5. You can slit my throat, but please don't take my voice!
I have been told by more people than I can count, including my doctor, that Thyroid Cancer is basically a "non-cancer" because it is so slow growing and completely curable. But while Thyroid Cancer maybe a "starter" cancer, it is still, ya know, cancer. More importantly it's main cure is SLITTING OPEN YOUR THROAT, which, at least for me, is terrifying.
It's such an act of brutality, even in a sterile setting with surgical precision. But psychologically, the threat of "losing my voice" is what cuts so much deeper. Not so much the change in sound, but the potential of actually, physically being "silenced."
And if I do come back and my physical voice is irrevocabally changed? If I can talk , but I can’t sing anymore ?
I haven’t much since coming to LA, putting my focus on film and television, and even less so since my mother died, because everything I sing pretty much just made me want to cry.
That’s the thing with loss, it can settle deep and barely show on the surface. When something that brought you so much joy is so intertwined with such sorrow, it’s hard to recognize the joy for a VERY VERY long time.
In my case, it took seven years.
Literally one day, in March of 2017, I felt lighter, I felt like singing. I “re-found “ my voice. I pulled out old musical theatre books, and started seeing musicals again. I started thinking about putting together a cabaret show, if only as a vanity project. A year later I auditioned for a musical film with more joy than I had ever remembered carrying to all the overly tense musical theatre auditions I had in my 20’s.
All those rooms of musical theatre girls whom I towered above and whose soprano voices sang out for the ingenue rolls, while I tried awkwardly to be like them with my newly discover deep contralto. Great for the 40-50 year old roles that I wasn’t going to be playing, even in Summer Stock.
But that was then, and honestly, it took a long time to realize that “trying to be someone else “ is a waste of serious time and energy.
Cause as Glinda the Good Witch said “ The magic is in you all along.”
So I’m gonna hold out and pray to all the deities, that nothing happens to this voice. And if they deliver, I’m gonna…
“SING OUT LOUISE!!”
Just like Mama Rose taught us all.