When My Student Said Her Biggest Fear in Life Was Failure

My 12 year old student

Like most of my students

Is a big fan of Wicked

(Big fan of Wicked)

And like most 12 year old girls I know

Knows what it’s like to be Elphaba

The Wizard and I was her favorite song

But whenever we got to the hard part of the song

She would stop



And wail

I said

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

She said

“I could fail”

It doesn’t help that we’re living in a culture

Where if somebody

Trips or cracks on a high note

They might be in for years of public shaming on the internet

Depending on how vindictive we’re feeling

But waiting around


Staying down all your life

Is that any way to live?


If I had a nickel for every time

I Had final callbacks for wicked and didn’t make it (2)

Got really close to being signed to a major label (3)

Got dumped by a guy I really really really liked


I’d have a lot of nickels

If this was a hero’s story, I’d say

I went back and got the part anyway

But it’s not

It’s not about the winning

It’s in the getting up

Getting back up again

And I get to be me today

life takes us in directions we never could have imagined!

Now I get to write my own plays

Help other people write music

So I looked at my student and I said

“I hope you do fail!”

“Get back up!”

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