Sängerschmiede Part 3 – Singing without Fear!?

I started this month of singing class with the feeling of defeat. I had worked so hard and was actually proud of what I had achieved, but then it seemed that I handed in something a bit off-topic for the last assignment. This of course was mainly how my brain perceived it and not based on what actually happened. Nevertheless did it set the tone for the start of my new homework.

The song I got for this month is “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga. I don’t recall hearing that song before, I must’ve been living under a stone in 2016. But the first time I listened to it I started to cry – it really touched me and resonated with me – I guess that’s a good start with a new song.

Is it gonna be off-topic again?

But I just couldn’t get rid of the fear of failing again, of handing in something off-topic again, of letting people down who believed in me. I’ve always been a high achiever and failing is something I’m really not good at (yet). So when I heard during the last feedback session, that my singing was not completely in chest voice yet (as was the briefing) my brain went into auto-mode and it was all that I could think about. I felt like a complete failure and it seemed impossible to get rid of that feeling, even after rewatching everything, noting down all the good things that were said about my video and even after talking it through again with the person who (rightfully) said it.

So here I was stuck in my head and that made it even harder to just let go, be in the moment and allowing new things in.

I’m gonna make a complete fool of myself

I did make some progress, but there I was, two weeks in and only having really worked on the verses of the song. With only a couple of vocal coachings left I got really nervous if it was even doable. During one of the coaching sessions I finally found the right mode that would help me to get the chorus right – “lemon face” (thanks to Isabella, I’ll probably never forget that term). It worked, but also required to make weird grimaces and look ugly. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly vain (I’ll let you be the judge of that) but the thought of doing weird things with my face while singing made me extremely uncomfortable. There’s my head again, being sure, that I’ll look like a fool and it might still not come out right. The sounds coming out of my mouth were also so very unfamiliar to me. It didn’t sound like me at all. Totally fake and put-on. That made it hard to just own it and take it as is.

So now my ears built an alliance with my head. Ugh. That’s not how this was supposed to work out.

Chanelling my inner RuPaul

So I decided I need to own it. I need to channel my inner RuPaul and let things happen. Be ugly, be vulnerable and let go of the fear of not being perfect. Easier said than done, but I tried. I honestly tried to let go of my fears. It wasn’t always successful, but I tried. And I did reach a point during week 3/4 where there was mainly that one high note left to work on. “Walk Away” – how very fitting. So I tried to let go, sing it without fear and sometimes it worked out. But was it gonna be off-topic again? What if I switched into the wrong mode again and it wouldn’t come out right? This s*** is hard. It always seemed to work just fine when I practiced just that line, but as soon as I needed to fit it in the whole song, it just wouldn’t come out.

I’ve been practicing it like crazy and up to a point where it was just frustrating me.

Reasons to Walk Away

So a couple of times during this month, I felt like, just in the song, I had a hundred million reasons to walk away. To quit, to give up on myself and all the work I had already put in. To just say f*** it and be done. Growing hurts so much and it sometimes feels unbearable. And then of course the questions arises – Why would you put yourself through so much emotions for something that’s just a hobby? I don’t really have an answer for this. All I know is in the end it was always worth it, so I’m trying to stay strong and I’ll get through this.

So here’s the video that I handed in this week. Is it perfect – no. Am I satisfied with how it turned out – Right now I am really disappointed tbh, but I am working on loving it 😉

xoxo Nikky

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