To Perform Again...

For as long as I can remember I've always been a performer. Ever since grade school, if there's a show to be done, I'm always there. I've always enjoyed the preparation and rehearsals leading up to it and I don't think I've ever experienced stage fright come show time.

In high school, I was lucky enough to go to a school that was strong in its support of the performing arts. We had a program at the end of every quarter and each year we staged a musical and a Christmas variety show.

Because of all that, I learned stagecraft and how to sing, dance, act (on stage anyway). The biggest tragedy of my life was that I didn't capitalize on any of it. I mean, I knew the basics but I could have really made something out of myself if I just took up classes outside of school.

By the time college rolled along, my endeavors leaned towards organizations, student councils and debating. There were few chances afforded to me to perform and by that time I was already rusty. What I realized later on was that I was much more comfortable on stage than I was on a podium.

Fast forward to now and my evaluation of the life that I've led. I never dreamed of being a star but performing has always been in my blood. So when I was drafted to perform at last year's Rockstar BSM for a charity drive, I was more excited than nervous at the idea. I was nervous because I haven't really performed in front of a crowd for a long time (not counting Rockeoke and Broadwayoke) but I wanted to take the opportunity to gauge how far I've come. I mean, I quit smoking so I can have better control of my vocals.

I don't remember the exact events that led me to performing Green Day's "21 Guns" but the thing is that it wasn't my usual fare. I like the song but I wasn't sure I could pull it off. As a friend puts it, I'm more into ballads and Broadway. Then again, "21 Guns" is a melodic song and the Broadway version from "American Idiot" the musical was just amazing.

To prepare for Rockstar BSM, I had to practice the song for about a week - singing it in karaoke and recording my voice with a minus one version of the song. I even sent one of my earlier (abysmal) recordings to my friends Adrian and Ingrid for a bit of help. I even swore off ice cream and everything that might compromise my vocals during that period.

Unfortunately, on that fateful Friday and because it was a payday, me and the office mates decided to have something from McDonald's delivered and I just had to have the new Creamy Brazo Sundae. Discipline fail.
Maybe because of that and the smoke at Big Sky Mind but a few minutes before show time, I could feel my throat tightening up. And I just had to be the first performer. Then I was so caught up with Karen's intro that I forgot my cue.

Everything was a mess but I had to do it. After I was done, the whole thing just kept going over and over in my head, which compromised my enjoyment of the rest of the evening.
Then I when  I checked out the video, I realized it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. It was far from perfect but then again I have to remember that I'm taking baby steps again. Like I mentioned in this entry, part of this whole crusade is stumbling over and getting back up again.

I just gotta chalk all this up to experience and strive to do better the next time (and I hope there will be one). Meanwhile, I just gotta continue practicing. I already have as much control of my vocals now that I'm not smoking and, as a lot of friends and Wawi Navarroza pointed out, I have stage presence down pat.
Good thing I haven't lost that part of my earlier training.

Rej won the night with her rendition of Alysa Alano's "Keys Me" but I was one of the recipient of the "Best-Dressed" award. Hell yeah!

PS. How do rockers do it? Smoke, drink and perform at the same night in a smoke-filled room?

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