Remember that time when I ended up singing in a cover band, at work, in front of 400+ employees and the exec team from our global headquarters? That was fun/terrifying.
At the time, I was grateful for my amazing bandmates’ support and patience as they coached me for my first performance in a) over a dozen years that b) wasn’t in context of a church choir where the audience has no choice but to love it or else they’ll go to Hell for being two-faced judgmental assholes. I viewed the experience as an adventure in overcoming my crippling insecurities that usually hold me hostage, and doing something far outside my comfort zone. I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when viewing the video of my performance, to note my many imperfections. A for effort, not for performance.
When I sang the 2nd time, a month later, the chosen song (Give Me One Reason, by Tracy Chapman) was better suited to my vocal skills. I discovered that I enjoyed performing: I could sing with intent, shadow the song with my emotion, and share a feeling with the audience and the band. My 3rd performance was even more freeing.
My whole life, I’ve felt like a pressure cooker, with unarticulated emotions bubbling inside me, threatening to blow off the lid of socially acceptable behaviour. This blog has certainly helped find me a voice, but there is so much more I wish I could convey that I can’t distill into words. Finally, I’d found a medium that allowed for successful non-verbal self-expression. I was addicted.
Unfortunately, my career with my work band is coming to an end, as I’ve accepted a fantastic accounting job at another company. While in many respects this new job is perhaps my dream job, I did consider turning it down, just to be able to continue singing with my dear coworkers. What’s a career when you have music?!
Last Friday, I was out with some girlfriends, bemoaning the end of my opportunities to perform with a band. My friend pointed to the band playing funky pop covers at the bar, “Vanilla, it would really make my night if you convinced them to let you sing a song with them.”
So I did.
Y’all. I’m undergoing a midlife crisis:
I want to find me a band and keep performing. Not for purposes of becoming the next pop star, but because I crave that moment of communion between myself and the other musicians and the audience.
I want to sing in bars. Me and every teenager ever. Same goals.
I have no idea how I am going to make this happen, but it’s on the “Must Do” list of 2016.