Thought of the day: As we settle into January (and it's new weather format) I have a few things to say on the subject of fear. Apart from some obvious uses of fear in our world, in our country (most recently the Harper government attempting to cast a shadow on the Idle No More movement and discredit Chief Spence by releasing that Attawapiskat audit early is out of, you guessed it, FEAR!), and closer to home, personally I feel fear plays an enormous part in a person's creative self.
Since I was very little I wanted to be a performer. It scared me half to death, but something inside of me (and sometimes my mom, outside of me) pushed me onto that stage for fear that, if I didn't I would never be happy and always regretful. Actually this did happen one time, I was supposed to recite a poem for a festival and I let my fear take over. I made my mom take me home before we even made it through the door, and I never want to feel that feeling again. I could feel it coming from my mom too, I think she was disappointed or at least frustrated with my stubbornness, but I was really paralyzed with fear.
Since then, I continue to believe that if something that is interesting to me scares me that much, its probably worth doing, if only to alleviate the energy that piles up when being anxious about it. Since then I have continued pointing my career aspirations towards that scary wooded area that isn't lit. Which brings me to the present moment. I find myself in Sondheim's Into The Woods, a musical with District Theatre Collective.
The key word in this is "musical". I don't do musicals.
I've done a lot of things that have been scary for me. Aerial dancing, clowning, producing theatre, etc...
I love singing, I sing all the time at home, I have done little songs in shows I've produced (mostly silly, joky, simple stuff), but I don't do musicals.
To better clarify the point of this, I have stopped auditioning for musicals and have adopted a "no musical" policy in my auditioning circuits because it never goes well. In fact, it usually turns out awful. All of my audition nerves live inside my throat and show themselves when attempting to sing, for people, who might give me a job. I have voice training FOR SPEAKING, and music training FOR INSTRUMENTS, but I DO NOT have singing training.
Isn't this just perfect? Somehow the universe has thrown me into this scary thing in order to face my fears.As the musical director of the show said, when I decided I couldn't sing "that high" and that the show director told me I could just speak these lyrics, "I think you're just scared". YES! Nailed it! I was/am just scared. It doesn't make me a better singer to admit that. But, what it did do was fuel my desire to not let fear take over. I am practicing my little bits of singing every day and am getting better at hitting the notes. By no means will I be an amazing singer (like the singers in the show, GO SEE INTO THE WOODS IN SONDHEIM FEST!) , but at least I won't have to live with the feeling that fear won. It's only fear because I haven't experienced it yet.
Now all I have to do is sing, for people, who have paid money to see the show. GULP!
(Please check out all of the talented people involved in Sondheimfest this year.)