Twenty Feet from Stardom: Are you a back-up singer?

It’s not a huge leap from thinking about the work of back-up singing to thinking about work in general, all kinds of jobs and all kinds of workers, including the professional superstars who’ve worked their career magic and found their places at the top, and those people who are to the side and beneath.

If you haven’t seen the documentary, I really recommend you do so. You can watch it streaming on Netflix. The video I’ve embedded in this post is a five-minute featurette about the documentary. In this video, director Morgan Neville has this to say about how viewers relate to the stories of these back-up singers:

"I was at the Minneapolis Film Festival and afterwards a guy stood up and said, 'I’m a middle manager at a software company here. I’ve been working for twenty years, I work with a team of people, I’m proud of the people I work with, I’m proud of our product. I don’t get all the title of the money in the world, and I just realized, I’m a back-up singer.'"

Neville continues:

"We all feel to some extent that we live in that gulf between our childhood dreams and the reality of our real life.”  Even though these women had incredible talent, and you keep thinking, Isn’t it a shame that they’re not a star?, what you realize is they’ve found their own way to be happy and that’s way more important than being famous."