Or Fitting a Square Peg into a Round Hole.
So, October 2009 I officially embarked on a professional acting career (or at least the beginnings of one).
This week I received word that I had been cast in my first show at Seattle Musical Theatre (after a whopping WEEK without a show – the shakes were starting to set in). I thought back on the past year plus and I noticed something. Play along for a second, will you?
Shows SINCE Launch
A Streetcar Named Desire – play
The Salvation of Iggy Scrooge – musical
A Taste of Honey – play (with music – I sang one song)
HMS Pinafore – musical
The Grapes of Wrath – play (with music – although I did next to no singing)
The Last 5 Years – musical
Eleemosynary – play
Don Giovanni – musical
Do you see it?? Weird, right???
I am first and foremost an actress so the realization that MORE THAN HALF of the shows I have done in the last year have required me to sing came as something of a shock. Even though I have worked very hard to overcome the fear of the whole mess, knowing that I get cast in musicals as often as I do was surprising. I have spent a lot of time lately evaluating my career path and somehow this little fact had escaped me.
I am getting better – less neurotic (honestly, this is NOTHING compared to how I used to be), auditioning for “bigger” projects, trying harder material – so in time these little patterns won’t be blog/alarm fodder but in the meantime I appreciate your support as I try to wrap my head around this all.
Now, of course, that I have noticed the pattern, the ridiculous OCD part of me is probably going to try to maintain it – or analyze it to death. I do think though, that having noticed this pattern, I need to acknowledge my place in the world of singers and not hide behind what I think myself to be or not be.
I often wonder when this “refusal” to see myself as a singer started. Was it when I tore a vocal cord? Was it is the voice teacher in college who claimed to hate the sound of my voice? Was it years of following AMAZING singers at auditions? Was it 20 years of singing lessons? Was it getting “old?”
I am not sure. All I know is that somewhere along the way, I lost it. I lost my confidence, my vocal mojo. Damn it, I want it back. I am sick of being crazy and neurotic about it. I am sick of caring quite so much what other people think of my voice.
My voice is what it is. It isn’t perfect or “pretty” or powerful. It is most often described as . . . interesting. You know what? Carol Channing had an interesting voice. Ethel Merman. Bernadette Peters. All have interesting voices.
MILLIONS of people have pretty voices. What are they doing? Singing in churches? Leading roles in community theatre shows?
I think I don’t want pretty. I think I find being interesting more . . . interesting.
Sometimes “interesting” will get you farther than pretty. I am just going to run with THAT one.