I Wonder If and When I’ll Want To Sing ‘Live’ Again
I have taken a break from music. I have been on a sabbatical for awhile now.
Music was a huuuge chunk of my life since age 19 when I first started singing for tips in a local restaurant with my guitar. I made my living as a singer/performer most of my life until 1996.
Even though I haven't performed music in awhile I still have music in my soul.
I am a musician.
I always will be.
I can still play any song almost on my guitar, if you hum it to me.
I don’t wake up singing or with songs in my head like I used to now, even though I have a Broadway Musical partially written.
I believe it will happen when it’s supposed to. The musical muse seems quieter while I focus on my writing muse now.
I don’t sing in the car or the shower anymore like I used to either, but I know I am always a musician, and I haven’t lost it.
Even though I have a loud Broadway Belt voice (some say I could crack a window with my high notes) it’s odd that it feels my voice is tucked away somewhere
— quiet and silently waiting —
There are many reasons recently that I didn’t feel like singing live anymore. Mainly, the past few times I did a live concert it felt like way too much ‘pressure’ to me.
I have panic issues, so these concerts brought up severe anxiety and panic in me. When I did two concerts (in Chicago and Denver) both times they did not feel right.
They weren’t fun.
There was a feeling of perfectionism in the music and in the performances. I also didn’t like being on the stage being stared at anymore.
I felt older.
I was rusty.
I was chubbier
I had grayer hair.
I used to be super confident on stage but I felt a bit like a marshmallow the past two times. A bit mushy and not ‘on’ my game.
When my boyfriend Bob recently put a video camera on my face while rehearsing I felt horror... and terror.
He said “You sound AMAAZING!! We need to get you on VIDEO!!!!”
But, to me it felt scary again.I didn’t want my musical talent to feel scary.
I wanted it to feel joyful and gorgeous.
I realize that music to me, or being in the music business always had a feeling of ‘pressure’ to it.
- Pressure to sing great so the critics will like me.
- Pressure to please ‘them’. The audience.
- Pressure to look good!
- Pressure to have charm and charisma.
I realize now maybe I dislike pressure. Pressure makes me nervous. I don’t like feeling forced to perform.
I recall warming up my voice before every performance in Las Vegas and other places I sang. Sometimes I needed to warm up with vocal scales for over an hour, (sometimes two!) just to be able to hit the damn high note at the end of the song.
I was a perfectionist. DUH.
I am a ‘recovering perfectionist’ now…thankfully.
Rehearsing music in my house feels like zero pressure though. Here’s a stage Bob built in our house for me to record and rehearse. Maybe I’ll do YouTube videos.
I rehearsed quite a lot last year on this stage, in my robe and slippers — and cats as audience members. I sang my heart out to the point where the neighbors probably got quite the unexpected Broadway show.
I was taken OVER BY MUSIC for awhile.I’m surprised no one knocked on our door to tell me to TURN IT DOWN!
I was enjoying the process of learning new songs, writing new songs for the Musical I want to complete and feeling ZERO PRESSURE!
For some reason since last year I haven’t had any desire to do it, and that’s OK.
Maybe I want to rest and let my fingers sing now instead.
Maybe I want to write now.
Feel less pressure…
…by writing words on a paper.
So that’s what I’m doing.
It’s all fine even though I still feel that someday I WILL sing live.
Just not today.
THANKS FOR READING!
Michelle Monet has published 5 non-fiction books including 4 Poetic Memoirs. Her upcoming Memoir will be about her life in show business including her surviving domestic violence, panic disorder and a dependency on prescribed medication. It will be a story of redemption and healing. She is also writing an autobiographical Broadway Musical.