I found this Music Therapy blog a week or two ago. As per usual with me, I had a hard time trying to post to it. You see, I laughingly call myself "Tech-lexic" meaning: anything having to do with technology just escapes me. My cell phone for example, is way more phone than I need or require, but it's pretty, and it looks kind of flashy, so I bought it! I can't however do anything more with it, than call, text, or take an occasional picture... but I digress.
As I said, I had found the music therapy page earlier, and had made several attempts to post to it. So, understand that I had written my story several times. However, because of the tech-lexia I failed to save any of the previous attempts. Now, after reading more of the stories, I realized that I wasn't even breaking the surface of what Vitas really meant to me, or why I had needed his healing voice in my life. So, here goes, trying again to write my story of "My Trail to Vitas."
I don't want to go into minute detail of my childhood and early life, I figure we all escaped our dysfunctional families, broken hearts, scrapes with sexual molestation, low self esteem etc... ad nauseum. Not to belittle anyone else, I just don't want to itemize my deductions this close to tax time! Suffice it to say, that due to poor health, I spent most of my time in bed, my only entertainment being books, TV, the internet, and my puppy dog Baby. (Such a love!) Would you believe that with such a life, I found myself very depressed?
Concentrating this part of the story on my internet surfing, I spent loads of time on YouTube. I spent many hours of the day there, looking up laughing babies, cute pets, and yes, I'll admit to seeking out some of the gory pictures too like that man with the warts all over his body... Yikes! But it was the music where I spent most of my time. I'd listen to one song, and look to the side bar and click on the next one that took my fancy. I kept seeing what I thought was a stupid post saying "The Man with the Crazy Voice". I kept avoiding that one for months, just because the title annoyed me! Well, one night, I remember it well, it was in May of 2006, I finally got over my aversion to that "crazy voice", and clicked it. It took me to Vitas, singing Opera 2; the video where he is on stage with the hooded musicians, and the fans in the grandstand behind him moaning and waving their arms. I listened, I watched, I got hooked! One song, one listen. He mesmerized me. So young, yet he seemed to have such command of the stage, and of course I loved his cheeky expressions for the camera!
It took me a while of surfing to realize that this was one of Vitas' first songs, that he had been around for several years before I found him. That he had literally thousands of videos on Youtube, and maybe hundreds of songs out there to listen to. From that night on, my YouTubing was concentrated on Vitas. I learned my way around the internet to more sites, and all the info I could gobble up about him. As time went on, more and more people posted English translations for his songs. Then, not just the sound of his voice filled me, but also the beauty of his words settled in my soul..
Almost immediately, I started feeling more at peace with myself, and my health. More accepting of things that I had no control over, and happiness started creeping back into my life. I started sharing his music with my kids and grand kids. They put up with my fascination, and even had a few of their own favorite songs. If ever I was away from my computer, Vitas songs played in my head all day, and kept me in a good place. Over time, I found my way to FaceBook, and all the lovely Vitas fans around the world whom I now count as friends. I'm not so alone in my room anymore.
Fast forward to August of 2010, when the announcement came out on Vitas' web page that a USA/Canada tour was planned for December and January 2010/11! OMG! Right? I was ecstatic, as I'm sure all of you were as well! I literally jumped out of bed and ran around the house shouting it to anyone who could hear that "Vitas is coming to the states!" Woo Hoo!! And this is where my story gets good! I decided right then and there, that if I was going to get the chance to see Vitas, and he see me... I was going to do something about my health and body. I got serious about my eating habits, and quit drinking soda pop completely. I was given a treadmill, and I put on a Vitas playlist, and walked/sang myself to a 75 pound weight loss, and the best health I had been in for nearly 20 years! I was inspired. I kept my eyes on the prize, and Vitas was that prize for me.
Through meeting so many other Vitas fans out there, an offer came to me to be onstage with Vitas at his Los Angeles venue, as one of his "Birdies". Did I want to do it I was asked? Heck YEAH I typed! So yes, lucky-lucky me, I got to sing and dance with Vitas to Bird of Happiness. The entire 4 plus minutes of being on stage with him is a cherished memory! The night was surreal, and I did my best to just keep myself in the moment. I actually got to meet Vitas! Sometimes it is still hard to believe.
After the concert we were all invited back stage to meet and greet him, where he kindly signed autographs for everyone that wanted one. He was so genuinely happy to see all of us, and he is really just a sweet, wonderful man in person. He had to be tired! He had 7 concerts to perform from one coast to another from the USA to Canada, yet he sat after that concert and signed until the last fan got her autograph. By the time I was done, I had gotten 3 kisses and 2 hugs, 2 autographs on paper and one... wait for it... one autograph on my arm, next to my ~V~ tattoo. Yes, in anticipation of his coming to America, I had his logo tattooed on my left arm. So, while I was backstage with him, he signed his name right above his logo, in purple. When I got home, I had his signature tattooed permanently on my arm. I couldn't wash that arm for 3 days until I got to my tattoo artist... Not that I wanted to wash the arms or hands or cheeks that touched him anyway! :-) Whenever I look at my tattoo, it brings me right back to that stage, that night, and all that happiness I felt at being near Vitas. This tattoo is the only one I have, and the only one I will EVER have. I feel to get another tattoo would lessen how I feel about Vitas, and there is nothing that will cause that! Yes, I am the true meaning of the word FANatic! You can see a little pic of my tattoo in my profile pic on the blog! :-)
What is it about Vitas that touches us so? I can never explain it. Is it the sound, the range, the timbre of his voice? Is it his poetry? His physical beauty? His passion, honesty, generosity? I think it is all of the above, and more. I am forever grateful that I clicked on his crazy voice. Through Vitas, I have lost the loneliness and depression that were my only friends. Through Vitas I have found many new and wonderful friends around the world who maybe are just a little bit FANatic like me! Through Vitas I got to throw away all my fat clothes! Thank you Vitas for all you have done for me and for so many around the world!