Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Facing Fear with the All Star Choir!

Have you ever been scared to do something and when someone pushes you in the water you find out it is not so bad?   And you can’t imagine what it was like when you didn’t go for it. When you didn’t take that plunge?  And what about the people that pushed you?   Did they know something you didn’t?   And apparently you went along with it.  I mean you didn’t climb out of the pool and curse them. Did you? (LOL)

I was just thinking myself about how people push me to where I need to be and even when reluctantly I went there, I was not disappointed.  They saw something in me that I didn’t and they push me (literally) through my fear.

Vulnerability….here goes.  When I was in high school I was shy believe it or not. I went to Girls High and this school as well as Central were at the time the two most prominent public schools in Philadelphia.  Everyone wanted to go but you had to take an admission test.  You had to be accepted! I was one of only two girls in my 8th grade class to go to Girls High.   I was terrified… but anyway!  Here is my shorter story…..I loved to sing and so I joined the choir there. I sang whenever I could around the house so why not the choir. I loved Treble Clef and Mr. Murphy. I miss him like I miss my Dad.  He was my hero in music!!!   And he believed in me more than I believed in myself.  I knew that when he pushed me to join this ALL Star Choir.

YIKES – ALL STAR CHOIR?   It sounds so daunting and I was just a sophomore at the time. I was still trying to figure out who I was let alone someone was now considering me a STAR???   You have got to be kidding.  THIS IS A MISTAKE!

The All Star Choir consisted of high school boys and girls in the entire Philadelphia area that were considered the best of the best in singing.   There were boys and girls from varying high schools and they all intimidated me like crazy.  There were kids from Performing Arts!  And to that, there really weren’t that many. I think maybe there were maybe 70 of us in total.  THE PRESSURE!!!!  

I remember vividly just standing around waiting for rehearsal begin when certain vocalists  felt the need to bolt out their favorite radio tunes to show how well they sang.  And they were good!!   I would just sit and listen to them.  The color and tone!! Amazing!!!  So anyways, I figured well I must be here for a reason, my music teacher pushed me to join so I guess I need to give it my all.  I was so shy I tell you but I wanted to showcase too. I mean I had a voice people would say was similar to Stephanie Mills…I said with a question mark?   I guess so because she was the only artist I mimicked in the mirror everyday getting ready for school.   Well no one at the All Star knew it…I was a captive bird. I sat in the corner, watched everyone boast and sing and patiently waited for the real rehearsal to begin…so I could get out of there and back to my mirror!   And then it happened.   There was a song we were learning and the director gave each of us a part of the chorus to sing.  She pointed to me and she said, 

“YOU…sing this (as the piano guy played the notes).”   

I did it.  She made me do it again. And again and again.  I was terrified.  EVERYONE was looking at me and I said...WHY DID SHE CALL ME!  Was I singing it right or wrong?  Did she pick me because I was not singing loud enough?  I couldn’t figure it out.  Well, it didn’t matter because after that….people realized I too could sing.  They looked at me different.  I think she and folks around me were captivated by what came out. I can’t to this day remember the music, I just remember being terrified!    But funny because couldn’t we all sing?  I mean that was why we were there, right?  But they looked at me different and you know what I learned?  I learned that I did have a gift and my choir teacher knew it and that musical director knew it.  I was the one that didn’t.  And from there I went on to singing as my life’s ambition.     TRUE story.  
The lesson here is that transitions are necessary and they come when you least expect it and they come from places you might not expect. Someone may see it before you do but that is okay just embrace it.  When an opportunity is in front of you, if you don’t jump in then you will never know that the water isn’t that bad. I use this story to push myself these days.  When I tell myself I can’t do something or think it is impossible I remember…if she didn’t push me where would I be?   But she is not here so I need to push myself.  What’s the worst that could happen??

Transitions are necessary  
Change is necessary
Moving forward is necessary 

We sometimes need help and a little push but that is okay.  The key is to realize the lesson and look back at that push and say…hey that wasn’t so bad.   When I look back on the other side from when I would sing in mirror I realize if my teacher didn’t push me to join and the vocal director didn’t push me to sing…where would I be?  Boy I am thankful for them…and now I am thankful for myself for being able to see the lesson.

Take this and run with it…what is your story and who pushed you?   Find them and thank them while you can!

Leslie Crudup writes for The Business Liaisons, LLC – Business Consulting

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