Before I was a professional singer (I know, sounds ridiculous to some of you but the other day a friend reminded me that I actually am) I thought singing looked easy, at least physically. I remember seeing the bands at the Salsa club complain when they had to play an extra set. I thought, “Oh please, poor you…singing and dancing around!”
Well once again karma has come back to bite me in the a$$. Singing is hard. There is all kinds of crap singers have to deal with that you never even imagined.
First of all, environment. The first singing job I ever had I was substituting for a woman who needed an operation. The job was in the Mayan Palace at an outdoor restaurant by the pool at night. There were SO many mosquitoes that they were landing on my microphone hand while I was singing and biting me all over the place. I quickly bought repellent, but that didn’t solve the problems caused by the humidity and salty sea air. Salty air is very hard on ones voice and high humidity is just plain uncomfortable for someone who is singing and dancing around.
Which brings me to the exact opposite problem, air-conditioning. The restaurant in the Ritz Carlton where I am singing now is FREEZING. Cold dry air is also hard on the voice and causes my whole body to tense up which is not conducive to singing well.
Then there are my poor aching feet. I can’t sing in flip-flops, and as Beyonce or and other performer knows, low “high” heels aren’t attractive. So I wear high heels and then stand almost completely still on them for pretty much 3 hours straight. OUCH. By the time I am finished it feels like the balls of my feet are on fire. The other day my feet hurt so badly during the 3rd set that I could scarcely think of anything else. Dancing around is actually better than standing completely still but the job I have right now doesn’t involve any dancing.
There is also the constant worrying about getting sick. I have already been sick twice (or maybe it was just one long once) since I started at the Ritz. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why it’s difficult (and sometimes impossible) to sing with congested sinuses (air-conditioning make this worse) and a sore throat.
Next, we come to the boredom factor. Singing the same 30 or so songs every single night, night after night, well, it can just get boring. Not “Imagine” again?!?! And it’s important (at least for me) to be connected to the song you are singing in order to do a better than blah job. I am working on adding new songs each week but it’s difficult on your voice (so here’s another difficulty then) to rehearse when you are singing for three hours every single night.
Oh, and the next time you make a request and the singer, band, whatever doesn’t know it, please forgive them and try to remember just how many songs there are! We can’t know them all but maybe we know a different one by the same artist or one from the same movie or something like that.
So there ya go, and that’s only off the top of my head. If I gave it more thought I’m sure I could find more stuff to complain about. Of course, I still love it and wild horses couldn’t drag me away.
La la la la…