When the Singer Flops; Does Anyone Remember the Sweetly Sung Notes Previously Belched Out?

Have you ever witnessed a singer blunder while performing or drawing people in to praise and worship or maybe during an entertainment session?   When this happens, the crowd gets disappointed, might jeer at the singer, or just get completely turned off.  – Oh the fate of the singer – so near, so easily vanishes in the error within a few lines.

The other night I struggled, my voice cracked, my ability to key a song was difficult, and the musicians who would usually support me were absent.  Amidst the praise and worship session, I found myself stopping in the middle of a song, totally embarrassed.

I thought to myself, what are they (the congregation) thinking now?  Some kept on singing, others smiled and others stared at me.  Undoubtedly, sometimes those stares are hard and can unnerve me – if but for a moment.

When such situations occur, the audience’s / congregation’s puzzled look can also force you to hustle the presentation.  In the case of a praise and worship session, one has to complete the task at hand.  After all, you cannot leave the people hanging in mid-air.  So you complete the task and you return to your seat, sulk away or just brush it off and hope to do better next time.

That evening, I pondered deeply about how easily it is for a singer to be jeered at for a single error.   Some audiences can be so very tough and unforgiving.   At church, the element of sympathy is expected, but may not always be manifested – or if it does, it may not necessarily be immediate at that moment when the singer actually needs it.

Is it easy to stand before a crowd of hundreds or for that matter even thousands of people, and sing knowing sometimes your voice can crack or you can start the song too high or too low?  For singers out there, we all know this is always a challenge.  Still we return to the visual firing squad to deliver within the world of vocal and audible uncertainty.   Do we have a choice? Probably the only other choice would be to quit singing completely.  The latter might actually be more painful; since it would be like losing a limb to the ardent singer.

Have you ever thought about how you would relate or actually have reacted in a situation like this as a member of the crowd?  Do you empathize with the performer, or join the “boos” that are hurled at him or her?   We do not have to look to far.  Just think about those carnival shows (pageants, calypso, etc).  Oh sometimes, those audiences are really heartless, especially when the performer in question is not their favorite?  Any error would please the opponent.

I suppose the point I am getting at, is that we can often offer a more caring disposition to those who brave the discomfort of leaving their seats to assist us in entertainment, education, or any other public service.  The public figure  in what ever capacity shows inner strength with the ability to defy fears, doubts, insecurities and even the hard-eyes that seek to scare and or obtrusively intimidate them.  They demonstrate confidence even while fighting nerves, and display determination against all odds.

Going forward, I would like to suggest that we offer those who serve us in the public sphere, some encouragement and emotional support overall, but especially when they falter.  Service is painful, and energy draining.  Granted, the public figures also must prepare, practice and exercise discipline to get better at their craft as well.

I wonder whether you share this perspective.  Are you more the audience than the performer or public figure?  Sometimes I am both, but mainly, I find myself in the public’s eyes, often more than I desire.   Feel free to express what you think about this with me.

Blessings! Ceez Paul



2 thoughts on “When the Singer Flops; Does Anyone Remember the Sweetly Sung Notes Previously Belched Out?

  1. I always feel for the singer/ speaker in those moments of their blunder. I take on their mistakes as mine. I dare to say i feel their embarrasment maybe not as badly as they do but feel it i do. I never laugh in situations like that and i never think its a laughing situation.
    I think it would help even more for people not to stare. If its a praise and worship especially the congregation should just continue to sing. Or if u have back up singers one of them should just take up the song. Voices fail in singing situations. And i’ve heard your voice fail u a few times while u try to sing but u know what i’ve also heard same said voice when its in its element … ohh ohh ohhh abd what a mighty praise and worship voice i know it to be . I never doubt u. I just look at these lil blunders as a small ripple in the ocean. .
    Continue to do u. I kno u always strive for excellence when you stand infront of people to do be it singing or speaking; u always do a great job.

    1. Thank you Jessi. The encouragement goes a long way.
      The point is, I almost feel immune to the stares and jeers. I feel though for the inexperienced, and yet seasoned ones. So, I really wrote the blog with a certain affinity toward them, while hoping that we as a people will be more supportive and empathetic across the board.
      Bless you for the kind and generous support always. God’s Grace.

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