Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
As much as I LOVE being on stage and performing, I have been afraid to sing. It’s not that I don’t like to sing…I love singing…but somehow, at some point, someone made me feel uncomfortable about my voice and I stopped. I decided it was time to get past that, and do my first audition that included singing…way out of my comfort zone, but definitely something I’ve wanted to do for ages.
Of course when the day came, I was sick, my voice was hoarse and in and out, I messed up the music I gave to the pianist, and I had to go first for my audition. SINGING. It was my first musical theatre audition in *mumble* years. I had been sick all week too, so I was poorly prepared. I was out of my comfort zone, but still determined to go for it. I actually had to cut it short because I had the wrong music, but at least I felt I did fairly well. Not a complete embarrassment. Whew!
I breathed a sigh of relief, not quite sure what I had even done on stage anymore, and went to my seat. Only dancing left to do after this, and that didn’t scare me! But then, just a few minutes later, the music director came up to me and asked me to sing another song.
That was when I panicked.
Another song? But I don’t have another song! He said I could even just do a Christmas carol or something.
Suddenly I couldn’t even remember any carols. The only song that I could remember was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…but I don’t think that’s a good audition song…
With some help from friends and going through books, I was pushed to try a song I’d never sung outside my shower, yet had known since childhood.
This was the moment of truth. I could sneak out and avoid potential humiliation…or I count to 3, take a deep breath, and instead of running out of the theatre crying…I could run out of my comfort zone and do the thing I’ve been most scared of.
I chose the latter. And I didn’t die!
I expected him to have me sing a few lines, decide I sounded like a dying seal, and cut me off. But…he didn’t. And somehow I remembered a few things my friend had taught me to help me sound better when I sang, while standing directly next to him as he conducted the pianist and I read over her shoulder. And suddenly I was singing from Les Mis in front of a bunch of people and no one was throwing tomatoes at me or laughing or anything!
Was I good enough to get the part? I don’t know. But no matter what happens, I. DID. IT. I did something that was way, way outside of my comfort zone, and lived to tell the tale.
The truth is, it’s invigorating to do something you thought you couldn’t. We get so comfortable in our day to day lives, in our status quo, that we forget to live. We forget that to grow, we have to try new things.
Even when those things feel scary.
And especially when those things are things we always dreamed of doing but never took the steps to actually do them.
I keep that comic now as the lock screen on my phone to remind every single day that I just have to do one thing that I’m afraid to do each day, and I hope you will too. It doesn’t have to be something as big as auditioning for musical theatre. It could be saying hello to a stranger, sending that email you’ve been afraid to send, calling that place you always wanted to work, or reaching out to that guy or girl you’ve been crushing on. Maybe it’s just going to the store without wearing makeup, or, for some of us, going to the store WITH wearing makeup. Whatever it is you choose, I would love to hear what you conquer!