My earliest memories of my parents are shrouded amongst play sets and uncomfortable sleeping positions in the chairs of music studios. My mother’s voice fell like rain on church congregations as my father vigorously worked the soundboard. There were always standing ovations. I still remember my father’s first play, “The Wellingtons” exactly four acts and several hours too long. It was held in the auditorium of Media elementary school on a Friday and Saturday night. There was standing room only in the auditorium.
It was the first time I’d ever seen that many people in one place. The cast was so proud to have sold so many tickets and couldn’t wait to begin performing. The energy was upbeat and, to the shy child that I was, it was slightly overwhelming. I remember sitting on the edge of the stage like a statue as a dancer in the play floated by me, lightly touching the top of my head. She was dancing to the song “What About the Children” by Yolanda Adams with white paint concealing her face.
Growing up, I didn’t appreciate the magical family I was apart of. I recall complaining about always being so busy and wanting to be like other families, who were home eating dinner by six instead of eleven at night. Other children didn’t have to worry about taking down sets after the play was through. I was surrounded by adoring fans who repeatedly told me how amazing my parents were; however I was too out of it to really understand. My teenage years were especially interesting. During that time, I decided that I was nothing like my family. I didn’t want to sing, act or write plays. I decided that I would instead fall madly in love with the more analytical side of life, science.
Somewhere between the spectacular and mind blowing events my parents put on, I found myself feeling like an outsider. I became convinced that I would never be able to write or direct like my father but most of all sing; I would never sing like my mother.
One of my favorite memories took place in my grandmother’s house in the middle of the night. I remember waking up to the sound of my mothers very first CD playing and watching my grandmother hum along to the sounds of her daughters voice. My mother’s voice brought peace to my grandmother when she had trouble sleeping.
Growing up, I hated singing with my mother, even now it still makes me nervous. She sings like an archangel and I’m still earning my wings
Looking back on my life, it should be no surprise that I ended up acting in a play and singing on street corners. I laugh whenever I recall how hard I fought against being artistic and see how life only catapulted me into becoming the person I am today. I realize that I’ll never be as outstanding and talented as my parents are but that doesn’t matter. I have found that being myself is a work of art all on its own, what I bring to the table is unique to me.
My parents will always be an inspiration to me, and my own personal super heroes. My childhood consisted of long nights and early mornings, sleeping in music studio chairs and dozing off on my grandmother’s shoulder while attending father’s plays. I can still remember resting on the pews of churches while my mother’s singing brought the crowds to their feet.