A few weeks ago, I was standing in on the final day of production for a new Hulu show. I worked with a magnificent crew, and felt so absolutely wonderful every single long, 12-14 hour day I worked on this show. The last day, we filmed at The Cutting Room, and there were several performance scenes where I was standing in on a stage in front of a microphone while camera, lighting and sound were setting up.
All the sudden, a familiar feeling brewed in my stomach. It’s a feeling I often get when I’m watching someone perform on stage, or singing in a television show, or out in the theater watching a Broadway production:
I WANT TO BE UP THERE.
It almost feels like a big, green monster is crawling out of my chest and is going to explode out of my mouth.
The want and the need to be on stage; to be performing is so strong that it feels like it can take over my body.
I had this revelation, that may seem silly, as I’ve decided to dedicate my entire life and career to it… but I MUST BE A SINGER.
I don’t want or need to sing. I simply, must. It’s not an option. It’s fact.
So with a little help of Adam Sandler, and the rest of the cast of The Wedding Singer, I give you:
Reasons why I LOVE (and sometimes HATE) being a singer/songwriter
1. Singers get to be THE CENTER OF ATTENTION!
As the singer of my band, I have complete control over the audience. Yes, the power of having a microphone that projects over a crowd of people really is as good as it sounds.
But what’s better than the power of the microphone, is the message which I can share with my audience. Hence…
2. We get to share our music, lyrics and story with complete strangers
There is nothing more powerful for me than being up on stage and allowing the release of music and lyrics that I WROTE, spill out of my mouth and land into a sea of strangers.
3. And sometimes we have the power to touch people with that music
Especially old, white women… they always cry during my ballads.
4. But sometimes the emotions we put into our songs get a little too real…
5. For real…
6. Like… REAL…
7. But we know we’re the SHIT, because we have the guts to get on stage and put ourself out there!
While other musicians have instruments to hide behind, it’s just us with our voices. We can’t buy a new voice if ours breaks. Our bodies are our instruments. That’s the scariest, and most powerful fact of our existence.
8. And when we have an “on” night, we’re TOTALLY “on” and can rule the stage with our golden pipes!
9. But when we have an “off” night, (even if it’s not that bad) we can get TOTALLY down on ourselves.
10. And no matter how well we perform on a particular night, sometimes there is that dude in the audience who just wont SHUT UP!
11. And sometimes the venue forgets to tell you that the venue has a cash-only bar, or worse… DRY!
12. Then we remember that it’s okay, because we’re still an awesome singer who writes awesome songs!
The best feeling is playing a new song for a friend and getting THIS reaction:
13. But then sometimes we get feedback about our songs that are just SO WRONG!
14. And we feel like other artists are the only people who TRULY understand us
15. And then we start to question why we ever chose this profession in life at all
16. We let ourselves believe that maybe we could find a “real” job…
17. And then we realize that singing and performing are the ONLY thing that makes us feel alive… and we spiral even further down…
18. And start comparing ourselves to our more successful, practical siblings
19. And apologizing to our parents, who helped finance our fantasy career
20. And right as the vultures (ie other singers) are ready to take our place as Queen (or King) of the stage…
21. We snap out of it because EVERYONE loves a lead singer and no one will EVER take our place!
21. And we have the pick of the litter when it comes to attractive people, because talent (and power) are sexy!
22. Being the emotional people that we are though, we are ALWAYS looking for true love, not just hookups.
23. But when we get up on stage, all our sorrows of love lost are forgotten. Because for us, the stage is our ONE, TRUE LOVE!
24. Our power to move and change people with our music is the ONLY love we need.
We may be poor. We may emote a little too much. We may fail sometimes. We may be a little too egotistical at times.
But we put our hearts on the line every time we write a song, sing a note, or even wink at that cute boy in the audience.
And that’s why I wouldn’t change being a singer/songwriter for anything in the world.
25. And we’ll be singing until we’re old and wrinkly!
For those of you who say that I can’t sing and perform for a living, this is what I have to say to you: