Having just completed my third week of rehearsals for school of rock, I thought it time that I updated everyone on it.
Week 1: I got there half way through because of our ski trip, but I slid into the room like a pro, grabbed a mic and although my hands were shaking, I launched directly into back up’s for ‘Tainted Love’. I survived, and it was fun. Moving on to the next room, I got to do back ups on ‘Echo Beach’… awesome! Rocked it! Next, back ups on ‘What I like about you’. Also pretty good, although my fellow back upper hadn’t quite studied the part, so we were a little out. I went away feeling excited, happy and a little giddy at having actually been in a real studio room and sang with a real live band albeit as a back up singer. Cool.
Week 2: We re-did all the previously mentioned tracks, and we were even better. Then….. I had to do my first lead vocals. I had been cast on ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’. I was sooooo terrified of singing by myself into the microphone! Fortunately, the band had learned the song in the wrong key so any problems I may have had vocally because of nerves and not knowing how to use the mic properly were overshadowed by their racket! 🙂 However, I started to discover that my son doesn’t get his anxiety disorder from the air. Although I wasn’t rendered immobile or useless by my fears, I did spend way too long during the rest of the week dissecting my performance and worrying that because I had dropped pitch on the ends of some notes, I was never going to sound any good! I even managed to stress myself out so much that I got a cold sore! Stupid, but what a learning curve! Also, I was able to set such a great example for my son because I told him clearly and honestly how I was feeling. I told him that I was scared that everyone would laugh at me. That they would think that I was a terrible singer, and that I was doing a bad job. I told him that I felt bad because I hadn’t done the song perfectly the first time in the rehearsal. I was then able to show him that despite my fears and worries, I still did my rehearsal. I asked a teacher for some advice and help, and I practised and practised so that I would be better next time. I had done well on my other back up song in Week 2 ‘Counting the Beat’, and was starting to think that perhaps I should just do back ups, but I decided to give it a really good go, and my SingBlitz teacher said there was nothing wrong with my singing and she would not let me quit.
Week 3: Ok by this time I had worked myself into a mental mess! So crazy! I had now been cast for lead vocals on ‘Buses and Trains’ by Bachelor Girl, and back ups on ‘I believe in a thing called love’ by The Darkness. Two awesome songs, but I was starting to convince myself that I sucked and was never going to be able to pull this off! Because of all the extra singing with SingBlitz and School of rock, by Thursday my vocal muscles were actually quite tired, and I was struggling to get a decent sound out anyway, so I thought I was going to suck completely in rehearsals. In fact, I had pretty much mentally talked myself into sucking. Not good. I started to get a tiny insight into how my son must think and feel pretty much all the time. I decided however, that I was NOT giving up on myself, and I fronted up to the rehearsal with renewed determination. All my back ups went quite well, and I did great on ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ even though the musicians still didn’t have their *&it together!
Then came time to do my big one… ‘Buses and Trains’…… I held my breath, gathered some strength from my very supportive and experienced back up singers, and went for it quite timidly the first time through. It wasn’t terrible. Second time through I was starting to warm up a bit and I even got some satisfied smiles from the coach. Yay! The really great thing is that I knew I could do better, and although I didn’t get to sing it through more than twice because the musicians in that song were also struggling and needed extra time, I know next week I will rock it.
Next week I am cast for lead vocals on ‘What’s Going On’ by 4 Non-Blondes (ironic given that I am the only vocalist on the song and I am blonde :)). This is a really big song. I just practised it karaoke style in my lounge room a couple of times and I was awesome… even if I do say so myself. My husband also said I was, so that totally counts I’m sure. So, next week will be a biggie for me. If I can pull off that song in rehearsals though, I’m pretty sure I’ll be OK for the performance in December. If I can rock that song, with just an acoustic guitar and a drummer and me singing, that will be me set and happy for life I reckon!
I’m definitely getting more confident, and my voice is getting stronger each week. The thing now is not to let my mind get the better of me. Don’t let that doubting voice get in there. Make sure I allow myself to suck in some rehearsals and know that it’s OK. At least that’s what I drum into my son 400 times a day…so surely I can live by that too!?
Oh, and we bought my son some tap shoes today. He is being quite cool about it and pretending that he is not at all interested or excited about it, but he totally is 🙂