Good morning! Question; is there a moment in your life, an event…one thing you can pinpoint as being that defining “butterfly effect” that touched you so deeply it sparked a chain reaction which would shape your future? (What? Too deep for a Tuesday?)
I love to sing. LOVE IT! I could have had an incredibly successful career as a smoky-voiced songstress had it not been for one, single event from my childhood that warped me so deeply and profoundly that I have never recovered. (OK, there were actually three or four, but who the heck is counting anyway?)
*insert those weird, wavy lines from Scooby Doo that denote a flashback is about to ensue* It was my 5th grade year, the year I’d been waiting for so I could FINALLY join the choir. I loved to sing, just like my Mom did, so I figured I’d make her all proud and stuff by joining up and sharing my AMAZING set of pipes with the world!
|You will notice a distinct|
LACK of singing!
After what seemed an eternity of rehearsals, the night of the performance finally arrived and there I was, stepping up to the mic and looking out over a sea of glowing Mommy and Daddy faces until I found those belonging to my parents. I stood straight and tall, a smile of accomplishment and total knowledge of my awesomeness on my face as I opened my mouth wide and belted out the notes of “Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo!” just like Mrs. Hooker had taught me.
As I locked eyes with my "delighted" parents, so sure I was about to bear witness to their being overcome with joy, something odd happened. Were they puffed-up like the proud-peacock parents they obviously were? Not exactly…Were they elbowing the people in the next chair, pointing and proclaiming, “That girl? The one singing like a perfect angel? That’s our daughter!” No…
What I saw was this; first my Dad’s face filled with air and turned purple at the effort of holding in his emotions. (Wow! I didn’t know I was THAT good!) My Mother had her hand covering most of her face and her shoulders were shaking in a really weird fashion. (Poor woman is so overcome she’s actually crying!) Then it happened, the dam broke and both my parents erupted in uncontrollable laughter. LAUGHTER!!!
|The big guy who looked like he|
could belt out a proper "Swanee
River"? (And he TOTALLY could!)
Yeah...that's the part I "doubled."
Needless to say, I have ever since had some “issues” singing in front of people, made worse by each successive choir director and voice critic I was forced to deal with…
10th grade: “Are you sure there isn’t a non-singing role you’d rather audition for?”
10th grade boyfriend, on way home after the above-mentioned audition: “I felt so sorry for that poor guy. I mean, he had to listen to you sing a whole song!”
12th grade: “Look, don’t stand right in front of the microphone. Actually, don’t even sing. Try lip-syncing the words. OK?” (The only person in a cast of close to 60 who was asked to lip-sync during the all-cast, grand finale, I might add.)
College: “I’m not telling you not to sing really, I’m telling you to try the Bass part.”
Me: “But isn’t that a guy’s part?”
“Yes, but you really don’t have what anyone would call a pretty girl’s voice…”
Union Station Song and Dance Troupe: “Look honey, we can work on your voice if you really want to…But the truth is your mic will never be turned on. We hired you to dance. After all, from your audition we all knew you weren’t a singer, right?”
My 2nd son at the age of 3: I was singing my baby a soft, sweet lullaby as he sat snuggled in his blanket on my lap. This was actually said as he placed his chubby little, toddler’s hand over my mouth, “Mommy, don’t do that!”
So you see…some bells? Cannot be un-rung!
I‘m telling you, this is why I write…because no one want to hear me sing, and writing? Is WAY cheaper than therapy!
May your day be filled with all the happy notes your heart yearns to belt out, an audience that appreciates the beauty you pour into your song, and critics that, if they can’t say something nice? They’re at least stricken with sudden-onset laryngitis!