BIG NEWS: Someone has stolen the real Emily. Apparently, I’m in GLEE…

Firstly, I need to extend an enormous thank you to the absolute army of support you all offered over the insanity that stemmed from my last post. Thank you for standing up for me, sticking by me, and offering proverbial shoulders to cry on – words cannot express my gratitude for the friendship and support you showered upon me following the downright vicious behaviour of some anonymous coward who had nothing better to do than try and destroy my wedding, and reputation. Seriously, it amazes me how people will not simply cross the line of acceptable behaviour, but run in leaps and bounds over it simply because they can be anonymous. I think there’s actually an equation for this sort of thing. It baffles me, but also says volumes about their life and character. The good news is that the attempt failed miserably, and everything is 100% okay (although credit should be given for exceptional cowardice, supreme saboteurial spirit, and general trollishness). Your kind words and support throughout the whole debacle were appreciated enormously, the wedding is most definitely still on, and I think we’re actually in a better, stronger place now than we were even a week ago.

Now, it’s a new week, and I’d like nothing more than to slam the door shut on the last one, and enter this one with brighter spirits – and some fun news. Last week, I did something crazy. I was checking something or other on Facebook, when I was accosted by a little sidebar advertisement that stole my attention, a beat of my heart, and soon enough, $300. I know Facebook advertising is targeted in all sorts of clever ways to your interests, your habits, topics you mention (although why I keep getting weight loss ads I’ll never know), but this little ad seemed to have read my blog five months ago when I declared I wanted to learn to sing, dance and perform – and made me sign up for Glee club.

We have a handful of theatres in the city, and Prairie Theatre Exchange always offers great shows. It’s a fabulous venue, home to countless wonderful performances I’ve seen over the years, and also offers acting classes to teens and adults. Now, this is me we’re talking about here – the girl who runs kicking and screaming out the nearest window at the mere mention of public speaking, let alone performing. But over the last few months, I’ve been a little more accomodating to my inner desire of being able to perform.  Taken a couple of singing classes. Shamelessly attempted to learn the Bad Romance choreography off  YouTube in my living room. Read my writing out loud in a public bookshop.  But this is a whole new level. I had just signed up for the next fifteen weeks for real musical theatre classes. I was going to be thrust into a group of adults, many of whom have musical training and acting experience, where I would be learning to sing showtunes and taught actual choreography. Oh, the the cherry on top? There’ll be a public performance at the end of the course. In the actual theatre. Cabaret-style. For EVERYONE to see.

This isn’t me. This is my inner dreamer, who seems to have jumped on board and stolen the reigns while the inner critic was on coffee break, and signed me up for something I’ve always wanted but been too afraid of. This isn’t just public speaking. This is high risk of total embarrassment territory. But this is also exactly what I do when I have the house to myself for a couple of hours on a Friday night. I crank up the music. I belt it out regardless of whether or not I can hit the notes. I dance down my stairs as if I were making a big entrance on a Broadway stage and I imagine it going brilliantly. And in my dreams, it does. Not in real life!!

In the five months or so that I’ve been tackling this list, I’ve been lucky enough to have received a lot of encouragement. I’ve also been recipient of a certain amount of questioning. Why are you doing this? If you’re not naturally good at something, why would you put yourself through the discomfort of doing things that scare you?  Bravery will only get you so far, but there are more important things in life. Why don’t you stick to what you’re good at?

To which my (internal) response has always been: Why the bloody hell not? I’m at a point in my life where I’m no longer embarrassed to admit that I spent most of my adult life ruled by fear. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s no longer something I’ll try to hide. I had an interesting talk with someone after X Factor last week after they saved one contestant who’d been in the bottom two almost half a dozen times. “But she’s a fame whore!” she said, “they should have got rid of her!” I told her firstly not to believe everything you read in the papers. So what if she slept with a couple of famous people to try and get famous? That’s in the past – now she’s at the point where she’s making an honest, dedicated effort every single week, facing the nation that’s slapping stories about her being a “whore” all over the place, and chasing after her dream. Just because she may have made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean that’s who she is today. What if I went on X Factor, I asked her, and one of my ex-boyfriends went to the press and said I was some crazy psycho who needs psychological help. What if that was the image the nation had of me? Would it make it true today? No. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s choosing not to keep making them that makes us better. I think the best we can be is when we decide to let go of the past and focus on creating the best possible present as the best possible person we can be in this very moment. Just make a choice to live the right life, and start doing it.

