Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Finding Reality

The door opened, we glided out onto the stage, took a bow, and then I noticed that there were people in the audience. I began the first song of the evening.

"Don't do that!" a voice inside my head screamed as I began a gesture with my arm, "People will think that you aren't being genuine."
"That wasn't so pretty - you really can make more beautiful sounds that that."

The inner dialogue between neuroses continued as I navigated my way through the first song. Nightmarish visions of forgetting the words flew through my mind. I struggled to focus on what was at hand and stay in the text and in the present moment. I tried to base myself in reality.

The song was over. I left the stage to relax before my next set of songs. I realized that my inner critic was out of control and needed to be stopped. I listened to my colleagues sing this incredible, deep, intense Russian music, and remembered that I had a job to do, which was to share this music with the audience and offer myself in service not only to them but the music itself.

I walked out to sing again, found the reality of the song, and suddenly the unimportant surreality of the voices in my head wasn't such a distraction anymore.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Singing appears to come as naturally to you as breathing, Nick, but there are times when we become conscious of even our own individual breaths. Meditation often involves self-awareness and calculated breathing, but ultimately with an aim to forgetting yourself, I think. We don't know the value of uninhibited, resonant singing until we've been highly aware of the sound escaping our mouths in the first place. Point being, a perfectly natural experience on your part which may come again but in the end enhances the overall experience of singing for other people, I hope. Hope you're well.