As I stood on the stage in the cafeteria I had to remind myself “wow this is really happening.” I was finally going to perform with my two best friends in front of the entire school. For some reason , seven year old me was so confident. I had on a white pair of bell bottom jeans, a floral top and my mom had pressed my hair with the hot comb; nobody could tell me NOTHING. I was so ready to perform, but my two group members were sweating bullets. They looked so nervous, but I knew we were going to kill it. We had practiced too much and worked too hard.
From a young age I knew I wanted to be a singer. The first CD I owned was Christina Aguilera’s Genie in a Bottle CD. After purchasing that for $14.99, my CD collection continued to grow with albums by artists like Britney Spears, 3LW, Dream and Play. While I was watching Lizzie McGuire (I was fasho a Disney kid), the episode that featured Play’s song Us Against the World is what really inspired me. I would play the song over and over and dance in the mirror wishing I could one day perform in front of others. One day I got fed up with wishing and I finally decided to start planning! I asked my girls if they were interested in being in a girl group and they were super excited.
The first step I took was writing out the lyrics for each of us. I listened to the song, I got my pen and started to write out the lyrics on sheets of binder paper LOL. I made three copies and came to school like okay guys LET’S GO! We practiced everyday at lunch and once we got the words down, we moved on to dance moves. Everyday there were certain boys who would come over to where we’d practice and laugh at us. It never really phased me though, because I knew that once we were famous those same boys would like us and want to be our friend.
Everything was coming together slowly but surely. Everyone was assigned a verse of the song and our choreography was on point. The next step was to figure out how we could get on that stage. Only one person would perform on the stage during lunch; A white boy who would sing Michael Jackson songs and moon walk across the stage. I had such a huge crush on him, but more so I was inspired, because if he could do it, so could we!
I don’t actually remember how we were able to “book” the cafeteria stage LOL. My mother was a yard duty/ the school librarian so that probably played a part in it, but somehow we were able to schedule a performance. The week of the show we practiced hard. I have always been a perfectionist, so even seven year old me was thinking we have to be FLAWLESS or kids are going to tease us forever.
The music started and I started to sing. Maybe I wasn’t as nervous, because I had been singing at church. I was the lead singer of the group and I was determined to start us off strong! I thought I did really good and after me the next singer was Sicely. She got so nervous that she forgot the words and it completely caught me off guard. Me and Lorena kept dancing and tried to play it off, but everyone had clearly seen Sicely freeze up. The last verse was Lorena’s and she killed it! Even with Sicely freezing up, I was still proud that we had the courage to get up there. Our next performance was going to be even better so I wasn’t sweating the fact that we messed up. Although I was feeling this satisfaction, the audience full of kids was less than supportive. The kids including the boys who made fun of us at lunch, booed us the entire time we were performing. It was so bad that a teacher asked us to come back on stage and made the students clap for us. Ms. E said into the mic, “These girls had the courage to perform and you guys are disrespectful to boo them like that when they did an excellent job. Give them a round of applause!” The fact that she did that was sooo embarrassing! She didn’t have to make us come back up haha but nonetheless I had no regrets.
After this performance me and the group practiced other songs, but eventually we lost our momentum. We ended up playing games like around the world and kickball at lunch, rather than preparing for a new performance. I regained momentum in the fifth grade when the Cheetah Girls Movie came out. I had a whole new group of friends and I was completely motivated to channel my inner Raven! We started to practice performing the song Cinderella, but once again the momentum was lost and we never performed on the stage.
It’s crazy to think of how much things change. In the year 2000, I wanted to be a singer and now it is 2018 and I work at a property management company LOL. I like to reflect on the girl I was and then look at the woman I am today. I was ambitious and goal oriented then and I am still the same way.However, I wish I was as confident now as I was when I was seven. Ugh I miss the days when life was so simple!