Connection Day 8 – Mrs. Grant and the Boys

Despite several protests from me, it seems the above title of this post is our chosen band name.  “Mrs. Grant and the Boys.”  Here’s hoping it doesn’t stick.

Connection Day 8 is for the band:  Richard, Jerry, Brandon and Jakub.  “The Boys,” so to speak.  There’s also Alex, though he’s our coach and not formally part of the band.

First, you should know that I’m a recovering sexist (toward men).  I associate men with poor moral, social and emotional development.  The great woe of my life is that I am as heterosexual as they come, and so I have been sentenced to a life with men.

Of course, since doing the work, I’ve  come to understand the above is, aside from being offensive, untrue.  And to emphasize the point, the Universe has saw fit in the last year to put me in situations where men have become good friends and close allies.

So me being the lead singer of a band that’s all men and me is of course perfect for me.  And the name they chose is even more perfect–because what I’ve experienced is respect, encouragement, constructive feedback, and very gentlemanly treatment.

I realized the extent to which I had grown comfortable with them last night.

We each get to choose a song for our set, and the song I chose is “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic.  It’s fun, high energy, and I have this clear vision that I’ve had forever of me just killing it on stage.  But, it’s not an easy song–we didn’t change the key, so what I’ve ended up doing is singing in my lower register at the start of the song, and then I take it up an entire octave as the song builds, only to drop down again in the verse (only to go back up again for the final crescendo).  It’s also a bit of a cardio workout to sing–my vocal chords have to stay strong until the end, as the song’s energy starts strong and only gets stronger all the way through the last note.  Add to that that this is our closing number (so my voice has already had a workout by the time we get to it)

Last night was one of our last rehearsals before the show.  It’s now or never, I told myself.  Time to go for it.

And I did–high energy, belting from the center of my soul, owning it.  I imagined an audience, and I imagined them feeling it.  It was electric.

Afterwards the band acknowledged me for the level I took it up to.  It went from a solid performance to an impactful one.

Usually when rehearsal is over, I rush out because it’s late, but this time I waited to walk out with the guys.  I realized that a big reason I was able to let go and come close to realizing my vision of killing that song was knowing I had their support behind me.

You see, by now we’ve had several moments of saving each other.  The lead guitarist will lose his place, but I’ll sing strongly through it until he can find it again.  The drums drop out or come in at the wrong moment, and the guitarists adjust and make it work.  What’s remarkable too is that over 90% of our communication is non-verbal.  We tune into each other, we silently adjust to find balance.  We listen in a way that transcends words.

On the subway ride home, I felt amazing.  My heart felt satisfied–like how you feel after a deep, purging cry or a long, hard laugh.  My soul felt nourished, fulfilled, at peace.  I also felt energized.  Happy.

And then I was overcome with gratitude. What luck that my life led me here, to embracing this passion that makes me feel this indescribable way.  Close to Heaven, God, purpose, love, freedom.

I never sang a note until I was 26 years old, alone, lost and overwhelmed in an empty studio apartment on the upper east side that I moved into after leaving my ex-husband.  Out of that deep, painful loneliness, this amazing thing was born.  I’m no natural singer and I never will be–I’m just someone who discovered a passion and pursued it, with discipline, optimism and enthusiasm.

Is there a such thing as “natural” talent?  I don’t know.  But, it’s irrelevant–it’s a story we get hung up on to justify not pursuing what our hearts want us to.

I know there are folks out there–possibly in this group–suppr essing stuff they’d love to do.  Because it’s too late, because you don’t have “natural talent” for it, because you don’t have time, etc.  I’m telling you all of that is crap–just do the thing you love.  You don’t need permission, or approval, or validation.  If you could feel how I felt on that train ride home last night, you’d get why it’s worth it, and why you’ve got to do it.

There was a good chance I was NEVER going to discover this passion, never pursue it, never know this part of myself.  No matter how old we get, if we haven’t found the things that light our souls on fire–we’ve got to keep looking.

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