Reclaiming My Voice!
Well, this week I was thrust forward by my own doing! I've explained in previous blogs that I am boldly going out of my comfort zone to combat my fears about my creative self...re-creating new stories and looking at my old limiting beliefs that kept me where I am.
I am a singer and have sung most of my life in the privacy of my own home. Well, not exactly true. When I was 13, I started taking voice lessons and continued until I was about 40. My first voice teacher ended up being a famous opera singer. Then there was the Broadway Voice Coach, and my last teacher was an accomplished Jazz singer. I've sung in musical reviews, mostly open mic, and karaoke.
I have a deep fear of performing onstage, which is not unusual for any performer. But of course my story is different.
This past Wednesday here in Costa Rica, I went for my first voice lesson in 18yrs. I really didn't know what to expect, but I just decided to show up and see what happened. I did listen to old cassettes of me singing scales and fooled around a bit the day before. So I had some sense of what remained of my technique. I was surprised that my breath control was in pretty good shape!
I drove myself to class (another breakthrough), leaving behind my fear and anxiety. That is a major feat in itself for someone with PTSD. I got to the lesson a few minutes late because of a slow truck, but I was even ok with that!
Inside I met a very nice young Costa Rican man with his native demeanor of calm and ease.
We went in the studio and on the walls were pictures of Blondie and Jimi Hendrix! Right then and there I knew this was the right place for me.
What a great lesson! I warmed up and sang like it was no big deal. Of course I couldn't expect to be perfect. My voice sounds pretty good and the teacher was pleased with my breath control. I had fun picking songs with him to work on. I also confessed my stage fright. This beautiful man said, "Well, we will sometimes practice in the stage room." He took me into this room that was filled with instruments on a stage and with a mic. I closed my eyes for a second and said, "Wow!" to myself.
Later in the day when Jess and I were on our way to get our daughter from school, I was hit with some clarity about my stage fright. I realized that all my life I have been so hard on myself in every voice lesson, practice and performance...constantly criticizing and beating myself up. Now, of course how could I ever feel comfortable on stage, when I bring all that shit up on stage with me?! Yes, this is the lightning bolt that hit!! And I am most sure there is more to come.....
Love and Peace!