Jason C

A talent behind fear.

I sat there watching my dad jam out on his guitar and belt out our favorite songs as I stumble away banging on the drums, singing under my breath longing to join in. That Christmas my dad gave me a gift certificate for voice lessons.
A month later I was standing in Olga’s studio expecting to learn classic rock. She looked at me during that lesson and said, “I’m teaching you classical training.” I was confused. “Wait what? Opera!?” Well, I accepted it to see what would happen.Lesson after lesson I learned how much I couldn’t distinguish notes precisely and how much each lesson helped develop that discernment. But that was only part of the struggle. My voice box had years of tension and stress behind it.
As we started, it sounded like I could be a tenor.
We practiced solfeggio and basic exercises along with building proper posture and breathing techniques.
Soon we found some of the tension in my neck relaxed and I was able to sing in baritone.It didn’t stop there, but the challenge became far more difficult. The journey became not just about technique and practice, it became therapeutic as well. We surfaced deep trauma and fears holding me back.
The basic fear of failure in front of others prevented me from growing. I was trying to be perfect without failure. I had this feeling that in order to be accepted I had to be perfect, and that at all cost it was not ok to fail.
This was a major struggle as I knew I wasn’t good at singing but I was trying to become good without mistake. Impossible right, yeah, silly me.

As time went on Olga continued to provide an environment that felt comfortable enough for me to find goodness in failure. She actually encouraged it while making it humorous and non judgmental. This is exactly what I needed. This was my atonement moment. It was not easy for me, but this is what led me to my true comfort zone, bass.
The following Christmas Eve our whole family came over for celebration and by mere path of curiosity we all found ourselves grabbing an instrument and singing our favorite songs together.

I had a mic, my dad had a mic and we had that moment were you look at one another and just know, its good. A moment in time that could never have been predicted or planned, but it just happened. That whole evening, I think, was a miracle. Not only did I get what I set out for, to sing with my dad, I got so much more that I needed.
The entire year of lessons was like unburying a treasure covered by fears and doubts.
A treasure that opened up for me the joy, confidence and comfort I had been in dire need of. I grew as a son, a man, a human. Thank you Olga for being the mentor I needed at this point in my life.