Tuesday, December 4, 2012
In Which I Go Onstage and Choke. Literally.
A sold-out show of 1300.
On a rainy Friday night in Orange County.
The place was packed and we had just come through our 5:00 performance with only a few noticeable errors.
(Thankfully the audience didn't notice most of the 10,000 little issues that happened along the way.)
We just had one song left. The encore. A big, cheesy, kind of awesome rendition of "Go Tell it On the Mountain"--
(Which is one of the songs available on our MCO Christmas album O Holy Night and if you click here you can enter to win a copy.)
--and we were ready. The conductor was at the podium. The orchestra started to play.
Without warning, the mother of all coughing attacks strangled my throat. I fought against it. I was, after all, onstage in front of hundreds of paying concert-goers and they really didn't need to see the big encore number ruined by a coughing fit.
So I held that cough in and tried my best to mouth the words since singing was most definitely not an option. But the more I mouthed the words, the worse the struggle became. Until I started...um...well, basically convulsing. Right there in front of my entire choir and a whole full concert hall.
Tears stung my eyes and I knew I was about to lose the battle.
And then, just like at the end of Back to the Future when Marty's parents finally get together and Marty stops disappearing and suddenly jumps up and is able to play his guitar and finish "Earth Angel," my cough vanished and I was able to sing again.
(Was that the longest run-on sentence ever?)
But as soon as I started singing, my throat closed right back up and I died.
Okay, not exactly died, but I thought I was about to. There were white streaks blurring my vision and brilliant exploding black stars and oh my gosh was this song EVER going to end?
And then it did. Finally, mercifully, the song came to an end, the concert was over, and with the crowd on their feet, we made our hasty exit where I proceeded to do absolutely nothing because my cough had completely gone away.
Until halfway through the second concert when it came back with a vengeance during the Hallelujah Chorus.
My mom said she didn't notice.
I wasn't sure how to take that.
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