Episode 23 – Why Do You Sing?
Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Most of us have always thought that we sing for others.
Sing for the audience.
Share our gifts.
All of these seemingly unselfish “ideas”.
All true and good…
But, why do you really sing?
In this Episode I’ll share what could be a very new concept regarding the answer to this question.
A new look at singing from this perspective may be just what you’re needing.
The Inner Singer Podcast
Episode 23 – Transcripts
Why Do You Sing?
Hey, this is Mike Goodrich. Welcome back to the Inner Singer Podcast and thanks for listening, episode 23. I can’t believe that we’re 23 episodes into this thing. It’s unbelievable to me. It’s almost six months.
Well, I have a lot of different ideas, a lot of things written down, a lot of samples recorded in my iPhone to talk about. But today, I must admit that I’ve clicked on the record button about three or four times. I’ve gotten a minute or two into it each time and then deleted everything. I thought, “None of this is sounding the least bit authentic. None of it sounds real. None of it sounds anything.”
When I was doing some exercise this morning, an entire podcast ran through my mind. And I thought, “Wow, I really wish I had recorded that. I wish I had that.” I wish I had that ready to go because that was really good.
And I cannot remember the structure of it or I just can’t remember it all. I remember what it was about and so I’m just going to share the essence of what it was about and basically what it was about is my process. That ended up being what I was sharing.
So it’s not going to be like the exercise podcast today that played through my mind as I was stretching. This is going to be all new. That’s what I was trying to recreate in the three or four that I just deleted because I thought, “No, these are terrible. Nobody is going to resonate with this at all. Even I don’t.” So I’m just going to share my process and see if this makes any sense at all and then turn it around and apply it to singing.
First of all, I want to share my process with regards to this podcast. Why do I do this? Sometimes I don’t know. But seriously folks, why do I do a weekly podcast when it’s so much work and it’s free and I have to get it on and I have to think of all these ideas? What in the world am I doing this for? What is my motivation? And I get so many nice comments from all you folks saying I’m so generous and I’m this and I’m that and sharing and I work so hard and I give them all away and I do all this stuff. And why do it?
Okay, now I’m going to blow the bubble completely to smithereens and tell you why I do it. So hopefully you all continue to listen after this, but I’m telling you honestly why I do this. I do it for me.
I know that might be completely counterintuitive and an odd thing to say because we’re all told that we have these gifts and we should share and we owe it to the world and you should really share your message and do all these things. Yeah, sure, that’s true to a point. That’s true to a point, but the real reason I do this is because this is a way for me to experience a more authentic part of me that I sometimes get to experience in everyday life.
Now that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily different in everyday life than I am in these podcasts. I do my best to be the same and be present as much as I can. But there’s something about talking about something that I’m really passionate about and something that I really love that takes me to places within myself that are new and different and expansive and more awake and more present. And I find that I say things that I’ve never said before and say things that I’ve never thought before. They come out in a way that has never been formulated by me anyway before. And it’s new and it’s fresh and it’s fun and I really enjoy it.
So when you hear this podcast, you’re actually hearing my process. I want to bore you over and over again by saying these aren’t scripted, but clearly you can tell by now they’re obviously not scripted. And sometimes, maybe I say things over and over again, but I try and come from a different perspective and because I’m not just talking to you, but I’m also talking to myself and I’m watching what comes through and I’m being with what comes through and I’m being present with it.
If something I already said comes through in another way, I say it. I’m not editing. I’m just allowing. My suggestion is that you sit with these as well and feel into them.
Now, I know sometimes they’re 20 minutes, 21, 22 minutes. Maybe some people think those are way too short. Maybe some people think they’re way too long. But generally when I look down, it’s been a certain amount of time. I don’t pre-plan and I have no idea how long this one will be today. I’m not looking at a clock when I’m finished. I look down to see how long it was. But I suggest that you feel into it, that you just sit with these things even if they’re new, especially if they’re new and see how they feel.
