“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
So in sticking to my New Years Resolution of Trying New Things, last month I tried something I never thought I would ever do… sing in front of a crowd. Now for all of you performers out there and naturally gifted singers, you probably think that’s the easiest thing on earth. And whilst it’s true that I’m comfortable speaking in front of crowds, singing on the other hand, is something I’ve never done and the thought of it terrified me.
I’ve grown up pretty much my whole life loving music, in my family I’m renowned for saying “OMG this is the best song ever!” To every second song that comes on the radio. And of course, I’d sing along. And sometimes I’d even sing so much that it’d get me into trouble. I remember once when I was about 12 years old, we had just moved house and we were unpacking all of our stuff. And when you’re in an empty house, the acoustics are pretty damn awesome. So here I was singing away at the top of my lungs, and my poor Mum has a shocking headache and asks me to stop singing. I did for a while, but I just couldn’t help it. I’d start humming, then very sneakily, start singing again, louder and louder. Eventually Mum absolutely lost it and sent me to the toilet for punishment. (Yea, we got sent to the toilet when we were naughty… I know… strange).
So, what does that story have to do with me today? Well I’ve pretty much always grown up thinking that I’ve got a bad singing voice. And when I got a bit older, I didn’t really care. I just did it and thought that people would have to live with it.
I’ve always admired people who could get up and sing in front of a crowd. And deep down, in the very back of my mind, it’s something I’ve always wanted to try.
So… a few weeks ago, during O Week at our college, we had a Tunes and Tales night, where people can get up and sing, dance, recite and perform whatever they want. I was happily sitting back, enjoying my beers (many many beers). The guy organising it asked if anyone wanted to perform. By this stage, most people had left and there were only a few people chatting on the lawn with friends.
Somehow… I ended up on the little stage along with my friend Andy. My friend Jack played the guitar (amazingly) and Andy rapped his own original rap that he wrote himself (talented much?) and I sang! And what did we sing? Hello by Adele. Of course, we choose one of the biggest songs of recent times. I laughed, I stuffed up the words, I was off key sometimes, but overall, it actually wasn’t too bad. I was honestly having such an amazing time. Dancing side to side, clicking my fingers and singing loud and proud into that microphone. And when Andy started rapping, he just took the whole thing to a whole new level. It was pretty damn awesome.
Sure – I was a little tipsy and it wasn’t a performance of a lifetime, but I was absolutely buzzing after that. My friends who weren’t there couldn’t believe that I actually did it. Luckily my housemate, Nicola, recorded it for proof, or else I’m not sure I would believe I did it.
I may have been nervous as hell, awkward and uncomfortable, but I walked away from that night on the biggest high. It just goes to show that there’s always something new out there to try, and it can all just start with a thought. And with supportive and encouraging people around you, you really can’t go wrong.
So I feel like I can definitely say that I’m well on track with my New Years Resolution for Trying New Things. And if I can get up and sing in front of people, then you can achieve whatever it is in the back of your mind that you’ve always wanted to do.