I Feel Like Shit, I Think I’ll Sing
*This is reprise of a popular post from November of last year, so it will be new to many of you. Enjoy your weekend!
Standing and staring at my naked reflection in the Nordstrom’s dressing room mirror (that in its previous life was a circus fun house mirror.) I’m cringing under that hideous fluorescent lighting that is so bright you could preform neurosurgery, yet somehow, it still manages to cast perfect shadows on every lump, bump and divot my thighs possess; I suppress the urge to cry as a Cadillac sized lump forms in my throat.
I am not trying on swimsuits, although that form of torture is just as necessary an evil.
I’m standing with a pile of Spanx at my feet, racked with waves of intense vulnerability even though I’m the only one in the room. Hell, who am I kidding? I’m a tougher self critic than a thousand Joan Rivers’.
But everyone can relate to that…right?
Oh, what about singing alone on stage?
Is that vulnerable enough?
Under the unforgiving gaze of a spotlight on a pitch black stage, I’m positive everyone in the front row can see my lips trembling…
Deeeeep breath…can they smell my flop sweat?
But all of this is my own damn fault.
When spring had sprung back in 2010 and I realized, shit,
who am I now that I don’t have a job, let alone a career?
Life appeared black and white to me, drained of all color.
I fell into a funk. it was deeper than a funk actually, it was my own personal, dark swirling edie of despair.
During that long summer, I would sit at the computer in my pajamas at two in the afternoon (something I NEVER do unless I’m ridiculously ill, in which case I don’t troll the internet, I watch I LOVE LUCY reruns) and I would search the World Wide Web for something to make me happy.
I’d spend hours watching silly cat videos, and babies laughing at tearing paper.
What brings me joy? I would ask myself.
Myself thought the question was rhetorical, so it just kept putting different searches into Google.
What makes me happy, besides what I’ve done all these years?
Who AM I without that?
Singing used to make me happy, I thought one day, remembering the ancient history of that time long, long ago, before I turned 30.
MUSICAL THEATRE ADULT WORKSHOP
I had sung and done theatre from the age of about 7 until I turned 30.
That was the day I became a grown up.
Better said, it was the day I realized I wanted to live above the poverty level. I wanted to have more than $50 in my my bank account.
I wanted to see the world, AND I also realized that if I worked as long and hard at something else, Anything else, I could be a success.
So I did, and I was.
20ish years later,
What’s a girl to do?
I decide to sing again.
Cause THAT’S what people in dark swirling eddies of despair do.
They make GREAT decisions AND they break into song.
I hadn’t sung a note since quitting all those years ago, my husband, having met me in my 40’s, didn’t even know that side of me.
But the fear that came up when I thought of getting back on stage, was different than the fear I had been experiencing around the loss of the store.
It felt familiar, like an old friend somehow.
And the pounding of my heart and the stage fright,they brought me back to life.
So I hit SEND on the application, and left it up to the Universe.
Six months later, as a Christmas present, I got an email back.
They were doing CHICAGO, and was I still interested?
Hell NO! CHICAGO!!! Really!?
I can’t dance, and I hadn’t sung since Jesus was a boy.
And those skimpy little costumes? I’m over fifty.
FORGET IT Universe. Nice try. Jeez.
I just want to ease back in, stick out my toe, not dive off the deep end.
Above is a picture my talented sister took during the show.
That’s me in the middle, I’m Velma.
So…you’re starting to get me now huh?
I can’t do anything half way. When I jump…I jump!
See that woman?
No more black and white, back to a Technicolor life.
That’s a picture of me, Janet, finding her bliss.
*much love to Amanda,Jules,Mark and Jeremy for their immense talent and endless patience