Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PrompTuesday #75 - Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Wow, it's been a long time since I've participated in a PrompTuesday, but I I couldn't pass this one up.

It was inspired by Mary over at the Mama Mary Show, and brought to you by Deb at San Diego Momma.

Here's the Prompt:

“Let’s say I am casting for a new reality tv show/web series called “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda.” Either write or webcam your story about who you are, what you do now, and what your “woulda, coulda, shoulda” story is as your audition piece–you can post it as a comment, send it to me via email, or post it on your own blog/facebook page. And then come up with a scenario we could “play out” on the show — for example, Melanie said she would be a big time event planner caterer, so maybe her segment is partnering with Oprah’s party planner/caterer team Debi Lilly and Colin Cowie to plan a ginormous event that is her creation from start to finish.”

Okay - so here goes - I tend to be long-winded, but I'll try and make this as interesting and concise as possible. ;)

Growing up, I had a lot of dreams - doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief (okay, just kidding, that was a game we played in school). But seriously, I think my first one was to be a doctor, but that was pretty short-lived and didn't make it past my 7th or 8th birthday. Then, around 10 or 11 years old, I discovered that I really liked to write, so I thought I would be an author. This thought stuck around, and I spent a lot of time writing all throughout school, whether it was poems, stories, or journals. I had some of my poems published in our school newspaper, and my English teachers were pleased with a lot of my stories. But, I just never took it much farther than that.

Then...there was dancing...I ate, breathed, slept, drank, dreamed, about dance from the time I was 8 years old until I graduated high school. I took class after class, ballet, jazz, tap, modern, technique, African...all of it. I performed with my dance studio at state fairs, local fairs, competitions, the State Capitol...and then when I made dance company at my school, I performed at football and basketball games, took workshops at ASU and performed in spring concerts where I choreographed many of the dances I performed in. My junior year in high school, we moved from Arizona, where I had spent my 4th through 10th grade years, to Las Vegas, NV. I auditioned for a Performing Arts high school, and was accepted into their dance program. This could have been my "big break", except for the fact that I was so pissed off at my grandparents for moving me during my upper-classmen years to another state, I pretty much looked for ways to rebel. About half way through my first year there, I pitched a fit (very mature of me, I know), and demanded that I be allowed to drop out of that school and go to my 'home school' which was the high school I would have been zoned for in the area we lived. The performing arts school was in downtown Vegas, about 40 minutes away from my house, and none of my friends lived close to me (this was a lie - I had several friends that lived on my side of town, I was just being a spoiled brat). And so...I dropped out of the performing arts school, proceeded to go to my local high school, made all the WRONG friends, ditched school just about every day, failed my English class, and just barely passed in all of my other classes - this was NOT like me, as I was a straight 'A' student. I moved back to Arizona, and lived with my mom and her boyfriend my senior pregnant at the end of the year, graduated, had my baby in October that year and started life in the working world. The end.

Just kidding. ;) OK - so, I had a little thread of a dream that was interwoven through all of that. It was singing. I took choir for the first time in 7th grade, and my choir director built me up to think that I could be really good. That year, we were going to perform the "Pirates of Penzance" in front of the entire school. I was selected just for a back-up role, and I was fine with that. Then, the girl who had been chosen for the lead female role, had to back out. I was chosen to fill her place. Her songs were way out of my vocal range at that time - I tried to get the choir director to lower them - he said "No". And my voice cracked extremely bad, in front of the ENTIRE school, and parents, and God and everybody. I was crushed, broken and embarrassed. From that day on, I didn't sing in front of anyone on my own until I was 24 years old. I had performed in a couple community theatre plays, but my role was more of dancing than singing - and any singing I did was 'ensemble', no solos. I used to just buy CDs, sit in my room, and sing along with them - or sing in my car - or the shower. Finally, at age 24, I had 3 children, was a single mom - and I decided, "It's now or never." If I don't do something with this, I never will.

I started looking around for bands that were looking for a singer, found one, auditioned, and then nothing ever came of it. One night, I decided to go to karaoke night at a local bar, and invited my grandma to come with me. She had no idea I could sing - and she raised me for 18 years. hehe. After my song, a guy came up to me and said he knew a guy named Bobby that owned a restaurant in Scottsdale where they did karaoke, but before they opened up the mic to everyone that signed up, they did a "showcase" which was pretty much a group of regulars at karaoke, that Bobby liked to have come up and do a song or two. I started going to Bobby's restaurant for karaoke on Saturday nights while my mom watched the kids. Pretty soon I was doing the showcase, and then I got asked to do the "Dinner Show" - which was from 7-8pm, with a gal named Sandie. So, it was just Sandie and I, trading off songs, for an entire hour. I was SO nervous! But Sandie became one of my best girlfriends in the process! :) We did the dinner show for awhile, then we decided to see if we could get our own band going - we did, but it was short-lived.

Then, I found a guy that was looking for someone to record a song that he wrote. So, I recorded it...and nothing ever came of that either. What is it with the music industry? hehe ;) BUT - that song did get me accepted to the Colgate Country Showdown in Prescott. That was a GREAT experience, we actually got to sing up on a big stage in the community college amphitheater. After that, I joined the band that I had auditioned for a couple years prior (the one where nothing came of it at first?? yeah, that one). We actually did quite a few performances - we did the grand opening of a Toyota dealership, a silent auction at a big church, and then we got our first gig at a country bar. This was the beginning of the end for me - as I had met my hubby by this time (we weren't married yet though) - he wasn't too keen on the idea of his future wife singing in bars until 3am. At first I thought he was being stupid, and controlling - but then I saw it from his perspective - you know, a mom of 3 kids, in a bar with a bunch of drunks until the wee hours. So, I wasn't with the band much longer after that. My very latest singing venture was singing with our church band during the 'contemporary' service at 10:30. That was a LOT of fun - and I felt like I was singing for the right reasons and in the right type of place. Then...I got pregnant (AGAIN), and started not feeling so good in the AM - so I had to step down from the church band for a little while. And here we are...present day, with 4 kids and one on the way.

I don't think I would ever want to be a "famous" singer - because I think about all the time I'd have to be away from my family if I were to ever 'hit it big'. But, my husband plays guitar, and we've talked about doing open mics or coffee house type gigs locally, and that would be a lot of fun. But sometimes I just wonder what I "woulda, coulda, shoulda' done if my voice wouldn't have cracked in the 7th grade. :)

Here's a link to the one song I recorded, in the living room of a guy named Adam Matthews' with his recording equipment. Adam wrote this song, and I'm pretty sure he had it copyrighted, I just don't know what the number is. (basically, don't steal the song, k?) And be kind if you listen to it. ;)

For This I Give You


Mama Mary said...

I am definitely casting you in my W,C,S reality show! I love the song and your voice. Now I see that you definitely share my same love for performing. Shame on that teacher for not lowering the vocal range in 7th grade. :-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.
Am. In. Awe.

BrightenedBoy said...

I'm glad that you went out on a limb and really tried something.

I've seen people surrender their dreams, and I'm determined not to. I see much potential in myself, but recognize that I have to act to realize it.

The song was pretty--you have a good voice.

I'll have to post some of my own recordings some time.