Going Outside of The Box

Have you ever gotten way out of your comfort zone?  What’s it like for you, to try something new?  How do you feel when you do something you’ve never done before?

A couple of days ago, I learned our local minor league baseball team, the Tri-City Valley Cats, were holding open auditions for people to sing The Star Spangled Banner at their home games this season.  I have been told I am a good singer, so I figured, why not?   The worst I could do was not be chosen, and perhaps be a little embarrassed in front of a few judges and a couple of other contestants.

Little did I know.  The larger of our local malls was packed with Saturday shoppers.  There were over 50 contestants, and more arriving as I finished, at number 44.  All of the others had friends and family along for moral support.  I had me.  My husband was on his way home from a visit with his family in Maryland, our kids couldn’t come, and our friends had other commitments.

There was a cameraman from one of the local network affiliates, who filmed some of the contestants.  I breathed a sigh of relief when he left!  Unfortunately, the photographer from one of the local papers arrived right after he left, and she stayed.  My photo was chosen for one on the front page its Sunday local section, and is now in a slide show on its website.

http://www.timesunion.com/news/slideshow/ValleyCats-anthem-tryouts-43255.php#photo-2958649

I have my eyes closed in the photo because they were closed the whole time I sang.  I was concentrating on the tempo, the music and getting the words out properly.  They had us singing it a-capella (that’s with no backup music, for the uninitiated), and it’s not an easy thing to sing, especially without backup.

In my opinion, it is, by far, the least flattering photo taken of me in my entire life!!  Thankfully, the folks at church hadn’t seen it before services Sunday.  Unfortunately, the nurse at my doctor’s office Monday morning and about 1/2 of my coworkers have.  I had it mentioned to me all Monday, and learned they will be posting a print of the website photo to the department bulletin board after our monthly staff meeting Friday.  Oh, my goodness, what a fuss!

Getting outside the box is not easy.  I was nervous, I’ll admit it.  I’ve sung in front of larger crowds.  I just always had moral support someplace, and backup music.  It was never just me and my voice.

But I did it.  And if I did it, that means you can get out of your boxes, too.

P.S. I heard from  the judges a few days later. I was not chosen for the next round.

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