Monday, November 30, 2009

If These Walls Could Talk *New Version*

 **for those loyal readers, who may have encountered a post under this name in the past 36 hours, this is not the same post.  after much contemplation, i decided i hated what I wrote and removed it post haste. the sentiment is the same, but the prose is better, and funnier, if i do say so myself.**

New York City is certainly not a place to concern yourself with privacy.  Not only is it literally impossible to find a square foot of space that isn't already inhabited by some other person (or thing depending on the circumstances) but you will without a doubt share many walls with people in your place of dwelling.  Unless you are a member of the true elite and have access to owning your own brownstone, or even your own floor of a building, you end up "living" under one roof with many people, most of whom you have never met.  You may not find privacy here, but you can certainly find anonymity. 

This creates a problem when you are a singer, who strangely enough doesn't like to sing when people can hear her.  Sound counter intuitive? I am a complicated individual, what more can I say?

My "fear" has been deeply rooted for a long time now, but I said it best when I was in college. I was talking with my acting professor, Joe-a beyond adorable, hunched over, firecracker of a guy who made us run till sweat ran down our temples, and our hearts would pound through our chests.  He was intense, and kind of crazy.  I was talking with him about a monologue he had assigned for me (which I was not completely off book for) and how I hadn't devoted enough time to practicing it.  He asked me why, and I replied,

"Because every time I am in this room to work, I am afraid someone is standing outside the door, listening in, and judging me."

Well there I went bein' all honest about things.

So therein lies the rub, big great blogosphere.  I said it.  I am afraid of judgement! Particularly when it comes to my vocalizing.  Sure I have been hit with overpowering urges to belt out tunes at 1:30am in the privacy of my own recording studio-aka "my bathroom".  There have even been moments at the dinner table, which would result in much glaring from the eyes of my parents. However, I am usually pretty meek when it comes to sharing my voice with others.  Unless I am onstage, during which time I feel completely safe. Don't bother trying to understand the workings of my brain, it will get you no place, I assure you.

So I find myself at a bit of an impasse, because I cannot keep allowing this fear to rule me yet my insides still do a back flip when I think about Mr. Judgey Mc Judgerson in the apartment upstairs rolling his eyes every time I sing a few scales.
I have a few choices at this point: I can

a) Continue to stay silent and only sing when at a voice lesson or an audition, a technique I feel will only backfire.

b) I can construct a sound proof recording studio in my bedroom.  Which would be beyond cool, but also beyond expensive, and I *ahem* have little in the ways of moolah right now

c) Be a big girl, take a deep breath and start singing! I have a feeling it won't be so bad once I really commit to it, and stop worrying about Judgey-McJudge-A-lot upstairs.

(and honestly, he probably isn't judging me anyway).

Well, the choice is clear, my friends.  I shall begin construction on my in home recording studio right quick!

I kid, I kid....such a jokester I am! In this new age of goal setting, I decided fears must be conquered, and music must be made! Maybe I will even open up the windows while I sing and let the world move to the beat of my song. Perhaps little birds will gather round and join me in a chorus? The kitties would have a field day with that!

 Honestly, this will be good for me, like so many of the other goals I have set for myself.  And you never know, if these walls could talk, they just might have some very lovely things to say!


  1. You just need to make sure that you are singing within the appropriate hours of the day, so that no one could make any sort of complaint. People blast music, they beat eachother, the smoke weed till it billows down the hallways. My neighbor sings opera!!! Just sing, you gotta throw caution to the wind. You'll feel better anyways, you have to get your little pleasures in while living in this awful city!

  2. As Orsino would say- and most certainly, Feste would agree- "If music be the food of love, play on!!" This world needs all the love that it can get right now!!! And it is important to share your gifts with others...just be considerate in choosing your times to seranade!!!

  3. I feel the same way about singing in the house. Sometimes we must do what we need to do. :)

  4. Oh goodness, can I relate to that! I *hate* practicing at home, because I can just *see* my downstairs neighbors bitching about the caterwauling coming from above. When I was in grade school, I had the same problem with playing the violin: I would shut my door and stop playing anytime I could hear footsteps outside. I hated to practice when anyone else was in the house.

    Today, I do a lot of singing in the car - I can happily do all of my vocal warmups and screech as much as I want. :)

    Here's something funny - when I imagine being your downstairs neighbor, listening to *you* sing, I smile. You have a great voice, and I can imagine thinking "How cool that I get to live near such a talented woman and be witness to part of her artistic process. This is *exactly* why I wanted to live in a big city like NY/Chicago."

    Thinking that, it makes me a little more brave about my own singing. So how about this - you imagine that I'm *you're* neighbor, and I'll imagine that you're mine. :)