Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TESTING 1, 2, 3

Now that I'm almost ready to get back in the swing of things, I felt it is time to begin working on my comeback! Last week I had a meeting with my manager,Gary, at his new office - a much larger space, that has presence. Gary showed me around, and as he closed the door for privacy, he said, "So, how are you mentally?" "Mentally? I'm fine. Better." I was a mental wreck, way back in February, when my doctor discovered that I had a polyp on my vocal chord that had hemorrhaged. After two failed attempts with laser treatments to remove the polyp, I became discouraged. Upon realizing that surgery was inevitable, I became panicked...and lately, well, let's say, financially challenged. But after almost 2 months of speech therapy and lots of vocal rest, I am calm and excited to get back on stage and sing in September. So, I smiled and repeated, "Better." Before we were to get down to the nitty gritty, I had something on my mind that needed to be seriously discussed. I told Gary that from now on, no matter what, I want to have a working monitor on stage for EVERY show...or I will cancel. My manager & I went back and forth as if we were at an auction. "Judy, you did not get a polyp from not having a monitor." "Gary, for 25 years I've been singing at night clubs with no monitors and I cannot hear myself. As a result, I end up singing louder..and that's how I hurt myself in the first place." "Judy, you did not get a polyp because you couldn't hear yourself." "Gary, my speech therapist wants me to be cautious & have either an ear piece or stage monitor from now on....what's wrong with that?" "Judy, I'm afraid you'll lose shows if you make that demand. In the 25 years, how many clubs provide you with sound." "Gary, not too many, but that's not the point." "Yes, it is." "No, it isn't." "Judy, I can take 2 smokers who've smoked for 20 years. One will have cancer and the other is running marathons with no problem. It's a matter of genetics. Your voice is probably more sensitive and prone to this condition. " "So doesn't it make sense that if I know I'm more "sensitive" that I would be smart enough to be more CAREFUL now?" "It doesn't have anything to do with that...it is NOT your fault this happened to you. Mick Jagger had polyps 5 times...it's what happens to singers who sing their hearts out." I admit when he said it wasn't my fault, I almost had tears in my eyes, because the first time I found out about this, I wondered if I had done this to myself....but on with the debate. "Gary, I'm the one up there. Not you. And every single thing I do to make money is with my voice...no voice...no money!" "Judy,", he smirks..."I think this is a bad call." "Gary, can you please be supportive on this. I need you to support me on this...I need you to back me up." "Judy, haven't I backed you up now?...for how long?" "6 years, Gary...and yes, you've backed me up. But I'm the one up there...not you. I'm up there alone. And I get hired by these people to sing my heart out...to entertain...and these people make money off of that. And the audience, my loyal fans, are expecting a great show...do you have any idea how hard it is to sing, and try to express the songs when I cannot hear a damned thing? Everyone tells me to be more like a diva. Everyone tells me that I'm too nice. For 25 years all I've asked for was a quiet room before the show, and a bottle of water. Now, I am going to be a diva and ask for a bottle of water, a quiet room and a freaking monitor on the stage so I can hear what the hell I'm singing!!!!!" Silence. Gary calls in his assistant. "Make sure all the contracts on Judy's show read from now on that a working stage monitor must be made available, or the purchaser will lose their deposit and Judy will walk out. Be sure everyone initials it, and understands no monitor, no show." "Thank you. Gary, thank you." Done. I have to admit, I was exhausted. Debating and/or arguing with a person to me has a fascinating element to it. I read once in a book called The Celestine Prophecy, that people are all energy. And sometimes when we are not feeling good, we need more energy. When people argue there is an exhange for energy...energy = power. And because it takes energy, it can drain you. Have you ever argued with someone so hard, and nothing came out of it, and when they leave the room, you are suddenly wiped out? That's kind of how I felt. But I felt good, because I felt my energy was still with me, I maintained my power, lol. It was tiring but I was smiling internally. I kept thinking, "Oh, so that's what it feels like to stand up for what I want!" It wasn't about winning, it was about fighting for what I need this time around...I worry too much about what people will say, think and yes, at times I've even worried about not complaining for the sake of not losing a show. I have swallowed a lot of crap. I'm not doing it anymore. A singer has the right to hear himself or herself...it's a basic need for a performer. You think Lady Gaga or Beyonce fight to be heard on stage? Nope. Damn, that felt good. I can't wait to get back on that stage WITH A MONITOR in September...Check mic, testing...1, 2, 3...Woohooooooo!!!

10 comments:

  1. Judy, why don't you just make your own in ear monitor and bring it and the battery pack with you to every show? It will include the transmitter also from the mixing board. Put your voice aside for a second and consider your ears. Dual in ear monitoring will protect your hearing as well as give you a clear signal of your music to sing over. Get a molded pair made for your ears only and bring some extra Duracells with you, that way you know your getting clear sound every time to your ears.

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    1. Hi, Mark...Ear monitors have totally been considered & discussed...the problem is that some clubs don't have mixing boards. It sounds crazy, but the truth is some of the clubs use their ipads & macs now for sound. They just don't care some of the time. But ear monitors will eventually happen & when I can use them, I will...thank you for that very good suggestion! Muah!

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  2. That was a successful win/win exchange you had there, your manager believed in your talent and you protected your health for the long term. I do like what Mark suggests, he sounds like he cares and knows about ear monitors. Always better to have back up plans :)

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    1. Hi, Liza! Lizawrites! Thank you for your comment...it was a win/win exchange for sure! Mark's suggestion is wonderful - read what I wrote to him. much love to you! I appreciate it! xoxo

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  3. I can't wait to hear you sing again!! yayyyyyyyyyyy!!!! lol :)

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    1. Hey, Shaquinta! Me tooooooooooo!!! :) Muah!

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  4. YES!!!!! A monitor is a necessity for a singer! I'm surprised your manager pushed back on you about this. You've been doing this a long time, and you've earned your right to demand something that is not out of the ordinary. Glad to hear you're back in good health. I hope to see you soon!!! xoxo

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    1. Hello, my Earth Angel!! Yea, I was a little surprised too. Thank you for the back up - I did indeed earn my right to hear myself, lol...Love ya! Mucho! xoxo

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  5. Judy ... been a fan for years. After readying this post, I know why you are so special to all of us...... you do sing your heart out and sing with a passion that cannot be compared to any of your contemporaries. While other singers (and we all love them) sing about this and that, you sang from your heart and about situations/circumstances that everyone can relate to ..... and you sang with this incredible passion. Your the best. Love ya!

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    1. Hello, Ronnie! Thank you for taking time to read the post & for your VERY kind words!! I really feel your heart & appreciate it! Muah!

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