I have very few secrets… anyone who has known me for more than a week knows I LOVE to sing. And for the most part, I would even say I am a decent singer. I will never be a pro, but generally I have good range, projection and musicality. But what I really love is the way I feel when singing or creating harmony.
I hum along to everything (usually a third above or below!!) and am particularly fond of any dreamy ballad played on the radio, playlist, stereo, elevator, or phone queue. In the confines of my car or the shower I am fearless in testing the limits of clashing and resolving harmonies. The way I feel when the sound is beautiful is beyond expression, and the self- love, forgiveness and room for growth and learning that comes in these times of free-flowing experimentation when the sounds are ‘less than beautiful’ is boundless. When I am alone, that is.
So I am sharing one small secret (not so secret anymore) – I have anxiety about singing (harmony or otherwise) in front of other people. Singing with other people is not an issue, but as soon as someone is listening… I become irrationally and uncontrollably nervous.
So when I was telling a story to Beverley Elliott about hearing her song “Little Boat” sung as a 3 woman chorale AKA the Be Good Tanyas or the Dixie Chicks… a celebration of the feminine energetic response to today’s “suck it up” culture and she said “You should come sing that with me when I am on stage at Friday Night Live this week.” I told her that scared me more than she would ever know.
But I would do it.
Because her song- the song that I was extolling the virtues and wisdom of – told me to be strong.
Because if I believed I was not good enough, I would never be good enough in other areas of life.
So as the closing of her show, she called me up. We had not rehearsed. She didn’t know me from Adam (called me Shelley a number of times- no harm in that, my own mother rarely called me by my real name either). She didn’t even know if I could sing (or not), but that was not what mattered- for her, she was seeking harmony, too.
I sang with her.
It wasn’t terrible – I pooched the harmony here and there…but it resolved and sounded beautiful often enough that I was left with that amazing feeling I get. I was not afraid, only irrationally nervous.
So- thank you Beverley for the kindness in letting some random gal share the stage with you, in the depth of all her mediocrity. Not knowing what you were asking of me but trusting that it would just work out says a great deal about your heart.
I will never be a pro- but I will always love how I feel when the harmony is beautiful. Can’t wait for the next choir rehearsal!
(My husband, Bruce, caught some of the act on his camera- if you are brave enough to watch it, CLICK HERE and if you want to check out music by Beverley Elliott, including her new CD ‘Sunday Morning’, CLICK HERE)