Monday, March 5, 2012

A Case of the New College Experience Nerves

I attended a musical event at my college one day and saw a young lady and a musical conductor on the stage doing a musical number. It was an awesome show. That image of the two on stage always remains in my mind. I wanted to be a part of something like that and decided that it was something I would one day pursue. I claimed it without even knowing that I would be in front of that grand piano singing soon.

A few months later, I was coming from one of my evening classes and I saw the music conductor. We didn’t really know each other at the time but I decided that it was important for me to introduce myself. Yet, I didn't say hello or give him my name or anything. Instead, I walked up to him and said, “I want to sing.”

He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “what?” I don't blame him. We didn't even know each other. But still, I knew I wanted to sing and so, I responded, “I want to sing.” I didn’t even know his name then, but I told him of some of the things I do, gave him my card and told him to give me a call and he told me that he would, even though he does not really want to do anything musical at the school anymore. Yet, he asked me some of the artists I like to listen to and I told him and he seemed impressed.
He never called and I saw him a few weeks later and he said, he still had my card and would call me soon.  At that point, I figured he would not be calling me but then finally, he did. And that is how I became a member of the Medgar Evers College Jazz Ensemble.
Professor Mitchell has pushed me in a promising way musically and I am so thankful that I decided to take a chance on my own talent. I am even more thankful that someone else decided to take a chance on me. We rehearsed a few times and were scheduled to perform together for the first time at the President’s Club Graduation dinner. 

This post was inspired by a writing prompt featured on Mama's Losin it Blog.  The prompt said to write about a time when I got the case of the nerves and this is just one of the many times. I was very nervous about this event for a few reasons. The only time I ever spend at my school is when I have a class and not much beyond that.   I worried about how my classmates would receive me, because I never sang at my school before, even though I sang at many other places and on many stages.  But the fear just stayed with me.
I have a problem. When I get nervous and I get on stage to sing, I shake a little bit as if I have the shingles. I’ve sang in front of large crowds with over five hundred people before and even still, there are times that the nervousness is just there in me. It happens at church sometimes. Not even sure why when I always sing there, but sometimes it just happens. I was afraid that it would happen in front of my classmates.
A few days before, I went to get an outfit for the event. People always say that a singer should dress in black to look professionally presentable. I tried on a few dresses. But then this sexy blue dress really caught my eye. It is odd that when I tried it on, I felt like a totally different person. And so, I decided that I needed to get that blue dress thinking it would help me to defeat the nervousness. And guess what, it did.
Everyone was dressed in their nice, black, elegant and classy attire and I came out in this bright blue dress and it seemed pretty silly of me. But, it made me warm up to the room because I knew that if I was gonna be the odd ball on stage, I should have the attire to go with it. I got so comfortable with the crowd and it was great. Just as I was about to belt out the dedication song to all the graduates, "since we are like family now let me get comfortable" and I took off my shoes. The crowd loved that idea and started clapping and snickering with me. That action actually helped the words of Etta James’ “At Last” come out not so bad. I'm just glad it didn't include the shaking. LOL!

Since then, the Medgar Evers Jazz Ensemble has performed together a few times as a unit and the experience has been golden. Professor Mitchell has even given me some vocal training which has been so helpful to increasing my range. Sometimes he pushes me so hard to let go of some of the bad singing habits I have and he is a great mentor. The ensemble will soon start recording some original music.  I appreciate working with them and all that I have learned as a member. It’s little things like this in life that make you realize how important taking chances really is. All it took was me to talk about what I want to do to get it. Being nervous and afraid of your own destiny is foolish because God put you on this earth for a reason. I know that I was born to sing.

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  1. Awesome story. Glad i dropped by to read it. I am a singer of the amateur persuasion and I also get nerves. But in the end when the song is done and someone's heart has been moved, it was all worth it. BTW the blue dress was a very good decision. You look lovely.

  2. You are. Singing is a great passion to have. I guess you are right because I was received well. Thank you for the com