A Dream Come True

in Silver Bloggers10 months ago

51064518_2431791373562190_5795030374119636992_n.jpg

Years ago, nearly twenty, I started auditioning for community theater plays, and I got cast in a few. Then I started auditioning for musicals. Over and over again I auditioned, and left knowing I would not get the part. I had totally flubbed all the musical auditions because I was terrified, literally terrified, to sing where people could hear me. Not a good thing if you want to be in a musical.

But whenever I saw someone on stage, belting out a tune while acting, I would think "That must feel so good! I wish I could sing."

The day finally came when I decided to learn to sing. I was in my mid-fifties.

Five or more years of weekly voice lessons later, I still could not land a part with a solo. Thinking that I needed some performance experience before my next audition, I got up to sing at a small jazz club's open mic. That first time, I sang too quietly, had no idea how to use the mic so that there was a lot of feedback, and ordered a shot of tequila when I was done, I was so freaked out. But that was the beginning. Since then, I have sung often at open mics, mostly jazz tunes, and I finally know how to keep an audience interested. Basically, the trick is to enjoy the sounds you are making yourself, and to let the song sing itself. Sounds so simple, but it took me over ten years of diligently going to lessons and getting up to sing in public to learn how.

Last October, I was cast in a play, Sleepy Hollow, and was given a duet to sing. I managed to pull that one off.

I was in another musical, Give My Regards To Broadway, this past weekend. There are not a lot of parts in plays for little old ladies, and this play was no exception. I ain't no chorus girl! But the producer and director really wanted me in the play, so they wrote me in. And they gave me a solo to sing, I Can't Give You Anything But Love. A jazz tune!!

They let me figure out how to integrate a jazz tune into a play with several patriotic tunes, such as Yankee Doodle Dandy, You're a Grand Old Flag, and of course, Give My Regards to Broadway.

This is the first time I ever had a solo in a musical.

My character in this play was pretty much up to me, because she's not really in the play. I got to goof around and come up with my character's reason for being there, and breaking out into a jazz tune, myself. There were a couple lines to suggest that my character, Judy as stage manager, wanted to be in a musical, but the director would not put her on the stage because he needed her on crew.

When my big scene came up, and the music started, I began as if my having to sing was unexpected, that it was my first time singing in public, and that I was terrified.

I started by singing too quietly. I made a gesture to suggest that someone in the audience had told me to sing louder, and I then sang too loudly, producing a bit of feedback. Then Judy shook out her anxiety, got into the groove with a smile, went on to sing beautifully, and ended with a bang on the final line "I can't give you anything but love." I even choreographed the second half, and was up on that stage, all by myself, singing and dancing and rocking the house!

My character's dream had come true.

So had mine.

image.png

I do not have a single picture to show you of this play! So the thumb is one of me as the Duchess of Cornwall giving my son Richard III a good hard shove, and was taken by Diana Green.

Sort:  

Congratulations delightedly on this role, which is so much in keeping with what you have experienced before. How wonderful and refreshing to hear that. I can well relate to this longing to sing but not being able to. Your step to take lessons is encouraging. I once made a small attempt to take private singing lessons, but was put off right from the first meeting with the teacher. Maybe, someday. I'm still in my early fifties ;)

I am very proud of myself, I must say. It's been a dream a long time coming for me. As for singing teachers, I went through four of them before I found the one who was for me, a great jazz singer songwriter piano player, David Budway. It was in his club that I first sang, and where I learned how to perform. By then, I had some singing chops, but the performance chops were what I needed to actually get up in public to sing. So I got to sing, at the mic I had learned on, in the room I had learned in, with the accompanist I learned from. It was a gift.

So where have you been woman? I've missed your brilliant posts!

Gifts are meant to be accepted :) Yes, it's something I would be proud of too, for sure. To end up on stage, you need a good voice that carries the audience along. You've done it in a remarkably short time, if I may say so. Considering that you certainly haven't given your energy to that alone for the last twenty years. Well, I may have a different sense of time ahem. LOL

When I hear "club" I get a little melancholy. I've been out of the culture for so long and I can't think of any good clubs here. I love life music and wonder why there's anything like that left on the streets elsewhere. Here in my city, it's not a given. I'd have to do better research, though, I think.
How nice of the club owner to allow you to work on your performance skills. That's like the veil to a bride (I know, not a good comparison).

