Last night I spent a joyous evening at a friend’s home doing something I haven’t done in quite some time – singing just for the fun of it.
Now, if you know me, you know that I love to sing, always have and always will. Sometimes in the shower, sometimes on a stage, if I ever get to perform in the cross-gender production of SOUTH PACIFIC I’ll get to sing in a shower on a stage, but it’s been a while since I sang with a bunch of friends just for the sheer joy of it in a good old fashioned sing-a-long.
Recently, I’ve sung in some shows, but they were to entertain. And if you’ve ever been in a musical you know that you have to work really hard for weeks beforehand to make the few minutes you’re on stage look carefree and easy. Yes it can be joyful to be in the spotlight, but there’s a lot that goes into a production before the curtain rises and stress, nerves, the unrealistic desire to be absolutely perfect, as well as backstage drama can get in the way. As a result, some of the sheer joy of singing a beautiful melody can be lost. You can be so worried about remembering your lyrics that you forget to tell a story through your song because in the back of your head you’re worried that you may go up on your lyrics or turn eight bars of music into four and then you’ll hear the nasty, condescending musical conductor go off on you and scream at you in front of the entire orchestra, cast, and audience to let you know that you ruined the dress rehearsal, made an utter fool of yourself, should transfer to Girl’s High, and have absolutely no business being on the stage. Actually people like her have no business being on the stage, but that’s another story.
This story is about not having to deal with insecure, unprofessional people like that because last night I got to sing in my friend’s apartment with friends who are all secure and professional – what a difference! We laughed, we sang, we drank, we forgot lyrics, we hit wrong notes, we drank some more, we remembered how much we enjoy being with each other, we impressed ourselves by still being able to hit the high notes, we didn’t self-implode when we didn’t hit the high notes, we were surprised to find out the quiet neighbor possesses a gorgeous, rich voice, and we realized the joy of singing doesn’t come from trying to be the perfect singer, but from being so comfortable with your friends by your side that it’s okay to sing imperfectly.
So thank you my friends for bringing some real music back into my life and for reminding me that being in the company of good friends is all the entertainment you need.