Risk Day 22: Embrace my Inner Gleek

Being sick all week has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to catch up on Glee. Having done theatre for so many years and still having the majority of my friends be involved in theatre, you can imagine the backlash I’ve gotten for not watching this show.

I used to love to sing. I didn’t really think of myself as having any ability until high school when I auditioned for the musical and was told that I had a pretty good base of talent. Because of drama, gymnastics, forensics, orchestra and student government (yeah, I was that kid), I didn’t really have time to join chorus. I think we had a show choir but I honestly can’t remember. But I did love to sing and secretly wanted to be a part of it.

When I got to college, I was able to take vocal lessons as part of my curriculum and I jumped at the chance. But it became clear rather quickly that my voice didn’t really match my look. I supposedly had a large range ( I was able to hit a High C in my first few lessons) and a bit of funk, but my look of the corky, cutsy, funny girl didn’t fit that. I had somehow gotten it into my head that if I were going to pursue a career as an actor, then I needed to focus on only the things that would enhance my career. Since I didn’t see myself becoming a musical theater star, I dropped the singing, even though I loved it.

Also for some reason singing is unbelievably exposing to me. If your out of tune or mess up on the words, it’s very difficult to cover up. Deep down, I didn’t want to explore it because I was afraid of looking foolish.

Since deciding to not pursue theatre as a career, I’ve sort of shunned the business completely. I think I needed a full break, even going so far as to not attend shows for awhile. And I think in making my big break, I also gave the impression that I was done, so done that any foray back into the career would be met with, “I knew you couldn’t get away…” chiding.

So in watching Glee this week, in finding myself belting numbers along with Rachel Berry and seeing if I could harmonize with Finn, I realized how much I missed singing. I really love it. And while I’m not afraid of a karaoke machine, I haven’t ever attended an open mic and have not received proper training since leaving school. And watching the Madonna episode, I realized that I had boxed myself up too much. I always figured that if I was going to sing, that I would do so in the context of a show. But this is my year of stripping away the limits I put on myself and this is no different.

I have a few friends who take regular lessons so I called one up and got the info for where she goes. While it’s a bit expensive and I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford it, at least I’m admitting my desire and seeing what I can do about it. I’m not sure where this risk will go, but at least I’ve taken the first step.

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