This is the story of a girl who let one negative critique rule her life. A girl who failed to recognized her own talent. A girl who lost faith in herself.
This little girl grew up in a show-business family. Her parents were both fantastic actors and her dad could even sing. Her mom could paint almost as well as Picasso, and both parents had an ear for music. The little girl was pretty much destined to succeed at anything in the fine arts genre.
Pretty much ever since she uttered her first word, she was on stage in plays. She did plays, skits, and musicals for both church and school.
When she was about 9, her church started doing children's musicals. Of course, she auditioned. She loved acting, and was hoping to get a lead part.
Everyone was required to not only do an acting audition, however, but a singing audition as well. So, naturally, she auditioned for that, too. She had never really sung before, so she wasn't sure how things were going to go.
They went extremely well.
Her mom was the director for the musical, and therefore had inside information. Her mom found out that her daughter had one of the best singing auditions out of everybody.
The little girl was given a lead role and two solos. This was the first time she had ever sung in front of an audience.
And the last, for many years.
The next year, it came time for another musical. The little girl was 10 now, and thought she had the lead role in the bag. She received a callback on her acting audition. She did not, however receive a callback for singing.
She was not cast in a lead role. She was not given a solo.
She found out later, from her mother's inside information, that she was not even considered for having a solo. The judges apparently had not liked her audition. They didn't like her voice.
The little girl believed this critique. She began thinking that they were right and that she had no talent. She had no intention of ever singing again.
Well, that didn't last long, of course. She loved singing too much. Her mother enrolled her in voice lessons to improve, but that still didn't stop her from believing that she was talentless. The only people she ever let hear her sing were her mom and her voice teacher. They said she was good, but they had to. Their opinions didn't count in her mind.
This went on for about 5 years.
One day, her school decided to have a musical. Anyone with musical talent was asked to audition for a singing role. Under normal circumstances, the now 15-year-old girl would have done what she always does: fade into the background, and pretend to have no talent. Unfortunately, she didn't have that option. Her mom was, to her dismay, the director. She was, quite literally, forced to audition.
And she got the lead role, with two solos.
But that still wasn't enough to convince her that she could sing. Despite all the comments she got after the play, she didn't believe them. Not one.
In fact, it still took her 2 years after that to start regaining confidence in her ability.
After this musical where everyone realized that, hey, she can sing, many opportunities arose for the girl to sing more. And she was expected to take them.
Her mom wanted her to sing in the school talent show. She didn't.
Her parents and friends wanted her to join the worship band for the youth group. She didn't.
Her mom wanted her to audition for a recording as part of the elementary school girls' curriculum at her church. That one she did, but she regretted it. She didn't get the recording--because she sounded too mature. Not a bad critique, just not right for the part. But that didn't matter.
The judges' opinion about her voice from 5 years earlier still resonated in the back of her head. She still believed it.
Then the next school musical rolled around. Again, she was forced to audition. Again she got the lead part with solos. Again, she lacked confidence.
She put on a small concert for family and a few friends (her new voice teacher's idea, of course). This one was even worse than the musicals.
But then, she went on a mission trip. On this trip, she stepped out, and joined the worship band. She, along with her friends, led many in worship during this time. And she had a great time doing it. She actually found herself more confident than ever before, and realized that this was what she was supposed to be doing.
And finally, after three years of hiding behind the crowd, she joined her youth group's worship band.
With no regrets.
In case you didn't figure this out, this is a true story. The little girl is me. Not to say that I'm like the new Celine Dion or anything, but I am starting to think that I'm not as tone-deaf as I thought I was for so many years. I share this story for a couple reasons: One, for anyone who doesn't get why I was so coy about my singing for so long. Now you know.
Two, to show how I wasted so many years hiding my gift and feeling discouraged just because I had one bad singing day when I was 10. I chose to listen to the opinion of three people who happened to hear me on a bad day, over the opinion of hundreds who have heard me on more than one occasion.
Third, for some reason this story has been on my mind a lot lately, and writing helps me clear my thoughts. What better place to write it than here?