Last night's choir practice was really light, with maybe about half of the people who usually come. That meant that the parts (S,A,T,B) were sitting in a tighter group than usual, and as a result, I ended up sitting about a yard from the choir leader, Toby. He's not the music director, but rather kind of the ruler of all things adult choir, although he's one of the best tenors I've ever heard. He's about 55, short and heavy, with a long beard - once his hair turns white, he's going to be Santa Claus, absolutely.
On a typical rehearsal night, we stay in the upstairs choir room for about an hour, and then go down into the huge sanctuary for the last half hour to rehearse with the organ and get a feel for the real acoustics of the song in the space. Last night, we were actually stuck upstairs, where it's pretty hot, for a long time, because someone was working on the sound system, so we actually went through most of the many pieces that we have in our folders (we're hosting a choir carnivale this weekend, so we have a lot of extra stuff in there at the moment). When we finally got ready to go downstairs, Toby pulled me aside and told me that he wants me to start singing with him, as a duet, for the second services on Sunday mornings. The choir usually only does the much larger first service, so he's been up front with a mic leading the music solo for quite awhile, and he wants someone to help out and take over for him when he's sick / busy / whatever. He also said that it would be a good transition to my performing in the weekly 'special music' slot that occurs during the offering time - every week, or whenever we can find anyone, someone does a performance of some kind during offering, be it playing, singing, or both.
I could have fallen over and died, for several reasons.
On the one hand, I have ALWAYS wanted to perform on my own, or as part of a very small group, but have never felt like it was appropriate to ask. I'm not someone who feels it's appropriate to invite myself to do something like that; I think if someone wants me to do something in particular, they'll ask, and if they don't, it's either not meant to be or I'm not good enough, and I certainly don't want to make an ass of myself, either by asking and being refused or by actually being allowed to do something because everyone is too polite to say that, no, we're sorry, but you stink like month-old dog turdies. Oddly enough, I think it's totally good for OTHER people to volunteer themselves to do things like that, maybe because I can hear them and know they're good, so of course they should feel confident enough to do such a thing. And when I say I've always wanted to do it, I mean that I actually, um, kind of pretend sometimes when I'm singing on my own in the car or whatever, that I, uh, am. doing. it. Yeah, embarrassing, I know, but there you go.
The thing is, not only is Toby a great musician, he's also an older guy, and here's where all my father issues pop up. There's a guy, about my father's age, who I really respect, coming over to me and telling me that he wants ME to do something, that he thinks I'M good at something I've always wanted to be thought of as good at, is a pretty heady experience. On top of all that, he does, I'll admit, pay me some extra attention, I think because I'm one of the youngest people there, and he likes to flirt with girls (not in a creepy way, in a sweet way). So, if you can imagine all of this, you can also probably see that my face was about ON FIRE. I don't remember the last time I blushed like that, but I was probably a lot younger than I am now, I'll tell you.
The problem is that I'm TERRIFIED, and I told him so (of course, I didn't mention any of the other stuff, because if it's embarrassing to admit online, hello!). The very idea makes me so nervous I could almost throw up. I mean, what if I get so scared that I can't sing, or even worse, sing and totally suck because I can't pay attention because everyone is STARING AT ME? OMG. O!M!G! There are only about 100 people in second service, which is only about a third of what comes to first service, but still, that's a lot of people, people.
So I told him I'd think about it. It's not like it's going anywhere, obviously. Really, though, I'm going to be tripping on this for a long time, because this is one of those situations where it's an honor just to be nominated. I know I'll be really disappointed in myself if I don't at least try it, but on the other hand, I physically may not be able to do it. We'll see.
2 months ago