Thursday, August 29, 2013

For Everyone Who Might be the Teensiest Bit Jealous of Sarah Horn

If you haven't seen this video yet, I'd doubt you're jealous. But if you haven't (and you just watched it), there's a possibility you could be.

This is a video of a recent performance of Kristin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl. The woman who was randomly picked from the audience is my friend Sarah Horn. Since I met her a few years ago, I have known she was a beautiful and talented singer... but since her video went viral, the rest of the world knows too. I think it's great - she's put a lot of work into what she's done and it's fantastic that all of that work (and the prayer her father uttered over a decade ago about singing with her) would pay off.

Yet, when I thought about it, I realized I have had the good fortune of knowing MANY lovely, talented young ladies. Many who have sung onstage right next to Sarah at my favorite theater of all time (Lifehouse Theater), BEFORE she was a internet sensation. So if you're one of those people, you may be wondering, "What's wrong with me? I've been trying so hard... just as hard as she has. I have put hours into my singing and could have even done what she did, if I were given the opportunity. So why wasn't I?"

I don't claim to have the answer to that, but I hope I can provide some encouragement.

You ARE a fantastic singer. I want you to remember back to your own performances. What did people say when it was all over with, when you were greeting fans? I bet you had some kids come up to you and tell you they loved it. And I bet you also had some adults who are theatre fans (like myself) who were gushing so much about your performance that it looked like they were trying to shut up and just couldn't.

What about your acting chops? Yeah, those rock too. People like me sit on the edge of their seats, totally with you in everything you do on the stage. You transport them into your part, and they feel what you feel and see what you see. This is why I almost always emerge from Lifehouse Theater with a new pond's worth of tears on my face. You execute the part so convincingly... so poignantly... that we just can't help ourselves.

Although I didn't struggle with jealousy this time around (I figure there's no WAY I could have come close to that kind of performance and can't afford tickets to a Kristin Chenoweth concert anyway, so why not just be super-happy instead?), I HAVE been known to have the little green bug bite me. Prominent times in my life. In fact, just after my daughter was born, I decided I wanted to be a Hollywood actress. I contacted an amazing photographer about headshots and he was extremely kind. He offered me an enormous discount after my family and I visited his studio. Not long after I did all of this, I had a dream (that I believe was from God) basically telling me that I had a choice: my family or Hollywood. I was brokenhearted because I wanted both... but of course I went with my family. That was when my husband suggested Lifehouse Theater to me in the first place. It's probably good that I didn't jump into it right away, because God still had a few kinks in my character to work out before I would have been ready.

Anyway, enough about me. This post is about YOU. I don't blame you for being jealous. You've worked hard, probably for most of your life. You might also teach voice lessons, or maybe you took lots of singing lessons when you were younger. Musical Theatre is probably your world... something you can't imagine life without. I felt the same way about acting. What I was able to come to the conclusion to (with the Lord's help) was that I'm not right for fame. At least not the kind of fame I would have gotten from being in Hollywood. Some people can handle it, but I found out it would all go to my head.

I would have spent more and more time away from my family, doing what "they" wanted me to do, and less time listening to that still small voice and the Word of God. I discovered that God chooses the meek to inherit the earth, and that some of the people we will see in the highest places in Heaven will probably be people we know little to nothing about. I found out that I had important little things to do.

Once I learned not to be jealous, I found that the best thing to counteract it, for me, was just being happy for people. It's that simple! In the Bible, Johnathan was the one who had the claim to the throne, but he was willing (although he didn't get to see it with his own eyes) to stand aside and let David, his friend, take the throne. I'm sure he had plenty of reason to be jealous... so why wasn't he?  I think it's because he chose to celebrate with his best friend rather than sulk. I found out that I had a choice: I could join the party and eat cake and have a blast dancing like a crazy white person with no rhythm; or I could sulk, refuse the cake, and let that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach rule my life for the next few weeks. I actually learned that from Lifehouse as well - surrounded by beautiful, talented people who were nothing but humble and kind. You can BE that gorgeous, gifted person (in fact, you probably already are, for me)!

I get the jealousy thing... believe me, I do. You see the celebrities getting things handed to them on a silver platter just because everyone knows who they are, and you might think, "Why don't people know ME yet? I want to walk a red carpet, get those crazy-awesome gift bags you see at award shows, go to the front of the line just 'cause I'm famous..." It's hard to live a life without immediate reward, or in the spotlight where everyone notices when you're awesome.

(But did you ever think about this: that same spotlight also captures you in your worst, most embarrassing moments. The times when you made a poor choice, and wish it never happened? I have a feeling a certain Cyrus will be older and wiser one day and wish the VMA incident hadn't.)

God has done things in my life that I haven't wanted Him to do. On the flipside, there have been times where He's done nothing and my prayers have been crying out for Him to help, asking Him why there is silence. I have learned that although I don't always like it, He does know what's best for me. And His timing is perfect. You never know... you might have your moment, too. And wouldn't it be funny if that moment came through Sarah Horn herself. :)