By Kristina Biel
In my life, I have never experienced such a rush of happiness and energy until I started singing. Holding the mic up to your face, taking in the beginning breath, and pouring whatever you have bottled up inside of you out into the world through tides of lyrics and melody. Of course, that energy cannot excuse the ever so loved mistakes and screw-ups that follow every performance.
I remember my first big mistake while performing to a crowd. I was in the seventh grade, and for the solo and small group recital, I was singing “Amazing Grace.” A little background you should know is that I used to have terrible, absolutely horrendous, stage fright. So while I was singing, more like trying to sing, I started balling in the middle of the song and was barely able to finish it. I bet you could tell I did not win Best In Sight that day, but I did learn something about myself, that if I ever wanted to make it in life, I cannot just cry when frightened. The next year I went on and got over that stage fright and sang “Sit Down Servant”, one of my most favorite songs I have ever sung.
Another of my memorable screw-ups occurred in the ninth grade during the annual Christmas concert. I was doing a solo of the song “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas,” and I got another whiff of stage fright. I unintentionally kept walking out of the spotlight, and to top it all off, I screwed up the lyrics and switched up the verses. I learned from that mishap that practice makes perfect.
To bring things to a lighter note, I wrote my solo for next year’s Christmas concert, titled “Christmas Wish,” and that is when I fell in love with writing music. I have a song on Spotify, “Butterfly Bubble,” I play gigs all around, and have an album coming out at the end of February to early March. I also have a Christmas album coming out at the end of the year!
Going back to the topic of musically inclined mishaps, how about we rewind to the events at Minnesota Sings. Ellie Liew and I had the opportunity to represent Harmony up at the state singing competition, titled Minnesota Sings. While I was performing a song titled “Bad Guy” from one of my favorite musicals, and I blew it. I started off-key and looked like a crack addict singing it. I knew I should have done “I’m Still Standing,” yet my stubborn self wanted to stick to “Bad Guy.” I also did a song called “Exs and Ohs,” but that went well. I liked that performance. Still, I practiced and practiced every day, and I screwed it up when the time came! That taught me the lesson of never rely just on training, the fates can have something against you sometimes.
Finally, one of my most embarrassing moments is when I sang the National Anthem up at the state fair. One of my biggest crowds, 6,000. I started strong with an off-key note, and that is when the nerves kicked in. I said “made” instead of “hailed” and then screwed up the “Glare” note. I probably committed treason that day by accident with the dreadful performance and will probably never be asked to sing at a big event again. Still, I did not do that badly. I fixed it up a little bit and kind of redeemed myself, and I learned a lesson that day too! Never sing when you have not gotten a full night’s rest from the last two weeks!
Although the cons may be seeming to outweigh the pros, let me tell you something, the cons never do. A good performance feels fantastic, like scoring the winning touchdown or beating your record during track season. The pros are so rewarding that not even the biggest con in the world can outshine the feeling. That is why I keep singing, that is why I take every chance to practice and perform, for the energy of success.
Kristina Biel is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of nine area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 22nd year.