Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Do What You Love

Abigail Sharpe is an aspiring romance novelist who has a myriad of odd hobbies. She’s writing about one of those hobbies and encourages everyone to do what they love!

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” – Theodore Seuss Giesel

About a month or so ago, I participated in a Medieval Faire. That’s nothing new; I’ve been doing this for many years, first as a combatant on the chess board and then as a street character. This year, however, was the first year I was hired as a singing wench.

Yes, you read that right. A singing wench. My name was Tira McSue, and I was part of a group called Just Desserts, with four other lovely women with similarly-themed names.

I’ve never had a problem performing on stage in front of people. I’ve been in theater productions of The Sound of Music (as a nun), Jesus Christ Superstar (as a priest), and Singin’ in the Rain (as a radio announcer). But being cast as a character whose very title evokes images of nubile young women was different. I’m pushing 40. I’m short. My hair is thinning and I could stand to lose a good amount around the middle. Who would want to look at a squat, almost middle-aged woman singing bawdy songs?

But you know what? I love to sing. And if you’re doing something you love, others will feel that, too.

Our audiences were filled with men and women of all ages and body types and spirit of the faire. No one cared that I wasn’t the epitome of sexy. No one noticed that my bodice curled up at the bottom and made me look like a rotund bell instead of a lithe belle. No one laughed at me when I said raunchy things or tried to look up the kilt of a man half my age. Instead, they laughed with me and roared for more.

And I will say we sounded damn good. Part of it was talent, but part of it was enjoyment.

So here’s the thing. I could have played it safe, staying the nice, less-exposed milk maid that did magic tricks for kids (I can turn glitter into M&Ms!), or having people give me parts of speech for a medieval Mad Lib. But being a singing wench was a new experience for me and if I was afraid of looking stupid or feeling self-conscious, I wouldn’t have had the chance to do something I love.

Are you contemplating taking the plunge and doing something different? What’s stopping you?

Abigail can be found blogging with her friends about kitchen things on chickletsinthekitchen.com. You can find some of our Just Desserts on YouTube - but watch at your own risk (I’m the squat, almost middle-aged wench in purple).

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Abigail Sharpe said...

Terry, thanks for letting me come play on your blog today!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Thanks for encouraging us to be brave, Abigail! And you're so right--when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves, we can really grow.

Jan Morrison said...

Oh Abigail - I love this! I'm not a singer - I once belonged to a duo called The Pathetics - I was Ruby and my friend (also a non-singer) was Pearl. Our line was that we gave hurtin' music a whole new meaning. We sang at fund-raisers with a big BIG jar in front of us - we'd tell the crowd that we would stop singing when the jar was filled with money. Our first time we made 67 dollars in 3 and 1/2 minutes. Yes!

Maggie Toussaint said...

So many of us would love to have the courage to stand up and sing in character, and to do it well, Abigail! How fun to find you over at Terry's place. Wishing you all the best! Maggie

Lynn Cahoon said...

I love the idea of doing what you love. And pushing out of your comfort limits.

I sang for a few years with a church group and LOVED the experience.

And since I've used the word 'love' -three now four times - I'm back to work.

Gillian Layne said...

Abigail, you rock!! What a wonderful message for us all. :)

Abigail Sharpe said...

Thank you all so much for stopping by!

Elizabeth, it's it funny that I never thought of it as brave? I just sort of did what I had to do, y'know?

Jan, too funny! And I think that act takes a lot of self-confidence, too!

Maggie! Nice to see you here. :)
I don't know if I could've done Just Desserts alone - being part of a group definitely makes it easier.

Lynn, I LOVE what you had to say! *laugh*

Gillian, thank you! I feel lucky that I'm able to get past all my internal fraidycatness and put myself out there.

Lynda Bailey said...

Yea, Abigail! You go, girl!

Getting out of one's comfort zone and/or way, is what makes life worth living. It's the adventure, mixed with a teensy amount of fear, that gets our blood pumping. Stretching our boundaries and all that.

Love you as a singing wench. Bet you brought the house...er, tent down. :)

charlie said...


What a great post. Love the Suess quote to start. I agree that when you love what you do it comes through. It comes through in your writing as well. And you are one of the bravest people I know. But when you sing I don't think about bravery, just how entertaing it is. ;)

Jaye Garland said...

Abigail, you so ROCKED that singing troupe. Loved watching the YouTube and I'd pay to see you perform. Just come on down to Houston again! LOL!

So, okay, you're pushing me out of my safe zone and I'll test those boundaries. Not sure about getting up on stage though.

ximinez said...

Hey, I'm barely a few years younger than you are!

Jennifer McAndrews said...

No pictures? no fair!
just teasing you, Abigail. Good for you for getting out there and doing what you love! I don't know if I have anything I've been avoiding/putting off/afraid of, but I'm darn sure going to take a good look and see. thanks for the inspiration!

Abigail Sharpe said...

Lynda, something tells me that you're afraid of very little. :) And whatever that very little is better watch out!

Charlie! Funny that I don't feel brave. heh. But I'm glad you subjected yourself to our singing and that you were entertained!

And okay, Jaye - you better come up with something to conquer because I'm gonna follow up with you!

Ximinez, I can't argue with that. :)

Jennifer, I have some in my Facebook. Somewhere. :) Let me know if you find something to stop being afraid of. :)

Abigail Sharpe said...

...and can I just say that I think it's funny Terry has three guests this week with the last name of Sharp(e)? :)

Carla said...

I totally love that you did that. I saw the video; you were awesome, and you had the crowd eating out of your hand. It was fantastic!

Lately I'm stepping out of my comfort zone to take up running. I haven't done it in public yet, other than the gym, and I already fear I look like a blind man being chased by wolves, but I enjoy it so far. Ask me again when I run outside and the shin splints start. ;-)

You've inspired me. I need to find something new to try. Hangliding, anyone? No, not really. :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post! I'm generally NOT the bravest person in the room - I do tend to head for the corners. Next time, I'll think of you & make a stronger choice! :)

Lis'Anne Harris said...

You were awesome in Just Desserts, Miss Abigail! Thank you for dragging me out of my comfort zone to try new things. I love the medieval faire and I'm so grateful you hooked me up with the right people to become a part of it. :)

Karen C said...

I rarely step outside my comfort zone and applaud those who can/do. I'm so glad you took the opportunity (chance?) to be a singing wench and enjoyed it so very much. My daughter used to attend those medieval faires and also made her own costumes.

Abigail Sharpe said...

Carla, I think signing up to run a 5K is WAY more scary than singing! Just sayin'. I think about you every time I walk my dog and think, boy, she'd really like to run.

Jemi, the corners are no fun! Come out in the middle. :)

Lis'Anne *muah*

and Karen - Just Do It! What's stopping you, eh?

Abigail Sharpe said...

Terry, I had so much fun yesterday! Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting. And think of this the next time you're too chicken to do something!! :)

Terry Odell said...

Abigail - it was my pleasure. Thanks so much for being my guest, and inviting your friends to drop by.

Jacqui Nelson said...

Great blog, Abigail! You make me want to join a Medieval Faire and take a chance on doing something new. Very inspiring!

LRHunter said...

What you did sounds like so much fun--and fun for the audience, too!

Now I'm going off to look for the video. I'll probably get distracted by Old Spice Men again, but I'll try not to. ;)