Earlier today, I finally mustered up the courage to walk in there and get some professional vocal training. For years, I’d allow insecurity to get the better of me and allowed complacency to engulf me in a kind of funk. I never thought I was good enough.
I entered the apartment with sheer abandon and no clue as to his plans of making me sing. I was simply supposed to inquire/schedule/enroll myself but it felt like a test of sorts. Thanks to Pauline’s music sheets, I was thrust into impromptu performance. He made me sing “Someone Like You”, a popular choice for most sopranos. I was rusty however, stopping here and there, breathing inconsistently and connecting then disconnecting (in his terms). I was disconnecting from my spirit, from my breath, from what he termed “life”. A little bit odd to hear at first but it somehow inched its way towards my better understanding.
There I was, standing, nervous, pressured, thinking to myself,
“Holy Shit, he’s gonna hear me sing. Holy Shit, holy shit… Sorry God. Holy shit!!!!! Here I go…
So there I stood, half belting, half stopping, half hoping he would tell me to stop. But he didn’t. He made me finish the song until the end. He was telling the truth when he told me that there were no short cuts. There was a process, indeed. The highlight of my day happened at the very moment I came forward with my apprehensions. I admitted to him that my disconnection with my voice (my breath=spirit) seemed to be stemming from my long standing insecurity, an insecurity aggravated by the vocal chops of my colleagues. He uttered the words I will never and should never forget. Lest, I slump further in self-pity and self-doubt.
“I’ll be honest with you…
At this point, my butt was, in fact, clenching, hands sweating, fingers intertwined and twisted, lips pursed, eyes avoiding any contact. I was dreading the moment of honesty and yet raring to hear what he had to say. I was thinking to myself, I need to hear this. I need a sort of wake up call. I kept thinking.“Do it like a bandaid. Tell it to me like it is. If my delusional dreams for musical theater are in fact delusional, then let this be my moment of truth.”
You have a good voice. You just have to recognize it. You have it. The problem is that you don’t recognize it. And you don’t sustain it.”
So here I am, at home, watching videos of people I admire on Broadway (the likes of Lea Salonga, who by the way, IS NOT overrated) I stumbled upon videos of her before and during Miss Saigon. If something as great as that happened to her, who’s to say it can’t happen to the rest of us normal people? I’m not gunning for a Tony or a role as huge as Kim. I’m not about to go into a fit of delusions of grandeur. I’m no Lea Salonga. But I can be me. A girl can dream right? And I think it’s about time I gave myself more credit.
I’m tired of belittling myself and holding back. After today, I realized that a huge part of me still had that positivity chip. A huge part of me still believed.
I believe. I still believe.