Play Your Position

This phrase has been in my mind this morning.  I am reflecting on the different situations I have found myself in musically over the years and realizing that it all adds up.  I have had to be in the background, at times ( which was difficult for me  early on because my pride and ego felt as though I had the talent to shine at the time)...It was a lesson in humility and one that I have never forgotten.  I had to understand that even though I thought I was ready... I was not polished enough, nor in the kind of shape that would have allowed me to be taken seriously in that particular realm at the time.

I have had to play second fiddle, to someone who's ego was bigger than mine and who had more experience performing.  It was a little easier, because of the previous lesson and because I felt that I could definitely use the opportunity to learn.  I was very conscious of not stepping on toes or trying to make anyone feel like I was being overbearing.  I made some friends who showed me a lot about the business of performing.  I honed my skills until it was my turn to be upfront.

I had a lot of insecurity to battle during those years. I was told I was, too fat, too old, too white, too black, too this/ too that...whatever.  My skin thickened immensely.  Some people were complimenting me... but I never knew if they were around because of my growing notoriety and popularity in the clubs( free drinks/no cover charges,LOL)  or if they truly appreciated my talents.   I have had to tone down my style, so I don't offend or hurt the feelings of others at times.  And sometimes, I have had to be a trooper and press my voice to finish a night.

I have been in a position where I have had to sing songs I don't necessarily like, to please the crowds and keep a band popular (got to give the people what they want). And I have been in situations where I have had to sing in choral groups where there were not other strong singers and help to carry notes for the majority of voices to be in tune.

 

All of this has built up my resolve and resilience.  I would never trade any of these situations because they have all helped me to grow.  I can honestly say, that I feel like there has been a blossoming with each level and each lesson.  I have learned that giving grace and showing loving kindness to others, is the best way to move to your next level.  Taking criticisms and developing from it, is much better than holding on to hurts.  

So now, when I am singing music that I love and believe in and can call my own...it feels great!!!  It is also the culmination of having learned to play my position.  You cannot be out front all of the time in life... sometimes, what you do in the background will get you noticed when you think no one is looking.  Sometimes, you should take a step out of the spotlight to make sure you are on top of your game.  That way, when it is finally your turn, you will be unstoppable.

 

I know enough to know what I am good at and what I need to develop.  And as long as I am alive, I will always be open to learn more....

 

 

Much Love, 

 

Carmen

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