That’s what this year has been all about for me. That’s what this list is all about. Hopefully in seven months time I will be able to look back, and maybe I won’t have achieved everything on it. But I want to be able to say I tried. To be able to say I made the choice, when it came down to fight or flight, to not choose fear. To be able to have courage and guts, and not take myself so seriously, not spend so much time trying to perfect things that I miss out on growth and adventure. So on Saturday, I had my first musical theatre class. What I loved most of all was that in every song I ever thought was too high for me to sing, there was a part for me. We got to choose which range we felt most comfortable in, and even if it wasn’t the direct melody, it was still just as valuable and helped in creating something beautiful when everyone sang together. I even learned a DANCE!! Every Saturday from now until March (save perhaps Christmas, and one in early December) I will be in musical theatre. And even if I fall flat on my face, it’ll be a challenge. It’ll be fun. It’ll be the scariest thing I could imagine and it’ll push me to my absolute limit. And I think, for right now anyway, that’s exactly what life should be made of. 🙂

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90 comments

  1. First of all, I’m really (!) happy that things with your wedding turned out ok. What a jerk, who did this to you!

    Secondly, I’m absolutely thrilled for your musical theater class! This is awesome!

    1. Thanks so much, it was quite possibly the biggest relief of my life!! And I really hope the class continues to be as much fun – I know we were kind of eased into it for the first lesson – no solo singing or dancing just yet! 🙂

  2. High five for signing up the musical theatre class, that sounds really rad!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes, and I’m sure that while there might be a few nerves or so, you’ll absolutely ROCK the performance at the end!

    1. Oh goodness I don’t know about that… the thing I’m most nervous about isn’t the performing, it’s the performing in front of friends and family and people I KNOW… but luckily it’s a few months away 🙂

    1. Unfortunately every once in a while there comes somebody whose morals seem to be all backwards and they take great satisfaction in causing upset simply because they can sit behind their monitors. Just have to remind ourselves how cowardly that really is.

  3. I didn’t know about the wedding drama (I couldn’t access the post), but I’m relieved that everything turned out OK. And many congrats about the musical theater class. May everything be great from now on.

  4. Wow girl, I can’t believe you’re in a musical theater class! I hope this shows you just how far you’ve come in the last year… it’s inspiring. Glad to hear all the wedding stuff is sorted out!

  5. i am soooooo relieved to hear the wedding is still ok!!! i can’t even believe what happened to you… please let me know when the movie is coming out because that story needs to be told!!! you must be so relieved…….so sorry you had to go through that. but at lease it’ll be a good story for the future!!!

    now onto this news of yours…. let me just say you are AMAZING. i remember when you were talking about being scared of going out or going to lunches.. and look at you now em, singing and dancing at an actual theatre. this is amazing!!!! i hope i get to see you perform!!!

  6. I’m so excited for you, Emily! I will definitely be there, cheering you on, at your public performance 🙂

    The wedding is coming up so fast!!! Let me know if/when I can help you get things ready 🙂

  7. Congrats! I think even though you should “stick” to what you’re good at, there’s no reason to branch out and try something new if it’s easy to fit into your existing life. It’s not like you quit your job to audition for Broadway! This is fun and might teach you other skills you didn’t even realize you needed strengthening. I think this is great!

  8. Good.For.YOU!! I’m still catching up and haven’t read your previous post yet, but I have to say that I’m proud of your desire to smack your fear away once again and follow through with another dream. That’s awesome! Be sure to have your sweetie video it so we can see the grande finale. 😉

  9. Hi Emily!
    That is FANTASTIC! (If you see the doorway at the end of the 2nd flr hallway beside the washrooms open… pop in and say “Hi”!)
    What is amazing about this is that I briefly considered taking the class myself and decided against it. Fear being the ruling factor! So, way to go.

    “If you’re not naturally good at something, why would you put yourself through the discomfort of doing things that scare you?”
    Seriously? Doesn’t this person know that no one is naturally as good as those we admire who perform? It is work and training and more work and training and more…
    I know this. I work with these people every day.
    (sigh) I do wish everyone could get this. 🙂

    1. I will definitely stop in and say hello! As long as you don’t pop into my CLASS and watch me falling over/missing steps/sounding like a strangled cat LOL 🙂 Are you usually there on Saturdays?

  10. Way to go dear I am so proud of you! You have come such a long way and you truly inspire me to face my fears, I love how youve realized that you have a choice whether or not to be afraid and thank you for showing us all nobody needs to LET fear rule their life if they don’t want it to. Can’t wait to see the final performance (you have to get sweets to record it for us!)

