sing jessica sing.

i come from a long line of singers.  both my parents traveled and sang. my dad even recorded an album.  album?  let's review - cd, tape, eight track, record (album)...the large black round thing. 
keep up.  
numerous aunts and uncles on both sides sing.  one of my uncles is a dead ringer for kenny rogers and he sings like him too. he has even autographed stuff when people ask him to (as kenny, of course).  he's obviously very shy.  he calls me gypsy.  i have no idea why.  
one aunt is a writer and has written several hits (southern gospel)...and you thought she was cyndi lauper?  most all my cousins sing.  my brother sings well, but only if he thinks you are not listening. one of my nephews is an awesome piano player and guitarist, one plays the drums and the other watches football and golf A LOT.  any holiday, at any given moment, it is a given someone will bust out in song commanding the rest of the family to listen.  they love the harmony, the more harmony the better.  this makes my friend LD's skin crawl.  my aunt pud can sing, but she would rather do her stand up act...the wide mouth frog is her specialty.  she tells it every christmas.  and it is funny every christmas. anybody wanna spend christmas with me?
as not shy as i am, i am kinda shy when it comes to performing.  i love to sing and will if asked, but something about the simple fact that every eye in the room is suddenly forced upon you, and every mouth is hushed because you are commanding the audience...yeah, just kinda makes me want to throw up. just being honest.  home alone, you have never heard better.  put me on the spot - i got nothing, i will clam up quicker than, well...a clam. even when i hear professional artist do their thing, i get nervous for them and all the while they are singing, i am thinking, "ahhh. i really hope they don't mess up."
so, myself, being the daughter of roy and jane morrison who traveled an hour to nashville every sunday most on my toddler and young childhood years to sing...if i had any kind of voice, i was gonna give it a whirl.  
i will NEVER forget the first time i sang a solo alone in public.  talk about scared.  i think i have probably never been more scared in my entire life. our church traveled to nashville rescue mission once a week to do the chapel service.  nashville rescue mission is a local shelter for homeless men, women and children.   i am not sure how it is now, but back in the day...before the people at the mission could get their nightly meal, they had to go to a chapel service comprised of different churches who would volunteer to do services.  
i was about thirteen or fourteen.  i had decided this would be a fabulous place to perform for the first time, because i would not know anyone there.  
did i mention that sometimes i act before i think things through?  
i do.  even now. 
so after much nightly practice in front of mom and dad with my "soundtrac" cassette on M (medium) range without background vocals, the night was here.  i was ready.  i knew "consider the lilies" like the back of my hand.  
get this first gig over with, and watch out world......
i had been to nashville rescue mission a lot of times with my church. every time we were there, there were always several men that would yell out during the service, often times there were some that were obviously intoxicated, some sleeping, a few listening, most just being loud and scary.
what a great idea to sing for the first time there.  
"and now we have a young girl here, it is her first time to sing in front of a crowd, jessica, you ready?"  talk about shaking in my boots...okay, eastlands.  with the twirled laces.
  • walk up four steps onto the stage  (dear, lord...my right leg is shaking...)
  • put the lyrics on the pulpit (man, this pulpit is tall)
  • take the mic out of the stand to hold
  • sign my mom to cue the music
  • look at the over sized clock on the very back wall
  • oh my, there are a lot of men here.  why are some yelling?  
  • focus on the clock, jessica.
  • the clock.  look at the clock.
  • sing, jessica, sing.
i was so scared.  i will never forget the smell of the room.  and how when i would look away from that huge lifesaver of a clock, that the men that were not sleeping, yelling, or talking.......were listening. they were listening to me.   who knows if i touched someone that night, i would like to think maybe...i did.
soon thereafter, i decided to be a rapper.  
my name is jessica, and i am real cool.
i may look dumb, but i ain't no fool...
okay, i am stopping now.  i am embarrassed.

1 comment:

Cookie said...

love you girl, you are so REAL!

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