Story Submitted by Derek Baxter

Over the past few years I had lost a major part of my identity, my voice. Working in a job where I was performing as an actor and using major vocal manipulation five days a week, working around many animals I was allergic to, and working in a building with dust, mildew, and mold so bad we were constantly sick had destroyed my voice. A few weeks ago I was asked to take part in a fundraiser for a local community theatre and I had to SING!! I was terrified but I wanted to do it to help my friends and this awesome company so I agreed. I am so glad I did. I hadn’t sang for a very long time, it hurt me both physically and emotionally to attempt it. I was extremely nervous leading up to our first rehearsal. The first time through one of my songs went ok. As the rehearsal went on I had some issues here and there and was extremely hoarse afterwards but I got through it. I prayed for light and healing energy on my drive home. As we got closer to the gala I was so nervous about placement and fatigue (especially since there was a double show day on Saturday). I kept praying for light and healing energy and the most benevolent outcome. I got through Friday night and it went well. Saturday went even better and sure there were many issues and flaws but I could sing again, and the healthy habits started to come back a little bit. I would find my placement and remember little tips and tricks to help with breath and support. I still need some major work but the foundations are still there. You don’t know what this means to me, I had been feeling pretty empty thinking and experiencing a part of my identity was forever lost. Not much good has come from the pandemic and quarantine and the shut down but thanks to all of it – I found something I thought was gone forever. After deciding I was done performing (especially singing) and giving my career over to directing and helping others to find their moment in the spotlight this weekend was a spark of positivity I needed. If you aren’t a singer maybe this post doesn’t make since but there is something deep within a singers soul that makes their identity tied to their voice, and I had lost mine. I thank God that I have found it once again, and gave me such an amazing and positive experience.