Thursday, September 13, 2007

Confessions of a Broadway Wannabe

Recently, my husband and I returned from vacation in NYC. I LOVE NYC. It is one of the most fun places a person could ever go. There is something about the hustle and bustle of life in the city that gets my energy pumping and makes me feel alive.
There are so many things I love about New York--the Yankees, shopping, Central Park (pictured), and Broadway! While we were in town Michael and I caught a showing of the new musical "Mary Poppins." I was absolutely riveted. I didn't say a peep the entire time (that's a big deal for me), and at intermission I was actually annoyed that we had to stop the story for a minute.
You see, I grew up wanting to be an actress. In the fourth grade I got to play a wealthy woman in the class play and I burst onto the stage layered in fake fur and faux jewels and said, "Hello, Dahling" in the best British accent I could muster and judging by the audience's applause I knew my bit part had stolen the show.
But something happened to me between the fourth grade and the eighth grade that I cannot explain. In the eighth grade I set out to audition for the CYT musical "Snow White." My voice coach had been working with me on my song for months. When it was finally my turn to get on the stage and wow the crowd something inside me shut down. Instead of belting out the song with my "Hello, Dahling" enthusiasm I was barely able to eek it out.
It was as if someone had stolen my ability to sing. The same thing happens to us in life. Someone makes a rude comment about us, tells a lie about us or does something else that rips our very hearts out, and somewhere along the way we lose a little bit of our song. Live long enough, and the whole song may be missing eventually.
But thing about losing your song is this: it doesn't have to be that way. There is an Audience who will always clap for you because He made you and He longs to see you come to the stage and bring all of the talents and abilities He has given you. He wants you to sing at the top of your lungs--so sing the song He has placed in your heart today. And sing it for Him alone...


Jenny B. Jones said...

Hi, Shannon! I saw Mary Poppins in London last month, and LOVED it. Came home and ordered the soundtrack immediately. Have you seen Wicked? It's the best musical ever created.
:) But MP was amazing--loved all that tap dancing.

Timothy Fish said...

I have heard many suggestions for dealing with performance anxiety. I once heard that there was a man who was to play the piano and he was very nervous, so he took a rolled up newspaper and beat the piano until the newspaper was in shreds. After that he sat down and played beautifully. I think the one bit of wisdom that is the most helpful is that the audience wants the speaker or performer to succeed. Just like you say that God cheering us on, the audience is also. They do not want to laugh at the performer's expense. They have come to enjoy the show and if they can encourage the performer to do perform better then they are that much closer to reaching the goal.