because of it. We support each other through learning new moves. We share each others videos. We watch each other perform. This shared interest bonds us with a special understanding.
11. Pole dancing is emotionally healing.
This is one of the biggest reasons I’ve stuck with pole dancing as long as I have. The physical benefits are great, but the feeling you get from mastering a move or expressing a particular emotion is indescribable. Just the other day, I assisted a student in her first climb. It was a huge deal for her and the expression of joy on her face reminded me why I do what I do.
You can dance out any emotion in class, whether joyful, angry or sad. The combination of athletic skill and artistic influence makes it incomparable to any other form of dance or sport. To me, it is both dance and sport woven together into one beautiful, athletic art form.
11 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Pole Dancing -originally posted on MindBodyGreen
Who is Pearl Pearson?
Pearl is a 64 year-old diabetic deaf driver who resides in the Oklahoma City area.
What’s the story?
At this time, only limited details can be provided since this case is under investigation.
1. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol pulled Pearl over late in the evening on January 3, 2014. Pearl pulled over as he should.
2. Pearl’s driver’s license indicates he is Deaf. He also has a visor card inside his vehicle that says, “Driver is deaf”.
3. During the police encounter, Pearl was struck by officers.
4. An interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement — not during the booking, hospital, or while at the jail, even though Pearl requested one.
5. Pearl does not understand why he was struck. Pearl and his family are still not sure, but are ready for some answers.
6. Pearl’s own son is a police officer, as was his son-in-law, who is now a deputy sheriff. He respects law enforcement and knows how to respond when pulled over. There is no reason for someone like Pearl to be hurt like this by those who are meant to protect and serve.
Learn more via pearlpearson.com.
I created this Bitstrip to make a point about how so many of you are hypnotized by online media outlets like Bossip and TMZ and fail to support independent media in the same way. Low and behold, a day after I created it, TMZ posted a story with a poll asking if Black people should be referred to as Niggas or African Americans. Why? Because Suge Knight doesn’t want to be called African American because he’s not from Africa. Suge Knight is stupid. Stop supporting bullshit media. I’ve never had a real issue with TMZ until now, but his story is just irresponsible. They’ve lost my clicks.