I used to be a country singer. (Well, we lived in the country and I loved to sing.) It was sort of therapeutic for me whenever I got stressed. Besides, there wasn’t much else to do in the evenings. And initially the only audience I had was my long-suffering siblings and parents. Then some critics in the form of neighbors came into the picture. Then we had family friends, including a cousin (who broke my guitar while trying to play sepak takraw and strum it at the same time).
Now, fast-forward to 21st century. I often wondered what chance I’d have getting up on a stage and singing to a real live audience. The few chances I had for me to find out, I blew them. (I chickened out.) The only place I could get to sing without inhibitions was in the bathroom. I could try the living room but then whenever I got the mike plugged in, the kids “have homework to do”, “gotta get to bed early”. Wifey would busy herself in the kitchen. I just guess my singing isn’t much to shout about. I’ll say that they’re more understanding than appreciative, its dad’s way to de-stress.
One evening, at Sook Wen’s wedding dinner there was a karaoke session, and there were some good singers and some so-so ones, all scrambling for the mike. Fine, let’s just be entertained and eat. I was chewing on some chicken in my mouth when I heard my name being called out by the MC, introducing me as the uncle of the bride. Being the good uncle that I am, I wasn’t about to let the bride down. So I gamely got on to the stand and delivered a poorly timed ‘Green green grass of home’. That wasn’t so bad because I wasn’t told in advance and didn’t have time to turn my stomach into knots waiting for the cue.
I’m not really too keen about conquering my fear of the stage. I don’t need to earn a living from it. But remembering an old lesson from dad about facing my fears, anything I’m scared of doing I just thought I should take a shot at before I got too old for it. (I don’t think they’d let me up on the Bungee platform without a medical certificate, would they? Anyway, I’m not scared of that, so I’ll rule that out as a challenge!). But heck, why not? Some day I may need to get up there and announce something or say something on someone else’s behalf and find myself getting stage-fright. Err, scary.
So, last night at our company’s annual din (I mean dinner, but ‘din’ is the correct description for it) I took to the stage for the 2nd time in my life. Shivering in the knees but managed to keep my voice steady, I introduced my song with, “This is a song recorded in 1960 by the Brothers Four. But tonight I’m going to sing it alone. (pause) It’s called - Greenfields” (But why the heavens did they make the music so much slower than when I was rehearsing it?).
I got a colleague to record it with my
Here’s the Country Singer doing his stuff.
P.S. Sorry folks, no show. The Olympus FE150 came with a quirky Quicktime.exe playable only on version 6.4. Can't run on anything else. Too bad those folks at Olympus better buck up.