It's a musical I've been practicing for these, oh, past many decades, ever since I was old enough to sing songs on my own. I still remember watching it on laserdisc (yes, my family owned a player, and they amassed hundreds of them by the time I moved out on my own). One of my fondest memories of my father comes from watching this movie, for he let me scan back and sing "Climb Every Mountain" over and over, turning up the volume so that I could belt out the song at the top of my lungs.
Yes, others in the family complained. Thinking about it now, I'm not surprised. It was loud. I was only learning to sing. But when anyone did complain, my father would tell them, "She's practicing."
Last Sunday, that memory burst into me at a key point, when the director asked five of us to sing "Climb Every Mountain" solo to audition. One by one we stepped up and sang, and when it was my turn, the memory of my "practicing," with my father sitting there, without complaining, came to me. What a moment. I knew then what I'd been practicing for--for that one moment, that ending verse, the emotion, the message, everything.
When it was over, I felt so grateful to have that memory, and to have the chance to sing for my father, who passed away four years ago on March 9. (I tried blogging about this Friday, but I lost the whole thing just as I was about to post it.) I knew the casting didn't matter, for I'd sung to my father.
The moment isn't over, though. Maybe it was the memory, maybe it was all that practicing, but I earned the part of Mother Abbess, and when performances begin in May, I'll be belting that song out for the whole audience.
And maybe my father will be there, too, listening. For all I know, he was listening last Sunday, when all that practicing came to fruition.
Have anything you've been practicing for? Has it happened? No? Just wait. You never know when all that practicing is going to pay off, in more ways than one. Don't give up. Keep on practicing.