When I was seven or eight, I heard my life’s calling, and it came in the form of a show tune.
My parents had gone to see Les Miserables and I got the first taste of my destiny—to be on stage, to sing, to perform—to be a star. I played that tape over and over, memorizing every word to every song. While I was too young to know the story, it didn’t stop me from rollerblading dramatically around the driveway to the songs or performing solos on our deck to flowerpots and pets.
I was destined to be a star, and it’s not like I didn’t have experience.
When I was four, I had to be dragged off the stage after a breathtaking tap/ballet performance. Then there were the dozens of living room concerts, foam balls stuffed in my shirt for fake boobs and a gaggle of bangles adorning my wrists. I would shimmy and shake down the staircase, emulating Mariah Carey or Barbie and the Rockers in what could only be described as an exact approximation of their talents.
The years saw me hand jive through “Grease” and sing for my “Rent” of “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes." I’m not sure what happened, but somehow the use of my musical talents became restricted to years of piano lessons and leading cheers in the dugout of softball games.
I can only assume that this town just wasn’t ready for my unique talents.
As an adult I’ve seen a few shows locally—Les Miserables a couple of times, of course—and a trip to New York afforded me the opportunity to see my first Broadway show—“In the Heights.” I left in awe, reminded of the life I could have led.
(And hearing show tunes still gets me singing and dancing around the same way that watching Jackie Chan movies gets me karate chopping my way through the house.)
But apparently being able to sing well is a prerequisite for starring in musicals, and unfortunately, things always sound much better in my head and living room than they do when presented to an external audience—say, people at the grocery store watching me sing “Summer Nights” to the summer squash.
I suppose sometimes destiny takes a detour.
(insert dramatic sigh)
This post is in response to the RemembeRED prompt:
Write a post that either starts or ends with the words "Lesson learned." Word limit: 400 words.