I never thought I would do this…

A meeting that didn’t quite go as planned.

Last February I sat across from my mom’s literary agent, Ned Leavitt, at lunch. I had scheduled the lunch to ask him questions about the publishing world as I was beginning to get a hankering to write a book. And that’s what we talked about…for the most part.

At the end of lunch as we were paying the bill and Ned began a conversation that both surprised and unraveled me. Here it is, paraphrased to the best of my memory:

Ned: I was so glad when I received your invitation to lunch, Kate, because there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while. What ever happened to your singing?

Me: Oh no, that’s my sister you’re thinking of. She’s the singer.

Ned: No, not your sister. You. I have a vivid memory of you singing for your mother’s fiftieth birthday. Something came through you when you sang that was so earthy and vital and alive and I’ve never forgotten it. What ever happened to your singing?

Me (in tears): Well, I guess the answer to your question is what I just said: my sister.

Hiding my light under a bushel.

(Thanks for the expression, Mom!)

***Necessary interjection: My sister and I have an amazing, deep friendship. We love each other so much and support each other in everything we do. I realized in this moment with Ned that I had given up performing at eighteen after landing a starring role in a Brown University musical my Freshman year because I subconsciously thought that there was only room for one performer in our family. My sister seemed to want it more so I decided to switch directions and focus more on business than on being an artist. Let it be known publicly that my sister is my biggest fan, has encouraged me to tap back into my artist/performer self continuously and has never, in any way, dissuaded me from shining. Any hang ups I’ve had about this have been purely in my head. Thank you Annie for being the most amazing sister I could ever dream of. ***

After I blew my nose and got myself back together, I explained to Ned that I had given up singing and performing so as not to be in competition with my sister. He told me that though he had no doubt that  part of my purpose was to be a leader and community builder in the business world, he suspected there was something else in me.

F*ck it.

Six months later my friend Kirsten Lewis began producing a cabaret burlesque show called Paper Dolls. She asked me to do an act and I politely declined saying: “Oh no, I’m too busy/I’m a business woman not a performer/performing in burlesque shows isn’t part of my brand/(insert other stupid excuse here.)”

Given that I’m about to leave NYC, that I’m embarking on a journey into the unknown, and that I’m leaving more space for possibility by allowing myself to be more of who I am and less of who I’m not, I decided that now would be a good time to let my performer come back out to play.

So on Tuesday night at Paper Dolls at Sway Lounge I let “Bubbles” (my stage name) come out to entertain an intimate group of 75 New Yorkers who braved the cold. Sandwiched between a hula dancer, some girls in pasties and tassels, and my friend Kirsten and her baton, I took the mic for a spin.

And though I was scared out of my mind and I was really pissed at myself for saying yes to this before the performance, as soon as I was out on stage and I gave myself permission to lighten up, I LOVED IT! I tapped into a part of myself that I’ve not invited out in public in at least nine years and IT FELT SOOOO GOOD!

A once in a lifetime (sort of).

It’s not lost on me that this all occurred the same week as I deleted my external drive of video footage for Glimpse TV. It’s not lost on me that since Tuesday night I’ve felt happier, more energized, and more inspired than I have all year. I wrote to a group of friends before the performance that this would be a once in a lifetime chance to see me perform. I think I lied. I think I’ll be doing this more often.

Here’s to doing things that freak you out. Here’s to letting your freak flag fly. Here’s to grabbing the mic and serenading someone (or a hundred someones). Here’s to not hiding your light under a bushel. Here’s to giving yourself permission to be seen.

Much love,

Bubbles

***For those of you in NYC, I’ll be performing in Paper Dolls again on Tuesday, January 18th at Sway Lounge in NYC. Join the Paper Dolls Facebook group and my list to make sure you get the invite.***

And now, Glimpse TV presents….Bubbles!

(Disclaimer to make myself feel better because this is really scary to put this out there: the footage is not professional, there were a few mic feedback moments, and my voice is slightly rusty after not singing for nine years. But progress not perfection! I’m proud enough of it to share it with you so enjoy!)

My NYC Singing Debut: Come Rain or Come Shine from Kate Moller on Vimeo.

