When I was a kid, I loved to sing. My parents have an audiotape of me at six years old warbling out an atonal version of “Send In the Clowns”, and by the time VHS came around I was onstage. I did community theater from age eight on up. I was in chorus at school, I cantored at church, I took voice lessons from a well-known Mezzo Soprano in Bellingham. I fancied myself a singer, and the adults in my life, supportive as they were, did nothing to disabuse me of this notion.
All adults, that is, except for those on the audition boards. When it came time for college, I applied for vocal performance at Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Boston University, UMass Amherst, and Syracuse. I was rejected by every single school. EVERY. SINGLE. SCHOOL. Every one.
It was right around then that I started smoking.
I have no regrets about what happened – I mean, I’ve really had a lot of good cigarettes over the years – but sometimes I wish I could have learned about reality sooner.
**This all spawned from a workversation about parenting styles. God help my kid, seriously.