There is nothing like facing a fear and conquering it. For the longest time friends have been encouraging me to do something beyond blog writing. They would always say ‘we love your writings but people need to hear your live voice’. I never really understood the push because I feel that my words are just as much my voice as anything else. However, I would resonate on the suggestions and then file it way back in my mental Rolodex. It was not until a recently sharing dialogue with a close friend that I accepted the fact that ‘yes, deep down I really did want to do more, but I had a fear.’ You may be asking what the fear is/was, and I will gladly share it.
Growing up I always felt different. I was able to ‘fit in’ because of a chameleon like gift I was blessed with but there was always an awkwardness I felt whenever around too many people. I didn’t feel like an outcast, nor can I say I was a victim of bullies (yet, there was one kid in particular whom I loathed with every fiber of my being) but I do know that there was a difference in me that I was not fully understanding. During adolescence there was one thing I hated about myself that haunted me well into my adult life. For some odd reason my speaking voice never seemed to change. In high school I still had the voice of an elementary school kid. No depth, no bass, no hard resonance when I spoke. It was soft, simple, non-intimidating; and I hated it. I wanted to walk in the room and speak with authority like King Jaffe Jaffur from the film Coming America. Instead, I sounded like a softer version on an 8-year-old Michael Jackson (an over exaggeration of course, but it’s how I felt at the time). I was teased incessantly because of its softness and built up somewhat of a complex. The one good thing I could and still can do with my voice is sing. I have a phenomenal range and once I embraced that gift it was all good. But, who sings their way through life: as far as conversations are concerned.
Let’s fast forward twenty plus years to my current life. Although I have spoken on platforms all across the country, sharing information about HIV/AIDS, sexual health, and other topics relating to sex, there was always a hint of fear at how my voice would be received. Yes, it has deepened but still not to the depths I thirsted for. What is even funnier is that I am a minister. What do most ministers do? They preach…to the masses. As much as I love preaching, teaching, educating and such, one would think I love hearing the sound of my own voice: not. To top it all off I have been singing (alto) with the same gospel group -Min. Victor Bell and Halel- for almost twenty years. Check us out on the Oxygen T.V Show ‘Fix My Choir’ airing on November 5th (shameless plug).
Diggin’ Deep with Dontá is my new project that I am so excited about it. It is a long overdue venture that I pray garners the momentum and support it deserves. I am talking about things that others shy away from. I don’t want to have a fluff show because there are enough of those out there. I also don’t want something that is so heavy people leave feeling waited and tired. My desire is to have a show that people can listen to, comment on, laugh about, and grow from. No judgment, no finger-pointing, no off-putting comments that create guilt; just a show that will promote accountability in an each-one-teach-one style manner. Hopefully you will listen in and be a part of my ‘fearless’ experience.
Once a week I allow people from all over the world to hear me, sight unseen. I am not in front of them trying to balance out my image with my voice. I am open and vulnerable for them to create any type of look they desire. But you know what? For the first time in my life I don’t care. I am fine with whatever perception they have of me based upon how ‘soft’ my voice may sound. The hilarious part is that my voice only may sound ‘soft’ to me. Others listening may quite well be like (insert base) ‘wow his voice is deep!’
The show airs every Monday night at 10pm PST on Blogtalk radio. I am proud of myself for shaking off the past and seeing that my future depends on my abilities to face my fears head on and press past them.
Click here to go to: Diggin’ Deep with Donta on Blogtalk Radio