What have you done lately that freaked you out?

How did you feel afterward?

Is there a part of you that hasn’t come out in a while that it might be time to invite out of hiding?

Leave a comment!

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50 Responses to I never thought I would do this…

  1. Althea Green says:

    Hey Kate, Just want to say that you are very brave!!!
    Wonderful performance. Love the dress.

  2. Kate says:

    Thank you Althea! I so appreciate it!

  3. Maddy says:

    Damn Girl!!! You’ve been keeping this from us? Oooooh I’m so excited about you flying your freak flag, because it’s gorgeous! Looking forward to more Bubbles. Congratulations for taking her out from under wraps (bubble wrap, get it?)!

  4. Daphne says:

    You go girl! That was incredible Kate. What an inspiration! Rock on.

  5. Susan says:

    Bravo Bravo Bravo Bubbles – totally awesome!!!! More more more more more more………and oh the dress, the moves, whao girl, you’ve got it all!

  6. okay, where’s the Bubbles fansite–I need it now. Luscious.

    Stage Presence
    Foxydivaness; and
    Biz Savvy.

    ahem, yum.

  7. Melissa says:

    You did great! Shoot if I sounded like that I would be singing too! You look like you are in your element!

  8. You so ROCKED the stage, Bubbles!! I am so proud of you, you are my hero, stepping out and stepping into your gorgeous, radiant light. So, you can sing, too. Hmm Is there anything you can’t do? I don’t think so! You’ve got the moves, the pipes and the sex appeal to take that show on the road… so THAT’S why you are hitting the road. It’s all crystal clear now. ;-)

  9. Trish says:

    Good God! Kate, that was inspiring. You are inspiring. What else will you be pulling out of your hat???

    Yep, your light shines in many directions.

    XO

  10. your long list of hidden talents astounds me, Bubbles.

    xoxo

  11. Kate says:

    @Danielle LaPorte, Thank you! It’s my Gemini Moon :)

  12. Rebecca Bent says:

    Speechless!

    Bubbles you are fantastic! Cannot wait to see you do this gig (hint hint) on your upcoming road tour!

  13. hi kate, big congratulations for your courage……here’s my story. two years ago when i was 59 i started learning belly dance. i never expected to perform but with my group fabulosity we performed in public 3 times………it was truly nerve wracking before each performance but doing the performance was SO MUCH FUN i could hardly believe it was me. afterward we hugged each other and declared how much fun we all had. it was truly life changing.
    now i have gone on to learning ballet. i love the elegance of it. i just love to dance. it’s just so much fun!!! keep it up bubbles!!! you were fantastic!

  14. Kate says:

    @Dyana Valentine, Thanks Dyana! I’m just about to go watch the video of you in your bathrobe. I can’t wait for your own flavor of foxydivaness ;)

  15. Deb Droz says:

    My gosh, Bubbles…watching you made me all teary-eyed, which always happens when i watch live performances that are authentic. Love.

  16. macha says:

    amazing!!!!!!! seriously you rock. keep shining your star sista!

  17. Tracy says:

    Bubbles, That was awesome! I will be there Jan 18th!

    xo, Tracy

  18. Kate says:

    @macha, Thanks lady!

  19. Leanne says:

    You rock Kate!! You go girl!!!!! Inspires me to unleash the artist within. Leanne xx

  20. Rachel says:

    LOVE THIS! My word for 2011 is STRETCH…as in out of my comfort zone, as in yoga, as in do the scary thing to feel that farther outreaches of my life. AMAZING.

  21. LeeAnn says:

    That was fabulous!
    You are one hot tamale!
    Thanks for sharing and encouraging others (me!) to let it shine!
    Shine on!

  22. KG says:

    Dear Bubbles,
    Loved your performance…most of all i loved your courage. BTW: Got the publicity notice about your performance from your Mom.

  23. allison says:

    Bubbles! That was so hot! You were mesmerizing. Your singing, your seductive gestures, and the umbrella bit, were all wonderful. I sincerely hope there is more of this in your future. Bravo, Kate.

