Day 5 9.25.2013
I'm a Dancer and a Dancer dances.
So goes the iconic line from the musical A Chorus Line. And that's how I've always felt about being a singer. It's not just what I do, it's who I am. I sing because I am a singer. And a singer sings. Except how I don't right now. And the realization that the music goes on while you're waiting to get better can really hurt.
I am dispensable. That is a harsh reality to face. But as I said in an earlier post, sopranos are a dime a dozen. And I'm injured. So someone has to come in and take my spot. Here's the thing I don't ever talk about, though ... I was once the replacement. That's how I got my job singing at Trinity Church. A long time soprano who, by all accounts, had a glorious instrument, suffered an awful blow when she learned that she was developing some serious hearing problems, which ultimately meant that she couldn't sing anymore, because she couldn't match pitch, follow tempi ... I don't think she couldn't even hear herself. That was how the position came about in the first place. And I know she had to have been distraught at not being able to sing anymore, but instead of leaving she became a second conductor and accompanist to the director. And as I stood in front of the choir tonight, to rehearse the piece we're presenting on Sunday, knowing another soloist is being brought in to sing something that I otherwise would have performed, I felt this rush of history repeating itself, only with different players. Now I'm on the other side of the piano, as it were. And I don't like it.
I'm turning 40 next week. I don't much like that, either, but there it is. I'm an almost-forty, injured and rehabbing singer. If I were a horse, I'd be glue by now. If I were a baseball player, I'd be on the DL and hoping that the kid they brought up from the minors to replace me couldn't hit the ball if it were on a tee. But I'm not any of those. I'm a singer. And a singer sings.
At least, I used to ...