Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I’ve been writing seriously for thirty years, and although I’m no Nora Roberts or support myself on my earnings, they do pay expenses and I’m in the black. The only other thing I do is sing in musicals produced by the local Performing Arts Club.

That began seven years ago when my husband accused me of spending all day at the computer. I realized I needed to get out and meet people, so I went to an audition, hoping to get a part in the chorus of the show, or, if lucky, part of a duet or trio. Instead I was given two solos and, although there was no pay, I enjoyed the thrill of audience applause and compliments in the lobby after a performance.

When I was a child, my sister took piano lessons, and I took singing lessons until high school occupied all my time. But I continued to love singing, bought Broadway show albums and sang all the songs for myself. Also for my husband, who, when we took long trips in the car, would ask me to sing.

Nevertheless I was surprised to find that strangers liked my voice. Not only that, the PAC had many talented, formerly professional singers among its members, so I felt honored to join. One lady was the fifth Laurie in OKLAHOMA on Broadway and Richard Rodgers played piano at her audition.

My latest (7th) appearance occurred earlier this month when I sang in a group number, and then a solo of “It’s the Little Things” from Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY. This is a long song, and difficult, because it consists of a series of 27 “little things” that bear no relationship to one another, and must be memorized (and sung at a fast tempo). Here’s a sample of one verse:

“It’s the little things you do together that make perfect relationships.
The hobbies you pursue together,
Savings you accrue together
Looks you misconstrue together
That make marriage a joy.”

Or, my favorite:
“The concerts you enjoy together,
Neighbors you annoy together
Children you destroy together
That keep marriage intact.”

Now I need to write some more, finish the novella I started and revise my long mystery novel. I guess I’ll go back to singing to my husband in the car.


  1. Phyliss, thanks for sharing this sweet post. I love, love, love that your husband likes to hear you sing and asks you to. He could have a lot of faults, and I'd stay with a guy like that. A hero in my books.
    While I was still working as an elementary school principal, I had an opportunity to act in a play a friend of a friend wrote. It came at a good time. My Mom had just died and I was able to pour all that emotion into the role. Nice when we can go back to our roots so to speak. So happy for you to perform in the musicals. Does take a hugh time committment, but so rerwarding.

    1. Marsha: You're so right about my hero husband. In addition to liking my singing, he sometimes cooks dinner, is my computer guru and can fix almost anything that breaks down in the house.

  2. Man would I love to hear you sing. How about a short video?

    1. Patricia:
      Sorry, no video. But maybe my versatile husband can put a snippet of the DVD of the musical on YouTube. But don't hold your breath. Thanks so much for the comment.

  3. Hi, Phyliss,
    Singing is surely not one of my better points--can't carry a note. I'm not quite sure what makes people sing, or how it ever got started. Maybe it's one of our senses?
    Great post,

    1. Hank:
      Thanks for the comment. Love of music seems to be common in humans, even if it's just the sound of water babbling ina brook, or wind in the trees.

  4. Good for you, Phyliss! I, too, would love to hear you sing! Love that your husband enjoys your singing!!! Good post!

    1. Coco:
      Thanks so much. In the musical I was in before this one, the director gave me a solo because - although my voice is mostly untrained - she said she knew I could "act" the story. I did bring tears to the eyes of some cast members. But my latest song was funny instead of poignant. Loved it.

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