Singer goes homeless to make video

HANNAH SPYKSMA
Last updated 11:55 09/05/2012
Grace Pageant
JASON OXENHAM/Fairfax Media

TUNING IN: Grace Pageant and her inspirations Madison and Taylor Riddell-Cross.

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A Mt Eden singer went homeless for a month for her shot at fame and to spread an anti-bullying message.

Grace Pageant decided to do without the comforts of a house so she could afford to make her first music video Girl with no bones.

''My flat had just broken up and I had enough money to either get a bond and pay rent for a few weeks or make the clip,'' Pageant says.

''It was an easy choice. I stayed in a tent on a friend's lawn for a month.''

The video will be released tomorrow during a Pecha Kucha event on Karangahape Rd.

The indie-pop song is co-directed by Erin Gaffney and Leigh Fitzjames and was shot in Onehunga in March.

Pageant says the challenge of getting her video ready in time to premiere during New Zealand Music Month didn't stop with her lack of housing.

The clip's two main characters, the Riddell-Cross twins, were randomly spotted in the central city by the musician.

''Grace is a bit crazy,'' Taylor Riddell-Cross jokes.

She and twin sister Madison were getting on to a bus to go home to Kingsland when Pageant came bounding up to them.

''She said, 'hi my name's Grace, I love your look, be in my music video', handed over a mobile number, then got off the bus,'' Madison says.

''I just saw them and thought they looked awesome, but they were going on a different route to me so I had to get on and get off,'' Pageant says.

The 17-year-old twins were flattered and went home to their parents with Pageant's number on the back of a bus ticket.

Their parents encouraged them to follow up the request and in mid-March the sisters found themselves acting as bullies for a day.

Girl with no bones tells the story of a victimised teenager.

Pageant says severe bullying left her with a string of mental health issues in her teenage years.

Sharing her story is important to the singer whose day job is in the education sector.

''It's about getting people to realise what resources you actually have out there to deal with your problems,'' she says.

Youthline and the Mental Heath Foundation are two community organisations she wishes she had called on and now recommends.

The video is focused on a knitting circle where the word "spineless" is being stitched.

It's put together in stop-motion and a cross-stitcher worked for four hours photographing every thread that made up the word.

Madison and Taylor spent eight hours being photographed in different poses as they imitated the knitters.

The idea is that Pageant is the outsider to the circle and needs to learn how to stand up for herself in the face of 'spineless' taunts.

''Having no bones and being passive is not the answer.

''It is your own wellbeing that is at stake - fight for it,'' she says.

The song touches on a serious subject but the singer says other tracks on her upcoming album Life and Limbo are more positive.

She also plans to work with Madison and Taylor as her inspiration for her next single which ''will definitely be a fighting-back sequel''.

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