Today I sang a German art piece (“Still vie die Nacht” by Karl Bohm), a Tom Lehrer song, and was in the chorus of a number from “The Mikado.”
I’ve sung in 5 recitals since 2005. I took voice lessons for a year before getting up there at all. Early lessons revealed odd auditory-processing problems with pitch that, thankfully, did (and still do) improve with practice.
One of the songs at my first recital was “Little Lamb,” which a young Natalie Wood sang in “Gypsy,” a movie I saw when I was 3. I couldn’t sing it without crying for the first few months of learning it because of memories connected to a trauma at that age. My voice teacher was a saint. I’d sing 8 measures, cry, and then we’d do it all over again the following week. Getting to where I could sing it in public was a victory in itself.
In fact, all of these 5 recitals have been mostly about getting up there. Performing through the quaking knees, spasming lungs, and quivering cords of stage fright. Well, yahoo, I’ve done it, I’m a trooper, yada yada.
I’m done with being Ms. Trooper. Next time, I don’t want my performance to be about being brave. I want it to be about the performance. Next time, I don’t want to just get up there.
I want to knock ’em dead.