authenticity · community · growth · hope · singing · theater · vulnerability





Yesterday, I was given the cosmic and delightful (sarcasm)
opportunity to put that day’s blog message into action: I was asked if I was
coming out to spend time with folks. … But I really had to go home and watch Netflix, you know. Not that
I have anything I’m particularly watching at the moment, not that you can put
that on my tombstone (“Excellent t.v. watcher, Achiever of many
episodes”). But the alternative was to spend an hour with people.
But, health won out. (Damned health.) I went, I smiled, I listened, I shared, I had conversations with people. Netflix won’t really converse with me. It’s selfish
that way.
I got the chance to hear what was going on with a
friend and offer some suggestions, and she got to hear me share what’s going
on with me and offered me some help, too.
Again, Netflix is really loathe to help me out. The bastard.
I also got to notice that I’ve gained a few readers in the
past week who’ve gotten to read things about me that some of my closest friends
don’t know about, and that … well, that’s okay. It’s what this, the blog, is
here for. Not to “connect” with people in a complete way, but to offer
something. To offer a catharsis, a container, a mirror into their own
experience. To hear someone say – or read someone write – about what have been issues
or concerns or triumphs in your own life is to get to feel you’re/we’re
not alone. Our experience as humans is not isolated; we’re not as different as
we think we are when trapped alone in our heads.
I’m grateful for that, for this opportunity. And I know it can be intense. For anyone who’s joined us
this week, it’s not always so dark. But, it is likely always as honest. Don’t
worry, I don’t tell you everything. You don’t in fact get the all of me by
reading me, and we both know that. But it’s a good thread between us. And I get
to feel cathartized, too. Not that this is therapy or anything, but that I’m
putting my voice out there in a way that feels relatively safe, but also authentic.
On voice, I emailed an old voice teacher yesterday to ask if
she still gives private lessons. I was in her voice class when I was at Mills, and
earlier in the week, I got the message from Theater Bay Area that applications
for the General Auditions for the South Bay are open. And, you have to note on the application if
you think you might sing. You don’t have
to sing if you check that box, but you have to indicate if you might so they can group you with the other
singers in that day.
I applied to the Generals last year, and didn’t get in. But
I have real headshots this time, and two more credits, and possibly a third
that I can add before I send off my resume. I certainly have enough gumption and
the substance to try this time, especially if I had even less to my name last
I was talking yesterday with a friend about singing. About
how I know the voice is there, but I hide it all the time. Even when I was in the band, I hid it. I didn’t
sing to the best and fullest of my ability, and I also don’t even know what the
limits of my ability are. I want to sing. I’ve always said it. Or thought it,
so most of you didn’t know anyway.
It’s secret. Private. It’s tender, is what it is. It’s the
most tender dream I have, honestly. And I think that’s what makes it the most
protected and least acknowledged one. For me, singing has no place to hide, and
it’s an outpouring of your soul – or it can be. As I know well, it can not be that very easily, and no one would know the
difference but me. They’ll just think that’s what I’ve got.
It’s like when I work at 80% most of the time at my job. They don’t know. They just think that’s what I have to
offer, but the reality is that I hold back, in that case because I’m resentful,
entitled and begrudging. But I digress!
Or I don’t. It’s the same side of the coin of not participating
in life fully, of not offering myself fully. They’re different angles toward
that, but they’re both about self-protection and -preservation.
Tender shoots of hope always need a little more room and
space and care. For me, they’ve needed to be hidden so as not to be trampled by
the onslaught of life. But by keeping this thing small, myself small, by
harboring it and mentally reinforcing it as a tender and sensitive and fragile
thing, it will always remain that way.
A redwood starts out the same way, you know. As tender as a
sprig. But if you take the cage off of the plant, allow it air and sunshine and
nourishment. Soon it won’t be a small and tender, fragile thing anymore. Soon
it will be able to weather the strokes of life. By letting what I’ve carried as
a secret and a calling out of its confinement … I can allow it to become what
it’s always needed to be: Strong. 

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