No matter what Heather DeLoach does for the rest of her life — short of, say, becoming president — she will always be known as the "Bee Girl." Hell, maybe even if she becomes president. And that's just fine with her.
The name might not sound familiar, but if you've ever seen the classic 1993 video for [artist id="1039"]Blind Melon[/artist]'s [video id="18119"]"No Rain,"[/video] you know exactly who she is. DeLoach is the adorable, spectacle-wearing, chubby 10-year-old who tap-dances around in a bee costume to the derisive cackles of an unseen audience.
Feeling rejected, the Bee Girl runs off and lets her freak flag fly on the streets of Los Angeles in search of an adoring audience, finally finding her understanding bee kin in the midst of the rolling fields where [artist id="1039"]Blind Melon[/artist] are jamming out. As they raise her up to the sky in jubilant celebration at the end of the clip, DeLoach shakes her booty and holds up a blue banner in celebration.
Now, 15 years after shooting the video, DeLoach is all grown up, and like little Spencer Elden — the now-17-year-old naked baby from Nirvana's Nevermind cover — she's moving on with her life but finding it hard to shake that juvenile 15 minutes (OK, four and change) of fame.
"When people see my résumé, they're like, 'Really?' " DeLoach said. " 'You've grown to be such a beautiful woman!' Sometimes I don't always want to be known as the nerdy Bee Girl, but it changed my life, and I'm willing to be called that forever, until I'm old and gray. The Bee Girl is such a part of me ... I could never let it go."
Luckily for aspiring actress DeLoach, her indelible starring role in the video is the perfect calling card for the 25-year-old's chosen profession. Now living in Lake Forest, California, the recent Cal State Fullerton communications grad has used the "No Rain" clip to book appearances in movies such as "The Beautician and the Beast" with Fran Drescher and the remake of the Shirley Temple movie "A Little Princess," as well as gigs on "ER," [movie id="295304"]"Reno 911"[/movie] and in the movie [movie id="287312"]"Balls of Fury."[/movie]
The concept for the "No Rain" video was inspired by a 1975 photo of Blind Melon drummer Glenn Graham's younger sister, who graced the album's cover and served as the model for DeLoach's getup. The actress, who began doing commercials when she was 5 years old, said she went on the call for the "No Rain" gig, walked in, did her tap dance and ran off sad. And because she resembled Graham's sister so much, DeLoach said, director Samuel Bayer ([artist id="1002"]Nirvana[/artist], [artist id="988"]Green Day[/artist]) picked her even though she was the very first girl to audition for the role.
"They told me Sam didn't look at any other tapes," she said. "I went in with my hair in braids and wearing those chunky glasses, because they said to look nerdy. My mom said we had to find some glasses before we went in, so we ran to a local mall right before the audition and bought them, and Sam liked them so much they're the same ones I used in the video."
DeLoach said the appearance became the definition of an "overnight" success. "I woke up the next morning, and it was a hit," she said. "At times, I wish I had been older, because it was the time of my life, like playing Halloween every day. I got to attend the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards and do the Bee Girl routine again to close the show, and I got to meet [artist id="1098"]Madonna[/artist] and [artist id="1090"]Janet Jackson[/artist], and I was seated next to [artist id="1006"]Pearl Jam[/artist] singer [artist id="1202543"]Eddie Vedder[/artist]! Now, I would be in awe to breathe that in one more time."
Earlier this year Blind Melon released their first new album in nearly a decade after replacing late singer Shannon Hoon with Travis Warren, who recently announced his departure from the band. Though she's not in touch with members of the band, DeLoach said she still gets recognized as the Bee Girl all these years later.
"I'm not one to boast, but my boyfriend, friends, sister and mother, whenever we're in a conversation with a stranger, by the end they'll bring it up and people will recognize me," she said. "People come up to me all the time with stories about how I changed their childhood and got them through a tough time of not being accepted."
Asked if she has ever used her cult status to get into clubs or, say, pick someone up in a bar, DeLoach giggled and said she never had, and, in fact, was dating her current boyfriend for a month before she even mentioned it to him.
"I don't want people to really know about it until they get to know me," she said. "I'm not ashamed of it, though. I owe everything to [Blind Melon]. It's not just a video or a song; it's something that was meaningful to a lot of people."
With her college degree in hand, DeLoach is in the midst of trying to find representation and land her next big role, hopefully one that doesn't require her to dig out those nerdy glasses and tap shoes.