Friday, January 21, 2005

No longer a wimp

I sang last night. I enetered the safe haven of my performance class and I sang. I got over my fears of sounding like a dying bird and sang. Then of course, I cried, which quite frankly is the most logical thing to do after any action.

I can go deep and raspy and sound like a jazz singer from 1943. I can go high and flirty and sound like a Supreme. This is actually no joke because I was singing with two other girls and our workshop leader told us to start doing these classic back-up singer moves. It was really something.

It was intense finally doing what I have always wanted to do. Singing gets out so much more emotion then just speaking does. I am so used to taking phrases and even just bare sylables and making them come alive. When you sing, it takes those sylables and makes them fly. Your body becomes this vessel for releasing sound. Everypart of you is vibrating with sound, from the inside out. You can feel your voice resonating in your bones.

Once you get in there, once you get past your throat and down into oyour core, you release so much shit. You release everything that has been holding you back and you sing it out. Once you're in, you don't stop digging for more. You play with colours that soar out on your voice, you discover your range, you learn how full and rich your voice gets when you let it all go. Your voice takes over and your mind is free to wander and bring new things to your song.

Each member of our group would break out of the song and speak a section of a beautiful poem called "Letting Go". The rest of the group would continue to sign softly and support the one who speaks. We each said our part about 5 times, each of us finding more and more within the text. Before I spoke for the last time, I was crying as I was singing. I was so moved by the words that my peers released. When it came time to speak, I found that there was so much within myself that needed to get out through these words. I had no desire to use any words but the ones that were given, even though the immense amount of pain and joy and desperation and hope seemed to large for the poem.

Serge, the workshop leader, came over to me when I was done and put his arm around me and guided me into song, using those same words. As soon as he melted away from me, I stopped frozen, unable to continue. I looked at him and felt more helpless than ever. He nodded and encouraged me to go on and the groups voices swelled in support. They reached this crescendo to help me, to give me strength.

So I slipped back and forth inbetween song and speech. It was as if the group allowed me to perch ontop of their voices when I sung. When I spoke they sung to egg me on, to get me back to where I was.

When I finished I felt the need to collapse, to melt into the floor. A few minutes later, I found myself singing, crying. I was trying to keep it in, I was afraid of it. I had no idea where it came from, I had no idea how much of it was there. I began to feel heavy. I felt like I had gone too far. Is it healthy to reach down inside and rip yourself apart and throw it to other people?

My regular professor crouched down in front of me and said "let it go". So I did. I stood there singing my support, crying. It was pain that I have never felt before. It was internal. All pain I have ever felt was caused externally. This is was about the deepest parts of myself. What makes me human. It was bigger than the love I have felt in my life, the anger or the sorrow. It was pain of releasing what gives me substance.

Serge said "la fin" and I stood more rooted to the ground than I have ever been before. I bent over under the weight of my emotion and I cried. I wanted to scream. I wanted to howl. But my fears came flooding back when I stopped singing, when I could no longer hear the voices of the group. I held it in.

There is still a hell of alot more in there. I want to find out what it is. I don't even know if that's good for me, or if it's even possible. But I feel like I only scratched the surface. All I did was open up possibilties.

I hope I will always know how to sing.

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