day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument

This one time, at band camp…

There. I got it out of the way for you, because I know that’s what you’re gonna think once you keep reading and find out I was a big ol’ band nerd in high school.

In fact, I still am. And so’s Rach. Because we yelled at the marching band in the Pegasus Parade last week to dress right because they were nowhere close to being in line. Don’t judge.

Anyways, I played the french horn, which, while pretty and extremely awkward to hold, doesn’t lend itself to solos in many well-known pieces. At least not any I can play.

There for a while in my younger days I taught myself a little bit of piano. I knew the notes, I could read the music and on a handful of songs (many of which were Christmas), I learned how to play them using both hands. It’s nowhere near as impressive as Rach’s memorized beginning of “My Heart Will Go On,” but hey, pretty decent for never taking a lesson.

It’s from my favorite musical and an old songbook that’s somewhere in my parents’ house – right next to the Disney one that includes “A Whole New World” which I can also play, VERY, VERY slowly.

“Master of the House” a song from Les Miserables – a.k.a. the best musical ever (right, Matt?)

Don’t ask me to play it though now. I’ve been out of practice. But there were a few days there where I kicked ass at it.

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Idea for a career change that comes up everytime I see a new musical

I am by no means an awesome singer.

I can read music. I can match pitch. I can carry a tune. And given the right song to work with, I can harmonize like a champ.

The extent of my singing includes that time I was in choir at church when I was like, 5 – you know, when everyone’s in choir and it doesn’t matter if you can sing because “Look how cute they are!” – a couple times singing with a group at church as a teenager and the occasional (and usually beer-induced) karaoke.

I sang by myself once at karaoke. It was bad. I blame Ashlee Simpson (my song choice for the evening). Luckily, my friend Katie was there and instead of looking at all the people wondering why I decided to sing in public, I just stared at her and pretended I was anywhere else.

Since then, it’s improved a little. I sing with my friends sometimes at karaoke – Liz and I do a pretty impressive version of “Cowboy Take Me Away” and Chuckie and I kill it on the FRIENDS theme song – “I’ll Be There For You.” But I could never sing solo. Or in front of hundreds of people. Or on American Idol.

Which is why in my car, my apartment and my shower, I take the time to practice for the career change that will pretty much only happen IN MY DREAMS. What career, you ask? Oh, the one where I give up the whole writing and photography thing and join a touring company and perform in musicals. I could have parts in Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler On The Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hairspray and Les Miserables. Doesn’t matter. I know all the songs for all of them. And now, I can add a new one to the list.

About a week ago I saw Wicked. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Ever since that night, I’ve listened to the songs from it at least three times a day. And when nobody else – except maybe my sisters…or Liz – is around, I belt it out like I’m the one on the stage. It’s like that whenever I hear/see a new musical. A couple years ago, I was pretending I was Tracy or Penny (depending on the song) whenever I listened to Hairspray. I usually listen to the songs enough times that I know the dialogue they throw in too. Yeah, I’m that cool.

Too bad I don’t have the amazing voice I need to actually be in a musical. One of my favorite things about seeing a show like Wicked or Phantom or whatever, is seeing people with voices made for these kinds of performance. For example, there was a point – or three – in Wicked where the girl playing one of the leads, Elphaba, hit a note in the song that sounded so amazing it gave me chills. And almost made me cry. Yes. That good.

I will never be that good. But I’m awesome at pretending I am. You should hear me in the car.