The Singing Trials

The Deep End.

Definition: when you are out of your comfort zone and completely incompetent. 

 

I’ve found myself swimming in murky waters more than once in my life because I enjoy agreeing to things but hate doing them.

Here are some of the moments where I forgot my floaties after taking a plunge:

  • Acting for a casting director with no experience.
  • Volunteering to write a research paper on ‘Safety Issues Affecting Girls in Europe‘.
  • Finding myself surrounded by a sea of monks for a week.

I’m constantly mixing up my trusty blindfold with my swimming goggles.

 

This time it started with an audition. Now, when I went for this, I wasn’t exactly trying to ‘get in’.

It’s a Talent Itch.

I’m certain I’m not alone in this but sometimes I feel like, because I am capable of something, I should pursue it. Just last week, I looked down at my feet and said ” Hey look at these! I have feet, huh? I want to be a dancer!’.

And guess what? I have a voice! Oh no. I have a voice.

Before I knew it, the impulse had pulled me all the way to the audition room, unprepared.

 

I motioned for the pianist to get up.

This was not an act of confidence. This was not my attempt to stand out. I honestly didn’t want to pay for the sheet music. The pianist shuffled over to a seat in the corner. I averted my eyes. He was basically naked without the piano.

Stay behind the keys, you sicko.

I performed”You make me feel so young” by Frank Sinatra. Somebody burst into the room halfway through and had the common sense to quickly leave before they could hear about any more about “springs being sprung”. Again, this song choice wasn’t to make me different. I just have a music crush on Frankie.

I waltzed out of there and moved onto my next impulse. Something odd happened, however. That pianist must have really enjoyed that little break I gave him because an email hit my inbox later that week.

I’m sorry but I don’t feel the same way about you, piano man.

The next email accepted me into the course.

 

Shit. The audition was for a singing course? This would have made more sense for me when I was younger. I had a beautiful soprano voice but I’d seen enough castration at the vets to sign myself up. I let puberty take my voice to the basement. I’m just thankful that it wasn’t dropped off on the ground floor.

That would have meant being a tenor. Take my life before I become one of those. It would also have meant I’d have the tenor mentor. The mentor that wears ferrari shoes and skrrts when he turns. Well, the skrrt thing is a blatant lie. However, he does have this routine which he calls the “classy stripper” which involves an uncomfortable five minutes of him seductively peeling off an imaginary glove.

It’s for singing practice! I swear.

Anyway, I didn’t become one of his “beautiful tenors”. No. I became a Bass.

 

The Basses. The folk who can only reach notes in the morning or with the help of some vodka. Most of the concerts are at night.

No! I’m not implying anything. You are.

The basses are the foundation. It doesn’t get too difficult for a bass. That’s why it was the worst place to be. If your foghorn voice was out of pitch, you would get a conductor’s baton through the heart. I mean that fear isn’t exactly far off. There are rumours that our conductor used to be quite adept at throwing chairs.

A temper? Why do you ask?

Rumours crowded around this man for a reason. He’s suspiciously attractive and he also showed up three days late which allowed us enough time to mass produce gossip.

“Oh! You heard that he beats the weak singers.

Well, I heard that he also beats the good singers!”

You could feel his presence when he arrived. I saw tension rippling through the room. There was a man in the door. Now, Greg is a human that was made right. Murmurs of “Daddy Greg” spread through the choir. A couple of them might have come from my own lips. The girls didn’t even like him for normal things. One was very much in love with how “straight and precise” his beard lines were.

 

Don’t judge her too harshly. The world of a singer is completely different.

The cleaning ladies must have been fucking flummoxed by the amount of lemons lying around Lavender House. The only two things that were imported to us on a daily basis were cereal and citrus. The two rungs on the food pyramid. Of course, these lemons were part of the magical “honey and lemon”. In the singing world, these are the performance enhancing drugs.

Go ahead, copper. Cuff me. I’m jacked up on fucking honey.

 It didn’t stop at drinks though. Everyone had their own stash of Fisherman’s Friends which would be handed over with a shush. Not because of illegalities. No. It’s the ‘school effect’ where if you have anything remotely edible on you and give it to someone else you have to share it with everyone. It’s a fundamental law.

 

I apparently wasn’t getting enough of my stimulants because we entered a downward spiral on Thursday.

Code Red.

All day I thought I had “fake” hay fever. Fake hayfever? Oh. You haven’t heard of the term that I made up? It’s where you have all the symptoms of hayfever but you flat-out deny that you have it. No, it’s not fucking hayfever. Who are you to even say that?

 It turned out to be a real issue. I mean it hit me when I spitting into a bin at 3 a.m. and using up all the toilet paper rations. Let me tell you that the most unpleasant feeling is blowing your nose into ripped hotel brochures. This was three days before the concert. The voice salvage began.

Drugs and hot water brought me to concert night. Yeah, hot water. The most joyless drink out there. Listen, there’s supposedly health benefits. Actually, Google back me up.

Google: Is drinking hot water good for you?

12 Unexpected Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water

Thank you. See, he has my back. Not yours.

Well, I admit that I had to have my own back on concert night. Naturally, it was in a church because the goal of all good choral groups is to ascend. Spoilers: didn’t happen for us. I was nervous. My knees were weak. Arms slightly heavy. Mo- *cough* More reactions similar to that.

Why?

I didn’t put holy water on my forehead on the way in and I thought the floor would open up beneath me.

No. It’s actually because I had developed the habit of dancing as I sung. Not just dancing. My hand was staging a mutiny. I physically couldn’t stop it from conducting along with the conductor. Greg obviously felt threatened because, earlier in the day, the tenor tutor skrrted over to me to grab my waving hand. It was not romantic. He didn’t want me stealing the show with my strangely floppy hand. Paired with the threat of paralysis from a fellow Bass, I was feeling anxious.

I’m not scared of crowds. I just really like my legs.

My solution? I bound my hands to the folder. I tied a nice hard knot around my right hand because I didn’t trust it not to be a diva. If any parent is reviewing the footage for that concert later and zooms in, they’re going to be quite scared of our choir … or annoyed.

“What the actual fuck. Our kid had to audition and they had to physically tie this guy up to get him on stage. My boy is a star. A star. He deserves to be fucking bound AND gagged.”

 

Besides that, the concert went without a hitch. Now, look up what a hitch is and laugh. Ok. I know it’s funny but wipe those tears from your eyes and listen. I feel like new experiences are the most rewarding thing you can seek out.

What’s the wise insight of the week?  The more you do things outside of your comfort zone, the more your comfort zone expands. Go out and get more comfort land and build comfort property on it. It’s worth nothing but you’ll get to write a sick blog about it.

Only I like to do that?

Shit.

 

 

 

 

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