  24. Tanya says:

    You have inspired me to get off my duff and get singing…(even at 48 it’s not too late!)
    to answer your quiry…the last time I did something freaky was last tuesday night, when I chose to
    be first up on the stage at a Landmark Self-Expression and Leadership Course and speak my truth to over 75 people.
    I make the vibrating mean that I am excited and ON TRACK!
    Be Your Truth.
    Thanks for the Reminder to get singing.

  25. Kate, You just gave me permission to sing and perform! Thank you for shining YOUR light. – Connie

  26. Kristin says:

    Thank you for sharing. So brave! Very inspiring. I am currently having my own life changing experiences. Moving on to a new chapter in my life. I have always wanted to learn/perform burlesque. There is a dance studio in the area that offers, now I just need the courage to walk in the door!

  27. Claudine says:

    Sooo sweet. Thank you for sharing!!!

  28. Jane says:

    Kate,
    That was fabulous. Thanks for putting it out there for the rest of us to follow. You are an inspiration just like your mom.

    Love,
    Jane

  29. nancy levin says:

    kate!!!
    you are a brilliant, brainy, beautiful, brave sex bomb!!!
    there is no feeling on earth like rocking a stage with your gifts, while the people you love hoot and holler ;)
    looking forward to the time i get to be there in person, basking in the light of you talent!
    xo

  30. Eliza says:

    Kate,
    I just think you are so awesome and brave! Love that you stepped out of your comfort zone! You did a brilliant job :)Thanks for making it look so easy!! xoxo

  31. Constance says:

    Hi Kate!
    That was so great! So much fun to receive that in my inbox this a.m. Thanks for sharing it — totally inspiring!

  32. Lora Sasiela says:

    Miss Bubbles, you so rock! So sorry I couldn’t be there and thrilled to see the footage. You are one amazing babe! xoxo

  33. CelticSeer says:

    Hey Bubbles,

    Love the stage name. Go for it girl……..you’ve got talent. …….where have you been hiding!!

  34. Maya Hazan says:

    Kate, you are such a natural, inspirational, saucy, amazing performer! What a great beginning! See you on Broadway in 2011! Thank you for showing me that anything is possible!

  35. Suh-weeet!
    Kate, we’re on the same page! My voice has been forced to take a hiatus that wasn’t part of my plan.
    I’d been singing weekly with my boyfriend and a couple other guys for well over 10 years when the economy took a downturn and the pub where we performed stopped paying as much as we required. My honey wasn’t willing to play for less, so we stopped performing. I would’ve stuck with it; every little bit helps and the pure joy of performing was worth it to me.

    Now, I’m planning to start my own band; doing the songs I wanna sing and playing the places I wanna play.
    Don’t let anyone silence you; whether they mean to or not.

    Stay amazing-
    C@

  36. KC says:

    oh honey. screw the dance class thing. let’s put THIS on forbes…..

    love love love discovering ever more of your beauty and brilliance.

    KC

  37. Katrina Chamberlain says:

    OOHHHOOO Kate, you are absolutely fabulous. I loved seeing this. You inspire me everythime a look at Glimse TV. I wish I lived in NY to follow you and to see you performe in live. But I’m here in Norway insted admireing and adoring your voice and everything you are. I will show this too all my Norwegian Sisters. You are such a greate inspiration.

    SG Katrina Chamberlain

  38. Laurie says:

    Kate,

    You are such an inspiration! I am turning 59 in 2011 and just got a keyboard to follow through on my life long dream of learning to play show tunes. Time to forget about perfection and go for the joy. Congratulations on your debut, and looking forward to seeing lots more!

    Laurie

  39. Adriana says:

    Kate,

    You go girl!! That was sexy as hell and extremely brave of you! You have a terrific voice! You’re an inspiration to go out and do what scares me! Thank you!

    Adriana

  40. Diane Grover says:

    Kate,
    To see you perform all by yourself, and to hit it out of the park the way you did, was wonderful! After watching you perform for so many years in plays during high school and college, I only wish I had been present to see this solo performance “live”. I would have been hooting and cheering with the rest of the audience!
    Xo
    Di

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