I was a college student when I first heard the music of Kathy Troccoli. My roommates and I would take turns holding a hairbrush as a microphone and sing along to “Stubborn Love.”Because I was an alto, I usually got to be Kathy in our late night dorm room air band!
Over the years, I have followed her music and ministry and last year at Women of Faith, Las Vegas, I had the privilege of meeting her. She is warm and candid, funny and has Italian attitude to spare. I was crazy about her as a performer, but after getting to know her over the past months, I am totally sold on her as a person!
So, when she was scheduled to minister at our church, I emailed her to tell her how excited I was for our women to meet the Kathy I love. Somehow in the email exchanges, an invitation to sing with her happened. Call me naive, call me reckless, but, please don’t ever call me to sing a duet again with Kathy Troccoli without lots of calming Chamomile Tea in my system!
Yes, I was nervous. Well, not at first. What happened? She flew into town. We met for lunch and had a blast. We talked ministry, decorating, books, and life in general. It was like hanging out with a comfortable friend. Cozy, engaging and fun - lunch was a lazy, lingering, lovely time.
After lunch, we parted ways to rest up for the evening. I dressed, thought through the lyrics we would sing, and excitedly left with my friend Karen for the concert. I wasn’t nervous at all-after all, I was just going to hang out with Kathy and one thousand of my girl friends!
Then it happened! I sat on the front row of the empty sanctuary as she began her rehearsal/sound check. Suddenly, as her mellow, sultry tones filled the room, panic filled my whole body! My palms were wet-my heart was pounding-my breathing became short! She’s Kathy Troccoli and I am about to sing with her! I am not in my dorm room with a hair brush, I am in an auditorium with a thousand women! What was I thinking?! Suddenly I was transported back to being a fan in college and she was transformed into a famous person! The woman who just hours before seemed totally human now transfigured herself into one of my heroes again and I was fully, certified, without reservation, NERVOUS!
Soundcheck went great. Of course, I stumbled over a few of the lyrics of “You’ve got a Friend” as if I had not known that song since I was in the third grade! That didn’t help my level of panic! She picked up on it. (Maybe it was the sweat dripping from my lip that clued her), and reassured me that it would be just fine.
Well, it was. The song went so beautifully-I remembered the lyrics, stayed on pitch, and didn’t fall off the stage! It was delightful and truly a highlight of my life. As I walked off the stage, she called out "Jen, were you nervous?" She got me! In front of all my home girls I readily admitted I was! Who wouldn’t be? I am glad I was naive enough to accept her invitation though-I would have missed out on an experience of a lifetime! It truly was an honor that I will always remember. And now, if she ever asks again, I will, in the words of James Taylor, “Keep My Head Together!" Aren't friends great!