When I was younger during my time at primary school, you couldn't stop me from jumping up on stage to belt out a tune or two. My go to song was ’My heart will go on' by Celine Dion (I had a strange obsession with the film 'Titanic' and of course Leonardo DiCaprio). I had so much confidence in my abilities to perform. I wasn't blessed with brains but performing, I knew I could do. I also loved to wear over the top outfits (it was the 90's) and felt so bloody fabulous. I wasn't shy at all! When we were living in Brixton, we lived with the grandparents and my grandmother use to take me out shopping, which gave her the chance to show me off to people she knew. I guess that gave me the attitude, that I was someone with talent who had star quality.
While in the first year of secondary school, I stood out like a sore thumb, but not in a bad way. I didn't learn from primary school, when to keep my mouth shut as I don't have a volume button (still don't to this day) but some teachers saw potential in me. So much so, that I was the only year 7 to get a main part in the musical production of 'My Fair Lady' (I swear my mum had a video of this, somewhere). During my time at La Retraite, I was also in the school choir and I felt pretty pleased with myself, that I was seen as a young girl who may not be great with numbers (I loathe maths) but is a damn good performer.
This all dramatically changed when we moved to Kent and I attended Saint John Fisher. People didn't like the confidence I wore, which was slowly broken down, so I had no self-esteem or confidence left. Don't get me wrong, I did do a bit of singing, but I was made to feel embarrassed. To be told that I was no good at something, I thought I was only good at, was heart breaking.
Confidence wouldn't return until I did performing arts A level, but even then I was overlooked by two bigger, brighter personalities, that were even bigger than mine. They shined confidence out of their arses, they also had the brains too, so I had no chance. They were trained from a young age too, while when I was younger, I used the coffee table in my grandparents sitting room, to stand and make up dances to 'The Lion King' theme tune.
Back in the day when I moved to Kent, I went to two different drama clubs, out of school. Even then I was overlooked, but one or two people saw potential, but the bullying had knocked me so far down on the confidence scale, I gave them both up. I adored my singing lessons, but I saw no point to carry it on as no one is going to see me sing. I was lucky enough to perform on the Palladium stage, so no one can take that away from me. My mum paid out a lot for both groups and looking back now I really did give up far too easily.
The glorious age of turning 18 meant I was finally able to drink alcohol legally, which was the perfect solution to regain the confidence I lost over the years. However, alcohol became a solution and I self-medicated. Self-denial played a big part, and to be honest my confidence and self-esteem was still non-exist. When I had alcohol in me, I was able to gain some liquid courage, where picking up a microphone wasn't so daunting. I received compliments, but never took them on board, I thought they were taking the piss. This actually happened when I went to Kos with Dave. I was forced to do karaoke as the entertainment was pretty awful and let's face it, it couldn't get much worse. Singing the first song, I was completely shitting myself (not literally that would have been even more embarrassing) but by the end, I was feeling pretty chuffed with my performance. The holiday makers were very kind, telling me how beautiful my voice was, which was nice to hear as I haven't sung in front of more than 5 people, for such a long time. I forgot the buzz I use to get, performing in front of people and my ego was on an all-time high. I was roped into doing a few more songs, but I didn't mind, and I secretly loved every minute of it.
There is a music group at where I work, where I sometimes sit in and join in as well. This is the only place where I don't feel embarrassed to sing, as it is a small group and it is based in a room where no one judges, which is lovely. I am able to sing, and I get told that I have great vocals, which always makes me feel good about myself.
I do get a rush of excitement when I sing, I do miss performing. I just don't have the guts to go for it, like when I was a kid, who had no fear what so ever! Does anyone else wish they could go back in time? Tell their little mini me to not listen to anyone and go for it?
There is no time machine unfortunately, so I can't undo the past (there would be too many things I would erase) but there are some tips, that maybe one day I might actually take on board as well:
· Fuck the haters (sorry I swear too much)
· Don't let people tell you different
· Believe that you have talent and go for it
· Don't give up on your dreams
· What is the worst thing that can happen?
Has this happen to anyone else? Been made to feel that you aren't good enough? How did you cope with it? Well if it has, which I know, probably has happened to dozens of people, I hope you didn't give up like me!