Thursday, April 6, 2017

Song Release and photos from Villain contest

I've recently released my single, "Villain Song."



I originally wrote this song for a contest. In 2014, Jaguar had an ad at the Super Bowl with the slogan "good to be bad." link to ad The ad featured British actors who had played villains in Hollywood movies.

I wrote -- maybe tweeted -- Jaguar and told them I wished I could be a villain in a Hollywood movie. They told me that they couldn't help me achieve that goal, but that I could participate in their Villain contest. The prize was a trip to New Mexico and lessons from a race car driver driving their f type around a racetrack. 

I decided that I would like to win this contest, because it might help me position myself as an actress who wants to play villain roles.

I originally understood the rules of the contest to include writing a villain song. Later, when I read the rules again it said that we only had to name a villain song that we liked, but I had already written the words and melody to this song. I put a YouTube video up of me singing only the melody. a capella video It's not my best singing, because I had an undiagnosed GERD issue due to the chemo.  I tweeted them the link to the YouTube video, but I also named another villain song that I really like, Mordred's Lullaby

I didn't win the contest. I wasn't considered most villainous. 

However, I still had this song, so I decided to get it arranged. I hired my friend Stoddy Blackall to do the arrangement. He's a young singer/songwriter/pianist who is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. I met him, because he was accompanying musical improv comedy in NYC and I have been studying musical improv comedy. I was always very impressed with his work as an improvisational accompanist. I found him to be exceptionally creative in a field of creative pianists. I think he's done an amazing job here.

Then I had this piece professionally recorded at the Outlook Recording Studio in Bethel, Maine. Conni St. Pierre, one of the co-owners, added a bit of percussion, to make it even spookier and more foreboding.

Cover photo on the album by my son, Joseph McKenney-Barschall

Warning: violent, sociopathic lyrics -- but it's really for fun. I don't want to kill you. I just want to play a villain.


I will use you. I will shed you
In my path, you are my tool 
I will use you. I will shed you
In my path, you are my fool.

Verse 1
In life, I choose to step with style,
And others serve, but for a while,
To fall beneath my striding boot,
Their slimed remains my triumph's root.

Verse 2
And those who think to thwart my plot
Will lie in shallow graves and rot
As I in glory rise to reign
And ever broaden my campaign

Compassion is a weak one's flaw
And friendship others' cloying maw
Alone I scheme to dominate
And soft ones see me far too late


I'm also working on a music video for this song. 

In the music video, there will be a dancer who is my character's victim.  

The director of the video suggested that the song might by symbolic of my fight against cancer and that the dancer might represent the cancer.

At the time, I replied

I think, when you're talking about a dream, the dreamer is every character in the dream. I am the villain.  I am the cancer. I am fighting the cancer.  I am fighting me. The dancer is the cancer. The dancer is me.  That's how the subconscious works.  I've found that about my fantasies.

In retrospect, though, I don't really think the song is only about fighting cancer.  I think I'm angry about a number of things.  The villain character is also the personification of my general rage, not just about cancer.

Link: Stills from video shoot


Addendum: here is a link to the rough cut of my video from the shoot of May 2017  rough cut video

I ended up being very dissatisfied with this shoot and I am restarting in 2018, currently interviewing new directors.  I did think that the dancer, Olga Bogdanova, was amazing -- but the rest I was not happy with.


Stills from when I was in chemo and writing this song

Here are some photos Sheila Furjanic took of me when I was participating in the Villain Contest sponsored by Jaguar USA in 2014, which inspired this song.  They wanted a photo of me with the f4.  I am normally very frugal with cars.  My last two cars that I bought were used Dodge Caravans.  I must say though that this car was *very* enticing.  I did wish I could have driven it.

I was in chemo when I participated in the contest.  That's why I was bald. I hoped it would give me a more villainous look.  I may be in chemo again soon, so this may be my future as well as my past.


  1. You're an inspiration! Love the back story Anne!

    1. Thanks. We're talking about trying to make the video somehow symbolic of my fight against cancer, now, though that wasn't my original thought.