True Voice of an Angel
Friday morning we were up early and on our way to Derbyshire for a day’s filming. I knew we had a long drive ahead of us, so I made sure I had books, colouring pencils, the iPad and lots of snacks to occupy Ace on our long journey. What was the most essential accessory – his travel potty!!
As many of you know, it’s great to have your toddler out of nappies but it’s not fun on a long journey when they need the toilet. And when Ace needs a wee, he needs it NOW!
“Mummy stop the car, I need to gooooo, STOP!”
Cue my current BFF: ‘The Carry Potty’. I can’t tell you how many times it’s saved us from embarrassing moments and it is the essence of discreet; most people think it’s his lunch box! The seal around the potty is also excellent, so if you’re travelling and can’t get to a toilet, I really recommend this!
Four hours later, we arrived at Chatsworth House. What a truly exquisite place to film. The weather was gorgeous and it was extremely busy! Ace and I had a quick walk around with my mum while J was busy filming. There was so much to see as they were holding the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show there for the first year.
Ace wanted to stop at the ducks, he absolutely LOVES ducks, so as soon as we saw some, we had to name every one and discuss which ducklings belonged to which mummy duck and where they were all swimming to.
Once J had finished the first part of his filming, it was Ace’s and my turn! Well, this confident little boy turned on his charm straight away. He was smiling and tilting his head to the camera!! Haha! He did make me laugh; anyone would think that his dad works in TV! Filming finished and it was ice cream time, Ace was a VERY contented little boy, I must say, armed with a beaming smile as I passed it to him.
J then left us, as he was needed for more filming on Saturday and was staying overnight in Sheffield but my mum and I had the joy of driving 4 hours back home! As long as it was, we at least had the comfort of our own car! Naturally, Ace fell asleep within 5 minutes, he was well and truly worn out from his day.
On Tuesday evening I was invited to the screening of ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me’. This was a documentary style film, directed by Nick Broomfield and we were able to be part of a Q&A session after the screening.
Whitney has always been a very big part of my childhood. My mum is a massive fan and my sister and I have always grown up listening to her music so this was an event I was going to attend no matter what!
In 2009, I auditioned to be one of the backing dancers for Whitney’s X Factor UK performance. I knew the chorographer, Jeri Slaughter, very well and he’s worked for so many incredible, international artists, including the Jacksons. He was actually only looking for male dancers for this particular number and I remember saying to him, “If I can dance as well as the boys, PLEASE can I audition”. He smiled and thought about it for a second and then set me a massive challenge by saying, “Yes!”. Needless to say, after an intense audition, Little Miss Determined a.k.a. Chloe Gill became one of only three girls chosen to dance for Whitney Houston!
The rehearsals were so intense and we were trying to execute the routine as perfectly as possible because this was a comeback performance for her.
My main aim was to enjoy every single moment, as I knew this was potentially never going to happen again for me. We didn’t see Whitney until the performance day, so it all seemed very surreal. After our final costume fitting I looked like a boy, helped by my super-short blonde hair, then it was off to our last rehearsal. Onstage, we were all in our starting positions, getting ready to go, when all of a sudden, we hear Whitney’s voice singing the song! Literally, the sound of her voice sent shivers down my whole spine! I had NEVER heard anything like it in my whole life! I’ve listened to every CD, even seen her in concert but I had never been right next to someone hearing them sing the way she did!
I’m not sure why but tears were running down my face during that run through.
Once we’d finished, she spoke to us all and wished us a great show and said she was looking forward to the performance.
Dancing for Whitney Houston will be a memory I will treasure forever. I thanked Jeri then and I will thank him now for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks Jeri! Whitney was insanely talented woman and her voice, I believe, was a true gift from God.
Soooo when I received the invite to the screening, I was ridiculously excited. Before I went in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster of a documentary but I didn’t realise how sad it would be. The ending was never going to be happy but the whole build up of the film and watching a snippet of Whitney Houston’s REAL life, it made me feel like I’d lost her all over again.
I was blown away seeing all the home video footage showcased in the film and the intimacy of what had been captured. Without giving too much away, it brings out an amazing sense of Whitney’s love, humor and joy. You feel close to her throughout the whole film and it reminds you of just how amazingly talented she really was.
By the end, I have to say I felt absolutely exhausted and very emotional. Whitney was always trying to please EVERYONE around her and it was as though she forgot to be happy herself. It was an absolute tragedy losing such an iconic legend of the music industry but as she mentions in one of her interviews, fame really does have a price to pay. May Whitney rest in peace for eternity; I will cling to the memory of having met her, danced for her and spoken to her. I will never forget the sound of her spectacular voice. She had the voice of an absolute angel.
With Father’s Day just around the corner, I am currently watching Ace paint a picture for his daddy while I write this! It looks like there’s more paint on the table and floor, than on the paper but he seems incredibly pleased with his masterpiece, so that is all that matters!!
I hope you all have a great weekend celebrating with your ‘fathers’. With or without them though, make sure also you share the love with your friends and family.
Have a great week.
Lots of Love,