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14 March 2010 @ 07:46 pm
I realised why I love and hate Gay Chorus today. It reminds me of junior high band.

Love: The community, the shared confusion or bafflement or triumph; the laughter, the smiles, the chats; the singing.

Hate: The pressure; confrontation; being put on the spot.

Essentially, Anthony (the director) reminds me of my junior high band instructor, Mr. Wollof. (We called him Wafflebutt or Walrus.)

He frightens me. I almost had a panic attack when he had the Sopranos go up to sing in front of him during break. I'm new to the group and he asked me if I had any choir experience. I said, "Some, informal, singing quietly in the back..." Others laughed and commented that it was just about the right response. He threw me in with the middle Sopranos. Sure, fair enough.

I had just picked up the piece. I was sight reading and not really singing because, obviously, everyone had seen it before and practiced; I'm also not great at sticking with the middle piece until I've heard it once or twice. I saw that there was a repeat but wanted to take a look at the piece quickly. I looked concerned because my stomach was knotting and I felt unfortable.

I missed him calling my name because the Altos were talking right next to me and the Tenor and Bass men were all chatting behind us as they got snacks. He repeated it, got my attention and gave me A Look. I was flustered. He told me I had look confused (not gently) and asked me if I knew what a repeat was, didn't seem convinced and tried to explain it to me; I knew what it was but stepped forward because I couldn't hear him. He explained it to me three times as if I were stupid. I stepped back and bit my lip.

In my head, I was back in 8th grade with Mr. Wollof making me play my flute in front of my peers despite knowing that I had social anxiety and was panicking inside. I was back in 8th grade when we had to sing notes in front of each other and he would criticise our pitch and get frustrated. I was back in 8th grade when the second he turned around for a break, I tried a soft go at the notes for myself. I was back in 8th grade when Mr. Wollof flew back around weilding his pointy stick of doom and waving it around, yelling, "Who sang that? TELL ME! WHO SANG THAT?" and after a pause "Because it was PERFECT and you ALL need to get it like that for competition." (Which, from anyone else, could sound complimentary; from him, it sounded like a condemnation to everyone else and a threat to the singer if it wasn't matched every time.) I was back in 8th grade having panic attacks in the corridor after he made me play a high flute part that I hadn't auditioned to play.

So, I'm torn. I love the community. I've been there enough times that if I ditch out and stop going, it's a bit of a slap in the face and I don't look so great. Plus I DO like it.

I hate that I love singing but am afraid to do it. I hate that Anthony reminds me of the man who made me afraid to sing.
Current Mood: scaredScared.