Memoirs of a Wedding Singer Written by Ellen M. DuBois
It's been several years since I left band I was with.
As I reflect upon my life --the Good, Bad, and Ugly, (does that mean I'm getting old?), I look upon my experiences with band with fondness and know that those memories will stay with me forever.
Music is in my blood. Every fiber of my being somehow has music attached to it. I think it's a DNA thing. Both parents are musicians and teachers, both grandmothers were entertainers, my Nana a piano player back in days of silent films and my Grammy a Broadway dancer. Seems to me that I wasn't left with much of a choice in matter!
When I was 30, (okay, now I'm dating myself), I joined what's referred to as a GB (General Business) band. Our primary function was weddings. That's how it started. For first year we did weddings that were booked prior to my joining. Lucky for us these folks didn't choose another band when they discovered that singer they thought would be there was in fact going to be me. The singer they'd booked from video tape had left and I was taking her place.
The weddings were fun. I loved singing bride and groom's special songs and somehow added to their day. I liked being emcee. I enjoyed having to be upbeat and "on" even on those days when I felt "off". It was good therapy! Oh, and let's not forget singing part. Yes, that's my heart and to me one of best forms of self expression going.
As I think back, I suppose I liked attention, too. I didn't want too much, but when someone came up to me on my break and said how wonderful music was, it felt good.
The band and I had excellent chemistry. Chemistry is there or it isn't -- you can't force it just as with any relationship. I think I laughed more on my gigs than at any other time. We'd joke on stage or keyboard player would make "funny" sounds with his keys while I was in middle of a song, TRYING to make me laugh and sometimes succeeding. Imagine singing "Crazy" while "burp" sounds are going off in background! Boy, did I have to bite my tongue a lot! Sometimes, it didn't work and I actually lost it during a song. Oh, when that happened entire band was in stitches and all I could do was muster up self control needed to keep going, hoping that folks dancing didn't notice. Sometimes, they did, and they laughed at us having such a good time! But, don't let that give you wrong impression. We were definitely professional. A little laughter didn't take that away.
Whenever a wedding ended, I got a great feeling when bride and groom thanked us for doing a great job. What a feeling of satisfaction that was! Even with aching feet, a tired body and a worn voice, I was uplifted by their comments.
Now, you may be saying, "Hey, if this was so great, why did she leave?"
I say, "Good question."
Life is change -- change is life. We finished out wedding bookings for year and began doing club work more and more and got a few wedding bookings from that. Things were a bit unsteady when our guitar player left; so leader of band held off on doing a promotional wedding video. Now, that's important if you want more wedding gigs. When prospective brides and grooms go into a function hall and want to see videos of bands, they want to see who is with band NOW, not 2 years ago. Otherwise, they have to go to club where band is playing to hear how they really sound. That can be a slight inconvenience, especially if they lived a distance from where we were playing.
Characteristics To Help Find The Work Of Your DreamsWritten by Gloria Dunn
"Why am I not happy?" "Why is life a struggle?" "Why doesn't work, work?" We probe our soul with questions like these, but we will never hear answers if we don't take time off in our hectic days to listen. Unless we slow down and take a deep breath, we cannot hear subtle responses that come from within.
As we get older, questions about nature and quality of life come up. By then, though, we are so mired in car payments and mortgage and daily routine, and we are so used to looking for answers outside ourselves, that we fail to recognize simple truth: We need to find enough quiet space so that we can listen to answers locked deep inside. We need to stop and let them surface.
Once we take that time, we can reflect on all we have done and all we hope to do, and decide if we are living life we want or if, instead, it was programmed for us by others. Only then can we listen to our own voice, our own intuition, our own inner wisdom. Only than can we tap into our inherent skills, talents and inner creativity, which form work for which we were individually designed. Then we will truly reap rewards of joy and fulfillment as well as a paycheck.
Afterward, when we go back to our busy life, we find that we are whole beings again, not walking machines. If we have chosen to take a break from our careers, work we choose when we return will be right and satisfying.
Regardless of how we use it, time goes by and then it's gone. The combined power of every ruler in world could not change that by decree. So, in end, only thing that counts is how we used time. Is what we're doing meaningful enough that if we were still doing it 10 or 15 years from now, we would be satisfied with that?
If you just keep going way you are, ask yourself what you will miss and how it will affect you and ones you love. If you are losing some of your spirit every year, what kind of husband, wife, father, mother or friend will you end up as after half a lifetime goes by? If you need to take time off to stop downward momentum, isn't it worth it?