Monday, February 11, 2008
Weekend Report: Part 1
This past weekend almost my entire family gathered to honor our Patriarch. The funeral was such a nice tribute to his 87 years. I sang Goin Home, taken from Dvorak's New World Symphony. I also sang it in February 4 years earlier at his wife, my Grandma's funeral. I also sang it for my Mother-in-laws funeral, February 1999. I also sang it the Sunday after Sept. 11th during a church service honoring the victims of 9/11. Singing that song is one of the most difficult performances I have had to do.
As an actor, I always want to have an emotional connection to the song I am performing. When I sing at a funeral I have to do the opposite. I have to completely pull myself out of the emotional experience so that I don't choke up. I cannot sing when I am crying. I am not sure if anyone can. After I sang a handful of people commented on "the zone" that I was in while singing. It's the only way I can actually sing it. This time I also tried something new. I tried smiling. I smiled for almost the whole song. That helped to remind my body not to cry.
The burial service was probably my favorite moment. My Grandpa had organized a band that played in his basement every Tuesday night. Byron's Basement Band always ended their jam sessions with the same closing song. That is the song that they played after my cousin dedicated the grave. It was perfection. I have been to a lot of funerals and burials in my relatively short life. Whenever I walk away from the casket in the graveyard, I always feel so sad that it is just left there alone in the cold. I also feel humbled that I get to walk away from that and live better for another day and another and another.
I inherited one of my Grandpa's instruments. It is a Weber Mandolin that looks almost identical to this one:
I am really excited about learning to play it. I hope that I follow through. I want his legacy to live on.