I use to be afraid to sing. Growing up there was music all around me. In my home, my mother sang, my grandfather sang, and my grandmother sang. Me? I was scared to sing. I knew I could because I sang to myself often, but singing in public was an entirely different ball game. At one point, I even quit the church choir where my mother was the director. So how did I end up singing at places such as Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center and relying on my singing voice to pay my bills? Beats me. God is just good that way.
I began a formal study of music during my tenth grade year of high school. It was something I was just trying out for fun. I wanted to ultimately be a journalist, but singing after school could be fun, right? I had no idea what I was in store for. My first year of performing in my high school’s choir introduced me to a world where performing in public happened almost on a weekly basis. There were even competitions to participate in. I got so wrapped up in the thrill and enjoyment of performing that by my senior year in high school I was involved in two different choirs and two different vocal ensembles. I had also discovered my solo voice and was performing and competing as a soloist often. I had even decided journalism wasn’t for me. I could sing in choirs FOREVER! I was officially headed to college as a music major.
When did I get so comfortable singing, though? Here’s the answer: NEVER. I was still a frightened lamb in the face of stepping up and opening my mouth on my lonesome. I had simply become a better actor. I never voiced my fears, but I did almost lose my breath and nerve every time I had to sing. After a solo, you’d often see my legs or hands shaking. I’d smile, however, commit, and hold my breath as the first notes exited my mouth. Once those first notes got out (and it sounded decent) I’d slightly relax.
So, 10 years past high school where am I now? Singing for Disney, but still a nervous wreck. I still hold my breath before every first note. I still pray before every show opening. Auditioning is the most stressful and nerve wrecking thing I’ve ever encountered. I still get scared to sing. However, I trust myself more and I trust my talent more. I’m still afraid, but isn’t every performer? My talent has grown a lot over the years, but I’m still growing and still learning, and fright is just a part of the process.