The Event that Lit the Fire Inside of Me
I still remember the events of what made me who I am today as if it had all happened yesterday: medical staff wearing mouth masks as they looked down at me, using medical terminology foreign to a ten year old boy; the grogginess and pain I felt as the anesthesia wore off; and the uncomfortable feeling of having heavy bandages strapped to my face. What I remember the most - which culminated from the failed corrective surgery in that OR room and events thereafter - was the distraught feeling of being "trapped" in my body -- knowing that I may have my facial paralysis (which I was born with) for the rest of my life. And when the bandages were finally removed from my face, grotesque scars were revealed. Through developed self-confidence and through years of speech therapy, though, I have "overcame" my disability and the haunting memories from my childhood. I am a college graduate with a paralegal degree and did an internship for my state's attorney general; I work for a respected law firm; I'm talented with music; and for the most part: I am happy with my life.
My Goal: CONVINCING TAYLOR SWIFT TO DO MY MUSIC
Seeing that life is beautiful and that challenges can be overcome, I now seek to share my story and inspiration through music by having an artist I greatly admire, Taylor Swift, do a few of my songs for free. My songs I have written are pop/rock songs and they range from empowering women to get out of bad relationships; inspiring others to have hope through hard times; and challenging others to walk five miles in the shoes of somebody they judge. I seek to have Taylor be my voice since I can't physically sing my music. I already tried approaching her through her managers, but they were unsympathetic to my story. So I seek to create a petition to give to Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Label Group (Taylor's label), to convince Taylor and company to let me inspire others through her and to give her more hits. I have already paid $1,000.00 to a producer who helped do a Grammy winning song (Where Are U Now by Justin Bieber) and to a Fifth Harmony background vocalist to produce a demo of a song I wrote to give to Taylor. The song is called "Safari Ride". The song is almost done. I am also a registered songwriter with BMI and will copyright the song.
Why YOU Should Sign the Petition
Most people like underdog stories: we all loved Rocky and we fell in love with Forrest Gump. As much as those movies inspire us, sad to say, but those movies are fiction. My life, though, is real. My daily challenges are real. If you sign this petition, you would be helping an underdog by convincing people to give me a chance. By signing, you would be saying that Taylor Swift should help me out; that Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records, should give this to Taylor; that you support dreams; that you recognize that people with challenges have it harder than "regular" people. And while I don't like my disability to define me, sometimes it helps to be lifted and helped by others. So please: if you want to see an underdog try to accomplish his dreams, please sign this petition. I believe Taylor Swift to be a good person who would help me out -- I just need her to see this and to convince somebody that knows her to be swayed to give it to her.
More About My Story
Music has been a major part of overcoming my disability as I have found solace through song. For the past ten years, I have been taught by others to read music and to play the piano. I have also taught myself to play by ear. While I have triumphed over the odds, I still am not given the benefit of the doubt by people who do not know me. I am judged by people for doing something as simple as walking down a sidewalk or going to the gym and being gawked at while I'm only trying to better myself physically. I guess I'm not being seen for who I am and I am not using my full potential. But instead of being angry, I choose to be determined and to inspire others. The only way I can really do that is through my music. As Russell Greer, I am just another face in the crowd. Besides, I can't sing my own music. I can't sit down and record myself. But if I were to get my music into the hands of established artists then they can become my "voice" and help me inspire others.
Why Taylor Swift?
Taylor Swift has been my inspiration since high school. Her songs have resonated with me e.g. Love Story and You Belong With Me. In college, her song "22" came out and I was around 22 at the time and it helped me through those tough times. She just has so much goodness and charity towards others and is selfless. She has influenced my life and my sister's life (and my dad even likes her music) in such a way that I want to give back to her and I feel the only way I can give back is continuing her success. People tell me I write good music and that I am talented so I feel if I could catch her attention, she would be down with helping me. This is totally a non-romantic gesture. Seeing her sing at weddings; going to prom with high school guys; going to hospitals; donating to the flood victims of Louisiana, I don't see why she would turn down the request of a disabled guy just wanting to be more than he is and who wants to give her more success.
Approached Her Managers and They Didn't Have An Open Heart
Realizing that she is a busy person, I spent a year and a couple hundred dollars recording a song I wrote about Taylor Swift (I took a cue out of her playbook as she wrote a song entitled "Tim McGraw" and impressed him with it). The song detailed how I relate to her struggles and that I looked to her for inspiration. It was a simple song that was meant to show my skills as a lyricist and a musician. I got her managers' emails and I wrote them a sincere heartfelt email about living with a disability and how I wrote a song about Taylor to impress her. They emailed me back at a few days later and her manager Jay Schaudies said: "Sir, Taylor writes all of her own music. We will not forward this. We wish you luck in your endeavors." I WAS CRUSHED! It wasn't because I spent so long on the song that I was upset, it was that the moral of the message and yearning to be more than I am went over his head. He didn't take into account my disability and how I wanted somebody I admired to help me inspire others.
Faith in Scott Borchetta
Even though I have been hurt, I refuse to give up until I hear it from Taylor. If Taylor had told her managers that she wasn't interested, that would be one thing, but they didn't even pass it onto her so the question remains whether she would have helped me. So I am now going to approach Scott Borchetta, CEO of Taylor's record label, and ask him to convince her. But instead of emailing Scott a regular letter, I decided to do a petition to convince him to talk to Taylor and to show Taylor my aspirations. A petition would show that many people support dreams; that people support the underdog; that people agree that I have talent that can help Taylor and Big Machine Records; that Taylor should accept this as she is a good person.
So please: if you want to see an underdog try to accomplish his dreams, please sign this petition.