Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Before I write about what happened, I need to explain something about myself:
I've always been the kind of person that wouldn't sing in front of other people. 

Except for birthday parties. The portuguese birthday song is so incredibly long, that there was always someone deciding to shake things up by starting to sing it a few seconds after everybody else. Others would follow and it normally resulted in noisy confusion of teenage voices singing Happy Birhtday, each to their own pace. I would happily sing in those caotic moments. Nobody could hear me. 

But besides that, never. I barely even sang by myself.  I mostly did it while blowing my hair, so the noise of the drier wouldnt let me hear it.

(the upside down blow is something I've been mastering over the years and does wonders to my hair.)

But, why, you ask, did I do that? 
Why did I so strictly hide my voice from the world? Even from myself?

Well, simply: because my voice was terrible.

In fact, it still is.

But I eventually realised that my awfull singing skills were kind of funny and not that embarrasing. I learned to love that about myself and stop worrying about being heard.

Of course, this wasnt a sudden self-aceptance moment full of rainbows and shiny unicorns, but a slow progress of starting to sing around the house, in front of my flatmates. Singing more times, by myself, while cooking. It eventually evolved to the point when this year, me and Sofia bought the subscription to the karaoke channel for our TV, ending all our parties singing Grease in the company of some other drunk friends.

But I believe the whole process of, hmm being ok with my singing, culminated when Mariana invited me to sing a part of a song in her band's next gig.

she asked ME

I freaked out for a while but said yes. Obviously! What other chance would I have to be invited to do such thing?

They play a sort of Tweepop meets Sesame Street kind of music. Not sure how to descrive it better. I was required not only to sing, but do it dressed as a tree. And the gig was in one of the trendiest art galleries in the city, run by two of my former college teachers.
All the ingredients for major embarrassment.

I felt apprehensive everytime there was a new person confirming their presence in the facebook event page. But I still wanted to do it!

We rehearsed together and the in the day of the concert I was there and I sang my little part.

Not really sure how it went. Mariana said it sounded better then in the rehearsals, but my mind went blank for those few seconds of singing. I only remember my knees were shaking.

After singing I glanced at Diogo. He had also been invited by Mariana to take part on that song.
He, like me, doesn't have any particular musical talent.
And he, like me, was dressed as a tree, and very nervous.
I could see him play the flute with trembling fingers.

now, for the sappy ending:

Looking at him play, I realised how lucky I am to be surrounded by this people, that make me feel safe enough to actually have the courage to do the sort of things that I would be mortified to do otherwise
It felt liberating.
We were a very jittery pair of trees, but I was really proud of us.

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