Thursday, November 12, 2009


I always have a very hard time saying that I CAN'T do something. Particularly something that I really, really want to do.

When Saffire Trinity sent me a YouTube link to "Gotta Have A Gimmick," which would be a lot of fun for a trio of crazy older women to perform at the Sam Bass New Years talent show, I was game. I mean...really! I understand the pathos of that number, and without the pathos there's no funny. I get it, and I could do it. I have never had a problem with getting up on stage and playing the fool. Trussing up whatever I've got and strutting it is always fun!

However...there's that "singing" thing. I wouldn't really even mind doing that, as Saffire said it doesn't have to be good singing...but then (and here's the kicker) there's the audition.

I think I've said before that I have always felt that life cheated me by not even giving me the ability to carry a tune, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I don't have a "tin ear." I can hear and appreciate music; the disconnect lies between brain and voice. It just doesn't come out right. I have always loved singing. When I was a child, perhaps I could have been taught...but my mother, who sang beautifully (and constantly), was impatient with my lack of ability, and chastised me for it. If she ever tried to actually teach me how to carry a tune, I don't remember it. I don't even know if it can be taught.

By the time I was old enough to sing in the church choir, the damage (if there was damage, and the problem was not congenital) was done. The choir-mistress made me stand in the back row and move my mouth, until the cassock and surplice were needed for an incoming child who could actually sing.

I did sing in high school, with a group of girls. We sang folk songs, and nobody in the group ever complained about my voice. We did a ten-minute set at the Hospital Talent Show one year--a fundraiser for the local hospital. The show usually involved putting the mayor on stage in a grass skirt and know the sort of thing. Mom was in England at that time, and Dad refused to go. He said it wasn't worth the $4 admission fee to have to put up with all the Chamber of Commerce people, just to see my group on stage for ten minutes. I think he was afraid I would embarrass him.

SSS played guitar and sang with a variety of partners, back in the day, and I would occasionally sing along when they were practicing. He had one partner, Scott Carlton, with whom I could sing harmony. I cannot even express the ineffable joy of those moments.

The point of all this maundering is that I realized this morning that there is no way in hell that I can get on a stage and sing an audition piece in front of people who really can sing. People with voices so beautiful that I cry just hearing them.

Part of me says that it's a good thing to recognize my limitations, but another part is laughing in an ugly way and hurling accusations of cowardice.


  1. just fess up you can't sing then ramp the hell out of it and ask about lip-sink it. Those roles want older actreses. They know if they were real singers they wouldn't need a gemic and they wouldn't need to be striping either. Just strap it up and go for it.

  2. Saffire agrees with you, and says it should be bad...for performance, I'm OK with that, but...

    Maybe I can get him to audition me at a point when the other singers (for other numbers) aren't there...

  3. I'm not sure why, but this one brought tears to my eyes! You really feel pain about this, and it saddened me. I was told when I was younger that I couldn't carry a tune, I should just keep my mouth shut. It hurt. I enjoyed singin so much.It wasn't till I was an adult that I got the courage to look into singing lessons. Ronni the first time the woman heard my voice on the phone, she said she had no hope of me being able to sing! she didn't want to even take me on but something told her to meet me and give a look see...she told me this after my audition..she just blurted it out! you know why? because she was shocked that I COULD sing! and so 2 years of lessons followed, and I'm happy to say I CAN sing really well now! and not for anything, you CAN learn,BUT it takes practicing everyday, lots of dedication,if you really want it Ronni, I say go for it! Don't let fear stop you, life is too dam short!Go give em hell on that stage! Live your dreams..