May 24, 2015

Posted in News, Quotes

May 2015 Power Quote

Less than 8-hours of voting left! PLEASE VOTE for me by liking the post of Laura Krier “So Small” on the European Vocal Camp page! A win means a discount on tuition fees! Last year I couldn’t afford to go 🙁 and this year I’ve been saving and saving…

CLICK HERE TO ‘LIKE’ THE POST:

Be sure to like the post on the European Vocal Camp page – not on YouTube, unless you want to like both of course! 😉

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ‘LIKES’ SO FAR! It means more than I could ever eloquently put into words. :* :*

 

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Every day you have to test yourself. If you don’t, it’s a wasted day. -Terry Butts

Poor guy. I bet the author of this quote gets a hard time about his name! But wait, who is this guy, Terry Butts, anyway? In 2000, he won the Marine Corp Athlete of the year and started a company called Strength and Endurance. He trains famous athletes and also turns average people into winning athletes. So, Terry Butts is actually all about “kicking butts,” as an American might say. I love that: A classic case of how you can take a negative thing – like an easily ridiculed surname – and make it work for you.

But that wasn’t even the point of this powerful quote. I was going to lead by saying that as I write this, I’m on pins and needles, obsessively checking the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook in a competition I entered. I’m nervous and practically sick with anticipation. It’s a test on many levels that I didn’t expect to encounter when I entered myself into this competition!

Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it – put myself out there for an online singing competition. I was even trying to find a way out. I had a cold and couldn’t sing properly! Oops, I recovered, but by then, surely I didn’t have time to make a video…. The deadline was in two-weeks and I was panicking. There were two voices in my head – you know the ones – one saying “You can do it!” and the other saying, “You’ll never get it right.”

Then, as if by divine intervention, I found myself saying “yes” to singing for a wedding – also with only two weeks to prepare. You may think that two weeks is enough time, but looking at my schedule, it meant I was really going to have to do some creative planning in order to fit rehearsal time in and at least 4-5 hours for the video-takes, video editing, video conversion and upload (plus on the day of the wedding, there’s warm-up and rehearsal time (2-hours) and performance time (3-5 hours). So between the wedding and the video, I was looking at trying to find at least an extra 20-25 hours in my schedule, from start to finish, in order to make it all happen.

OMG.

But I did it… And every step of the way I wasn’t 100% happy with any of it (lol) but I just did it and prayed. Prayed that I didn’t make a fool of myself; prayed that people would still like me; prayed that I could keep up with everything else in the midst of taking on these extra activities.

And now, as I anxiously wait for the results of the European Vocal Camp competition, I realize that this whole endeavor is a test that I agreed to, but didn’t really know what I was in for. Stage fright for example, oh how I forgot about the shaking hands and wobbly knees!

Self-loathing: Watching and listening back to the video-takes was torture. I wished so much that I could do it over and fix so many things, not to mention lighting, hair and makeup!

And that’s just a start! There’s also been self-doubt and sleep deprivation. But would I go back and say “no” to any of it? Not a chance. This “test” has given me more that I ever expected.

The stage fright experience shook me up, but reminded me that I must never, never lose touch with the realities of what my students experience when they are due to audition, perform or take an exam. The self-loathing aspect, well that’s nothing new, but it reminded me about the importance of acceptance and trust. Acceptance that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to do my best and trust that every experience like this makes us better than before.

The self-doubt that occurred reminded me of something I read long ago. It went something like, “Don’t believe anything anyone says about you – not the good stuff, not the bad stuff. Stay grounded. Keep improving. It’s just talk after all. You’ve only just begun….”

So for me, that’s why Terry Butts (still laughing at his name… sorry Terry!) said we have to test ourselves because it is only in this realm of uncertainty where progress can occur. And we must always find a way to progress and be better than we were yesterday. Why else are we here, right?

As you head into your end of year exams, my message to you this month is simply TEST YOURSELF. Don’t think of your exams as something you have to do because it is given by the school or by your teachers. Think of it as a treasure hunt: An exciting adventure into the discovery of your will power, your determination, your nerve, your abilities, you character, your problem solving skills, your time management skills. Surprise yourself. If I learned anything this month it is that you don’t have to be perfect – but you have to give yourself the chance!

 

 

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