When I was 8 years old, my family lived a year in Hong Kong, China before moving to the Philippines. Upon arrival, my mother enrolled me with a witch who was posing as a piano teacher.
Twice a week I walked from my flat down the hill to Stanley Market for lessons. I was certain my teacher was something demonic, so my mother bribed me with ice cream money so I could buy one on my way home.
My teacher had long, black silky hair and was beautiful in a pale, Maleficent sort of way. Her apartment was strung with voodoo dolls hanging from the ceiling, art pieces that were cut in half on the walls, and a screaming tea kettle. Add this to the concoction of green slimy things in glass jars in the bathroom, strong British accent, flowy dark robes, and I was pretty sure she was casting spells in her spare time.
The real evidence of her witchcraft however, was something lurking upstairs.
At the top of the stairs was her black grand piano where I endured some of the most terrifying moments of my early life. Why?
1. The piano bench was right at the edge of the stairs so if you leaned back, you'd fall down the stairs.
2. If I played a wrong note, she screamed with a whack on the fingers with her pointer stick. (This is true, I had red knuckles after lessons)
3. Worst of all, at the end of the room sat a porcelain-faced, full-sized mannequin in a starchy white wedding dress - veil and presents and all.
To an eight-year-old, this was terrifying.
If she left me alone with the mannequin, I'd shut my eyes and try NOT to think about the bride coming to life. I'd practice my guts out at home to NOT play a wrong note, and sometimes hide under my bed hoping my mom wouldn't find me. After a while, the mannequin and I became cordial and I found her less creepy than my living instructor.
I'd use some of my ice cream money to pay a visit to the Buddhist temple around the corner from her flat. The gods in there also had creepy faces, but I figured I could use all the help I could get. I'd burn an incense stick for my favorite one, praying for some relief from my bi-weekly disturbing encounters. My prayers were answered and my family moved away the next year. Can I get a Hallelujah?
So fast forward, this year for Halloween, this is what I'm wearing for my students. What do you think? A friend loaned me this dress (thank you E!) and it's only fitting I scare my little pupils at least once. After all, it is Halloween.
Recording in progress! This past week my producer and I finished up the lead vocals on all the songs. I'll be back in the studio mid-November to add vocal harmonies, and some finishing touches on instrumentation. I'm also teaming up with a fantastic PR firm to get rolling on promotion and music video production. Whew! Busy, fun, stressful, exciting, exhausting, amazing, all in one.
I'm also excited to be heading to Salt Lake City, Utah this week with David Owens for a performance at the Open Stories Foundation, a non-profit which helps people share their stories, connect, and find support. I'm honored to be speaking and performing at this event!
Hugs and Haunts!