Answer Your Call

IF YOU’RE A MUSIC LOVER LIKE ME there’s no better place to be than in the front row. There are few adjectives to accurately describe the energy of having your favorite musician or singer right there in person mere feet from where you sit. A few days ago I attended a show featuring one of my favorite artists, the phenomenal Frank McComb. My seat was close enough for me to rest my feet on the stage while the show was going on; it was also near enough to Mr. McComb that he heard me singing along with one of my favorite songs when he broke into it near the beginning of his set.

“Man, get up here!”

I saw him looking at me but he certainly wasn’t talking to me, was he?

“You, right there” – he was pointing at me now – “get up here and sing with me.”

It was crazy. Sure I knew several of his songs and I sing them loudly in the safety of my house on a near daily basis but there was no way that I was getting up there behind that microphone to sing with him. After failing to get some audience members to get me out of my seat and onto the stage he feigned a look of disappointment and then moved along with his set. After the show, I walked over and told him how much I enjoyed the show but that I didn’t appreciate him trying to bully me onto the stage to embarrass myself. We laughed for a moment and that was that.

I was chit chatting about music with Mr. McComb’s percussionist for about an hour after the show but I couldn’t really shake the fact that first of all, he heard me sing, and when he heard me it didn’t appall him, and then he offered me a chance to do something that I never ever thought would happen. It forced me to answer the question, “Well, why didn’t I sing?” A few of the answers were:

What if my voice would have cracked? That would have been terrible!

What if I’d have forgotten the words? That would have been embarrassing!

And what if the lady there in the front row doesn’t like my shoes? Silly, but a possibility.

All of these are viable items that could cause a person to refrain from jumping on a stage but why rob yourself of the opportunity to try something that you can brag about forever?

Now, there is a consolation prize in my case. Mr. McComb allowed me to sit in and be a guest percussionist during his second show! I spent a little more than half of his set at his late show playing the shakers and a really cool cajon drum box (I’d always wanted to play one of those) so I have that to smile about for weeks and months to come, but beating on a drum wasn’t the call that I was given now was it? The call that I was given that night was to sing; who knows what could have happened! I could have killed that night but since I didn’t respond I’ll never know. Life doesn’t guarantee much in the way of second chances so we would be better served to throw caution to the wind and excitedly answer our respective calls when they come.

However challenging or seemingly difficult our opportunities are, those chances come expressly intended for you, likely because the universe knows that you can handle it. Knowing that, throw away those energy sapping doubts and seize every opportunity that you’re given going forward. The last thing that any of us will want as we summarize our lives at some point down the road is to think of the things that we didn’t do because of fear of the unknown.

Take a chance, don’t give up, live freely and, of course, belt out your song every chance you get.

~thanks for reading 🙂

Author’s Note: I would also like to remind all of you here gathered to keep your cameras charged because when one of your favorite singers invites you on stage to sing or play you’ll probably want to document that occasion for posterity’s sake. My battery was dead, I have no documentation. It is the most epic of fails, but I have the memory. 🙂 -Skrap

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  1. You KNOW you can sing!!!!!! What happened??!! I was thinking of you last week when i met a woman who used to sing backup for Ashford and Simpson. I keep telling you to think outside the box cause you’re too talented for corporate America. You have a major connection at least for auditions. DO THE DAMN THING!!!!

  2. I can’t do anything but shake my head. This post resonates for me personally on a LOT of levels … but uhmm YES, Carlton.. you sing BEAUTIFULLY! What the WHAT homie!

    • Thank you, Malikqua. That’s very sweet of you to say. I make it big one day and I’ll be sure to include you in my acceptance speech (for whatever it is I’m accepting) 🙂

  3. I will add my voice to the chorus of, “You know you can sangs!” and also tell you thank you for your post. I know you posted this on the 19th, but I just got the chance to read it. The too logical Leslie says that I’m just reading this now because this week has been insanely busy; however, the faithful Leslie knows that I’m reading this now because it is when God meant for me to read it.

    Today, I got some news about a life long dream, and I froze. The voices in my head went into overdrive about how it was too early and how I wasn’t ready, and I began to plan my cautious retreat from the field before the battle even began. Fortunately, I reached out to one of my cheerleaders before I could do something stupid, and she talked me off the ledge. But that is what she is supposed to do. This post was not written for me, but it was meant for me. Thank you for answering the call to write — especially today.

  4. I disagree, Leslie. This post was meant for whoever could get something out of it and it seems that you have! Whatever it is that is calling out to you, I’m hoping that you’re going after it at full speed and no regrets! Best of luck!!!

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