I have a little problem.
Sometimes I cry when I am singing.
I'm not talking a little choked up, although that happens, too. I'm talking full on tears, loss of control, inability to sing--the entire package.
This would be fine if it only happened in the confines of my own living room, but I do have a habit of crying during performances. Ten years ago it was a rare occurrence, but then I went and had babies. Now it happens on a much more regular basis.
I'm learning this aria for a concert with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra next month. It's the Willow Song/Ave Maria from Verdi's Otello. Obviously based on Shakespeare's play Othello, I'm singing the part of Desdemona just before Othello comes into the bedroom and kills her. The story line is tragic enough, but the music is so beautiful that the first time I sat down to sing it I burst into tears in the Ave Maria and just sat at my piano bawling.
Something is definitely wrong with me.
And don't even get me started on what happens to me when I am an audience member. I don't even try to hold it back in that case.
This past weekend I went to see the stage production of Mamma Mia! with some girlfriends (more on that later). I was all set with my Kleenex because I knew I would cry during Dancing Queen and all out weep during the song Slipping Through My Fingers.
Yes. I just admitted to crying during Dancing Queen. Every single time I watch that dang show I do, and it's even worse when you see it on live stage vs. the movie. I have no earthly idea what makes me cry during that song, except I can't even talk about it or I start, well, crying.
What is up with this, anyway? Do I need Prozac or Zoloft or something? Or am I just the ultra-sensitive artist, and there is nothing to be done?
For now, the best I can do is imagine the audience in their underwear as I sing the tragic tale of Desdemona and Othello. Only, that doesn't really work when it's just me and my piano, and there really isn't anything funny about a piano in its skivvies.
I think that will only make me cry harder.