It’s 2pm on a Friday in March, and I’m sitting at my kitchen counter in blue polka dot panties, a sports bra, Uggs, and my mother’s grey cashmere sweater. I’m not putting on makeup, warming up my voice, or practicing new songs for the show tonight. That’s because there is no show tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the next day. For me, and for the rest of the world, the stage is dark.
We’ve all been the unwilling recipients of countless cliches on a daily basis (most frequently placed as a caption under an instagram model’s gratuitous selfie). But when told, or rather ordered, to “make lemons out of lemonade,” I’m doubtful I’ve ever taken it to heart. We as mankind understand the ebb and flow of our lives in flux, and try to take note of the temporary nature of the good and bad. That being said, never have I expected to be in my own personal flux with the rest of humanity. The reset button that COVID-19 has slammed its bat-juice infected hand upon has stopped the world from spinning, and left its inhabitants swinging mid-axis in the chaos of stagnation.
Zooming in, my world came to an abrupt halt a week before the word “quarantine” was a part of my daily lexicon. Wednesday afternoon, I was on the phone with Miss Judith, a woman who wore many hats, my favorites of which were beloved mentor, best friend, second mom, and grandmother. She was moved to hospice that morning once her brain cancer had proved to be too great a challenge for her. As her loving daughter put the phone up to her ear, I heaved and choked out the words my heart screamed but I could hardly speak. “Good bye,” I said. “Find a spot at the best bar in heaven for me and order a dirty martini with blue cheese olives. I’ll meet you there.” Crying sporadically between thoughts of “pull it together” and “oh my god I can’t go on,” I robotically drove myself to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Once inside the dressing room, I took my right fist and smeared a viscous layer of L’Oreal Pure Beige foundation over the exposed areas of my face and neck. By the time I started applying mascara, it had already traveled in black streams of brokenness down my cheeks. I read the text. She was gone. But the show must go on.
I sang all night for her in celebration of her memory. I sang because she was the one who made me a singer in the first place. I could hear her throaty voice in the back of my head laughing with unique distinction and warm reprove, as she told me I was being silly, needed to have a drink and put on more eye makeup. Good ol’ Miss Jude. I would not allow myself to sink in self pity and deny Miss Judith the dignity of exalting her memory. I reached inside and forced back the tears, entertaining till midnight just like I had with her for so many years. You see, Miss Judith was introduced to my life when I needed her most. She was the vodka-soaked sparkly angel that always knew how to say what you needed to hear, be what you needed her to be, and rhinestone the shit out of any outfit that needed more bling (even if it really didn’t). After my father, grandparents, and childhood dog passed away when I was 8, I needed something (or someone) to get my mind off of the tragedy that had occurred. Enter Miss Judith, pageant coach extraordinaire. At her behest, I entered my first talent competition completely talentless. Because of my inability to dance or play an instrument, the easiest thing was to dub me a singer. I sang Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend with her in the audience. Who knew that 18 years later I’d be singing that same song as her spirit danced into the stars. Two days of haze and performances later, I received another earth shattering announcement. Both of the Vegas shows I’m in had closed their curtains. So here I am, in all my splendor, currently unemployed, trying not to binge eat and cry myself to sleep.
Taking a step back as the dust and virus settles, I watch on as the world witnesses the greatest whiplash experience in modern history. From the peak of social media, our jobs, finances, and lives have been leveled by some stupid guy somewhere in China who decided to put a bat in his soup. This butterfly effect has ripped us into an unwilling state of social distance; connection is replaced by Corona, public outings eclipsed by Purell, and a sudden need for toilet paper that defies all logical explanation and even the worst case of diarrhea. In other words, what the f*ck is going on?! In other words, the show. The show must go on.
So let’s recap the current state of affairs, shall we? All non-essential businesses are closed (btw since when is Starbucks non-essential?!), I can’t perform, can’t go to the gym, and the precise regiment I’ve carved out for maximum efficiency has been laid to waste. But misery loves company and we’re all in the same boat, so why are we looking at this global hiatus as an opportunity to play the victim? When the chips are down, it’s easy to throw in the towel and succumb to the swampy pleasures of unwashed sweatshirts, unlimited snacks, and Netflix. But the true mark of a champion is rising above the circumstances at hand. It took my entire life to become a professional singer with consistent work. It’s because of the years of focus, discipline, and practice that I am living the life I want to live. The world is recalibrating, and while I’m locked away in my castle tower *cough* studio apartment *cough,* I’m determined to get creative and make the most of what I got. All of my first world problems have simple solutions. Bored? Write some music and learn guitar. Feeling lethargic? Go for a run and exercise at home. Feeling overwhelmed? Write out a list of things I’ve been putting off and organize my day around crossing them off my to do list. Feeling unmotivated? Watch an inspiring podcast.
Like it or not, time is still falling from the hourglass. Time we will never get back. When everybody says don’t, why not do? Why not clean out our spiritual, mental, physical, and financial houses and hit the ground running when the end of the world is over? This is the time to prove to yourself what you’re made of. Even when the curtain has closed, the show must go on.
If you read this, liked it, hated it, or skimmed your way through without any major grievances, feel free to follow my many misadventures via instagram @savannahlynx. I respond to DM's so please. Slide on in.