I have always dreamt of singing the National Anthem at a big stadium. I even used to record myself singing it in my middle school bedroom (and yes, I still have the recordings to prove it!). I never got the chance as a child growing up in Kansas City.
In Sarasota, we are very lucky to have a beautiful Spring Training facility for the Baltimore Orioles. I have attended a game every season since I moved here 5 years ago. This year, I had an inkling... this "bucket list" feeling about wanting to finally check this opportunity off the list. Through some wonderful colleagues and connections, I was able to get in touch with the right people at the Orioles and was offered to sing "God Bless America" at the Seventh Inning Stretch on Sunday, March 29. It wasn't the National Anthem, but by golly, I was so excited! I couldn't wait to sing with a stadium full of hot dog-lovin' fans.
The week of the game, I got an email from the coordinator at the Orioles. Their National Anthem singer was sick and couldn't sing, and asked me to fill in. You better believe I said YES!
The whole experience was a thrill. It was very different from singing on stage -- the "audience" was singing with you and was cheering you on throughout. I felt like a "local celebrity" being recognized throughout the game on my way back to my seats. I would definitely want to do this again!
Here is a video compilation of my renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America at the Orioles V. Twins game on Sunday, March 29. I hope this opportunity comes around again.
Danae DeShazer is an actress, singer, and dancer living in Sarasota, FL.