We Will Rock You

Doing All Right

Well, it’s Spring Break; half way through the semester. Classes are in full swing, the pressure is on to get my life in order, and I don’t know about you, but I’m on the verge of losing my mind. It’s a lot when you’re a full-time student, part-time employee at two jobs, and participating in the school’s Spring Arts Festival. Why I decided to put this much on my plate is beside me, but it’s my last semester. I’ve got to make the best of it, right?

Being a part of the Spring Arts Festival has been a lot of fun. We’ve been working on some of Queen’s classics, and from the ones we’ve done so far, my favorites have been “Killer Queen” and “We Will Rock You.” Those two songs are probably the most “performance ready,” but we’ve got some time to work on the others and get them all in good shape.

It’s easy when the harmonies of the songs are in unison, like in “We Will Rock You,” and it doesn’t hurt that this song’s been a huge part of pop culture since, well, forever. We all know what’s coming when we hear that stomp stomp clap, stomp stomp clap, and I bet you can even hear it right now without the song even playing. That’s how much of an impact the song has had over the years.

However, when the harmonies have different voice parts, like in “Killer Queen,” it’s like I have to relearn the whole song; look at it from a totally new perspective, because when I’m belting it out in my car, I usually just follow the melody. (‘Cause we’re all stars in the driver’s seat, right?)

She keeps her Moet et Chandon, in her pretty cabinet
“Let them eat cake,” she says, just like Marie Antoinette

My point is, there’s so much more to the song than its melody and catchy guitar solo I’m sure we’ve all sung along to. (You know what I’m talking about, don’t lie.) Despite the countless times I’ve listened to the song before, not once did I realize how many little, intricate background parts there are before I became involved in this production. For instance, there’s a background part in the verse that begins with To avoid complications… that goes She’s a killer, a killer. She’s a killer queen. I’ve never heard it before in my life, but now that I know it’s there, I can’t not hear it! (And hey, if you’re like me and didn’t know that either, maybe you’ll start to hear it too.)

All our rehearsals finally came together last week when we ran through a few of the songs we’ve been working on with the bands. The practices went better than I thought it would, in all honesty! It was like nothing I’d ever done before, since my only “performance” experience involved singing in choirs for concerts meant to show what we’d been working on during the semester. This show is similar, I suppose, but it feels different because I’m not surrounded by many other vocalists singing the same part as me. There’s only two of us on each part at most for this, and that means I need to be more confident, which is something I’ve struggled with for years.

Being your own worst enemy makes doing anything difficult, especially when you have all these aspirations for yourself and the person you want to be that seem to have been proven unachievable. The mantra that you’re not good enough and that you don’t really belong with the people surrounding you always finds a way to tear down any shred of confidence you attempt to build up, sometimes even preventing you from doing what you want to. But when you try looking at it from someone else’s perspective, from someone else’s shoes, you start to see that things might not be as bad as they seem.

There’s a reason I’m doing this. I auditioned just like everyone else did, and if I wasn’t any good, my name wouldn’t have been on the list of the show’s singers. I show up to practice every week, sometimes coming straight from the end of my shift at work, and if I wasn’t meant to handle the stress of it all, I would’ve given up already. But I haven’t. I’m still here, and I’m still looking forward to the end game which I know is going to be worth it.

So, I guess in retrospect I’m doing alright, but I’ll be doing even better when this all finally comes together and we put on an awesome show for you.

Until then,
Rachael