Sunday, March 13, 2011


Sorry it's been so long, but I've been a bit busy. My house is two rooms away from being fully painted, and I also re-started a long-time interest. Last week I auditioned for The Sound of Music.

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.


  1. Well CONGRATULATIONS Shakes. I am certain your father would have been proud to travel any distance to relive that memory and sit in that audience watching you.

    Me? I practice sloth and am pretty good at it though I still need a bit more practice to perfect it as an art form.

  2. Wow! Congratulations on getting the part. And a lovely story about your father.
    We never know what we are actually practicing for until we are in the moment. I write and write and most of it is awful and will never be read by anyone but me. I am hoping it all has a purpose. But in the meantime I am determined to enjoy the practicing - enjoy the process of putting words on the page and discovering my own purpose.

  3. With those I've lost, remembering what I loved best about them, those moments when we worked together, I find that most healthy. I'm glad you had such a memory of our father. I worried a little.

    Congrats on winning the part, too. I've heard you sing on stage before. The audience is a lucky one.

  4. Glad to hear from you… I know you’ll do great.
    All I practice is writing, and perfecting the craft—or should I say growing it instead- I doubt it will ever be perfect.

    One day I’ll look back on a completed manuscript—one day.

  5. Congratulations! Practice makes perfect.

  6. That sounds like so much fun! Never had the time to do anything like that, but I always wanted to. Congrats!