Think Preparation Over Plans

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Award-winning author Terri Trespicio shares this inspiring story in her recent release, Unfollow Your Passion:

In 2013, voice teacher Sarah Horn was called up out of an audience of several thousand at the Hollywood Bowl to sing “For Good” from the show Wicked, with the woman who originated the role of Glinda on Broadway, the one and only Kristin Chenoweth. Horn did not plan for this to happen, which would have been impossible.

When Chenoweth asked who knew the song, Horn simply raised her hand. She got up onstage and proceeded to sing the song, blowing away not just her friends and thousands of people but Chenoweth herself, who was visibly taken aback by Horn’s performance. Her friend caught it all on his phone in the last few seconds of memory he had, and that video went viral overnight, racking up more than a million views in twenty-four hours.

Not only was that an incredibly exciting and lucky moment, but it opened doors for Horn, who was invited back by the Hollywood Bowl two weeks later to emcee an event, and it continues to draw all kinds of opportunities to her. Horn said it’s as if she had saved up all the luck in her whole life for that moment.

She didn’t plan it, no—but she was prepared. When you watch that performance, you see a woman crushing onstage with a major star—but what you don’t see, says Horn, is what allowed her to turn a lucky moment into a life-changing one. What you don’t see, she says in her TEDx talk, are the weekly voice lessons she’d had since she was eight; the times she sang when she was sick, so that she could make sure she could sing without sounding sick; the hours spent singing “For Good” on repeat in her bedroom, memorizing the harmonies on both parts.

What happened was a chance thing, for which she had no warning, no plan, but when the planets lined up for one miraculous moment, she was ready. And all that discipline, that preparedness, she said, led to what she calls her “moment of freedom.” Because that’s what you’re seeing there: a woman who committed to her craft and had planned on nosebleed seats that day—not on being “discovered.” Planning for any of that would have been crazy, but if she hadn’t been prepared it wouldn’t have happened.

Source: Unfollow Your Passion, pp. 189-190


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