For example, how does that feel when I say to you that out of everything that all the people think, I put out videos, I put out podcasts. I do all this stuff for free. I haven’t charged for anything. It doesn’t mean I won’t, but I haven’t. As a matter of fact, I am creating an Inner Singer Program on a course that will be charged, but up until now, I haven’t charged for anything. I put it all for free and I love it. Why? Because it’s a way for me to go deeper into myself, one of many ways, but it’s a way that I particularly love and it’s really fun for me.
So I don’t even think about the money. I just do it as a way to experience more of my authentic self. So I do it for me. If you enjoy it and are getting something out of it, that thrills me. That makes me even happier. But the first thing is I do it for me.
So how does this relate to you and your singing? I want to offer you something that I’ve never heard anybody say before. As a matter of fact, a lot of people say, “What do I do if I’m nervous? What do I do if I don’t have some confidence to go out there and sing?”
I’ve heard this answer over and over again. “Do it for your audience. Get yourself out of it, same for somebody else, same for your audience. Give them a gift.” And I’m not mocking that advice. I think it’s terrific advice. But it’s more than that. Look at it for you first as an opportunity for you to play, as an opportunity for you to go deeper into yourself and experience more of your authentic self to really get into that joy of place, that fun.
And then if the audience enjoys it, which they will if you are coming from that space—that’s the ironic thing—the more you do it for yourself, the more the audience gets. If you go out there with the “I’m going to share my gift and I’m going to give it with them,” yeah, they might enjoy it, they might get it. That’s fine. That’s great.
But if you go out there with, “I’m using this as a tool, as a way to go deeper into myself, to go deeper into the experience of me experiencing myself doing this activity, to go deeper into an experience of my authentic self and see what that holds to expand more into who I really am and let that pour forth as this singing, as this song,” the audience enjoys it even better. And from that perspective, it would almost be impossible for the audience not to enjoy it because you are so present with who you are and you’re allowing that and you’re not putting up some false modesty like, “I’m doing it for the crowd, I’m doing it for this person, I’m doing it for that person.” You’re actually saying you don’t know.
I’m practicing what my old mentors used to call enlightened self-interest. I’m practicing me, a way to experience me, a way to experience myself, a way to express myself. This is for me. If other people enjoy it, all the better.
I don’t know if this is true as far as what Enrico Caruso said. Enrico Caruso was thought of to be one of the best opera singers at the time, clearly the best opera singer that ever lived. And most opera singers since, including Luciano Pavarotti have idolized Enrico Caruso. Now I’m going to give him credit for saying this because I’ve heard it. I never read it in his biography or anything, but I’ve heard that he pretty much said and I would believe this, “I sing for myself. If the audience enjoys it, that’s great.”
That’s really easy to believe when you hear somebody like him sing and you hear the abandon with which they sing. You hear the joy, you hear the passion. There’s just nothing held back. It’s a total go-for.
It’s not like, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to take this. I probably shouldn’t sing this for them. I probably shouldn’t sing that loud. I probably shouldn’t sing that high. I probably shouldn’t share this much of myself with them. No, I’d better be a little guarded here. I better be a little careful here.” There’s none of that. Quite frankly there’s none of that in anybody that we probably really like and I idolize.
And whether or not they say it or would admit it or even know it, they’re doing it for themselves first and for the audience second. And if that’s the other way around, it will not be as compelling a performance.
Now, that’s just coming to me. That’s what I think and that’s what I sit with and that’s what I live with because the singers that I really love, the singers that I really enjoy, they’re in it for themselves. I know that sounds so counterintuitive, it sounds selfish. “How can you say that? In it for himself? In it for themselves? I don’t want to watch anybody that’s in it for themselves.” Yeah, you do. You want to watch somebody and listen to somebody who’s in it for themselves, not in an egoic way. Clearly, I hope we’re all past thinking that I’m talking about that.
