Do What Scares the Shit out of You
If something doesn't frighten you it isn’t worthwhile — My foray back to music.
I heard these two quotes recently:
“If it doesn’t scare you you don’t want it bad enough!”
“If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough”
Hmm. OK. Do what scares you.
All things worth doing are scary as shit?
Yeah. I’m feeling a bit terrified to be honest, going back to music. Live performance that is.
I’m not terrified about the music making/rehearsing part (I’m loving that part) but putting my face, and body in front of a camera is something that is a bit frightening to me.
Well, more than bit.
It is bringing up soooo many issues of perfectionism from my past years in showbiz.
My dad was a fitness guru, and handball champion who displayed his wall full of trophies. He played handball when he was 70 with 40 year old dudes. Many times he whipped their asses. He was a high achiever, confident and competitive. He had no time for wimpiness.
I was his chubby daughter. The girl with weight issues, eating disorders, pimply skin and self conscious bullshit.
I always had a lot of talent though. (This is the irony. I made a living for many years as a singer-performer in Vegas and around the world, even with all of these issues.)
Here I am now 57, not 27, debating about a Musical comeback. (I’m writing new songs for a Musical.) I’m not sure if I should be the one to perform it or hire a younger, cuter version of myself though. I am still open about this.
The irony is the Musical is based on me. It is MY life story so most likely I will have to get back on the stage to perform it!
UGH! Part of me is scared shitless.
JUST ACCEPT YOURSELF
My supportive boyfriend recently set up a nifty Vegas type stage in our living room complete with curtain and lights. He thought it might motivate me to sing again.
He hung my guitars up to make it more ‘atmospheric’. He used to be in theater. He is a great sound and lighting man so it looks and sounds GREAT!
A full stage in my living room.
Today I rehearsed for maybe 4 hours happily in my fuzzy red Christmas robe with white trim.
I looked pretty raggedy.
Wearing a crusty robe with food stains from Thanksgiving.
Sleep in my eyes.
Feeling pretty bloated from all the holiday food.
Damn the music coming out of me was still gorgeous! But, trust me... I wasn’t gorgeous.
I was in a true ‘creative groove’ though. I wished that I could sit there looking skanky and just let this music come through me — and NEVER go back to performing live.
I got the same feeling of aliveness that I always feel while rehearsing and learning new music or writing a new song. It is magic. A feeling of power always comes over me. Musical creative power.
This show is good enough for Broadway girl! The rational voice within me said to my inner scared child.
DAMMIT WOMAN. What are you waiting for?
You’re not getting any younger.
DO THIS THING!!? YOU MUST MUST do it before your life is over!
Ok. Ok. I answer. I AM! I am sitting here in a disciplined fashion rehearsing music again. Leave me alone!
Yesterday my boyfriend walked by to grab his 3rd cup of coffee in the kitchen and saw me rehearsing.
He said “DAMN. You are sounding really good today... for just waking up too!”
Yeahhh. I was.
He immediately wanted me to put a video up on YouTube!
He has always been proud of my musical ability but I was in NO mood to put my face in front of a camera. NOOO!! I was just happy to sit inconspicuously, and spend time with the music — like spending quality time with an old friend. It felt NICE.
‘I’d sure LOOVE to just record an audio. WHY do you keep insisting video??I asked him. Hey, maybe we can run a slideshow of photos behind me singing? Lots of people do that…!”
He said “This is a new world! Its the world of YouTube! You gotta put your face (and body) on camera now. People don’t wanna just listen to an audio. They want to SEE a person. Its just the way it is now. You gotta just accept yourself.”
Sooo easy for him to say but as an ‘older’ woman there are so many new aging factors at play.
It’s a bit unnerving to put yourself on a video camera for the entire world to see…forever? UGH! Even back in my younger/cuter/thinner/more confident days I wasn’t real fond of being video taped! I never liked it.
Add to that these issues:
- I have more wrinkles than before… a bit of a turkey neck now.
2. I have gained about 20 lbs and have a slight double chin that wasn’t there before.
3. My teeth have yellowed from coffee drinking over the years.
4. My boobs hang far lower than they did.
5. I am more sensitive to my body issues now after not being in the world much , or on stage in front of humans for a long time(I’ve mainly been at home writing in my big fuzzy robe.)
4. I’ve been dealing with panic/anxiety issues the past few years, which make me feel more vulnerable to emotional triggers. This situation of ‘having a camera on me’ is an emotional trigger. (Back in my old show biz days whenever I was told a critic was in the audience it seemed to always make me more nervous. This was the way I felt about the video camera pointed on me now).
DETERMINED TO TRY AGAIN
So, last night we did another ‘experimental’ video. Hey, I felt determined to ‘get back on the horse’, try again, somehow work through this block — this hurdle of doing a video.
After watching it back I realized I needed makeup BAD! My face was so dead looking. It was not a flattering camera angle. Also I looked fat and old? UGH.
I asked my boyfriend if we could angle the camera DOWN on to my face (move the camera further back the way they did on Barbara Walters on the View!?) so I could Look UP in the camera. ha-ha.
He seemed exasperated.
He said “Barbara Walters had the state of the art stage equipment too. We don’t have that here in our living room! We don’t have the budget for that!”
He said “I’m getting very upset about this. You sound great. Just ACCEPT the reality. You are older now. You are 57. Not 27.”
I’ve had this gnawing in my soul to go back to music for a very very longgg time now. For the past 5 years or so I’ve had this inner voice calling me to write this Musical.
Over the years I’ve started and stopped, started and stopped (usually around this time of year in the winter the Musical muse grabs me!)
So the music keeps beckoning me back to it like an incessantly annoying old lover and now one of my creative goals is to write this Musical. I have 18 songs half done. Three are close to DONE! YAY! It is life affirming to put new tunes to my poems (lyrics) and turn them into songs.
This (unnamed) Musical might take a year or two or five to get it done, but hey, I am chipping away on it a little at a time now which does feel gooood!
It feels productive. I am at least moving in the right direction by working on it again. Part of me thinks it will be DIVINE.
Besides these new original songs I‘ve been inspired to record older cover tunes too. I’m always amazed at how my fingers STILL seem to know how to play the guitar chords to almost every damn song (even songs I hadn’t played in god knows how long!)
WE MUST SPEND TIME WITH OUR CREATIVE MUSE!
I love the writing part but the performer part still does not feel ready.
I still have aging issues I am working through. I can foresee being the Playwright, the one ‘behind not in front’ of the curtain someday? BUT — the irony is that a part of me DOES want to sing live again.
Somehow, Some way…
SO here is the dilemma.
1. Part of me feels so happy while writing this music. I LOVE being connected to my music by writing the songs and I feel happy when I am making music. (Think Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who preferred being home in his robe writing his songs?)
2. Another part of me feels someday I MUST and will perform this musical on a stage or in front of a video camera.
BUT —for today I am not ready for that shit.
My goal is to somehow come to terms with all of this.
THANKS FOR READING!