disney, kids, music, singing

“Let It Go” by Sydney Kate Lord

5 Comments 04 March 2014

Syd is driven to be a famous singer.  As soon as she saw it was snowing, she exclaimed, “I have to put on something blue and doing a video singing in the snow!”  My California-born wife, who is afraid of any and all forms of precipitation, exclaimed (there’s a lot of exclaiming in our house), “You can’t go out in that!  No one goes out in that!” (granted, it was only 21 degrees out.) A few minutes later, my wife relayed the story to me, and I said I’d be happy to video Syd singing, and here is the result.

Syd Snow

Syd seems to be a natural performer. She immediately grasped the production value of singing in the snow. She also didn’t break character or stop either when snow started gathering on her eyes or her friends started yelling up from the street.  Plus, she’d worked hard enough on the song beforehand that when the chance came up with a surprise snowfall, she was ready.


bestadvice, gracious, singing

#BestAdvice- How To Be Gracious

No Comments 09 August 2011

My brother Frank put up some old pictures on Facebook today, reminding me of some great advice I received from my grandma, “Nanny Yi”. 

Mom, Frank, Me, Dad

Yi (“Yi” because somehow that’s how her baby sister pronounced “Elsie Fowler” and it stuck) was born to be a performer.  She taught herself how to play jazz piano from an early age and was always the life of the party.  Her children were all expected to be able to perform, and that carried on to her grandchildren as well.  We always had to tell stories at the dinner table or gather around the piano and sing while she played.

In 8th or 9th grade, I’d gotten a lead part in a church musical, where I played a bad guy who finally figures it out in the end.  Before the play, Nanny Yi took us out to an early dinner at Ponderosa, and I remember her very specific instructions- not on how to perform during the musical, but how to perform after the musical. 

“Now, Brian, after the musical, you’ll be at the back of the church, and people are going to come up and say, “Thank you, you did a great job!” When they say that, I don’t want you to hem and to haw and mumble or look down at the ground.  Don’t be embarrassed! These people want to pay their compliments.  So you need to be gracious. Look them in the eye and smile and say “Thank you!”  My mom, who is a very well-known singer in our community, chimed in her agreement to this advice, which I’m sure she had in her turn when she was younger.

Nanny Yi then looked at my shirt and asked, “Is that what you’re wearing?  No, my grandson needs to stand out on stage!” So we raced to JC Penny’s and she bought me the brightest red shirt she could find. We just made it to church on time.

The musical went well, and even though I wanted to default to my natural tendency to mumble and look at the ground while people complimented our performance, I instead made myself smile and say thanks- thanks to my grandma.

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