Saturday, April 28, 2007

Musical Journey To The Past! ...

I was just catching up on a few episodes of The Explore Your Voice Show, and Kate, the doll, said something that sent a little charge through me: "Nervousness does not mean that you can't sing."

WOW. It's obvious, right?, but what a valuable thing to hear her say.

A couple years ago, as part of the voice class I was taking, I was part of what Gwen, my voice teacher, calls "We Haven't Quit Our Day Jobs Yet" Nights. It's not compulsory, so I didn't participate for the first couple classes I took with her (her classes run in 8-week sessions). But I attended one of them and found myself really wishing I was up on stage. Well, it's easy to wish you're up on stage when you're safely seated and there's no chance that you're going to be played onto the stage.

So the next time the opportunity presented itself, I signed up to sing. Gwen paired me with Briggetta, a woman with a gorgeous, soulful voice that sounds like cream on silk. Our duet? "Moonglow." We worked on it in class. Gwen split the song into parts (we performed it twice through, so we got to sing together as well as sing solo). We rehearsed it at the cabaret. Miraculously, I didn't die.

(I've blogged about this before, if it feels familiar. That post is here.)

The night of the performance, which was delayed by more than an hour because a "real" performer had a show earlier that evening and it ran long, I sat on the banquette, waiting for our song, and focused very hard on my breathing: deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in, deep breath out.

I'd asked Iva once if he gets nervous before performing. I figured, anyone with his level of success would have no problem taking the stage. I mean, when you're filling concert venues, those people are there to see you because they love your music, so what's to be nervous about, right? Oh, I was so wrong. He confessed that he was nervous all the time, that he'd kick everyone out of his dressing room before a show and take some time to center himself, to stretch and breathe. He recommended that I focus on breathing.

So that's what I did that night. And Gwen played our intro, and we took the stage and adjusted our mics, and, as expected, I was a little shaky right out of the gate. As I wrote before, we started the song together for eight measures, then it was me. Just me. Singing. By myself. Into a mic. On a stage. In a roomful of about 90 people. My voice wasn't as strong as it could have been at first. But then it was Briggetta's turn to sing. (She sounded flawless.) I gave myself a little pep talk in my head. I knew I could do this. So when I took it back to the top for the second time through, I tried to banish the nerves and sing stronger and hold my notes like I knew I could. By the time she took her part over, I was quite enjoying myself up there. And we nailed the harmony at the end! And then I wished that we could do a second song, because the first one was a blur.

But thinking about Iva telling me to focus on my breathing set my brain off in another direction. In September, I wrote about him. I've been a fan for a long, long time. I have Man of Colours on cassette.

And more recently, as part of a post about men and leggings, I wrote: "A long time ago, I fell in love with Iva Davies wearing jodhpurs in an Icehouse video. Dear God, that was a good look on him."

Or maybe they weren't jodhpurs. Maybe they were just pants tucked into boots. Either way, I was smitten.

So a few minutes ago, I thought, "Huh. I wonder if it's on YouTube now?" I'd checked in the past and come up empty-handed. And HOLY CRAP! It's there! Posted four weeks ago! I hadn't seen this video in, what?, 20-some years?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the object of my teenage lust (specifically, the shot right at 2:18):



Though my walls were never plastered with pictures of Iva. My teenage room was a shrine to Howard Jones.

My walls are plastered with pictures of Iva now.

P.S. I'm joking.

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