On a weekly basis, a group of fabulous women get together to gab.  What do they have in common? They all have taken Singnasium’s Sing Your Story class.  But their connection now runs much deeper.  We’ll let them fill you in!  


Debbie Zecher:  When the lockdown was announced and Singnasium had not yet (brilliantly) pivoted to online classes, I realized that my Wednesday afternoon Sing Your Story class had become something of an anchor for my week and I would be bereft without my classmates. 


Barbara Kaplan: Our friend, Debbie Zecher, suggested that maybe we’d like to get together for a social meeting…no singing.  What a great idea!  


Mercedes Herman: We ladies just felt we were in limbo...we knew that zoom classes were coming soon, yet we felt disconnected.  


Ronni Faust:  The weekly Zoom meeting helped keep us all together and provide a forum for all manner of discussion — music, food, psychology, hair, fashion — everything under the sun! 


Barbara:  In the beginning, we were mostly getting to know each other in a way we didn’t in class…you might call it “Tell Your Story.”  Little by little, we developed a strong bond and we all felt really safe with each other, whether we attended each meeting or only showed up when we could.  For me, having gone to college at an art school in Manhattan, it was the closest thing I could think of as sorority sisters.

  

Debbie:  And that Zoom group, “Cab Gab” as Marge Helenchild has termed it, has continued to be an anchor through this crazy year; we’ve now met every single week for 13 months.  There are about 10-12 regulars and we have laughed and cried, shuddered at the state of the world and marveled as the world began to right itself.  We have cheered each other as we got our vaccines, we have shared joys and sorrows and many online shopping discoveries.  


Sarah Carson: What I like most about the group is the camaraderie, the fun and laughter we have shared, the support through these tough times and the opportunity to get to know my cabaret friends on a much deeper level than I ever could have before.  


Mercedes:  We all encourage each other and connect - like what new equipment to use (lights, audio) to the latest hair cutting equipment!  I’ve learned this past year to love more.  The connection was a life line!  One of the best moments was when we all got to “tour” Joan’s apartment during the Christmas holiday.  How she decorated her place, sharing her memories.


Barbara: Over the course of the months we discussed relationships, singing, Singnasium, the pandemic, fear, anxiety, politics (way too much politics), broken hips, throat polyps, dating, music, hair, hair roots, hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, anxiety about the pandemic, anxiety about the pandemic ending, politics…you get the picture.


Roberta Feldhusen: Although I have not been a regular attendee, when I do go I am instantaneously transported to a place of warm and welcoming cabaret friends.  These amazing and talented women spend a sacred hour each Thursday.  There's never a lull or dull moment in the conversation.  


Marge Hellenchild: I like returning every week to something familiar that carries the past, present, and future of singing and cabaret in the most recent iteration of myself. It wasn’t all a dream!


Sarah:  One of my favorite moments is our “show and tell” days when we ended up discussing in great depth the best toenail clippers and personal grooming equipment we all needed - much hilarity in this personal sharing! 


Debbie: I celebrated a milestone birthday this past summer and I was gobsmacked when a cake from the group arrived that Thursday morning so my cabaret pals could sing happy birthday and share my celebration virtually. 


Barbara: I won’t name names, but one of the girls brought in long tubes like Fla-Vor-Ice.  But these were flavored Martinis!  You can get them in Costco.  I brought in my favorite root mascara.  Unlike Rudi Giuliaini, mine doesn’t run down your cheeks if you begin to sweat  (Boyd’s Brush-It-Away, on Amazon).  But the best was the elastic waist pants.  You can guess which comedian/singer came up with those!


Joan Darragh: The best moments were the melt downs--a good old fashion girlfriend cry. We had them, and we recovered together.  Probably my fondest moment was my big Teddy Bear giving Barbara a Zoom hug when she asked for one. Hoping for the day when we are off-screen, until then the connection continues--a warm assurance of better times to come.


Sarah: I think the idea of continuity has been big for me, I have looked forward each week to my Zoom hour with my cabaret friends, to laugh together, share ideas, commiserate, support, and hold each other’s hands (through the magic of the internet). This group has been so incredibly supportive in such a difficult time - keeping us connected from living room to living room, across the miles and I certainly hope that even when we are able to meet again in person, that we will continue enjoying our Thursday Zooming together.


Ronni: It was a great way to keep us all connected, and evolved into a supportive, loving group of singers— something to look forward to each week! It kept me sane (well, saner) and made me feel part of something special.


Marge Hellenchild:   This group reminds me that I am alive. I still am a member of this community. It has been a psychologically very difficult year.



Roberta: This community has truly been a gift during this crazy year.  Thank you Sing Your Story!   'Grateful, grateful, truly grateful I am!'


Debbie: I am so deeply grateful to this wonderful group of friends who have truly been my stalwart companions through the pandemic. 


Barbara: I know I can count on these women for their support, they are real friends.  It won’t be the same when we get back into the new world, but I’m sure we will work hard to keep in touch and see each other.  We share a unique experience during a terrible time in life.  We have become a sisterhood, and who wouldn’t want that?

April 24, 2021 — Eve Eaton