How about that?
When a local church handed me their newcomers packet about a month or so back, I found myself casually flipping through the pages. I stopped in the middle of the page- forgetting the surrounding text or even the context of the brochure- to stare at this. The face of, I assume, a very cheerful choir member. But my assumptions cannot override what seems to be obvious- that she is actually yelling angrily at the top of her lungs. I’ve shared a good laugh or two about the photograph and now have it sitting on my desk for motivation. If I slack off, Member X will set me straight.
When I think about it, I’m sure this is probably a fairer portrait of a singer than that of me inside my vehicle with un-tinted windows. When I was in choir as a small child, I just remember complaining to my mother that I always felt like I was going to pass out when I left. My vocal training up until that point was akin to chanting the alphabet while blowing out birthday candles at the same time. Although, the alphabet was more generous at times than the Hebrew or Latin text we sang.
I love singing. But nearly every public singing stunt where I’ve re-debuted by capabilities has made me reevaluate my ‘gifts from the spirit.’ In middle school, I sang the most painful version of the duet between Monica and Brandy ever know (on stage). It was a cover over the actual song, so I guess it was more like a double duet. A small crows of probably forty five students who elected to watch the skit instead of doing something else academic were horrified. I should also mention that it was the ‘intermission act,’ completely irrelevant to the skit itself.
I hid my vocal talents throughout all of high school and in college was finally able to set them on fire again during a sorority recruitment skit, losing bids from only those girls sitting in the front row. When my sing-songy voice was suffering after a few rounds, I was instructed just to lower my voice and chant for the remainder of the groups. More recently, I found myself at a karaoke bar attempting what (I swore) was my no-fail song, Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You.” The combination of a Stoli Vanilla Gingerale depressant and an asthma inhaler stimulant resulted in a tweaked out performance that was great for… fifteen seconds. It was also not Christmas.
But something tells me that if given the chance to belt it out in a local church choir, I’ve found my place to shine.