There are only two things in life that terrify me. The Bogey man, and doing anything in public that means something to me personally. Not things like public speaking, or opening my occasionally offensive mouth to make a stupid comment, but things like singing. You know the kind of singing where people are looking at you, waiting to see what sounds your vocal cords will produce so that they can judge you.
I regrettably believed this fear was replaced with a fair amount of confidence a few years ago when I agreed to do a "special musical number" for a church Christmas program. Oh it was special. So special, I was never asked to perform again. I was the proverbial "white elephant" in the room. My nerves had gotten the best of me, and if anyone would have had a wine glass, I would have broke it with the noise that came forth from my mouth. Hideous!
Imagine then my shock and subsequent horror when I received a phone call yesterday at noon in which a friend excitedly told me I had an audition for ProMusica. It's a choir that sings with an orchestra. Some members drive up to two hours to be a part of this group. Most of them have grey hair and music degrees. I have neither. Apparently they didn't get the memo that I suck. I have evidence, people witnessed my horror. But I went. Probably because my friend said she would meet me there.
The Director was a half an hour late, he kicked everyone out of the room (a tender mercy), he made me do scales, I had to sing notes from memory in a different key than he played them, I had to sing America the Beautiful with no accompaniment. I momentarily forgot how it went. Then, he handed me a piece of Mozart music and told me to sing it. A page full of Alleluias. My hands were beyond clammy, and my brain short circuited on several occasions. The audition was nearly 45 minutes long and interspersed with comments about an airy quality when I wasn't in my vibrato, and that my neck muscles were too tense. Then he made me sit through the two hour rehearsal and eight pieces of music and listened to me sing.
Turns out, it was for the best. He said yes. So to my psyche that speaks such negativity to me, and to my brother who openly mocked this two time state champ, and laughed out load at the Christmas debauchery, I say......Neiner, Neiner, Neiner.