It's not a choice, really. I discovered that the hard way when I stopped singing for awhile twice; because I never learn the hardest things the first time. I had a full-on panic attack after the second lapse, realizing that I may never sing again or I may never know what my own unique voice sounds like or feels like. After allowing fear, doubt, anxiety, shame, ... you name it, keep me from having the courage to even try for 20+ years, I decided: "What do I have to lose?" I had more to lose in the long-run by not trying than whatever pride, ego, or whatever I would lose if I did.
My solo cabaret journey was sparked when I first met Shannon Forsell in 2007 and took The Cabaret's first "Intro to Cabaret" class with The Civic Theatre. It was a good start and I learned more about how different this new genre of music -- jazz, musical theatre, standards -- is to sing for someone who's sung mostly classical for 20 years. I still didn't know where to go, what to do. I was busy managing my first marketing consulting business and dating this pretty fantastic guy who believed I could do anything.
A few more years went by. I married that great guy, Brian, in 2008, and we began a beautiful life together. Again, life was full, but I wasn't singing. The space, this vacuum of sound, began to swallow me slowly. I knew I had to do something or go mad trying.
One Step at a Time
Like any dream or goal, it’s about one step at a time. I’m a runner and cyclist and I have trained for long-distance marathons and centuries. I applied the same training concepts to my singing: find a good coach, practice every day (or as often as possible), learn your craft (listen, watch and research), ask for help, challenge yourself, take care of your body, and surround yourself with people who will give you lots of support and positive reinforcement. You really never finish training.
As Long As I'm Singing
What started as a one-time, check-it-off-my-bucket-list thing to do has turned into my true calling. I love singing. I love sharing music and stories. I love the look in someone's face who is being moved in that moment -- laughter, tears, heart-ache, love, human understanding. For once in my life, I do not have this all planned out. I have no idea where it might take me. For once, I don't care as long as I'm singing.
Two quotes = my inspiration
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -- Marianne Williamson
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. The World will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep directly open to and aware of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” -- Martha Graham