When life hands you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make lemon bars! They're delicious, and much easier to prepare than you think (see below). But in a less metaphorical sense, when life has you getting over a cold and you have a live singing music performance scheduled, don't despair. Instead, test out your voice and determine what you are actually capable of singing. Then sing those songs, and don't sing the ones that you can't. See how easy this is?
In all seriousness, there's a judgement call you need to make when sick. Can you actually be entertaining? Can you sing or play at a level that's enjoyable for the audience, and not embarrassing to yourself? Do you run a risk of doing damage to your vocal chords, or making yourself sicker for longer? If you can answer those questions and still feel like doing the show, then do it!
I first started coming down with this shitty cold exactly two weeks before my show last night at Serenity Gardens. It was at that show on April 9 that I suspected I was getting sick, and then spent the subsequent two weeks with all of the fun symptoms of a bad head cold, which included losing the ability to even speak for a short while. Singing was completely out of the question. Still, knowing I had two weeks to recover, I was hesitant to cancel my next show, hoping I'd get well enough to perform. By the time I was going to be putting together my set list for the next show, I knew that I still didn't have my usual vocal range... but that I was also capable of singing fairly competently in a lower register. Would it be my best show from a singing perspective? Most definitely not. But it forced me to go through my repertoire and see what songs in there would be possible while avoiding anything strenuous.
So that's what I did, and it ended up being really cool. I played a good number of songs that I hadn't done in quite awhile, and even risked debuting a never-before-played cover of Sun Kil Moon's "Among the Leaves", which went super well.
How to Make Lemon Bars!
Serenity Gardens set list...
Lost Cause (Beck)
Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young)
Wakin on a Pretty Day (Kurt Vile)
*Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
Blue (Joni Mitchell)
Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed)
Things Under Trees (They Stole My Crayon)
Welcome to the Machine (Pink Floyd)
Bring On the Night (The Police)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Gardenia (Iggy Pop)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.
Massive thanks to all who came to hear me sing the low notes, with special super thanks to the following folks who helped support the show!
JustOneMore Loon, Trouble Streeter, AaronCabottJones Resident, Sesh Kamachi, not4gods Resident, Asimia Heron, go2smoky Resident, RansomTalmidge Resident, Christine Haiku, Sassy Nitely, TheaDee Resident, Kat Claxton, Tyche Szondi, Alex Zelin, my terrific manager Maali Beck, and the great team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.