Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Childhood Dreams

My friend Donielle has a blog about her quest to audition for a Broadway show. You can check it out here. She’s hysterically real in her posts.

Reading about her journey has reminded me how far I’ve strayed from my childhood dreams. I had a lot of them. I wanted to be a hair dresser, orthopedic surgeon, President (yes, I wanted to be President of the United States), talk show host, but mostly I wanted to be a Christian singer. It makes me laugh to think about it now. I wanted to be like Amy Grant in the 80’s…the “Unguarded” years (with her pink leopard print jacket).

While getting all my paperwork ready for college I remember confidentially calling the office and telling them that I wanted to be a professional Christian singer. I’m still shocked that the woman on the other end didn’t burst into laughter. Little did I know that I wasn’t alone. Once I arrived at college (a Christian college at that) I found dozens of people who had the same dream, and I soon learned the harsh reality…they were WAY more talented than I was. They could all play either the piano or guitar…or both. I could play neither. I was too vain to play the guitar…I would have had to cut my long, perfectly manicured finger nails (if the old Katie could see the current Katie’s hands she would be completely appalled). And I just didn’t have the knack for the piano (no, I didn’t inherit that trait from my mom who can play beautifully). The other students could write songs…I tried it but it went over like a lead balloon. And unfortunately I had one other big problem with the whole “be a professional singer” dream…I hated to practice. I would much rather spend my free time playing Spades or going out with my friends, not sitting in an empty practice room by myself singing the same song over and over again.

Needless to say, I was a music major for 2 years. The failing of my piano proficiency exam helps me learn the harsh reality that this would always remain a dream. I graduated with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in music. I discovered that I am much better as an ensemble member than I am at being a soloist. I do great in a choir and can hold my part no matter who’s trying to pull me into their section. And if you need someone who can harmonize with pretty much anyone, I’m your girl. I’m the girl that will sing the notes as they are written and not try to embellish or make things more fancy than intended. And Ella thinks I’m a great singer, which makes me feel good.

Now, 12 years after graduation, I only know one person who went on to find great fame in the Christian music world. Most of my music major friends have gone on to become music teachers. In hindsight, changing my major was a very wise decision…I would have made a terrible music teacher. However, I still think I would be an awesome talk show host!


Gale Alexander said...

Sometimes it takes a while for childhood dreams to come true. For all of my adult life I've wanted to sing in a Broadway musical. I've dreamed about being called up on stage from the audience to fill in for the "star" who had just called in sick. I'm still not sure how they did "Hello Dolly" without me in the leading role. But, in a couple of days I will actually audition for the first time for a part in a musical. At age 67 (almost) I'm going to take a huge step of faith to make my 50 year dream come true. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Curby Alexander said...

You could always become a professional blogger. There wasn't such a thing as blogs when we were young, so it's not exactly a dream. But you're pretty good at it. :)

Jennifer Hawthorne said...

I think you would be an AMAZING talk show host!!!

Donielle said...

Hey thanks for the shout out. I think you would be an amazing talk show host for what it's worth - which as I don't have any pull in the tv world isn't much.
I also think being able to harmonize is a gift many people (even singers) don't have so bravo YOU.

@Gale Alexander - you rock it sister and break a leg on that audition!!!