I was humming “Love” by Keisha Cole, when Taijiun Haskins (the best singer in our grade) overheard me, and asked me to sing to her. I didn’t really want to; I was nervous. Could I make it come out right? I wondered. The other students had left the classroom by then. It was just Taijiun, her friend, Ms. Waldeck, my Algebra teacher and I. I start to sing the song as I collect my books and leave the room. She smiled and walked next to me as I continued singing out into the hallway. I felt butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t believe that I was singing to this girl in front of my whole school. The next day in Science class, I was copying lyrics to a song, when Taijiun says, “Hey everyone, did you know that Liahshea could sing?” My heart dipped into my stomach, while the whole class shouted, “Sing something…sing for us.” Mrs. Saunders told everyone to stop, but something inside told me this was my time. I decided to go for it. I sang. I sang one of Rihanna’s songs. Everyone was clapping and smiling. Ever since that day, I changed the way I am in front of others. I overcame my shyness and found singing is one of my passions.
Drawing is another passion of mine. Like singing, I found another way of expressing myself. Mrs. Williams, the only female security guard in our school, asked me to do a portrait of her granddaughter. It would be my fifth paid commissioned artwork. She gave me an 8x10 inch photo, and she wanted me to draw almost 3x4 feet portrait. It was huge, by far the largest one I would ever do. It would be a real challenge, but I knew I had to do it. The day I brought it through the school doors, everyone came up to me to see the portrait rolled up in my arms. The portrait came out looking just like Mrs. Williams’ granddaughter. She fell in love with it. I was so proud of myself. I really accomplished something big. I feel like I was meant to do this, pursue my art. I enjoy drawing and have a talent, but at times, I feel it’s bigger than that, like I was meant to draw because it is such an easy way for me to put a smile on another person’s face.
The power of beatbox fuels my art and singing. It is my third passion, which is another way that I can get that one kid in class to move his feet and forget his troubles. There are four things to know about being a beatboxer. One, there’s the cymbal. It allows the crash to come in. It’s kind of subtle, but likeable. You can’t have a drum set without a cymbal attached. Then there’s the snare. The snare provides the hit; it’s fast and wild, and gets people’s attention. Third, there’s the bass. Without the bass, you have no box to beat. The bass provides the movement, which gets the people started. Last but not least, there’s the breathing. You have to find the moment to breathe. You take short or long breaths depending on the beat. I learned how to beatbox from a performer who came to my school, but like singing and drawing, I found I had a talent for it.
Singing, drawing, and beatboxing are passions of mine. They are an expression of who I am through my voice and my hands. I want to find a college where I will be shown the way to grow as an artist and performer. I want to study my craft to become better at everything I do. And when there is an opportunity to give back to the community, I am the type of person that will go for it, no matter what. I hope you can guide me to develop my passions.