Chuck Norris has a hot new video on YouTube. And no, it does not star Bruce Lee or Donald Trump… but rather, singer-songwriter Laura Michelle.
Laura does a brilliant job of reenacting her life’s story in just under 4-minutes in this new music video that guest stars Chuck Norris, a pink toilet and a burning oven. So, what possibly could Chuck and all that randomness have to do with the life’s story of a female rock star? Well, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let’s start from the very beginning… which was us sitting down to chat with Laura, her stylist, Jill Christiansen, and the director of this masterpiece, Mr. Kurt Zendzian.
Urbasm: Hello everyone, thanks for speaking with us.
Laura Michelle: The pleasure is all mine.
Kurt Zendzian: Hey, nice to meet you, bud.
Jill Christiansen: Where are you at?
Urbasm: Denver, Colorado.
Jill Christiansen: Nice!
Urbasm: Hey, we love the new Chuck Norris video. It is everything that is epic and funny.
Laura Michelle: That is so nice to hear. Thank you.
Urbasm: Where did the idea for that song come from?
Laura Michelle: The song was my idea. I am super awkward and kind of clumsy. I am always thinking, ‘I wish was I was more like this or that.’ And then I started thinking that you are who you are. Everybody wishes that. So I wrote all these ideas down and showed them to my co-writer, Jim McGorman, and we came up with the song. It is like embracing your inner Chuck Norris. He doesn’t care what people think about him. He is who he is. He is bad ass.
Urbasm: And what about that crazy video? How did all that come together?
Laura Michelle: In the video, Kurt Zendzian and I have the same sense of humor. He totally gets me, which is why I love working with him. We wanted to work in all the aspects of my real life, and how to somehow make that into a storyline which was difficult.
Kurt Zendzian: There was so much that went into that video. I think the most compelling story is the pink toilet, which I’m sure you saw in the music video. That toilet was actually set to be white, but we got it on our white set and put it down on the scene—it made absolutely no sense—it took away the boom factor. So, it was Easter Sunday and I found a Wal-Mart that was open and I thought, ‘florescent pink spray paint.’ So I called Laura, and her cousin answered because she was getting ready for the shoot. I said, “Is it going to be pink, green or yellow?” She said, “Well Laura can’t come to the phone.” So I said, “Then it is going to be pink.”
Kurt Zendzian: I took a chance and bought everything they had in stock, which was about four cans of spray paint. I went back to the set and began spray painting. We couldn’t get the paint to dry in time. By the time Laura got there for the scene, we literally had to put a piece of plywood on top of the toilet for her to sit, because her very expensive designer dress would have got ruined.
Urbasm: Now that’s a story.
Laura Michelle: It was very difficult (laughs).
Kurt Zendzian: You would never know that.
Kurt Zendzian: Another quick one—the scene with the stove. We went to Habitat for Humanity, and our full intension was to return everything. But we had an issue with the smoke bombs. When she opened up the oven, the line was “cooking gourmet meals and I don’t need a recipe,” and when she opened up the stove there was supposed to be smoke that poured out. Well, we couldn’t find smoke bombs—ahem, Easter Sunday again. So we decided to get lighter fluid and put it on the stove and set it on fire. So we opened all the doors in case there was smoke.
Kurt Zendzian: Well, we put a little too put lighter fluid on and we ended up setting the entire stove on fire and we had to take blankets and move it out. That’s another good story for you!
Urbasm: Love it!
Laura Michelle: (laughs) Many late night phone calls went into that video—but everything in some way relates to my life.
Laura Michelle: No, I have never been Ex-Laxed!
Urbasm: (laughs) What are some other examples of how the video suggests aspects of your life?
Laura Michelle: Let’s see… what are some others that I can actually share (laughs). Okay, the dinner scene (pause)… Oh, I’m going to get crap for this (pause). The dinner scene that is a family dinner and I am in a black and white sweater like I’m in jail.
Laura Michelle: And the metaphor behind throwing all that food, is the insults being thrown around the table. So all I can do is walk away from that. That was like the most important scene for me in the video because that is hard to do—to just walk away. I am not saying all my family is like that, but there are certain family members.
Urbasm: Of course.
Laura Michelle: And the girl, the enemy, we exaggerated her big time. It was somebody who for a couple years was sort of copying me. Which… what is the saying, copying is the biggest form of flattery. But we tied all these aspects together to make someone who was really evil, which this other girl was not. So we over exaggerated her. And, of course, obviously, it was super cool to have Chuck there.
Jill Christiansen: That was a really high point. I think that all the guys on the set were super excited for him to show up.
Urbasm: So what was Chuck really like?
Jill Christiansen: He was lovely. What a gentleman. A kind, kindred spirit. He was more than what you would have expected.
Laura Michelle: He was super chatty. We laughed a lot. He put me in a headlock.
Urbasm: (laughs) No.
