Dedicated to Rudie, for always believing in me when I found doubt in myself and always believing in the power of the purple pen. 🙂 I found another purple pen!
…I can remember reading the lyrics I had printed out earlier that day. We had only sung together once before that night. What was I thinking! How could I possibly pull this off and fool the audience?…
Like every high school senior, I had to fulfill a senior project in order to graduate. Shadowing a job is the easiest way to obtain the credit, but I wanted to do something much bigger that fully involved my passion. A concert dinner came to mind first. Despite my mother’s worry of the time, money, and effort it would take to accomplish this project on my own, I was set. Once I’m set on something, there is no changing my mind. (Sorry mom!) Everything paid off when I presented “Get Rhythm” to a cafeteria of friends, family, and peers.
Because of my love and appreciation for older music, I incorporated a set list of popular music from the 1930s to the 1960s. Most of the performers were my fellow peers in the music program. The music truly was well-received and that is why I strongly believe in the past. Music would not be what it is today if it were not for musical predecessors. (Tears swelled up as I said this to close to show. I feel very alone in how I feel about music. Even now, I cry.)
Oh, I remember a great friend of mine writing down my “speech” to open the show. I laugh about it now because it seems silly, but I was very nervous to present myself in front of a well-lit crowd. Singing in front of a dark audience is a different story. I know they can see me, but I can’t see their expressions. Their expressions scare me.
When I sang “Jackson”, originally sang by Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash, with my good friend at the time, I was electrified. Finding the right words to describe the emotion I felt is difficult. My heart was on fire because I love the song and I had once dated the boy I was singing next to. Everything about that moment made me want to harmonize for the rest of my life. Not just musically harmonize. This was a defining moment in my life. There are only a few moments in my life that ignite this same emotion.
I have not had the chance to sing solo publicly since my high school band went on a European Tour the summer after I graduated, 2008. It’s been too long.
Quotes of the Week:
“… it took me five years of going right into the mouth of the lion to learn to be at ease onstage … if you deal with an audience as a bunch of people having a great time, you’ll have a much bettrer time as a performer”
– Rory Block
“.. I get more of a dreamy thing from the audience – it’s more of a thing that you go up into. You get into such a pitch sometimes that you go up into another thing. You don’t forget about the audience, but you forget about all the paranoia, that thing where you’re saying, ‘Oh gosh, I’m on stage – what am I going to do now ?’ – Then you go into this other thing, and it turns out to be like almost like a play in certain ways”
– Jimi Hendrix
Photo Credit: Candle Light