Jen Foster, who would have “given [her] left arm for a major record deal” at 21, became an independent artist/songwriter/publisher because she was “too stubborn to quit.” She chooses to wake up famous every day by doing whatever it takes to stay true to herself. As she says in her Musings:
“I just learned as I went along, making mistakes, getting out on the road, and just trying whatever I could think of to get my music heard. All I had at times was that inner voice telling me that I had a purpose in life and it was to make music.”
Foster’s willingness to stay the course has earned her a number of songwriting awards, the #3 position on LOGO’s Top Videos of 2008, and the opportunity to write and perform with other industry professionals she admires.
When she performed at the Dolores Park Cafe, in San Francisco, on July 3, Foster demonstrated at least five ways she chooses to wake up famous.
Say what is yours to say.
When Foster introduced her song Closer to Nowhere by proudly stating, “I am celebrating six years of sobriety,” she acknowledged the positive change in her own life without casting judgment on others. Similarly, when she introduced I Didn’t Just Kiss Her, her response to Katy Perry‘s I Kissed a Girl, she spoke no ill words about Perry, who has been criticized by others for portraying lesbianism as a trendy party trick.
Make a difference.
In Talk to God, the song Foster wrote about coming out to her parents, she sings, “I am different but my heart works just the same.” She said she hopes her words will help others through the process, something she will soon discuss with the HRC (Human Rights Campaign), whose Coming Out Project encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other individuals to live openly.
Share the spotlight.
Foster appeared at the Delores Park Cafe as a guest of Valerie Orth and Her Trio. Clearly, Orth is one who also chooses to wake up famous: she didn’t have Foster open for her group, the women alternated sets.
Be present, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
When sound problems arose one chorus into Foster’s first song, she asked the crowd if she could start over, unplugged, joking that she’d stand on the center table. Although she gave her dynamic performance from floor level, she moved through the crowd, playfully working the room, while the other musicians tended to the electronics. When she finished the song, she helped them complete another sound check, and then plugged in for the rest of her performance.
Say thank you, often.
Foster thanked the crowd “for coming out to support independent music,” acknowledging that she is a part of something bigger. She thanked Valerie Orth for the invitation, and publicly recognized and thanked her partner, Leslie, for being a part of her life.
Jen Foster is living proof that real fame comes from within.