I have been performing since I was a little girl. It has always been a part of who I am. First it was piano recitals, then cello, orchestra, lip-synching and then finally singing my own songs with my guitar and a full band to crowds so large, it still blows me away.

For as long as I can remember, the moments before the show have always been the same. The sound of the public arriving on the other side of the curtain, butterflies in my stomach and deep breaths to try to tame the stage fright that always shows its nasty face, no matter how many performances I have under my belt. Those are the moments where I ask myself, what I have I gotten myself into once again?

I hear my name, walk out on stage and that’s where the magic begins. Crossing the threshold from backstage to the lights and microphone is like crossing into a new dimension where everything feels right and I am pursuing my purpose. Every time, it feels like my entire life has been leading up to this moment. That is when I remember; this is what I was meant to do.

After taking some time off, I began feeling the urge to return to the stage. As if on cue, I was asked to perform in Chisasibi on Nov. 21 as an opening act. I was thrilled and asked who I would be opening for. The answer? Johnny Reid! The Johnny Reid!

Melisa Pash and Johnny Reid

Melisa Pash and Johnny Reid

I was so shocked I called my husband at work and asked if he was sitting down. I have performed with renowned artists before but no matter how far I have come, it’s as if the little girl in me is star-struck and shouting Hooray!

I am very grateful for the experience. Johnny was very kind to everyone and is very grounded. He was truly happy to be in Chisasibi and took the time to speak with the people. Being from Chisasibi myself, I was surrounded by family. It was such a pleasure to be able to offer a special meet-and-greet for my cousins with Johnny Reid in my dressing room after the show. There were a lot of pictures and selfies being taken!

During his show, Johnny Reid invited traditional drummers onstage. He even played the hand drum himself. It was so beautiful to watch, cultures blending through music. It’s like the language of the heart. There were little girls dancing with him on stage, slow-mo run, and he even went down into the crowd to the ladies’ delight! And then it was my turn…

The one and only Johnny Reid asked me up on stage to sing Change The World with him. It was surreal. I literally went from singing this song as I did the dishes in my kitchen to singing it live on stage with Johnny Reid. I am still in awe how it fell into my lap. When these things happen, it is absolute proof to me that when you pursue your passion, miracles occur. It’s like the road is smooth and paved. Step away from your passion, prepare for bumps and obstacles.

Having my comeback performance in Chisasibi was a coincidence but such a wonderful one. After being away from being public for some time, the stage fright was more intense than usual. It was very comforting to have family there. The laughs and the hugs were just what I needed to pull it off.

I was born on the island of Fort George and I love to see where I came into the world. When I was young, I attended the Maamuitaau on the island and I was so captivated by the stage performances that a spark was lit inside of me. I remember, afterward, sitting on a large rock by the bay watching little jellyfish wishing with all my heart that I could sing like that too. I would love to go back and whisper into her ear, “Just follow your heart, your dreams will come true.”

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