Monday, May 21, 2012

I Am Woman, Hear Me Sing

Many years ago, when I was a wee lass of 21, I worked in a yoghurt shop right off campus.  Going to college during the day, I worked evenings, making sandwiches and mixing up yoghurts for the college crowd.  Closing-time, I often got stuck scrubbing and mopping the floors.  As crappy as this task was, I didn’t mind too much, because I’d turn the music up and sing along to whatever loop was playing.  Most times it was Bob Marley.

One night, I was doing my own thing, singing and mopping, when a co-worker came out front, looked at me, and said, “Are you a singer?  You should be.”

 “No,” I told her.  “I’m a math major.”

And just like that, the birth and death of a dream. 

Alright, alright, I’m being dramatic.  I wanted to be a singer even before that moment, but having someone (other than my dad) compliment my voice solidified that want. 

But I was a math major.  I had a clear path set out for me:  go to school, get good grades, find a job, work my way up, and become financially secure.  Financial security was the end goal for me, founded on years and years of being the poor kid in school. 

My illustrious singing career was not meant to be.

Or was it?  Maybe there was an opportunity out there for frazzled mothers of three who have no singing experience but lots of heart.  Maybe there was a forum that wouldn’t judge me on my physical appearance, but instead on the quality of my voice.

Enter NBC’s The Voice.

“Whaaaat?  Are you crazy?  Don't tell me you're thinking about trying out for the voice...”

I am.  I totally am.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to find the easiest song out there and sing like I’ve never sung before.  I’m going to set up my camera, stand in front of it, and belt one out, like I’m Christina Aguilera singing to Aretha Franklin.

And then I’m going to send it in, sit back and wait.

I control my own destiny!!!  Rawwwwrrrrrr!!!!

.  .  .  .  .

Now that we’ve determined the path to fulfilling my lifelong dream of song, I’d like to proceed to the reasons why I’m grateful I will never make it past the Submissions stage:
  • My target age demographic is 5-10 years old.  I suspect I’d need a Xanax if I ever had to sing in front of real people.
  • I’m not especially compelling.  This is a pivotal hindrance when it comes to winning the audience vote.  And those 5-10 year olds aren't old enough to vote.
  • I can’t memorize lyrics to save my life.  For example, this morning, I sang Run-Around (by Blues Traveler) like this:
Oh, once a upon a midnight dearie (s/b “drearie”)
I woke with someone in my bed (s/b “something in my head”)
I couldn’t escape the memory
Of a phone call and a one night stand (s/b “and of what you said”)

  • I have hideous gray fillings in my teeth, remnants of a candy-filled childhood. Have you ever noticed fillings in any contestant’s mouth?  Neither have I.  
  • I’ve got a regular 9-5 job, and I can’t afford to lose it.  Twenty years later, financial security is still important to me. 
  • I have a half-octave range.  In case you were wondering, that’s not good.

Regardless of these significant obstacles to my self-actualization, I will not be deterred.  Or at last I wasn’t planning on being deterred, until I went to the The Voice website and saw this notification splashed across the video submissions page:

 (The video submission deadline has passed. Video submissions are only accepted if they were delivered or postmarked before Tuesday, April 17, 2012.)

Tough break.

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