Mar 21, 2014

Emceeing

I have always loved to sing. I have way too many memories of me singing....
 outside,
 in the bathroom (apparently with my parents listening outside the door),
 in the playroom to my dolls,
 in the car,
 laying on the living room floor with the Sesame Street Fever record playing,
 to my dad while he played the piano,
 on my way to take the trash out to the garage in the dark,
 in church with my siblings
 in church with my friend Heather Johnson,


 I was always sure I was going to be a famous singer. I could see it all very clearly in my head doesn't that mean it will happen? When I was a kid my siblings were outside taking care of their respective farm animals for their 4-H projects and I was inside singing along with my parents Barbara Streisand records. ( this was long before I knew her political views :) Or I was playing the piano and singing. Or singing along with John Denver. Imagine my joy when I discovered that if I put both hands over my ears I could hear my own voice while I sang? :) Yeah, Dr Dre has nothing on my headphones from the late 70's :)

 I had a solo in a choir concert in 7th grade in California and I thought I was well on my way to the Grammy's. When I made it to high school in Washington I joined all the choirs I could. There was a jazz choir you had to try out for and I did. I recognize now that my voice was not a jazz choir kind of voice but back then it was a little bit crushing to not get in to the jazz choir. I did not understand. I think my choir teacher recognized something and he offered me the job of being the jazz choir pianist. I was thrilled. Although, I recognize now that I was not a jazz pianist either. I am a classical kind of girl, not a drop of doo wop or improvising in me....anywhere. I am a "follow the rules"..."play exactly what is written on the page" kind of girl. None of that just hanging out in someone's garage and "jammin" for me :) But strangely my jazz choir teacher never made me feel like I was not the best jazz choir pianist the world had ever seen. I recognize now that I surely factored heavily into the difficulty of the songs the choir teacher chose that year. I would not hesitate to say I surely brought them down. Thankfully I never knew that until now. And I can totes handle that information now.

I deeply appreciate my choir teacher for looking out for me. How easy would it have been to have been frustrated with me? How easy would it have been to scold me? How easy it would have been to kindly ask me to leave? I was a self centered high schooler that never thought about what was really going on. I loved my years in choir at the high school. They shaped me in so many ways.

 Okay, so the point of all this musing is that next week I am heading back to my high school in good old Snohomish. My choir teacher retired a few years ago and every year since he retired he puts on a benefit concert to raise money for a scholarship that he gives to a student that will continue in music into college. I have always wanted to attend this yearly concert. Every year something gets in the way that makes it so I can not get back to Snohomish. But this year I made it happen. And as soon as I got that plane ticket I contacted my choir teacher to let him know that finally I was really and truly coming. I was so tired of telling him every year that I was not coming. I told him if he had anything for me to do to help with the concert I would love to help out. I am a "help out" kind of girl. I was assuming to myself that he could give me something like making brownies or emptying the trash cans, or maybe throwing up a few decorations? You know something like that....

He emailed me back and said he was sure he would have something for me to do. And before I knew it it was a few days later and he had called me and asked me to emcee his concert. Yeah, no buying a box from the store and making brownies. I am not sure why I said yes. I am so incredibly nervous. I have googled what an emcee does and it is a huge responsibility. Emcee's set the mood for events. They carry the audience. They lift and build anticipation....they are catalyst...bridge...star maker. You take your good emcees for granted and you always remember the bad ones. Yeah, it is so much like making and bringing brownies.

I have spent the last few months fretting about finding the right dress to wear on stage...fretting about what I need to know....fretting about what a nobody I am to be doing this. Fretting because I will probably learn something from this. Fretting because yet again someone seems to see something I do not see. Fretting about tights versus no tights. Fretting about.....oh, wait that's all :)

When Mr Castro asked I casually mentioned to him....um, I have 4 chickens and seven kids...just in case he forgot what my identifiers were :) He did not seem bothered. I keep waiting for him to change his mind and I am totally okay with him doing some mind changing but he only has 10 days now... he needs to hurry :)

I have a feeling he is yet again teaching me something. It seems as I have been going though what I have been going through these last few years I have been, for the most part, surrounded by people that see me clearly and what me to recognize who I am. My cheerleaders.

So wish me luck and remember this post when I am taking selfies with famous people while emceeing the Academy Awards :)

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