Hitting the right note: Junior makes his singing debut

September 23, 2016 — by Ryan Kim

I’ve always had some form of stage fright — shaky knees, quaking voice, my signature tomato-red face literally glowing in embarrassment. Never did I think that I would go up alone on stage and perform for anyone, much less for an audience of 70 people.

But that was exactly what I did when I attended California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra camp from Aug. 7 to Aug. 13 at Walden West, Saratoga and accepted the opportunity to sing for the annual talent show.

My friends pleaded with me to go up and perform for the talent show; being stupidly courageous and susceptible to peer pressure as I was, I thought, “Why not?”

Now, I still did not know what I would showcase as my talent. I am not a math or musical instrument prodigy, and my sense of humor could dry up the Pacific Ocean. So, as I was pondering the most difficult question of my life, my friend suggested singing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not skilled at singing either; in fact, I should have laughed at the absurdity of the suggestion. But strangely enough, the idea began to take hold, and I chose to sing “Just Haven’t Met You Yet,” by Michael Bublé.

My friend promised to accompany my vocals with his guitar, and we finalized our plans for the next day, both flushed with excitement. Fast-forward to 15 minutes before my performance, and I was sweating profusely, a tingly ball of nerves, and my partner had failed to show.

Just as I was about to call it quits, my savior, a piano prodigy named Andrew, volunteered to step in. In 13 minutes, he glanced over the score and was ready to go. Finally — or was it too soon? — we were called up to the makeshift stage. I had no clue how to begin, and Andrew and I hadn’t even practiced together, but I felt that strange, unique Ryan-esque brashness surge through me.

The process itself was a blur. Was everyone cheering for me, or were they smirking at my evident lack of practice? Was that my friend recording me to post a video on Facebook, or was he just laughing at the fool I made of myself on stage? I didn’t know, and up there, I didn’t care. I was performing with whatever ounce of skill I had, and I was going to do well.

Needless to say, we messed up a lot. Nevertheless, we persisted and by the time we finished, the whole room erupted in cheers. I was shocked, not only at the generous applause, but at the fact that I had gone up and performed, whether from courage or plain stupidity.

Now that all that effort and anxiety is in the past, I can confidently say that it was worth all the trouble. This “debut” will serve as a stepping stone, a confidence-booster for my future endeavors like skydiving or backpacking in Europe. All I know is that I have a lot left on my bucket list, and I’m not going to finish it anytime soon. But at least I’ve done one.