Monday, November 25, 2013

Lisa the Broadway Sensation!

Growing up as the middle of three children, alone time became a rare, albeit welcome respite from the daily squabbles with my older sister Bev and play time with my baby brother Steven.

My tiny bedroom, which boasted brightly colored walls painted to match the orange shag carpeting, played host to two twin beds, two dressers, and not nearly enough closet space.   My side of the room, much to my neater sister's chagrin,  could best be described as a "slob paradise". Yet I didn't care.

For when Bev wasn't around, my bedroom became my haven. My escape. My place where it felt safe to unlock an imaginary world where I could become an adored actress, a best selling author, or a world famous rock star.  Yes, with my brush microphone in one hand and tennis racquet guitar in the other, I'd sing along to my 45 records, giving the performance of a life time to sell out crowds.

45's how we listened to music in the dinosaur era
Just when I thought that being an actress, author, and rock star wasn't parents introduced me to something truly mesmerizing! Live theater!  At the tender age of 10 I joined Bev, my mom and dad in the orchestra section at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia to watch the national touring company production of the Broadway hit "Annie".  Surely, if a precocious little red head could bring the house down by belting out "Tomorrow" like there was no tomorrow, then I could do it too.  It didn't matter that at 10, the gawky years had begun to rear their ugly head.  It didn't matter that producers of Broadway musicals were not looking for shy little girls with stringy hair, glasses, and braces, who didn't know how to adjust to figures that had become "feminine" much too early.

Yes, none of that mattered.  Alone in my bedroom, I too belted out "Tomorrow" like there was no tomorrow, practicing for hours on end for my Broadway debut.

I only had one teensy weensy little problem.....

I couldn't sing.

I didn't know that I couldn't sing.  Or shall I say, I didn't know that I didn't know how to sing.

I'll explain.

When the radio played one of my favorites songs and I attempted to sing along, my family members chastised me for not staying on key.  It may seem strange, but I had absolutely no idea what it meant to sing on key.  I tried to correct the problem to no avail, because I didn't know that I didn't know how to sing.

Without my own personal Maria Von Trapp to teach me Do Re Mi, I survived my teen years and all throughout my 20's not realizing that when others sang "Do", I would more than likely be singing "Re" or "Fa" or "Ti".  It all sounded the same to me.

Enter my "oh so patient" husband Bob.  Early in our courtship, Bob realized his girlfriend had a sweet sounding voice, if only she could sing in the correct key.  But instead of chastising me, Bob took a different approach.....

He taught me!

For some reason he chose the song "Age of Aquarius", (From the musical "Hair" for the young folk reading this blog) forcing me to sing it again and again and again until I began to understand the difference between the key of C, D, E, F, G, etc.  And with that understanding, I finally learned how to sing.

Over 20 years later, I can proudly share that, thanks to Bob, I have realized my dream of becoming a Broadway sensation  singing without enduring taunts from anyone within a five mile radius.

While I may never smile down from the stage at an adoring crowd, I get to do something even vicariously through my 16-year old daughter Melissa!  You see, Melissa has been blessed with the musical talent I lack...and then some.  She taught herself to play guitar, and her beautiful singing voice is as sweet as an angel.

In the coming weeks, I will happily play the role of proud mom as Melissa performs with the prestigious All South Jersey Senior High Chorus.

As for me, I'll be glad to demonstrate my singing ability for anyone brave enough to listen....
.....When the moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, and peace will guide the planet, and looooove will steer the stars.  This is the dawning of the age of aquarius, age of aquarius.....


  1. This certainly brought me back to my youth! Never did make it to Broadway either, but how much fun we had dreaming! Love that your husband taught you to sing on key. What a sweet story!

  2. Whao..great to see that you are living your dream through your daughter. She is a talented singer :)

  3. This is such a great story! I like so much that your husband stepped in to teach you to sing.

  4. I wish that I had the ability to sing, I try. Even if I can't sing right, it doesn't stop me from singing and having fun. :) I love that your husband inspired you and taught you how to be a better singer.

    1. Thanks Christi, I still have to endure the taunts from my daughter who gives me dirty looks when I sing along with her! I just laugh and keep on singing!

  5. I love this piece Lisa! And I love how Bob taught you sing. I can't wait to hear more of Melissa's stage debut!! How exciting!!!

  6. Lisa - I'm the middle of 3 children too! I'm not a singer but when I was alone in my bedroom I danced (like the cast in the TV show Fame) - In my mind I had all the moves! I wish I was brave enough to sing. My voice is know to hurt those around me. :)

    1. Cynthia, I loved Fame - that was another show that set my imagination into overdrive!

  7. We come from a long line of ♫singers♫ on my side of the family and on my husbands side of the family so when our 2nd son couldn't sing on key, it was a surprise. But I love to hear him sing because he just belts it out with his whole heart!

    1. As long as you have the passion, that's all that matters, right Becky!