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 coconuts...you 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.