There was a time when stepping onto a stage would be a whirlwind for Chelsea Hiscock.
The 17-year-old from Deer Lake would step to the microphone, hastily start strumming her guitar, belt out a few chords and depart the stage quickly as she got on it.
Hiscock was never one for the banter, we’ll say.
She doesn’t consider herself a shy person; she is heavily involved in athletics and chatting with new people isn’t foreign to her.
However, getting onstage and doing something beyond playing a song was never her strong suite.
Hiscock guesses it's because when she is onstage it is just her and the crowd in an intimate setting. She has teammates to back her up on the soccer field, but it’s a solo act when she’s onstage.
That started to change when Hiscock attended her first Make Music Happen conference last year. She listened to the likes of Steve Maloney, Joanna Barker and others speak on every aspect of performing.
“I wanted to get a better stage presence,” said Hiscock. “It really helped me adjust to the crowd.
“All the workshops helped inspire me to get better.”
The Elwood High student has been singing since she can remember, although she’s only been playing guitar for the last three years.
Hiscock figures she caught the bug from her grandfather on her dad’s side.
Growing up, she’d listen as he would play his guitar and sing his songs. The music skipped her father and his brothers, but it found her.
Talents or interests have a way of doing that — skipping generations, I mean. My grandfather was heavily into baseball and hockey, but that never drew much interest from my mother or any her siblings. One uncle played hockey for a couple of years, but that was it.
However, my brother and I both developed loves for both sports.
It’s weird how that goes sometimes.
As she gets ready for the fifth Make Music Happen conference being held at Corner Brook High this weekend, Hiscock is looking forward to sharpening her songwriting chops and hanging out with some likeminded individuals.
Admittedly, she says she’s not very good at putting pen to paper.
She’s written songs before, but have never displayed them publicly.
Hiscock keeps them in a notebook that is hidden in a secret spot and far away from other people. What is inside is not to be heard just yet.
Letting people experience what is really going on inside your head can be a bit too much at times.
You’re leaving yourself vulnerable and it can be a bit too much.
“I’ve never been one to showcase emotions,” said Hiscock.
But, that is what the Make Music Happen conference is for.
It’ll help her manage the insecurities around her music and keep her moving forward.
“I’d like some more song writing tips and make friends,” said Hiscock. “I can talk to them.”
Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He lives in Corner Brook and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.