Sunday, September 4, 2011

Singing The Truth

Had a great day today at the Tanglewood jazz fest in the Berkshires, MA. We spent the morning listening to two bands (one we loved; the other was a bit weird and experimental), then went to here an Afro-funk singing group called "Singing The Truth" this evening. They were amazing. They had everyone on their feet and really interacted well with the audience.

This made me think of how much I enjoy performing. I've always been shy, though less so in my adult years. My ultimate dream -- which is more of a fantasy -- is to have the lead in a Broadway show. I'm a decent singer, but I can't act or dance, and I'm probably too old at 37, so realistically, this isn't something that's going to work out.

Still, I've found other ways to satisfy my inner ham: I love doing karaoke and I played flute with a band. Being up on stage and having an audience cheer for me was the greatest feeling. I liked making people happy and it made me feel good to know that they appreciated my talent.

As much as I like performing, though, I often have trouble letting go, especially when I'm in large groups. I'm not what you'd call the life of the party, especially since I don't drink often. Even before I was diagnosed with diabetes (now I can't drink at all), I couldn't stand having more than one drink. Believe me, I tried. I tried in college like everyone else did, but after about two wine coolers, I'd get a burning sensation in my stomach and my entire arm would go numb. My dad is also unable to drink so I seriously think it's a genetic defect. So I'd have my one wine cooler and call it a night.

A good many of my close friends aren't big drinkers either, but some are, as well as some of my co-workers and I'll admit, I often feel left out. When they're sober, I fit in fine, but when they start to get drunk and they're all giggly over some inane thing, I don't get it. It's as if everyone were handed the rules to a game or some subcultural and I never got the memo. I envy them for being able to let loose -- and part of me gets angry with them for entering a "world" that I don't have a pass to, especially now. I have a great imagination and can act silly without much alcohol, but I know it's different when you've had a few.

Anyway, when I perform, this is MY chance to become that different person and to let myself go. As I was listening to these women tonight, I was thinking about that and how I really need to start some new project that involves performing. I'm thinking of maybe recording a new album with some vocal tracks. I put out a flute album a few years ago, but this would be a new challenge. I'd also like to sing live. It's one thing to do karaoke in front of a few friends, but it's different when you have to interact with a pianist and orchestra, and the crowd isn't necessarily friendly.

I have a long way to go until I lose enough weight to no longer be considered obese, but I can work on my confidence along the way. I may not be able to go crazy at parties, but I can still stand out in a different sense.

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