    1. Awwww, you have no idea how much it means to hear you say those words, I am SO happy whenever I hear someone else decide to face fear!! I will get him to record the performance… *gulp* lol

  11. I am so thrilled for you, Em!!! You are a true inspiration for the way you are taking charge of all your fears and making so many of your dreams come true!

    But on another note, I really want to read this last post of yours! I can’t believe someone would do something so awful to you…

    1. It was pretty awful, but I’m just happy it’s over with and nothing was affected, and the attempt failed… still pretty scary though! Thank you so much for your kind words – it’s funny, I don’t see it right now as “dreams coming true” but I’m hoping at the end of the year, if I manage to tackle everything on the list, my one dream of not being ruled by fear will maybe have come true 🙂

  12. Good luck with “Glee”!!! I’m sure you’ll be fab.

    Can’t STAND Katie Waissel by the way. Only one I hate more is Cher Lloyd. Or possibly Wagner. And I can’t BELIEVE that Aiden went over Katie last night. Still want Matt to win though!!!

    1. Haha thanks! I actually hate Cher as well, and Wagner I usually just fast-forward… he’s got all the Jedward voters from last year!! So sad to see Aiden go… I loved watching him perform. But Matt’s still doing fantastically and well on the way to win I hope! 🙂

  13. I’m so glad everything came out alright in the end. Karma will bite the big anonymous jerkbag in the ass, I’m sure of it. 🙂

    You + Glee = Awesome. Looking forward to reading all about it!

  14. I’m cheering you on because I really hope that you grow to love the stage as much as I do!

    And limits? I’m beginning to believe you might not have as many as you think.

    OH! By the way: if you’re going to practice scales over drinks, the only alcohol that doesn’t dry out your throat or coat it with sugar / other substances is whiskey. Just a note.

  15. Karma will bite the big anonymous jerkbag in the ass, I’m sure of it. I guess that those who tell fibs never know when Karma is going to bite them in their ass.

    Good luck with the wedding. May it be the first day of the rest of your life together.

  16. Ahhh. I want to be a gleek!! Watching it the other night I turned to Martin and said, ‘I wish so bad that I could do this’ – so I applaud you!! I wish I could come watch the final show 🙂

  17. awesome, emily. and very inspiring.

    i don’t know what happened but i’m glad it got resolved and everything.
    trolls are sad, lonely little people and shouldn’t get any attention at all.
    *hugs*

    1. You’re right – I’ve come across a handful of them, and I think all anyone can do is deal with them for what they are – people whose lives are so void of happiness that they feel the need to actually go to the effort of creating fake identities (because they are cowards), reading someone’s stories, and trying to bring them down in some kind of twisted effort to feel good about themselves. And if that’s what makes you feel good… that’s pretty sad.

  18. Good for you! This sounds like an amazing journey and even though I hate/loathe/abhor public speaking, being on stage was always something I loved. I enjoyed being able to step outside of who I am and into the shoes of someone totally different.

    1. It’s funny you say that because I’ve always felt that way about dressing up on Halloween/for Comic Con etc. Even when I felt I was at my “shyest” I would never fail to dress up in a big, elaborate costume because I loved being able to be seen as an extravert 🙂

  19. Holy heck, it sounds like I definitely missed something that happened in the last post! lol Whatever it was, I’m glad that nothing that happened online is effecting your relationship, that’s just not the natural order of things!

    Have fun being a Gleek! PTE is fabulous and I’m sure the class will be an awesome time- the best part is that it’s all about bonding with your classmates and stretching yourself. The performance, while fun, is just 1/30th of the experience 🙂

  20. Good luck!!! You have managed to face most of your fears in the past so I’m sure you can do this.

    I wonder why the ads on my FB are all about the “meet the love of your life on line” and “how to make him fall for you” kinda thing. WTF, Facebook!! :p

    1. Thank you so much for believing in me!! It means the world<3

      I get some other weird ads on Facebook too – they're mostly wedding ones, but occasionally weight loss and sometimes cars, which is bizarre because I don't drive lol

  21. I love this! Yay! Congratulations, that sounds like so much fun. I really totally agree with you, that it’s those things in life that make us squirmy that create the most growth! If we stay comfortable, we may be “comfy” but we won’t be fulfilled, at least I don’t think so, because it’s hard to feel fulfilled if you aren’t accomplishing anything and it’s hard to accomplish anything if you don’t push yourself! But yeah. I just think it’s really great that you’re willing to try things and put yourself out there even in the face of discomfort. I KNOW you will grow from this, and I can already see that you are growing and getting closer to the girl you know you are inside. 🙂

  22. This is a great idea. You’ll have made some great relationships by the end of this, and you’ll have practiced it so many times, you won’t be as nervous as you think.

