So, my first known talent was singing. I discovered I had a voice long before I discovered my gift with words. And for a while I loved the craft. Like other young black girls born in the 80s – EnVogue was my EVERYTHANG so I obviously wanted to be like them. I even created a girl group in high school, sang behind a curtain once for a school talent show and for a second, they thought I was actually Beyonce (Destiny’s Child – Latoya/Latavia days – LOW NOTES ONLY, def not claiming a yonce voice, even back in my trained days lol).
Still, I most enjoyed singing in the concert choir [above pic, can you find me?] where we performed UIL competition pieces, concerts where we highlighted negro spirituals [normally sung by exceptional college and professional choirs], and learned holiday songs in foreign languages that I still sometimes sing when I’m alone [“O tannenbaum” anyone?]. I absolutely adored dressing in the long black skirts and white blouses with pearls to sing for important people whose names and faces we did not know; harmonizing with women whose voices I could barely keep up with – but somehow I hung in.
A second soprano, I alternated between first and third chair (maybe fourth once or twice when I was skipping class). I wanted to be an alto though – I wouldn’t have to work as hard. Gospel is what wore me out. I was so sick of singing solos in the children’s choir at church that I became resentful of the gift. I literally asked God to take it away that I would be known for my writing and acting – not my singing voice. And [not kidding] suddenly, people stopped asking me to sing.
I still love the art, especially opera and concert form, neo soul, and good R&B…but I’ll never regret my love and dedication to writing. Though, I do aspire to one day showcase my all of my gifts in writing/storytelling, theater, and voice in my creative works.