Saturday, March 7, 2009

Facing a Fear

Have you ever faced down a fear? Maybe not a fear, necessarily, but something - well, heck - a fear. Something which won't harm you or eat you alive, literally, but could possibly eat your lunch in a figurative fashion? I did. Last night.

Back story (I know how much y'all love back story): When I was in middle school - I'd have to guess 12 or 13 years old - I was in choir at school. I attended a public school. I loved my choir teacher, Mrs. Toney, who said I had the voice of an angel. I loved everything about the class. All my life I'd wanted to be a singer.

That fall, just a couple of months into the class, our group was set to perform at a big festival our parish held every year, the Orange Festival. I was going to sing a solo. I think I was supposed to sing something patriotic. The local news atation was there, filming the festivities. Really excited, but nervous, I got up to sing. And froze. My throat completely closed up and I couldn't force one word past it. Mrs. Toney stood next to me and whispered all of the lyrics, but I couldn't sing. I wanted to. Really badly. It didn't happen.

The spring semester we changed schools. There was no musical program at my new school, other than band. No place to sing. And really? After the mortifyingly humiliating experience in front of everyone in three towns? I don't think I wanted to sing. And I didn't. Ever.

Until a few years ago, when I sang in a small church, helping out the non-existent worship team. Someone in the congregation recorded a service. I heard myself sing. And vowed never to do that publicly again.

So last night? Hunny and I went out with friends for the express purpose of finding a karaoke bar. To sing. My friend, she has a phenomenal voice. Heather, if you're reading this, your rendition of What's Up was incredible! And Hunny says we should try again by looking for hotels with karaoke.

Anyway, we managed to find a real-live karaoke bar. Bar being the operative word. After a yummy dinner, we drove to the seedy side of town (word has it we passed three gentleman's clubs directly before arriving at the bar), and signed up to sing. I don't know what I was expecting, but this was certainly an experience. The smoke in the room alone was enough to make a grown man cry. My Hunny was strong and brave and didn't cry. And it was everything I'd imagined, based on every movie and TV show I'd ever seen with a bar.

The singing, though, was not what I'd expected, even though I'd been amply warned. It was BAD. And not in a good way. Oh. My. WORD. Bad.

Guess what I sang? Go ahead, guess. And know that I was cowardly enough to take friend Heather up on her offer to sing with me. Lord knows I needed it, with the first song I chose. Bohemian Rhapsody. Yeah. Brutal.

I have no real idea how I did. Couldn't hear a thing. And we didn't stick around too long, since the DJ guy just played song after song after that, with no live performances. Disappointing. But I sang! Kinda.

So I faced a big fear this week. And lived. If I can do it, you can too.

Until I write again ...

Flea

17 comments:

Snooty Primadona said...

There have been so many over the years, it would be difficult to actually choose.

I'm one of those weirdos that loves facing things that scare me and then squash it like a bug.

I am woman... hear me roar.

And good for you! Who cares if you did well or not... you'll never see those seedy people again anyway, right? Hehehehe

Warty Mammal said...

Good for you! And making your entrance with Bohemian Rhapsody? Totally cool plus two.

asthmagirl said...

I ziplined. I still therapy for that!

But Flea... Bohemian Rhapsody? Rock on! Way to play your ace!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Therapy? Sounds like SCARE-apy to me! Bars give me the creeps -- comes from being taken to one too many as a child. Oops! Sound like I need to face that fear? Nah! The smoke would kill me . . . literally -- but I guess I'd be cured from the phobia. Oh boy! I sound nuts! I'm off to take a lavender-laced bath and read The Greenlanders.

Bravo to you, my dear! Bohemian Rhapsody -- a favorite sing of mine in High School. I dreamed of being an opera singer . . . have I ever mentioned that? LaaaaaaaH! "Too skinny," says large-diaphramed (large-large bellied) voice coach. I was crushed (and I still believe him to be wrong). Maybe I oughta hop down to the local karaoke and find out. Think? ; )

[I hear my tub running over!
~BYE!~]

Scribbit said...

Well you're amazing! I could not sing in public without fainting.

judi said...

OMG! you went to a bar in Tulsa? brave woman. You could be a super hero.
I got a "D" in choir, the teach told my mom not to let me sing alone, only in a crowded room like in church. :D

Daryl said...

BRAVA!

When we did choral auditions in high school and the choirmaster designated Alto, Tenor, Soprano, etc... I was told I was a Listener.

SIGH

Egghead said...

Ha! The last and only time I sang karaoke was at my friends bachelorette party. I was slightly tipsy and of course I did not sing alone. We all got up there and sang "Stop in the name of love". We were a white version of Diana Ross and the Supremes.

Too bad we weren't recorded. We could have been famous............

for making arses of ourselves.

MUD said...

I have been a singer most of my life. I have been in every size group from several Thousand singing the Messiah to solo's. Love it, but as I am aging I am not the singer I once was.
It is interesting that the time I thought I would be the most scared, the adrenaline was pumping so hard that I couldn't feel fear. Put yourself under triple canopy jungle about midnight and have a trip flare go off on your perimeter. I shot artillery for over an hour and finally it all calmed down. The Infantry Company Commander kept shouting for me to ge down and inside the bunker. I was up on top trying to hear and see what the hell I was doing. I was so keyed up that I didn't sleep any more that night. I had burned through all the energy in my body and had the shakes until I ate about all the food I was carrying. MUD

Daisy said...

You faced your fear and survived; good for you! I enjoy singing. I probably would have tried karaoke when I was in high school or college, but it hadn't been invented yet. Yes, I'm that old.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I sing Bohemian Rhapsody! In my livingroom with my Wii A.I. Karaoke :-) It is completely insane.

You brave girl. I had a freeze story like yours, only I froze AFTER I started the song... the poor guy accompanying me had no idea what to do. The next time I sang, a solo, after LOADS of practice, they set the piano up too far away and I couldn't hear it. I squeaked like a little mouse and it was all caught on video. So I am bowing to you for meeting this fear, I realize it was huge. Congrats!! (and when I come there, you and me in a smoky bar, singing like we don't care, ok?

Poltzie said...

Good for you Flea!!

Karen Deborah said...

I would love to hear you sing but would skip the smokey bar. You can buy a karaoke machine and have your own parties and sing along with your friends,...

jeni said...

FLEA!!!! I love it!!! You go, girlie! And Bohemian Rhapsody? Good pick! My aunt frequents karaoke bars constantly. We have to listen to her CDs every holiday. Trust me, they're HORRIBLE!! My word. Sounds like a fun night, though. Did Hunny sing too? Y'all are wild in Tulsa!! heehee

Krista said...

I love karaoke! I call it "vocal therapy." I've never sang in a bar though. The reason they have karaoke in a bar is so people can get drunk and not care what anyone else sings like. Keep having fun! I'm sure you are a fine singer!

Karen said...

I'm laughing here at the thought of you in the seedy end of town. But from what you've said you had to be the best singer there, hands down.

MIT Mommy said...

Congratulations on facing your fear. I guess I have a fear of cleaning and have been doing that all week - not nearly as impressive.

Sorry I haven't been around much. I lost a week. I'm back, sort of. I'm catching up.