Hello, my lovely readers! I have a real treat for you all today! Ms. Jodie Schell Gilbert was a couple of years ahead of me in the theatre department at Marquette, and from the day I stepped foot on campus, I wanted to be like her. Not only was she wildly talented, super beautiful, and an absolute hoot to be around, but she was also so nice, and so genuine. I have continued to watch from afar as she became a real life rockstar! It is fun to watch your friends actualize their dreams, and even more fun when you know they are good people. Recently, Jodie became a mom, and I wondered what it was like for her to transition from giving birth artistically, to literally. Once again, I am grateful for her generosity. Enjoy!
Singing and Motherhood: Ms. Jodie Schell Gilbert
My band just announced my replacement. No hard feelings at all, of course. When I left LA to have my baby, I had to leave the band I helped start, and ran for 7 years. For 7 years, I didn’t experience any life changing event without my guys; my band-mates. Even in my little delivery room in St Louis, I wanted to text them that my amniotic sac ruptured in a way that the slow draining was almost undetected. Just like “Leaky”, our ill-fated fog machine that ruined several small stages and our drummer’s car interiors. I wanted to tell them that I think my baby girl catapulted the labor with her restlessness and creepy long fingernails – just like the chorus of our recent single “Strong Sharp Creature.”
I didn’t tell them that, though. I got busy. I became a mommy. Communication got spotty for about 4 months.
The announcement of a new lead singer received a massive response. All positive and friendly. Now that fans know that there’s new direction, we’ll unleash the vault of unreleased songs that include my voice. My guitarist Chris had to email me the mixes to review. I would pop on headphones while I nursed Mabel and listen to myself as a ghost in my own performances. Babygirl has pin-drop hearing, so she would stare at me like I was a thundercloud. Heck, maybe she recognized the songs! After all, I was performing live up until I was 6 and a half months pregnant. There MUST be a part of her that remembers that snare, or that guitar solo…
Now all 5 songs were recorded before I knew I was pregnant. All lyrics were written by myself or another member of the band with NO knowledge that I was about to get engaged, pregnant, married, and move to Missouri in that order. All lyrics were written independently of that mayhem. BUT. I couldn’t help but hear my daughter in these 5 songs. Like an omen I couldn’t see until I looked backwards. Or when Indiana Jones (in the Last Crusade) walked on air across the ravine and throws dirt from the other side to reveal the imaginary bridge that was there all along. To name a few, lyrics like “for your love and mine, all night I’d die”, and “tidal-wave into my heart/it’s like a dark night beside a strong sharp creature”, and that weird messy song I wrote about mystics and doulas (”you’re the unborn’s audience”) all seem to allude to this massive shift. There’s a whole song about feeling like I’m dying, and I call out to an angel. I played some of the tracks for my friends, and the lyrics “If you’re gonna leave/baby just go” seemed to be an obvious foreshadowing of me leaving my life in LA.
This is strange to think, but did I conjure my daughter’s arrival?
Maybe singing lyrically potent songs about moving on and birth 2-3 times a week will change your life. Or maybe I just can’t help finding metaphors to motherhood everywhere (like-ya-do). All I know is, my life changed completely, and I wasn’t unprepared. There’s a new lead singer standing where I stood in LA, but there’s a new lead singer in my life too. The Baby Mabel solo project. The Great Aries Diva. The Strong Sharp Creature. The new soul. And, ya know what, Mom always said motherhood is just like singing: you follow their lead and harmonize. I’m gonna be really good at that.
Be sure to “like” Jodie’s fanpage to be in the loop on all of her musical endeavors: https://www.facebook.com/hiimjodie/
Love. Balance. Helath. Happiness.