Thanks for asking. The woman has been busy preparing to open a youtube channel - I've been dedicated to tailoring and videotaping the work etc. - there is so much to learn with this damn editing software.

You also had voice lessons with an actor from the TV series "Sopranos," right?

No no Vinnie taught acting. He's a singer too though. Ilearned a lot from him. It's funny, but the whole of both singing and acting is to be genuine. We take years of lessons just to be genuine. There's a lesson in that somewhere.

YAY!! Well done! I love how you stuck to it. That's amazing. What a fun part and that it was your dream come true. I love plays. But singing? No ways. Actually that's not true. I did audition. Once only. Ever. My best friend also auditioned. And, woah, does she have a voice! I guess I should've stuck with the acting part and left her with all the singing. You are such an inspiration

My first audition was traumatic too, so scary and so preposterously bad! I couldn't even squeak out the tune. Embarrassing to say the least, but it did not stop me from trying, again and again. Now, I cannot wait to sing on stage.

How wonderful that your determination and perseverance can be appreciated by so many. I hope you get to fulfill your dream in the limelight for many years to come

Well done you, that's awesome.
I love to sing too, but tend to sing very quietly, unless I'm alone and then I belt it out lol.
I'm very inspired xxxxxx

Thank you love! I am very happy that I can do this now. Commanding the stage is a major rush!!! Just being confident singing anywhere is really cool too. I used to belt it out only in the shower, the car, or my empty house. Now I need to get that confidence while fiddling. That still scares the crap out of me!

 10 months ago  

Congratulations @owasco on having achieved your dream, it feels so good to be able to do what you want.

It sure does! Thanks for stopping by.

Congratulations!! That sounds like such a fun experience <3 Liberating, too, I should imagine. I think it's neat they gave you the creative freedom to decide what happened to your character, I imagine it adds to the experience something unique. Well done, and here's to many more!!

Oh it does indeed add to the experience! I got to use all my skills, choreography, singing, acting, and directing myself. I've never directed anything, but the success of this one song has me thinking maybe it's time for me to try my hand at that. A one act play. Directing is so much work.

Hey, that's awesome! Good for you! That's a big thing to do. Sad for us there are no pictures, but great for you for having the perseverance to do it!

Thanks! Pictures might surface yet. And I am proud of myself. Feels really good. Can't wait for the next one.

That's excellent! Community theatre is awesome. Good for you!

This is so awesome, Congrats on getting a part in the play. I could never do it. I do not even like to talk to a crowd.

lol, I was a dancer way back in the day, and developed a love of the stage without having to say anything. Once I couldn't dance much anymore, I decided to try acting - how hard could it be? I'll tell ya, it's really hard!

I can imagine how hard it must be. I have anxiety thinking about it.

 10 months ago  

It must take loads of courage to get up on to that stage @owasco! But your dream came true, a good lesson to all of us that it's never too late!
The show must go on, not so, enjoy!
It's great meeting you, Duchess of Cornwall :)

Yeah, I'm very happy with myself having done this. I hope there will be more opportunities. I just wish there were a Shakespeare troupe in these sticks I now live in, but alas, there is no Shakespeare for about 60 miles, too far for me to travel for rehearsals. I love Shakespeare.

How wonderful – a dream come true indeed!

No film, no video, no audio - no, no, no!
But you describe it so well, playing the part of a rube called to solo in the spotlight, flubbing at first, then rising to the occasion. I can imagine it.
To take up a new hobby in our middle age (50s) and persist after several failures: is this something you learned from your spinster Aunt Jane, or is it a uniquely @owasco thing? You inspire me. I could try to learn Spanish, even though I've passed age 60! Really, I could...
And I could dust off some latent "talents" of my youth, and build on what one was.
I love the producer and director who had the wisdom to create a part just for you.
And what the heck: we need MORE parts for gray-haired ladies.
Silver Bloggers... we are golden. :)

What is that one latent talent from your youth?

It was really a fabulous experience for me. I've always loved the stage, but to sing, dance and act all at the same time, the only person on the stage? That was phenomenal. I thought just once in my life would be enough, but I can't wait to do it again!