Monday, June 9

Why DOES that damn caged bird sing?

I am scared of singing.

It's true. I enjoy it. I enjoy it a lot. I do it constant around the house... when I'm alone. But in public? Big fear. I am not confident with my voice. I often suddenly find my self unable to pronounce even the simplest words. Any time I try to hum a popular song to someone it comes out as random discordant notes, like John Cage on lithium. In fact the whole Scott family is a bit infamous for not singing. Yes, I do not enjoy karaoke.

But I do like musical theater. It allows you to break so many of the conventions of "normal" theater. You can go from dead serious to wild camp in seconds. Emotions can be heightened way out of proportion. Slipping into an internal monologue is not only okay but expected. Music gets straight to musical core of things. You can gloss over subtlety. A character loves someone more that they love there own life? They can say that. They can say that over and over if it is in the chorus. And it isn't overblown or silly. It's frackin' moving.

So a while back I started to take a musical improv class with Eliza Skinner (of I Eat Pandas and many other swell things) at UCB. I was pretty sure I'd suck at it. I wasn't even sure I'd like it. Turns out I do like it. Enough that, when asked, I joined a musical improv team.

I had my first show with them last night. And it was magical. Audience get very excited by songs... especially improv ones. And as a performer, you get swept up in the song and your brain shuts down, and you just react in the moment.

I don't know how good I am. I am pretty good with structure. I commit to moments well. My actually singing goes all over the map. The notes I hear in my head rarely come out of my mouth. But that seems some what secondary. And it help that my team, Veal, rocks out on support.

Thing is, I totally burnt out on improv recently. I forgot the fun. I took a few weeks off, gave it a lot of thought, tried to put it all in perspective. Coming back, even after that short break, seems to have made me stop sweating the small stuff.

Yeah, that little bit was pretty cliché. But if I sang it....