Inside: I looked at myself in the video monitor with horror.
Outside: I smiled and sang as planned.
There was a tuft of hair sticking out from the side of my head. It looked like an antenna, or a misplaced hairy ear. The video team had obviously been trying to signal to me since the beginning of the song to do something with the hair! They avoided taking frontal images while I angled my head and casually brushed the damning antenna down but to no avail. It had an agenda today. It wanted to be part of the performance.
I finally resorted to tilting my head back to hide the hairy intruder for the next 20 minutes. I walked off stage with a stiff neck and had a good laugh with the team. What a start to my day.
Inside: I struggled with the growing sense of doom and the taste of failure.
Outside: I smiled and thanked the person for the feedback.
Just mere minutes before I had to sing again, one of the trainers came up to me with advice on what to change in my technique. It was stuff that I’d heard before and honestly, it’s one of the weak points in my vocals. There was no time to practice anything new. I stood on the side of the stage, waiting for my turn to walk out and had a choice: take the advice, be bold and sing… or get angry. I decided to sing my heart out.
And enjoyed some of the most precious moments, knowing that the success or failure of the session didn’t rest on me. It rested on the Dream Maker, who walked out with me, stood by my side and held my hand.
Inside: I watched their mouths, their eyes, their hands without understanding.
Outside: I nodded at the appropriate moments and smiled.
They were people I was planning on interviewing for a video shoot this coming week, except… they don’t speak English. They had wonderful stories to tell, stories that need to be captured but how, how in the world am I going to do this? I asked for a translator and thankfully, she stepped in to help us converse more freely and has even promised to be there for the shoot. I sighed with relief.
Inside: I let loose.
Outside: I let loose.
In the final song for the day, the audience was gone, the auditorium slowly emptying out but for the few stragglers who stayed behind to watch. There was nothing to lose and everything to gain. This was my moment with Him, exclusively. I looked up, closed my eyes and sang the words as though I was tasting them on my lips for the first time. When it was all over, I walked to the monitor room, handed in my wireless transmitter, microphone and smiled at the sound engineer.
The Music Director looked at me and mouthed, ‘Wonderful.’
The Bassist nodded at me, ‘Good.’
A woman came up to me and asked if she could hug me.
‘When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.
We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.’
– John Lennon
In my moment of vulnerability, I revealed who I truly was – mistakes and weaknesses – and found myself… accepted and loved.