When somebody who thinks they’re a big hot shot and they’re going to get up there and show off and say how wonderful, no, no, no because then, that’s not really authentic at all. And then they’re really doing it for the audience. They’re trying to trick the audience.
I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about somebody who is so joyful and so much in love with the art that they go deeper into themselves and experience more of themselves when they do it and that’s what they are sharing. It’s them first. So as odd an idea as this may be to you, try it on, play around with it.
The same mentors in my life that talked about the enlightened self-interest used to refer to something called thinking and pondering shelf. And whenever they said something to me that just seemed way out of the box, they would say, “That’s okay. You don’t have to accept it now. Don’t reject it now. Just put it on the thinking and pondering shelf.”
And that’s what I suggest with all these things because some of these things are going to hit up against old stories and old wiring. And believe me, I’m not saying I’m right about anything. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying consider it, put it in the thinking and pondering shelf.
Some of this stuff, just like with me—are you kidding me?—some of this stuff hits up against my wiring when this came to me. I don’t know if it came to me or somebody told me about it. I think somebody told me. I think one of my mentors said, “This is really for you.” I said, “Really?” Yeah. It jarred me and it hit up against an old wiring and the old wiring, I have already stated the old wiring, “Oh no, it has to be for them. It has to be for them. I have to give.” It hit up against that.
When I sat with this, I was like, “It is for me. And it is a way for me to go deeper into me.”
So if this is hitting up against an old wiring that’s making you say, “No, no, no, it’s got to be for them. It can’t be for me. That’s selfish. That’s not like anything I would be. That’s egoic.” No, I’m not talking about ego. I’m not talking about egoic. I’m not talking about showing off. I’m talking about authentically going deeper into yourself. Play with that.
So now, do you have to discipline yourself to sing? What stories come up for you when you’re going to sing? What stories come up?
For example, when I was doing this podcast today, all kinds of stories came up. “Oh, nobody’s going to listen to it. Everybody just wants better high notes.” I’ve shared this with you before. Nobody care what I say about this stuff. I don’t know. I don’t even know how big the audience is. iTunes won’t even tell me how many subscribers I have. Blah-blah-blah.” It’s just crazy. It’s amazing.
And then, what do I do? I sit down and here’s my process. I ask myself this question. “Who are you doing this for?” And the answer comes, “Oh yeah, I’m doing it for me.”
The fact that anybody is out there listening to these is icing on the cake for me. If nobody ever listened to these, these are helping me grow immensely. I get every one of them transcribed. I’m turning them into a book. I’m turning things into a course. If nobody ever buys it, it’s okay. If nobody ever buys the book, it’s okay. If nobody ever buys the course, it’s okay. If nobody listens to these podcasts, it’s okay.
Even though I am doing it and it would be fun, I’d love to have a million downloads, I’d love to sell a million books, I’d love to sell a million courses, but if nobody buys this, listens to it, downloads it, it’s still helping me on a hugely deep level to go deeper into myself and experience more of myself. And it’s leading me along the path of awakening into more of myself, my authentic self and that’s what I want and that’s why I do it.
So if you ever feel like you have to discipline yourself to sing, “Oh I really don’t feel like singing. Yeah, I’ll sing tomorrow. I don’t feel like doing this” or even in the podcast, something that triggers and you think, “Oh, I’ll try that” and then you get off and say, “Oh no, that’s really stupid. I don’t think I’m going to do that. Why would I do that?” sit down and see if singing or vocalizing or doing something that you hear in this podcast, if you can reframe it, switch it around.
When you say, “Why would I do that? I don’t need to do that. Why would I want to do that?” and it’s hitting up against that programming and wiring, ask yourself this question, “Who am I doing it for? Why am I singing? Who am I singing for?”
If the answer is “Well, I’m singing because I like to sing,” then I ask you what conditions are you putting on that? I like to do these podcasts too and I hope they’re good, but I try not to put any conditions on them. Like I say, I don’t know how long this can be, I don’t know if it will resonate with anybody, I don’t know if anybody will listen to it.