    I took a hip hop class in high school (yeah, ME) and we had a recital at the end of the year…I wasn’t too nervous because we practiced that damn dance hundreds of times!! It becomes comfortable, and after awhile, all the steps (and in your case songs and lines) become reflexes. You’ll do great!

    1. Aww thanks! I wish I could see your hip hop performance! I wanted to take a class in that kind of thing after I saw Britain’s Got Talent with the street dancers (Diversity, Tobias Mead, Flawless – youtube them, they’re AMAZING!) but there is absolutely nothing over here!

      I know 15 weeks is a long time and I’m right at the beginning… I’m really hoping to get to know some of the girls, and get better at coordination!

  23. Emily! This is so amazing! I can’t believe you’re doing this (but then again, I can!). The way you stand up to fear is so impressive to me. This is something I would totally love to do, but never have the courage to. Way to go! Keep us posted, love!

  24. I don’t know all what went on, but I’m glad you made it thru in one piece. It’s strange how it’s still surprising to me how vindicitive people can be. We all want to believe the best in everyone and it’s really hard when someone does something horrible.

    I am so so so so proud of you for stepping (yet again) outside of your comfort zone!! From experience, I can tell you that working with a group of people with the same passions can be an exhilirating and growing experience. They can encourage and support you, all the while challenging you to do better. It’s fantastic and I’m so glad you’re doing it!!

    1. It’s a long story – probably not even worth the energy to re-hash, but we can definitely catch up over Skype or email sometime! 🙂

      Thank you so incredibly much for your encouragement! Hearing how it’s worked for you makes me so excited!!

  25. OK… so the words SO PROUD OF YOU are not enough Emily.

    You’re lucky we don’t live closer or I’d have bundled you with massive hugs about now. Just… wow.

    1. You are the BEST!! And if it hadn’t been for our conversation and those words of yours that stuck in my head until I did something about it, I wouldn’t be doing it. You’re the best friend ever!! ❤

  26. I am SO EXCITED for you!! You go girl and enjoy every second!! You only live once so fling yourself out there and make it count.

    How do I get into your previous post? First you had the crazy guy to deal with (you know what this means from our tweets) and then an anon?? maybe it was the same person….hrmmmmm

    xoxo,
    Carrie

  27. Glad everything worked out with your wedding. I hope karma will take care of the person who did this to you.

    As for the Glee club? That is so exciting! I bet you will love it.

    Also, while it seems the password changed again for the last post so I cannot comment on it, I did read it and pretty much agree with you 100%. But then, I am not Catholic and generally don’t want any Church telling me how to lead my life.

    1. I can’t stand the Catholic Church for its complete hypocrisy. I think your depth of love is shown in all this by how much you don’t like it but are still willing to suck it up to get married there in order to make your sweet happy.

      Maybe someday too (like you) he’ll figure out that he’s best off not being part of such a group. Then, maybe, the two of you might be happier elsewhere in another denomination like the Church of England or the United Church.

      1. We’re actually thinking of trying out a few different churches now – I was christened Anglican and I’ve heard lots of good things about those churches as well as the United Church 🙂

        1. Knowing what you know now, would you have still chosen to get married in the same church? Or better yet, would you recommend a religious wedding to others if they are only doing it out of obligation to family and friends? Lots of my friends (and me) are going to be faced with this issue.

          1. It’s an interesting and complex issue, isn’t it! I’m not well experienced enough in other churches and denominations but I think there has to be something meaningful about the place you get married. For me, I didn’t HAVE a personal church I went to – though I do consider myself to be Christian, I haven’t found the right fit anywhere yet and so with D being a regular church-goer at his parish, it made sense to get married there. And for me, I knew it was important to him – and we were accomodated very well (i.e. I didn’t have to convert to Catholicism, we didn’t have to have a full mass, Eucharist etc.) considering it was a Catholic church. Honestly, I probably would’ve rather had it in a United or Anglican church if I’d had one I felt passionate about (and felt a sense of belonging to) – but as long as you can find a way of being comfortable with where you get married, that’s what’s important. If I’d had to have done anything I really didn’t want to, I probably would’ve insisted on it being somewhere else, but overall it’s comfortable.

  28. I am so PROUD of you for doing this!
    If I could, I would fly myself over for the show at the end of your classes and hold up a home-made, glitter encrusted banner bearing your name!

  29. I am so glad the wedding is still going to happen and I’m very glad to hear you’re enjoying the musical theatre so much. Keep going, life’s too short to do the ordinary and boring things and should be filled with things that are fun!

  30. Pingback: 2010: Brilliance |

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