My-Cherie

My-Cherie

I am currently taking acting classes, and one of my homework assignments was to sing a song that made me feel vulnerable. This song was to be performed a capella in front of a class with 12 fellow students. Of course me and the rest of the class looked at my acting coach like he was crazy when he told us this. I said, “You’re joking right?” No. He was not.

Now, I can carry a tune, but I am not known for singing, other than the occasional karaoke party adventures and some spontaneous birthday shout-outs. It’s funny because people have this misconception that because I have big hair, I can sing. Not true. Sometimes at home, I will blurt out and start singing whatever is playing in my head while I pick my fro, but then my man will say, “Hey, can you shut up in there? I’m trying to think.” So, no, I am not a singer, but that’s ok because the homework assignment was to come in and sing a song that made me feel vulnerable. I don’t have be a singer to do this. I just have to be confident.

I thought of many songs that I felt touched by and songs that I knew the lyrics to like "Always and Forever," "Love is a Battlefield" and "Man in the Mirror." They were great songs, and inspired me in a vulnerable way, but it was not what I was looking for. Then it hit me — "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston. I remember lying in my bed as a teenager and listening to my radio when this song came on. I’d get up, put on a little lipstick, look in the mirror and sing my heart out. This song was a very special song to me. I was enamored with Whitney Houston.

My-Cherie

Now in my adulthood, I realize not only was this song beautiful but it was also powerful and inspirational. I decided I needed to Google the words and learn every lyric. It was magical. These are the rules I go by. This is how I live my life. I had to watch the video again, so I found it on You Tube. Watching the video gave me chills to see her sing so passionately. It was the same feeling I felt when I heard it for the first time back in 1991. Whitney Houston was a naturally curly diva. She rocked her curls! She wasn’t afraid to embrace her ethnicity. She was a such a role model for young girls and women at that time.

I stayed up late the night before class and practiced the song. The next day, with wardrobe, make-up and all, I confidently got up in front of the class and shared my vulnerability with everyone present. I made it through the entire song smiling and then crying as I got to the end. Not everyone completed the assignment that day, but I did it. I think my strength came from Whitney's lyrics, “The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Learning to love yourself — it is the greatest love of all.”

Check out Whitney's You Tube video.