Never mind the fact that my musical skills are extremely limited. In high school, I got kicked out of chorus for having a bad voice. By the teacher. In front of the class. This did not phase me as much as I thought it would, and since it was too late to drop the course, the teacher gave me an A as long as I showed up and did not sing. He called the time ‘study hall.’ I used it to read historical romance novels.
I took piano for several years as a kid, and as a result, I used to be able to play 99% of the theme from MASH from memory. The missing one percent being the ending, which meant I would keep going until whatever adult was present lost their last nerve. I tried again as an adult, trading private lessons from a musician friend for dogsitting when she and her hubby had gigs out of town. I mastered scales. We will not mention the guitar incident.
None of this deterred me. I’m an extrovert. Put me in a bunch of people and I can run off the energy for days. Put me in front of a bunch of people and let me do my stuff and I can run off the energy for weeks. If I’m doing it right, it’s an even exchange and they take away something good as well. All of which means a career in the arts is probably a good thing.
While my high school musical aspirations came to naught (oh Glee, where were you in the 80s?)I did love theater, and if I had to do college again, I’d have majored in that instead of education. Still, the Tardis is broken, so I can only go forward. Theater and a middle school English teacher who consistently picked my assignments to read to the class pointed me towards the areas where I could excel.
Theater not only gave me the chance to experience the pure magic chemistry of a really good cast and the ability to jump into a character and walk about in somebody else’s skin for a couple of hours in front of people who paid to see it, but two moments unique to performance.
Nothing can compare to that moment in the wings right before taking the stage, the only thing between backstage and the audience being the curtain that is going to go up any second now. No more chances to get it right; this is do or die. It also leads to the other one, that skip of a heartbeat when the performer does take the stage, eyes adjusting to the footlights, and best of all, can see the audience. All those faces, focused on the stage. It’s perfect.
If I could distill the rock star ambition into one snapshot, it would be the opening frames of James Blunt’s “I’m Your Man” video, (coincidentally a song I’m playing a lot while revising a certain scene from my hero's POV.) Walking/running down the corridor on the way to the stage, right before the show is slated to begin, said corridor lined with well-wishers who all have a hand in what everybody's about to see...no energy drink can give that kind of rush.