Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turning 30

This is part of what my brother got me for my birthday - a broadcasting quality microphone.

Remember this blog post?

I left off with getting a green light on my idea. I contacted the best man of Bran and Dan's wedding. I looked him up on Facebook, added him as a friend, and emailed him. My subject line? "I have a proposal."

I've imagined it many times before when I was little. The times that I really enjoyed playing the piano was when I got to choose my own music and played while singing along to the song. I'd picture myself on a stage, with just me, the piano and a microphone. And hundreds or thousands of eyes were on me. And I'd perform. Alicia Keyes style. Of course, at home behind closed doors, it was all in my head. (Where did you let your imagination run when you were a kid?)

I grew older and nothing changed. Even when I moved out and lived with a room mate, I'd turn on music and belt my heart out (not ashamed to admit). Only when room mates weren't home of course. And didn't care if my neighbours heard. (Punishing them for letting their crying baby sleep on the other side of the wall of my bedroom leaving me wide awake at 3am sometimes).

Of course, this was all just for fun. I've watch lounge singers or crooners at a restaurant performing their daily gigs and I'd wonder what it would be like to be them. I never ever thought of pursuing those thoughts. It was all just imagination. Nor did I ever really wanted to. All imagination. So, I thought, if people want to jump out of planes for their 30th birthday because I suppose it's fun and exciting and out of the norm... then, why not I get up infront of an actual audience? And sing?

I laughed at myself when the first thought of it crossed my mind. I'm not a great singer. But I think the whole idea behind bucket list items is to push yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Once I found out that Vince was going to be best man at one of my best friend's wedding, this thought didn't seem too far-fetched. Y'see, Vince sings. And is very good at it. And has performed at weddings. If there was anyone that could help me with this crazy bucket list item, it would be Vince. Plus, I think surprising Bran and Dan would be crazy fun. Actually, originally this idea sprouted from thoughts of wanting to give them a surprise... not so much as a bucket list item to cross off. But, if we can kill two birds with one stone, let's do it.

So, I emailed Vince. This may sound crazy, but want to do a duet a Bran and Dan's wedding? I went on a rampage on how nervous I would be, and that I think I'm absolutely crazy for proposing it, but just throwing the idea out there. Vince, without much convincing, replied, "sure".

This was months and months before the wedding. My heart was beating a mile a minute just typing out that email. The thought of singing infront of people freaked me out. How the heck was I going to actually do it? At a wedding? Will I ruin my friend's wedding? Will I get so nervous that I'd faint? How embarrassing would that be? All these thoughts ran through my head... but then I calmed myself down with the thoughts that Bran and Dan would love it. I can always pull out of this last minute. Don't worry about it now.

The song was already chosen a long time ago. Bran and Dan had always loved the song "Lucky", by Jason Mraz and Colbie Collait. Dan had mentioned before they even started wedding planning that this song will be a part of the wedding. It was a no brainer that it would be that duet. So, months before the wedding, Vince and I started practicing the song on our own. I played a million and one YouTube covers, and luckily, there were some "male part only" covers where only the guy is singing so I can practice the female part on my own. I learned to harmonize with these YouTubers, and all the while, my heart raced every time I practiced. What the hell was I thinking proposing to do this... 

During a few meetings with the bride and groom to plan the wedding, they had joked about us singing a duet. Requesting that specific song. I bit my tongue while Vince plainly said, "I already said... if you want me to be best man, it's under one condition. I'm not going to sing." Meanwhile, we looked at each other when they weren't looking... and knew we were lying.

Fast forward a few months to right before the wedding. I contacted their wedding planner and told her of our surprise. She mentioned that the bride and groom had told her they were trying to convince us to sing at their wedding but thought we'd be too shy. Bran and Dan had planned to play "Lucky" during their cake-cutting, so now, instead of the DJ putting on that song, he will play the instrumental... and we'd sing. There will be no introduction. It was a perfect set-up for me. I don't have to have the spotlight. For one, there will be Vince. And second, everyone should be watching the couple cutting the cake. If only I was a natural performer... then I wouldn't have to worry so much about my nerves. But if that were the case, this wouldn't be a bucket list item. Nerves is all a big part of it.

And it so was. A few days before the wedding and during our last rehearsal run, my nerves were really getting to me. I was still in the comfort of my own home! And the only person listening was Vince! How the heck was I going to do this at a wedding?? I couldn't stop my rampage on how nervous I would be. I told Vince there was no way I'd go up there without the lyrics (even though I had automatically memorized them with listening to the song over and over again for months). And I told him that the DJ could still switch back to the original music if I didn't feel up for it on the day.

The night of rehearsal turned into a full night of pep-talk. "You'll be fine. And if you screw up? That's okay too. Just keep going. I'll jump in and fill in if you freeze. You're not getting judged. Just go up there and have fun. Think about the real reason you want to do this." For Bran and Dan. He also said, there was no backing out of this. We're doing it. Oh god... But, by the end of rehearsal night, after much coaching from Vince, my nerves were calm and all my worries melted away. He was so chill and cool about it, and good at convincing me that everything would be a-okay... Now, I was actually excited! I couldn't wait. And to see their reaction! Oh, we're going to do this!

The wedding day finally arrived. The whole gig was always in the back of my head, but I was relaxed. I thoroughly enjoyed all the other bits and pieces to the earlier part of the day. When the afternoon rolled around, I started worrying not about the singing, but my speech. I was so worried about the singing, I neglected my speech a little.

 Finally, the evening rolled in... and Brock House was slowly filling up with people. My nerves came back. But bearable. People commented that I looked tired. Or nervous. And maybe a drink or two before the start of the night would help. I declined all drink offers and just counted down the minutes till the party began. Surprisingly, as I sat at the head table with the bride and groom, all that I could think of was our little surprise... but I was still very calm. I looked at Vince several times, probably with my "Oh god, please help me" pleading face... and he'd give me a reassuring smile.

When the time came, the wedding planner came up to me to warn me. "Okay, after this, they're doing their cake cutting," and she handed me a wireless mic.

Welp, ladies and gents.... I did it.

Bran and Dan were shocked and the rest of the room surprised. Nobody saw it coming. And at first, nobody knew we were singing live. And to be completely honest, I was nervous. Pretty nervous. By midsong, I got into it and I loosened up a little... and enjoy the rest of it. I got the biggest hugs from the bride and groom at the end of it all. It wasn't so bad. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I think I'd definitely be less nervous.

I had so much fun.

Thank you, Vince! 

I did it!

Turning 30 bucket list item - check.

More importantly, I hopefully gave the bride and groom another surprise (on top of all the wonderful surprises that day) to make their wedding extra special.

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