I can’t remember if I specified in my last post that I was taking vocal classes. Well, I am. I’ve realized some things about me and singing. For those of you who might not know, I actually adore singing. I sing a lot. I hum, I whistle, I tap, I dance. I fucking love music. I also like making music, I just don’t have the skillset, yet. But, the passion of music I have has always been for singing. I don’t know why I like singing so much. Some people love playing instruments to make their music. I happen to love singing. I make up random, one line songs quite often. If you recorded me for a day you’d see I sing a ton when I’m by myself and when I’m not. It’s fun, it’s soothing, it’s cathartic. Blasting some music and belting it out can really relieve stress. It’s one of the first urges I get when I’m pissed off or upset. I also know I have no control.
Something you all might not know about me though, is that I have a massive insecurity about my voice and a huge fear of performing. Doesn’t matter what it is, or how well I know I can do it. People love my writing, but have someone stand over me while I’m writing or ask me to read said writing and I will run away. There is this picture of my twin and I when we were about five. In this picture we are backstage at a pageant or talent show or something (we were adorable if I do say so myself). In this picture I am crying hysterically while my twin hugs me and gives me a kiss to make me feel better. Apparently my theory of mind had kicked in and I realized that I was going out in front of a big crowd of strangers to do something. It was terrifying. I have been seriously and chronically stage fright since. Even when I know I can do it perfectly, and was perfectly calm beforehand, the thought of performing is painful.
I’ve figured a few reasons why. First, that initial realization that performance is scary when I was five has stuck. I’ve always been a touch shy, being strongly introverted only made it more likely that I wasn’t one to enjoy being the spotlight. I don’t need or like extra attention in the form of more than ten people paying me any mind at once. I am not a performer in the sense that I perform for others. I perform for myself. As an added bonus I’m just sensitive. I’m easily overwhelmed by stimuli, both internal and external, and adrenaline rushes are the bane of my existence. I hate getting them, it’s like using a nebulizer. It is pleasant and fun for some people, but not me. I don’t want any part of that crazy train. This is why I dislike roller coasters and don’t go on many rides at theme parks. I know, I’m boring, but so what? If you need a well written essay or a long hug or someone to get the snacks after the ride, I’m your girl. This is why I crochet, or do photography or write, this is why I play mostly solitary video games or don’t play video games at all. Low stimulation, from inside and out, with the ability to have others join me if I so choose. Seriously, my idea of a good time is having all my friends in the house at once, entertaining each other while I bask in their noise in the corner chair with a book or something.
Second, I realized that I have an innate fear of my own voice. People have been very critical of my singing before. Some were purposely being mean or nasty, others (like my family) were trying to be helpful, but keep overlooking how intensely sensitive and emotional I am. To be fair, they usually try very hard to be aware of that, but teasing is still something I get defensive about. As such, I’m typically very self-conscious about my voice and my very imperfect control over it. My range has changed since I last had voice coaching (that would be middle school, so, something like 10 years ago) and I’m not really sure where it is. I’m still a soprano, but my voice does reach down into alto a little so it can be hard for me to modulate my pitch. As a bonus, the fun of breath control as an asthmatic. I’m afraid of messing up, and of butchering a song. I can’t even sing loudly in the shower without worry.
Third, is this fear of being loud. I don’t like when I have to be loud. If niggas is actin stupid and I gotta get loud I get upset about having to shout or get angry. Believe me, I will shout you down the street if I have to, but I don’t like doing it, nor do I do so regularly. Even when I’m hanging with my friends, I’m only loud because they’re loud and humans naturally modify their behavior to match their group. So, singing loudly is hard for me. Not only because I’m sensitive to criticism and fear butchering a song, but because being loud isn’t particularly appealing to me. It smacks too much of performance. Of course, one cannot properly sing if one does not project, but given my other worries it makes sense. Not to mention I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve been told to quiet down. Badly practicing an instrument to get better is more acceptable than badly singing to get better.
Yet, I truly love to sing. It’s quite a dilemma. I also find myself wishing for more songs I could sing in devotion. I write poetry, but I’m not much for song writing. A friend told me it’s just poetry set to music, but I beg to differ. There’s a different structure to poetry compared to songs. While they are certainly related, I would say no more than close cousins, maybe siblings or half-siblings. At least, that’s how I was taught. Not to mention, I’m not much for puzzling out music and rhythms for music. I need more practice.