Out of the Darkness MAG

November 1, 2017
By HMcDonald SILVER, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
HMcDonald SILVER, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
5 articles 1 photo 0 comments

With beaming lights shining down upon me, the echo of hushed voices seemed deafening, but the loudest rang within me. My own jittery, panicked voice echoed slowly and clearly inside my mind: Just breathe.


Ever since I was young music has resonated with me. For a “tough cookie,” or so I was described, I didn’t feel emotions easily. My friends would be blubbering messes in their movie theater seats beside me, while I watched with dry eyes wondering why I wasn’t wailing with them. It dawned on me later that it wasn’t that the emotions weren’t there, but instead it took something different to bring them out of me. It seems cliché to think something as small as a song could start a revolution within someone, but for me that’s exactly what happens.


When listening to a song the first thing I pay attention to is the lyrics. I analyze what they mean, detect their worth to the singer, and within moments I’m hooked. My father told me that I could remember the lyrics to any song after one listen, even the ones I hadn’t heard in years. He said my ears were always open. Even if I wasn’t talking, I was listening.
I didn’t know I could actually sing until eighth grade. After being told constantly as a child that my singing was ear-splitting, I didn’t have the confidence to try. I limited myself to sing-alongs in the car and hymns at church. But as I aged, my singing voice developed and become quite pleasant. I didn’t think anything of it until my cousin invited me to her own show.


I had known she was an amazing singer, but when I witnessed her sing live something clicked within me. I realized that was something I wanted to do too. Watching her sing, the band playing perfectly in time, I was moved. I felt my mood lift, joy bubbling inside of me. I wanted to use my voice to bring light to people. I knew music could make me feel sadness, anger, happiness or hope; now I wanted to be the one to incite emotions in others.


Once freshman year started I decided it was my time to take a leap. My mother signed me up for the same music lessons my cousin took, which offered performance opportunities with a band. My singing teacher looked an aged rock and roll singer, complete with a fiery personality that was instantly unforgettable. My first few songs were rocky messes as I lost my breath often. After the first go around, she shared some advice, “Don’t be nervous. People think everyone judges them for their art, but half the people out there could never do it themselves. So just breathe.”


Flash forward a few months later. My teacher told me I was ready to sign up for a show. I scribbled my name under the singing section of the pop music show and began rehearsing. In three months, showtime was upon us. I was prepared as could be, but just before the curtains opened my calm facade crumbled. I was anxious and afraid. I had never performed live before. My mind raced. What if I mess up? What will they say? The confidence I had been building quivered within me. This was truly my leap into darkness.


With beaming lights shining down upon me, the echo of hushed voices seemed deafening, but the loudest rang within me. My own jittery, panicked voice echoed slowly and clearly inside my mind: Just breathe.


And from the darkness I emerged. 


The author's comments:

This is a personal essay about my expirences in becoming confident enough to preform live.


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