So, yesterday didn’t go as I had hoped.
What had I hoped? The very least, I hoped I would have left feeling that I did my best and would feel okay with my performance. That didn’t really happen.
I arrived at the church about forty-five minutes early. With a racing heart and some deep breaths I sung my way through the first verse of amazing grace and the first half of my song of choice, “Dock Of The Bay” by Otis Redding. I wanted to sing something a little different and with seventy-five people auditioning, I’m glad I chose that song. After practicing a couple times and noticing a couple girls walking in, I joined them. Turns out I was already number seventeen. This is a big church and I’ve heard people have auditioned for the worship band a few years in a row. Talk about intimidating!
We waited in a room for a while and luckily, my friend Whit was there for something else. Although her “pep-talk” was “Well, I’m just glad I don’t have to sing.” I had to laugh and really did feel better that she was there. We were finally told how the process would work and that they would line up people by groups of ten. I was in the second group to line up and honestly, the waiting was the worst part. I felt calm most of the day, but the last couple of moments really got to me.
They had a system to move everyone up. The next two people were moved in as the third person auditioned. The first spot I moved to was a small little room where I had time to pray and take some deep breaths. I was also encouraged, again, to not be nervous. I then walked to the side stage where I watched the girl in front of me audition, she was so sweet and did great but I could tell she was nervous too. I took some deep breaths and walked on stage when it was my turn. I felt confident when talking to them, but then they told me to sing. I opened my mouth and sang the first verse of Amazing Grace. My voice was shaky, although the parts that I could control were fine. I hit the higher note, which was a relief but the shakiness in my voice only worked to freak me out more. I kept thinking to myself, “Calm down, seriously. You’re fine, you can do this. You’ve practiced, take a deep breath.” It was as if I had no control. I couldn’t get it together. I sang my next song and felt more of the same. Once I was done I smiled, walked out, and walked to my car unable to think of much else. I said bye to Whit and held it in until I got into my car.
I grabbed my phone and immediately sent Adam a text.
I then called my mom and that’s where all of the nerves, stress and lack of sleep came into play. The floodgates opened and couldn’t be stopped. It shook my confidence, a lot. I expected to at least feel good about my audition, but instead I felt frustrated and defeated. I couldn’t control my emotion and just had to let it go. It was like running a race that you know you can perform well in because you’ve done it before, but your body just isn’t working with you that race. It happens. I started my drive home and talked to Adam a bit, where I cried some more. It wasn’t that I was upset about my chances of getting the spot, I’m honestly okay either way, but my dream is to sing and I couldn’t get a grip on my voice. Granted, most singing opportunities are not a capella(I’m much more comfortable with music, even with just a guitar). But I couldn’t think of that at the time.
I got home and cried on Adam’s shoulder and talked it through. I felt really down, but knew a lot of people were rooting for me, so I posted about it on Facebook. The messages I received from family and friends was overwhelming. People telling me how proud they were of me, how this is just the beginning, my mom calling me her hero, all of that. It was incredible. I just feel SO encouraged again. I haven’t sung in front of strangers in three years. I haven’t sung into a mic in four. It’s one thing to sing with people you’re comfortable with(which is still hard for me). It’s very different to sing for strangers, on a stage and into a mic when you’re not used to it.
The biggest lesson God is teaching me through this? Even after all of that, I still want to pursue music. I actually want it more now. That’s a big deal for me. I could run away from this because of a difficult experience. But you have to start somewhere. I’d rather start at the bottom and work my way up by practicing. I need to get out there, perform in public more, learn an instrument(working on the guitar and have my eye on learning piano) and continue writing songs. It just makes me want to work that much harder for it. If this is what it took for me to realize that? It was totally worth it. I faced my fear, I’m starting to chase my dream and I feel so much better today.
Thank you for your words of support, prayers, encouragement and cheers. I’m so glad I’m taking you all on this journey with me. To be honest, when it didn’t really go well, I was so upset that I had to tell you all that it didn’t go well. I thought for a moment, “Gosh, it would have been so much easier to not have told them and to just move on now.” But, this is my life and I’m not giving up on this yet. So this journey will continue and I hope you will continue on it with me.
Thank you, friends.