Laura Michelle: Okay, so his wife was there and she is really awesome, and this was after the scene. I said, ‘let’s take a picture together.’ But I was like, ‘Can we do something that is fun?’ And his wife suggested it. She goes, ‘Carlos, put her in a headlock.’ So he puts me in a headlock and we’re laughing, and then I say can we do it one more time. So he says, “Yeah, do you want to know what a real headlock feels like?” I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ And he barely, barely flexed his bicep and I was like ‘Pfftlauu’. And then you hear his wife go, “Carlos, let her go.” And we were laughing hysterically.
Urbasm: Put in a headlock by Chuck Norris. That is epic.
Laura Michelle: He was really cool onset too. Every time someone made me laugh, then he would laugh. My mom happened to be on set too because she wanted to meet Chuck Norris. They chatted a lot—they probably chatted more than I did. I was like, “You’re hogging Chuck Norris, Mom.”
Laura Michelle: But it was a lot of fun and something that I am never going to forget. He was beyond my expectations.
Urbasm: Kurt, how about a guy’s point of view?
Kurt Zendzian: Well, it is everything that you’ve seen in every movie he’s ever done—legendary and epic. I think those are the only two words needed to describe it. I came home and told my brother that I could die a happy man now. There was a moment when we started the camera rolling and I looked into the viewfinder and I realized who was in frame—and I just couldn’t believe it. It was pretty cool.
Urbasm: That is awesome. So Laura, what else is going on with you?
Laura Michelle: My record, Novel With No End, comes out on August 6th. I also shot a Comcast On Demand concert back in November. In is call Xfinity Session and I am really excited for that to air soon.
Laura Michelle: And I am already writing for the next record and I hope to go out on tour. I have a lot planned.
Kurt Zendzian: With Laura, we are just going full steam ahead right now on the video to get it out to as many people as possible. We did shoot another video with her three years ago called “Chameleon”. I don’t know if you know this, but we shot the original Chuck Norris video four years ago. At the time, we originally tried to get Chuck Norris, but we were unsuccessful. And while the video is cool and quirky, it is just not nearly as cool. But you can see the similarities between the two videos when you watch them. So when we were set to release the song, “Chameleon,” we had got last minute word that there is a chance Chuck Norris might be interested in doing this. So we shelved that video and worked around the clock for a month to make the deal happen with Chuck.
Urbasm: Well worth the effort.
Kurt Zendzian: Yeah, so that’s why we are revisiting “Chuck Norris” and we’ll get to “Chameleon” at the end of the year. It was a little de-ja-vu from a director’s standpoint.
Laura Michelle: Oh, and my house should be done soon. It is taking them forever. I am like losing my mind. I am staying with my mom and I’m like, ‘Okay, I need my house’.
Laura Michelle: Before I knew it, there was no roof on the house. And then no back on the house—and I was scared. It was a treehouse. The only way to get upstairs was with a ladder. It will probably be done as soon as I start traveling a lot (laughs).
Urbasm: (laughs) We know how that is. Laura, what would you like your legacy to read when it’s all said and done.
Laura Michelle: I used to want to touch people with my songs and help them get through tough times. I had a unique childhood. My dad was very ill. I can’t tell you the hours my brother, mom and I sat in the waiting room at hospitals. I used to do my homework and listen to music, and music got me through some of the toughest times of my life. I would love to get that back to somebody else. The title track of the record, “Novel with No End,” that is about my dad. The feelings that I never really said out load.
Urbasm: That must have felt good to get some of that out.
Laura Michelle: Yeah, but currently I am making people mad with my music.
Laura Michelle: Oh my God, yeah. Chuck Norris is number one in Australia, but they are kind of brutal there. I mean, it doesn’t bother me, but I was given positive comments everywhere else and then it hit Australia and it is like negative-negative-negative. It has over a half million views now—so somebody there likes it.
Urbasm: And we have one final question for you, Laura. What are the three things that every man should know—that would make them better men according to you?
Laura Michelle: Interesting (pause). Okay, I would love to say don’t be an ass, but I won’t.
Urbasm: Oh, we’ve heard that one before.
Laura Michelle: I’m sure you have. Okay, one: Listen. Two: If you screw up, admit it. Not everybody takes responsibility for their actions, but I wish guys would do that more. Don’t try to get out of it. Just say you’re sorry, that is all we want. Three: Be supportive. Regardless of what it is, even if you are not all for what they do, but you can still be supportive and be happy for them when they have successes.
Urbasm: Some guys are jealous that way.
Laura Michelle: Yeah, it is frustrating when they don’t support you. Having your back is an important one.
Urbasm: We agree with you on all that. Well said.
Laura Michelle: Good. That was a new question for me.
Urbasm: We like to keep you on your toes. Thank you so much, you three.
Jill Christiansen: You’re welcome.
Kurt Zendzian: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.
Laura Michelle: Bye-bye.