Dreams, Realities and Obo Players

July 8, 2011
Today at rehearsal for Jeanne de’ Arc I had a revelation. Or as Oprah would say, “My Aha Moment”... Sometimes I read some of my mom’s old O magazines. Well before I explain my epiphany, I guess I should explain why I was singing for Joan of Arc anyway. My choir is the Voix de’ enfants, the children choir. I bet you didn’t know I was a singer, or a professional one for that matter! Well maybe not as “professional” as it seems. Behind the French fecade, this was a pretty big deal for my choir to be apart of. We were working in the Bach Festival! It’s amazing to work alongside such talented singers.It’s times like these when I feel best about my “vocal abilities”. I doubt myself sometimes though.

My school is extremely competitive when it comes to the arts. I mean, suddenly I need voice lessons, dance lessons and acting class just to get into a show! Everyone is so passionate about it, and I envy them. They just know this is exactly what they want to do. They have big dreams of being on Broadway or being a movie star, name your average american dream. But, since when are we supposed to know what we want to do with our lives at 15? I mean some of these kids have been dancing since they were able to walk. And I wonder, is this really what they want to do? If they’re parents had chosen sports instead, would they want to be professional baseball players? It doesn’t make sense to me.

See I started thinking about all this during rehearsal. I was sitting on the risers watching the orchestra play, and I spotted a cute 20-25 year old. He had dark features a sweet smile and some black casual flip flops. But I wasn’t staring at him for his nice features (all though that was a nice touch) but because of the instrument he was playing. The obo. And I couldn’t stop thinking, how could a man like him be playing the obo? How does anyone on this EARTH play the obo? Was his parents rich and wanted to enrich his life with music, and bought him an obo and a Bach soundtrack? It seems like if he was forced in it he wouldn’t still be playing, especially at such a high level. When I watched him play, he had a little sway about him, his eyes closed, like he was feeling the music. So maybe he was truly in love with his instrument and found it on his own. Maybe he was a band nerd, and they needed an Obo player so he tried it and fell in love. Or maybe he really hates it, and that’s just how all Obo players play there Obo’s.

It seems like when it comes to performers and singers, you just know that’s what you want to do. Like there’s some unspoken bond between you and your passion, unshakable. So if I’m unsure about it, does that mean I am destined for failure? Or maybe that’s not how it works at all. Maybe the kids who grew up dancing end up working in law firms, and the sport king as a kid turns into the singer songwriter. Maybe that passion is always there, but the world just takes you some place else.

For now though, I think I’ll just stick to what I like. Just sing, act and write. Not worry about the future, like I always do. It’s hard not knowing though. Who you’re going to be. Maybe that’s the life of a fifteen year old. Not knowing or preparing for what happens in your future.





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