If you haven't yet seen the YouTube video of Sarah Horn's singing "For Good" on stage with Kristin Chenoweth, you're in for a treat. Truly. This is worth your time. (If you're reading this in an email, please click over to my blog and watch the video.)
Not surprisingly, many people who saw the performance assumed that Sarah was a plant rather than a Kristin Chenoweth fan who happened to be selected from the audience at the Hollywood Bowl. In an interview for the The Hollywood Reporter, interviewer Seth Abramovitch asked Sarah: "What do you tell people who insist you were too good not to be a plant?"
Sarah, a 26-year-old voice teacher from Riverside, California, replied: "One phrase: years of preparation for a moment of freedom. That's something that just popped into my mind. I've been studying music for years, studying how to sing, but I'm also very prepared with the Wicked music because that is my favorite musical of all time. I was obsessed in high school. I would sing the part of Glinda going through "For Good" and then jump back to the beginning of the song and sing Elphaba because I wanted to learn both [parts]."
An opportunity to sing with Krisitin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl is the stuff of dreams. No doubt Sarah cherished that kind of dream, but she didn't just dream. She got a degree in vocal performance from Belmont University. She works as a vocal coach at California Baptist University and Riverside Youth Theatre. She's not in the spotlight every day, but she uses her gift every day.
When an interviewer asked if she had musical aspirations beyond teaching, Sarah said, "I would love to perform more. If I could still manage to teach that would be a blessing, but I know I was born to sing and I don't sing much teaching. I know that I inspire people when I perform. . . Even in smaller settings--when I would sing at church or weddings--I have people come up to me every time and say that something about whatever I did touched them."
Did you catch that? "I know that I inspire people when I perform." That's the mark of a gift, isn't it? And the amazing thing is that we're all gifted. We've all been given gifts that, when we practice them, inspire people.
Maybe your gift is singing or dancing or playing an instrument. Perhaps it's photography or painting. Maybe it's writing or cooking or organizing things. Whatever your gift might be, it's that thing that, when you exercise it, people are prompted to say that you've inspired them.
Will you ever have a chance to use your gift onstage in front of thousands of appreciative fans? Perhaps not. But one thing's sure for sure: if you don't practice using your gift in small ways, you won't be ready for the big performance if the opportunity comes.
So sing! Dance! Write! Cook! With an appreciative audience or just in humble service to the One who gave you the gift, use it! The world can be a dark place. We need to see you shine.
What is your gift? How do you use it?
**Joining Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading.**