It was an ordinary Wednesday. Nothing special until my parents came home and surprised me with a light brown, shiny, wooden, smooth acoustic guitar. When I got a good glimpse of the guitar my face was emotionless, I didn’t know that it was coming. I then focused my attention to the television screen, but at the very moment when my mom handed me the guitar my face suddenly lit up with joy. I bought a ukulele from Hawaii but I wasn’t really fond of it. Getting a guitar to replace my ukulele blew me away; I couldn’t wait to learn songs on it. My parents signed me up for guitar lessons and I found it to be helpful because I asked my guitar teacher to teach me how to play “Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch. I always wanted to learn how to play that ever since I heard my sisters’ friend play it on the guitar and my sister did vocals. I somewhat relate to the song because I had a best friend, who was also my neighbor but when she moved away we suddenly drifted apart. This made me want to learn the song because any song that I relate to I enjoy singing whether it has a sad or happy message. I pretty much mastered the song and it was the first full length song that I had ever learned to play and sing on the guitar. It made me want to achieve a goal of writing my own song and singing it up on a stage in front of an audience, like I was a pop star for a night. That opportunity came to life when I had to choose what to do for my eighth grade project presentation.
In the middle of my eighth grade year at Poet Christian the eighth graders were informed that they had to conduct a project and present it to the enrichment teachers and afterward present it to an audience at the multi-purpose building at school. At first I was pretty shaken. I was literally shivering in my seat, but the room temperature wasn’t that cold. Whenever I had to stand up in front of a class and speak I’d always have a bad feeling in my stomach, like I just ate something sharp. It wasn’t a comforting feeling. I had no choice; I had to choose between creating a project or repeat the eighth grade. It took me awhile to think of what kind of project I should endure but I realized that I could play my guitar. I even wrote an original song called “Dreams of My Life” and I could also play the “Goodbye to You” song by Michelle Branch; this was the big chance of proving to myself I had the ability to sing solo in front of a room full of strangers.
My music teacher, Ms. Yates, believed that criticism is always key to perfecting ones performance. She was excited to know that I was going to sing an original song and also sing one of my favorite songs. I called my project The Abigail Olivar and Michelle Branch Connection because Michelle Branch’s songs influenced me to write a song similar to her style. Ms. Yates wanted to hear me sing my “Dreams of My Life” song to her. It was my song; I developed the chords and lyrics all by myself in about two weeks one summer. As I was singing I felt comfortable, just me and my guitar singing in front of Ms. Yates. When I was done with my song she told me that she was impressed. She was a teacher who had seen me present a speech in front of a crowd before and noticed that I was nervous all through my speech. But when I was singing she praised me saying I was flawless throughout the whole song, as though it all came naturally to me.
I wanted to impress the other enrichment teachers like I did with Ms. Yates but when it was my turn to present my project to the teachers I just froze in place and started to cry. The dance teacher, Mrs. Andrade, encouraged me. She reminded me that there was nothing to be afraid of; I was in a room with teachers that I knew. At a point I was a student in each and every one of their classes. I wiped my tears away and began to sing to them. I decided to sing the
“Goodbye to You” song to the enrichment teachers because I wanted to sing my “Dreams of My Life” song on the main event. I sang my heart out and got rid of all the nerves that were stirring on the inside and finished my song. They were astonished at how I barely looked down at my guitar to check if I was strumming the right chords. They were proud of me. When I was singing I saw Mrs. Andrade’s jaw drop. All my enrichment teachers found me as a shy student when I was in their classes but when I sang to them I knew they were amazed that I, the shy girl, had the courage to step up in front of them and sing. I finally felt excited to sing my piece of music to an audience.
It was finally the night where the eighth graders had to present their projects to their friends, family and complete strangers. I was shaking in my seat. My heart was beating rapidly. I was too anxious; I couldn’t wait to go up on stage and share my song with every single one of those audience members. When it was finally my turn to present I grabbed my guitar from backstage and waited for my cue to go up on the main stage and introduce myself. My voice cracked when I shared my name, the title of my project and the song that I wrote “Dreams of My Life.” The song was about me wondering what my life would be like in the future. After that introduction I maintained my posture and sang my song to the audience. I felt empowered up on stage; it was an adrenaline rush up there. I had my guitar at hand, strumming and singing to my own song, the bright spot light right on me and eyes on me. I truly felt like a pop star for the night.
I achieved my goal of singing my original song to the audience. My instincts told me that the audience related to my song. I was also on the front page of the newspaper the next day; I achieved more than I bargained for. I came to learn that I embody great talent that not everyone can possess. Most people feel more comfortable presenting a speech on stage than singing to a group of people like me. I’ve always wanted to reach out to the audience, but my lack of confidence when I gave a verbal speech always got in the way. Sharing my voice in song did the trick. For the individuals who have stage fright but want a chance in the spotlight. It’s important to tell oneself that it’s possible to conquer that stage fright. Positivity to one’s own self will raise their self esteem and that risen self esteem will make the individual excited to go up in front of a large crowd and sing or present their material confidentially. Now when I sing in front of a large crowd alone I feel confident and I have fun. I still sometimes get nervous when I’m performing something but I conjure up those nerves and compliment them in my performance to make it stronger. My experience in singing in front of a large audience has changed me miraculously; I now feel that I have found my true calling in life, singing. When I have the opportunity I perform songs on my guitar and sing karaoke at family parties. I also upload music videos of me on Youtube for the world to see. I never want my moment in the spotlight to end.
Created: Jul 18, 2010Document Media