Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guest Post: The Supporting Role

So remember Julie? She got really into things after her last guest post and wrote a few more, so you get to hear from her again today! Enjoy!

Are you the girl who is always cast as the supporting actor? In sports, are you the one who passes the ball to the girl who makes the goal? At work, do you do the grunt work while your boss gets the recognition? For me it was music. I am an alto. Altos never get the melody line. They are seldom bold and recognized. They just support the sopranos who make the beautiful music.

I have 3 sisters, who happen to be the most amazing and natural sopranos. They get asked to sing solos all the time in church, at the Christmas programs….One played the lead in the high school play, another went on to perform in a prestigious college choir. They are splendid. And I am the mediocre alto. It is hard feeling like I am inferior; why did I not get the lovely soprano voice? Life is so unfair! I have talent and am capable, but why is there always some one better, or more visible to others than me?

It hurts to be the supporting role. How do I deal with my feelings? I have two options. I can work really hard to develop my talents to be the lead star, or I can believe I am good enough as I am. Sometimes there is room for improvement, like at your place of work or in your studies. Other times there is not. I wish I was recognized more in music but I can be happy knowing that my part is just as important as any other. Without the alto, there is no harmony. Music is more beautiful with two voices than one. My voice is needed. I do not need to be the star to enjoy music. I can love it just as I am.

You are you, love yourself. Believe you are needed, because you are. We all have our place. It may take time to learn to love your place in life, but YOU are worth it. We all are.


Lin said...

I can't sing at all. :)

I often feel like I'm in the supporting role, but I know that I also just don't give myself credit when I do take the lead. I don't like the spotlight and I feel awkward and uncomfortable accepting praise for doing things that are often what I consider to be normal or just the right thing to do.

Also, maybe another way to deal with your feelings is to see your role as being lead on a smaller stage. Like being the star of an off-Broadway play instead of being the star on Broadway. It's still amazing and it still gives you the chance to improve your talent and grow as a person. I have read a lot of comments on this blog referring to your awesomeness and I've met your kids, who are adorable and funny and smart, both of which testify of your leading lady abilities.

Being Lovely said...

As a fellow alto, I feel this post. However, I can honestly say I've learned to love singing the harmonies and love them even more than the melody. (Besides, if you sing the right stuff, the melody can trade off!)
I guess that's what's so great about everyone being different. There are some roles that are flashier than others, but sometimes I think it takes even more confidence to take that supporting role and make it important and wonderful even though you aren't the one getting all the credit. What would the Marriage of Figaro be without Cherubino? What would Casablanca be without Sam? What would Buffy be without Giles or Xander or Willow?? Yeah. Exactly.

Jenny in Utah said...

Hey Julie - around our area you are a SUPERSTAR!!!

Lis said...

I have accompanied lots of people on the piano and I've noticed that though they are getting the attention, that they don't sound as good without the piano behind them. Just remember- your alto is great! They can be good by themselves, but often to be the prettiest, they need an alto and/or a piano behind them.

Nathalie Shorten said...

As an alto, a second alto at that, I totally understand how you could feel that way. I sing in a choir which relegates sopranos to the alto section if they don't measure up. It's the shameful downward slide. But I love to sing the alto part, unless it's the boring bits, in the hymns usually..the same note for 10 measures! In that case, I make up my own part right there in church. I'll steal bits from the bass and tenor parts or make up a second soprano part. It's so much more fun than singing the melody all the time. Many sopranos freak out if they have to sing harmony. They don't know how. So be proud of your voice and who you are. It's all what you make of it!