But, I also know that by choosing to live this way I also miss out on a lot of experiences that in the long run might be deeply rewarding and fulfilling. There is value in stepping outside your comfort zone, trying things you are afraid, attempting what you've never done before.
I call it making the "Bev Choice", in honor of my good friend Bev Cabanatan who has inspired me by choosing to embrace this courageous kind of living here in Saipan. I'd always be amazed when I'd hear her say that she'd decided to take up scuba diving for example or acting on stage precisely because she'd never done it and perhaps even because those activities scared her a little bit (or a lot). What a way to live! I've wanted to live more that way myself, and so I've been trying some new things--outside my safe world of words and ideas and academics. I've chronicled some of those adventures here--my dabbling with rock climbing and my return to scuba diving. And now, I've added another "Bev choice" to my list--though this one wasn't really a choice.
Our student director for REAL Christian Theater, "CK Girl" volunteered to write and direct our full-length play for this season. She did a fantastic job and wrote a smart, funny, and charming musical featuring a heartfelt story of forgivness and love for one's enemies. The play was called "A Song from the Heart" and in keeping with the musical tone, she informed us all of our parts and told us that most of us would be singing several songs.
And so for the first time ever in my life, I sang a solo on stage in front of live audience. I was definitely WAY outside my comfort zone, but I practiced and "CK Girl" who is a great singer in her own right did a good job of coaching me. In the end, it turned out all right. At least I think so; you can judge for yourself by watching the videos below.
"Reality". This was a song I'd never heard before and didn't really like at first, but in the end I came to really like it. If you hear it in the context of the play, it actually fits really well and expresses very effectively the mood of my character, the passionate and artistic "Mr. D" who has come crashing up against some very harsh realities of late.
"A Whole New World". This was the "theme song" for the play and was the second number of the show (and the first one I sang). Fortunately for me, Vero did most of the heavy lifting in that song!
"J"'s character, Amy, the talented singer with the heart of gold and a tough life wows the directors at the audition for A Whole New World (that's the title of the play within a play that is at the center of A Song from the Heart.)
Here I am as "Mr. D" shocked to find that "Lina" (played by "The Treasurer" and standing to my left with the smug grin on her face)the daughter of the key financial supporter of A Whole New World has decided she wants to be the star of the play. What she lacks in talent she makes up for in a lot of wealth and power. Without her dad there will be no play and so she gets her way.
Me and "CK Girl" at the curtain call on opening night. I'm so proud of her! I can assure you I wasn't remotely capable of writing and directing a two hour long full length play when I was 17!
This year's REAL Christian Theater team, the cast and crew of A Song from the Heart.
The team gathers for a prayer of thanksgiving after a successful opening night. We had a second show on the following night , Sunday, May 4, 2008 and this Saturday night we'll perform it again on our tour in Palau.
So, singing turned out okay. I don't think I'll be cutting any albums anytime soon but I actually felt pretty confident by the end. There are other areas however where I'm still well outside my comfort zone. Diving for instance, continues to be a humbling experience. I use more air than just about anyone and every time I go out, I feel so incompetent, gulping down my air at such great rates and having to come in before everyone else. But, I trust that with time what was once difficult and embarassing will become yet another experience that I can enjoy and relish. That's what what making the "Bev choice" is all about.