“His palms are sweaty, weak knees, arms are heavy. There is vomit on his sweater already, his mom’s spaghetti. He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs.”
If there was ever a perfect explanation for how a performer feels while waiting to take the stage, Eminem hit the nail on the head with this excerpt from his song “Lose Yourself.”
Every single time, the nerves are relentless, but the rush of adrenaline is worth the stress.
The memory of that first solo performance is still just as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday, but it was actually three years ago.
It was a Journey medley. “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Lovin’ Touchin’, Squeezin’,” “Anyway You Want It,” and “Faithfully” were the songs the medley consisted of.
We were rehearsing one day after school, and Mr. Hill, the choir director at the time, said, “Hey, Marina, how about you give this solo a shot?”
The thought of a little rehearsal fun turning into an actual performance in front of the whole school was never in the equation, but turning down the opportunity was not either.
Stepping up to the microphone, and preparing for that very first solo as a sophomore at Lakeview High School was a thrilling event to say the least.
It was only one small fraction of the song “Faithfully.” “Restless hearts sleep alone tonight. Sending all my love along the wire.” That was it, but it was enough to get a girl hooked.
After that it was church, school productions, my brother's wedding, and even louder in the shower. Just ask Mom for proof of that.
Music has always been there. It started out with piano lessons in the third grade. Then when Mrs. Collins retired from her teaching, Grandma Brazeal filled her position.
The after school routine consisted of the of us sitting side by side on that skinny little piano bench, playing waltzes, carols, and hymns until she was satisfied.
Then, when middle school came around, I gave my heart to choir.
The idea of soloing was shoved in a box in the back of my mind, but the opportunity and desire never struck until my sophomore year with Mr. Hill and his trick in rehearsal.
At a glance:
Mathew Hill: Lakeview High School choir teacher for two years
Lakeview High School: Located in Lakeview, Oregon