Sing, Sing A Long…..

I used to struggle with doubt every time I posted a video of me singing on Facecrack not because I care what others think of my singing (they’re all first takes with me accompanying myself, not an easy thing for me to do like rubbing my belly and tapping my head!) but because I questioned my own reasoning for doing so.  Do I really need external validation so badly?  Perhaps reasons for doing it chance with each video, but as I become more and more clear in my path of recovery, one reason always rises to the top:  IT FEELS GOOD!  DOH!  And it doesn’t take rocket science for me to understand the extent to which my braincells are firing when I do it.  So I say, sing, sing a long, sing a song!

Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia: study

The hills are alive with the sound of music, which could help people with Alzheimer’s stave off the effects of the debilitating disease. A study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favorite show tunes.

Video A GLEEful Life: Against All Odds

Seriously?  Against All Odds? Could you possibly pick a better song to represent the longing, the angst, the desire of a young boy in 1984?  I went to see this movie with a good friend, a female, one in a rather long list of ‘friends’ who decided I was the one.  This friend, a senior at the time, subsequently did a really good job of trying to convince me to have sex over the next few years.  Even after she graduated and I told her, “I’m having feelings for someone….a guy.”  This was the start of it all—a song to help me speak my truth.  Music does that, you know?  A beautiful rendition by Blaine that took me, and still takes me, back.  1984 wasn’t the best year for coming out in high school, but I am sure glad I had the music to get me through.

Video A GLEEful Life: Shake It Out

Say what you will about the up and down seasons of GLEE, but I remember watching previews of the show months before it was to first air and thinking to myself:  THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE THINGS.  I only just caught up with the show’s finale several months after it aired; I haven’t been a GLEE junkie, have gotten distracted by my own life, too disturbed by the GLEE lives (on and off camera), but in the end, I can’t do anything other than hold it up as something that has marked society, changed it for the good, and helped a hell of a lot of people.  I wish I could say my years in high school glee club were like the show.  In a way they were; I was out and proud by 10th grade in 1984 challenging bullies while searching for identity.  Of course then there are all the other issues and people to which I cannot help but relate.  A year after rehab my parents were visiting while I was doing a run of The Normal Heart in the role of Felix, boyfriend to the lead who becomes infected and succumbs to AIDS by the end of play.  Heavy stuff during a busy high season of tourism and trying to stay sober.  The man, the actor, Cory, who everyone thought had it all lost everything in an overdose.  It wasn’t the first time I wished my drug of choice had been heroin because I would have been taken by an overdose years ago.  Amphetamines don’t carry the same risk of overdose although I certainly learned to raise risk levels to points of absurdity; clearly something or someone wanted me alive.  But I’m off track.  All I really want to do right now is to introduce a series in which I’ll be replaying clips from songs used in moments of shining light.  GLEEful light, GLEEful life.  And they aren’t always the easiest things to watch or to experience.

Abused by her boyfriend, lost, protecting the abuser, Coach is brought this gift (the original just as brilliant in it’s own way, kudos to Florence + The Machine.)

Video I’m a Perfect Storm

In early March I posted the following on Facebook:

Very few people influence my life as much as the one or two musical artists who happen to bookmark the significant moments of my life. No one has done that as much as Kelly Clarkson. 10 years ago, “Breakaway” was at the top of the charts, and I was alone in the desert, reeling from the news of a soulmate’s suicide, contemplating my own self-destruction, spiraling out of control from the loss of my relationship with a man with whom I spent over half of my life. Yesterday I downloaded her “Piece by Piece” album and can’t help but finally realize: this is what art does. It carries you through, it nurtures you, it’s the “wings that make you fly” when you’re tumbling from the sky. I don’t let many things/people into my life, but those who are here with me have the significance of angels.

Yesterday, after the SCOTUS announcement on the Affordable Health Care Act and after a week of hunkering down to get ready to launch these two websites, I got in the car and heard “Invincible” as it hit the airways finally.  A gift of a day.

You know I was broke down, I had hit the ground
I was crying out, couldn’t make no sound
No one hears silent tears collecting
You know I had lost hope, I was all alone
Never been so low ’til you came along
Teacher, I feel the dots connecting

Beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed
So beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
‘Cause baby, I am ready to be free

Now I am invincible
No, I ain’t a scared little girl no more
Yeah, I am invincible
What was I running for
I was hiding from the world
I was so afraid, I felt so unsure
Now I am invincible
And I’m a perfect storm

Now I am a warrior, a shooting star
You know I got this far, I had a broken heart
No one hears silent tears collecting
‘Cause it’s being weak that’s strong
In the truth I found
I have courage now, I’m gonna shout it out
Teacher, I feel the dots connecting

Beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
‘Cause I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed
So beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
‘Cause baby, I am ready to be free