Ok, people.   Show of hands.  Who here remembers the talent show, Star Search, that ran on television from 1983-1995?  Hosted by Ed McMahon, it showcased talent in several entertainment categories; contestants competed in each category and went on to semi-finals and finals.  This was one of my favourite shows growing up and my absolute favourite categories were…female vocalist, teen vocalist and junior vocalist.

I, myself, was a junior vocalist.  Well, sort of.  Ok, not really.  Well, here’s the story.

I so desperately wanted to compete as a junior vocalist.  I was 6 years old, loved to sing, and practiced every song I ever knew all the time.  I sang songs I learned in school during music class, practiced Hindi ghazals that were played constantly at home, and of course, I wouldn’t be a child of the ’80s if I didn’t belt out Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For every once in awhile.  My brother and I actually had a two piece band that we fashioned from a Fisher-Price drum set, and performed for audiences, real and imagined.  It was serious business for us.  And for me, it was necessary to rehearse to fulfill my dream of competing on Star Search.

The first band I ever belonged to: the height of my singing career!

I had it all worked out.  I was going to sing Roger Miller’s Walking in the Sunshine (you HAVE to watch this youtube video…and imagine me as a 6 year old singing and dancing to this!!)  I had all the lyrics down, I knew how many steps to walk (hands swinging) in one direction and when I was going to stop, sway on the spot for a certain number of beats and then walk in the other direction.  I figured there should be a lot of walking in this song.

So, then I asked my parents if they could “take me” to Star Search.  And what did they say?  They said SURE!!  Yes, they would take me and and yes, I could be on Star Search that very Friday!! 

Looking back, and especially now as a parent, I can see that this agreement was probably made as a way of getting me to let them get back to whatever important adult business I had interrupted – simply a way of saying, “go away!”

This type of news had to be shared!  And share I did. I told all the neighbourhood kids, my classmates, my teacher (she was quite impressed!) and anyone who would listen.

And that’s pretty much where the story ends.  Friday came and went.  There was no Star Search except what we watched on T.V.  I don’t think this really scarred me unless it did so terribly that I have blocked out the aftermath.  So, after all that build up I can’t even tell you my reaction when I realized I wasn’t going to be on Star Search.  Maybe I just never realized it…maybe I am still waiting for my big break 🙂

I went on to sing in school choirs, vocal jazz clubs and always had “voice lessons” on my list of someday.

Singing is now just a part of my life reserved for the home – I sing with my kids all the time (we are all enthralled with Charlotte Diamond).  And actually, I’m more interested in writing lyrics than in performing.  Music is a part of me and my family (my dad plays instruments by ear, my brother can do that and read music, I play the saxophone and the piano and my mom was a Bollywood singer…much like I am a hip hop/ Bollywood dancer).  Music was a big part of my upbringing and I can see that being passed down to my kids.  Though I never went on to be a performer, I certainly get a lot of joy from music in my life to this day.

What about YOU?  What was your serious business as a 6 year old?  Is it part of your life now in some way?  Spend some time with this in your journal.  It’s a very important concept – the things we were drawn to as children – and one I encourage workshop participants and coaching clients to devote time to.  I’ll log this in Writing Prompts as well.