As the Oscars and Lady Gaga have reminded us, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Sound of Music. When I was growing up, Julie Andrews was my hero. Playing Sound of Music, Victor Victoria, Mary Poppins, and the like on constant repeat, I wore out several VHS copies. Her sweet, effortless tone had me riveted. I would stare at the screen watching the ease on her face and in her throat as she sang through such beautiful melodic lines with the clearest diction and most pleasing timbre. I loved her and became obsessed for awhile. I began reading about Julie Andrews’ past and watching videos of her long and lustrous career. One day I stumbled upon Julie Andrews singing at the age of 12 My jaw dropped to the floor. This was the voice of a 12 year old? The beauty, the strength, the ease, the 4-octave range: it could all be heard in what we would still consider a child’s voice. And yet, unlike many of our current child stars, her voice was completely natural. There was no falsification of her tone. She was not trying to sound like an adult. That was just her voice… At age 12… I wish I had half that ability today!
When Andrews’ voice was ruined by a botched vocal chord surgery in 1997, I went into mourning for a full week, crying over my Broadway soundtracks as I listened to the gorgeous voice which would now only live in recordings. As a singer, I only know what it is like to be on vocal rest for a week or two, but, during that short time, I always feel like a piece of my soul is missing. I couldn’t imagine having that voice and then one day losing everything. The fact that Andrews handled this difficult transition from singing actress to speaking actress with such peaceful acceptance made her even more of a role model in my eyes. Her beauty, emotional strength, humility, poise, and perfect voice have earned her a spot at the top of my favorite things.
#letsgetflexyin2015 challenge day 25: utthita hasta padangusthasana. Bright red dressed, polka dots, fluffy tulle petticoats, broken down buildings, feeling the fluffy grass under my toes, and gazing gratefully at the sunset on the horizon… these are a few of my favorite things.