Jenny Hatch VLOG
When we had a gig for The Neil Simon Players a few weeks ago I was doing a mic check and a few of the patrons were in the room while I sang into each mic.
I sang a few lines from a King and I song and then we started our show. After the show a woman came up to me and said that she wished I had shared my voice with the crowd. Only a few people were still milling around, but I asked her if she wanted me to sing a song. She said yes. so I sang You’ll Never walk alone from Carousel. She and the others in the room loved it, so I sang Climb Every Mountain from The Sound of Music.’
Afterwards she told me that those were her two favorite songs. (Aren’t they all of our favorite songs?) This experience was so gratifying that I asked Richard if would be OK for me to prepare a set of Golden Oldies to share as an alternative set with our patrons. He said to go for it.
I think a side of me was wishing he had said no.
I am so much more comfortable as a Director than as a performer.
Performing solo work is one of the most nerve wracking experiences possible.
Add to the mix my lung problems, a high altitude city (5,800 ft), a general terror that my voice is not good enough, and the constant visual in my mind that I am just deluding myself like the character Mary in Pride and Prejudice, utterly clueless about my own limitations.
For those of you not in the singing world, breath support is the key to holding long phrases and singing the high notes. When you are befuddled by Asthma AND Hypoxia and need to be on Oxygen supplementation a good portion of the day like I am and utterly refuse to wear the tubes while performing, a perfect storm of low oxygen saturation coupled with the altitude forces me to take sips of air ALL THE TIME. This is not a big deal when you sing in a choir as you have other voices to fill in the gaps. But when singing as a soloist, it makes the songs sound choppy and breathy.
Death to the song.
Hopefully most of my gigs will be in St George which is 3,000 feet lower than Cedar and I actually sound like a singer…
I told my pals on The Neil Simon Board of Directors about this plan to sing the oldies as a set, not really informing them that I had about a years worth of rehearsing and memorization that still needed to happen before I would be ready for a 90 minute show. My friend Dave mentioned that he felt my songs would be perfect for the Honor Flight crowd.
Well, the Honor Flight might be ready for me, but I only had two weeks to prepare, and only four songs memorized.
After freaking out for a couple days, I realized that I only needed to sing the songs that I already had memorized and that we had options in terms of what show we did.
When I talked to the gentleman organizing the event I explained to him the show that I envisioned with lots of different songs from our team of players.
He said it sounded perfect.
So I still have the sense of having been thrown into the deep end of the pool and swimming frantically to stay afloat, but I am determined to give these songs my best shot.
Last night I decided to tape myself singing the set into my phone. I use this tactic with my vocal performance students. as a way for them to self critique.
As I watched the videos today, I was mostly mortified by what appeared on my You Tube Channel.
At this point the only thing that is keeping me going is the look in the eyes of those people who I sang for a couple weeks ago and the joy I felt singing to them.
As I told my daughter Shelly today, I have to start somewhere…