My Downfall At BMI – Part 13 (Arguing Over Who Performs)

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Picking up from last time –

So, on the day before we present our assignment (which is also the day we finish our assignment), I was like, “Hey, can you send me the recording whenever just so I make sure to sing it exactly how you want?”

And he’s all, “Oh, I thought I would sing it. I can. No big deal.” And I’m like, “Well, I’d really like to sing it.”

We’d finally written a fun song – with range! – for a woman. And maybe, just maybe the people in BMI would’ve seen that I was a fantastic performer. (I almost backspaced and was like “pretty good performer.” But I’m just gonna leave fantastic because I am! [*she says feeling two inches tall trying to scream into the void, but no one can hear her from down here*])

But alas, he really wanted to sing it. We went back and forth on this, being all nice about it, then a little more assertive, until we both got pretty assertive. And he was just like, “I’m singing it.”

(I mean, I had the sheet music, so technically had I just started singing in class, I’m not really sure what would’ve happened. But I didn’t want to get in a huge fight in front of everyone. So, I thought that might not be the super best strategy.)

Anyway, I said, “Well, I don’t appreciate being pushed out of my song.” (First off, I’d like to state, I only called it “my song” because I was just trying to convey it wasn’t purely his. I wasn’t saying “mine” as opposed to “ours.” I was saying “mine” as opposed to “yours.”)

Anyway, he wrote me back a very angry email. Often I feel like this is the part of the story where I’d normally get annoyed and be like, “Can’t we all be a little less mad?” But first off, I was obviously already mad and using kind of loaded language. And secondly, I can’t really argue that he was right about a lot of the stuff.

He was talking about how I basically dictated everything (as I’ve said), and we were doing a moment in the show he didn’t even want to do. And what? Did I feel like I also got to make all the choices about performing – that I never had to compromise?

He was upset that we were working up to the wire (again, my fault, for a couple of various reasons).

[Edited to add: I know that as you’ve seen in this story, I was already having trouble figuring out the sweet spot in working with people. And I know that I was being pulled at all ends and taking on too much and barely being able to handle it. So, how much understanding can you give me when I was already not being so great? And how many excuses can one person have? But. At the time I wrote this, I hadn’t yet talked about how I was sexually assaulted by someone at BMI. (I mean, not this composer. But someone there.) (I didn’t think it’d be something I wanted to¬†write about on the blog. But then a lot more terrible stuff happened with the person who assaulted me, and then the Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape came out, and then I found it appropriate to talk about. So, now that it’s out there in public. I will say that one thing that reeeeeally didn’t help this collaboration was that I had been assaulted, by someone I was seeing at BMI, in the time we were working on this. So, my feelings about the program had become more complicated. Also, I had started to be more distracted, and more easily angered (and more sensitive to potentially not being heard)… I wasn’t having the meltdown I had after being assaulted a second time, but I was in a reeeeally bad spot. (Not to use a bunch of “therapy” terms, but I was deep in the cycle of abuse with a dude there, and trying to get back to a calmer phase of it, and seeing him all the time that I was in the building, kept me on edge and made this assignment like 4x as hard as it had to be. So, it’s not like I was a picture perfect student before and that changed everything. But it was like I was finally learning how to walk a tightrope and then someone pushed me…. It was really bad. So, anyway, that did not help. In any way. (It made things super much worse.)]

And this is where we’ll pick up next time.

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