And approach it like that. This is just an idea. I’m just offering you my process. Approach it like that.
I don’t care where you are as far as this. I don’t care if you’re advanced, intermediate, beginning. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Broadway. I doesn’t matter if you’re about to be up for an Academy Award. None of that matters.
What matters is why do you do this? And can you allow yourself this as an exercise and a process of going deeper into discovery, into discovery of who you really are, of who your authentic self is? To let yourself expand into more of yourself, can you do it for that reason with no conditions?
It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to be great. It doesn’t have to be better than this person or that person. It doesn’t have to be as good as you were yesterday. It doesn’t have to be better than you were yesterday. It doesn’t have to be for 10 minutes or an hour. It just is.
Can you be there with it? Can you just use it as a way to go deeper and deeper into yourself? Can you imagine how different these podcasts would be if I cared if anybody was listening?
And I’m not saying that to be rude. Really I’m very grateful that when I first started this, there was nobody listening or maybe a few, the wonderful people that are on my list that are probably listening now. But you know what? If I had started with an audience of a million, I would have been so careful.
“Oh gosh, am I saying the right thing? I hope I don’t offend anybody. I hope I don’t lose any of my audience. Those millions of people that are listening, what if this doesn’t resonate with them and next week, I could be down to just 900,000 and then the following week, 750,000? Oh my goodness, I should survey them and see what they want to hear and just tell them what they want to hear and give them of that so I can build my list and sell them on some stuff.” Come on, really?
I’m grateful that I started from almost scratch and not a whole lot of people listening to this because would I be possibly able to talk to you the way I’m talking to you now, this authentic, this passionate, this “Who cares if anybody cares what I say? Who cares if anybody cares if I’m right or thinks if I’m right?” Would I be able to do that at all if I was editing myself or if I was trying to be politically correct or “I better hang on my subscribers. Oh, I better not say anything wrong. Oh, maybe they won’t buy my stuff?” That’s the least of my worries. I could care less.
And I don’t say that in a mean way. I’m not trying to alienate anybody on purpose. I’m just saying you’ve got to bring that to the party. “Oh, what if they don’t like my voice? What if they don’t like my interpretation? Oh, what if they don’t like my high notes? What if I don’t sing this as well and so and so?”
I keep these really, really clean, but I just about to say who gives a—and you can fill in the blank. I want to keep it clean because I don’t want to go that far out. I want to keep it clean for everybody because I know some people listening probably have kids around. So if I ever accidentally swear, I’ll delete it, so you don’t have to worry.
Really, seriously, there’s no way I would be able to be this authentic and this truthful. If I was influenced by that, what I’m influenced by is if this is taking me deeper into myself. Is expressing this way opening up and expanding me into more of my authentic self?
I know I’ve said that about a hundred times in this podcast. I’m fully aware of that. But I’m asking it over and over again so that it really gets through and you really either say, “You know what? I’m going to try that on” or “This guy is just redundant and I’m done listening” and that’s okay too because I just work the way I work.
And every time I do this, I’m so much more passionate right now than I was when I started the podcast. I know so much more about this subject than I know before I started the podcast. Even this individual podcast, this whole idea is clearer to me. I know, even stronger I feel how much more strongly I feel about the idea that I do this for me.
So on that note, I’m going to say goodbye. I looked down and I can’t believe it, I can actually, 20 minutes and 36 seconds. I’ll edit this down a little bit and cut out the silences, put in the intro and this is probably going to be right around 20 to 21 minutes just like it always is. It’s interesting, isn’t it?
Okay, I hope you got a lot out of this. I sure had a great time. And use this in your singing. Sing for yourself first and love it. Okay, signing off. I’ll see you next week. Bye-bye. Thanks for listening.
Thank you for listening to the Inner Singer Podcast. And please share this with all of your singing friends and head on over to iTunes and subscribe. And if you found it of value, give us a nice rating. Thank you so much.