One Year of X Factor: How it All Began

For the first 26 years of my life, I’d progressed predictably and comfortably. My life was just right. Growing up in a happy, healthy family, doing ok in school, I even found a girl in Year 12 who I’d then be with for over 9 years! From there, everything in order; we’d bought a house, had a couple of dogs and got engaged!

At this point, singing was by no means on my radar, but I’d always been surrounded by music. Mal, my Dad and singer-songwriter in his own right was always holding a crowd. Whether around a campfire or in front of his coverband. My brother, Rob, has grown to become an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. But for me, a life time of stagefright meant doing anything in my own right never eventuated. Even mention of karaoke made me nervous!

Until 18 months ago…

After being inspired from seeing a close friend turn a theatre-full of people into a laughing mess and somehow being convinced to sing a verse and chorus of Bon Jovi’s Bed of Roses while sitting around a riverside fire, late at night, among no more than three people. Something sparked. I decided I couldn’t live any longer with my voice trapped inside. So I approached Rob, my brother and best man at the upcoming wedding, to ask if he could help me get over my fear so I could sing Truly, Dad’s song, on the big day to surprise everyone! It doesn’t get much more romantic than that… right?

So secretly, over a number of months, Rob & I worked on curing stagefright and learning Truly. Slowly, very slowly, we practised and practised, my nerves reduced to the point where I was psyched up to sing the song in front of 300 unsuspecting friends and family.

Then, out of nowhere, two months short of the biggest day of his life. Tragedy… Pure devastation… It’s over.

From living life exactly as planned, full of happiness and excitement for a future together with my high school sweetheart in our new house, with children, grand children and everything in between. It was all gone. All of it. The engagement was off.

My life as I knew it, was over. I thought anything that may happen from then on, no matter how good it was, could only be second best… (Oh how wrong I was!)

But it was at that point, at my lowest, that I decided it was time to change. To start a new life, create new memories, new highlights. I had to find out what I liked, set new goals, find purpose. So I took the first step, I changed my mindset, I chose to simply say “yes”. To everything.

I started listening to music of my own, meeting new people, tried new sports, even danced!? If I received any offer, no matter what it was, I just said, “yes”. I was redefining, even discovering, myself.

Weeks, then months passed… Thoughts of singing re-emerged. After putting all that work in building my confidence to sing at the wedding, I figured, why waste it? So I sang!

I sang along to the radio, sang in the shower, then made the step and called friends who played their own songs. I started jamming, singing songs with the aim to start performing. What else do people sing for other than to perform? To entertain?? I needed to find out.

I needed a gig. Only, when opportunities got closer, each dried up! No gigs, no performances, no chances to entertain. But all was not lost.

I had discovered my new passion..

I just need a way to let it out..

And I found a way, one Wednesday afternoon.

Continue to Part 1…