Updated: Nov 29, 2019
Last year a friend sent me a text asking if I would be interested in auditioning for an amateur production of Sister Act and my immediate answer was ’no.’ I could feel the word bubbling up to my lips, but before I let that tiny word stop me from stepping outside my comfort zone, I thought about why I wanted to say no. I was scared.
Some years ago I read this amazing book, and to be honest, the title of the book has been enough to get me to go past my fears. ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,’ by Susan Jeffers. This book title has become a mantra for me when I feel afraid of doing something. And those were the words I spoke out loud to myself as I responded ‘yes’ to my friends text. That one little ‘yes’ lead me to the most amazing experience of taking on the lead role of Deloris and discovering some elements of myself and my voice that I didn’t know I had.
The production schedule for Sister Act was brutal, two rehearsals a week for four months, and in the weeks leading up to the show, I saw my fellow cast members more than I did my husband. It was the hardest I had worked on anything in years, and it was unpaid. What?? But, the rewards have been priceless!
On opening night and was very close to hyperventilating. I was on the stage in place for the opening scene, I could hear the audience beyond the curtain, and I was looking into the wings thinking ‘I could make a run for it!’ Then the orchestra started playing the overture and I was at the place of no return. So, I closed my eyes, repeated my mantra, Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway, and when that curtain went up, baby I was Deloris!
For six performances I put on my habit, belted notes I didn’t think I could hit and discovered that I’ve got pretty good comic timing. Doing that show was like a shot of adrenaline to the system, and it got me thinking about other things I wanted to do … just for me.
Before moving to the UK ten years ago, I wrote and self-released my debut CD and just as it was being released, I got engaged, moved to England and got married. The release had a little bit of traction when it first came out in May of 2009, but needless to say, I was a bit distracted with all the changes in my life and that release fell through the cracks.
Fast forward 10 years and I now run an entertainment company booking entertainment for corporate and private events, I’m a professional singer who performs shows all around the UK and I present a weekly radio show in Portsmouth, UK and that takes up the majority of my time and all of my energy. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished in those 10 years, but I also lost a lot of myself in the process. I stopped knowing my own voice. I was stepping into the personas performing various tribute shows and singing other people’s music, I didn’t really know my own voice.
So, I did Sister Act for me. It had nothing to do with my business, nothing to do with my career as a singer, it was just something to do. In the process of doing that show, I heard it again. I heard my own voice. And I started to feel the passion for singing again.
All I wanted to do after Sister Act was write music, unleash my creative expression and dream about the possibilities. So I did. I started writing and creating again, and as of today, I’ve written several songs, and have released five of them as singles. In September I performed my first gig in over 10 years where I only sang my original music, no covers! I’ve got a couple shows booked in for next year where I’ll be showcasing my own music and the plan is to release a full album next year too!
Had I not said ‘yes’ to doing Sister Act, I wouldn’t have said ‘yes’ to me. Today I am not the person I was when I received that text. I’m learning to navigate my discomfort zone and more times than not, I find myself saying ‘feel the fear and do it any way’ and then I do it!