Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Today is a day of national grief in the Netherlands. Today is the day we remember those who have passed away in a horrible way. I myself had just safely arrived in Spain when I heard about the crash. I was shocked. Despite telling myself that I would spend as little time on my phone as possible, I kept looking up information about what had happened. It felt so surreal. Too tragic to be true.
A couple of people who were on holiday with me received phone calls and texts informing them that someone they knew had passed away. This is one of those disasters that affect so many people. Lots of people knew somebody who was on the plane or knew somebody who had lost a relative or a friend. It was a black day in the history of our country.
And I saw quite a few comments saying that suddenly everybody cared about these deaths but nobody cares for Palestina or victims of other wars. I understand that thought and I find every innocent life lost is one too many, regardless of where they are from or who they were. The reason why so many people are in shock about this, is because it happened so close to home and in a terrible way.
These people thought they were going on the holiday of a lifetime. They were going to visit relatives or build up a new life. They boarded the plane without a care in the world and then it was all over within the blink of an eye.

I am watching on tv how some of the bodies are taken to a place to be identified. Cars stopped in the middle of the highway. Thousands of people gathered at the side of the road to pay their respect. It is amazing to see that the victims are being honoured even though this tragedy shouldn't have happened at all.

War is a terrible thing and even though wars have been fought for centuries, what has it truly brought us but sadness and pain?

The victims of MH017 will never be forgotten. And I hope that all innocent lives lost in wars and disasters around the world will be remembered. There are no words for comfort. There is nothing that makes us less fragile. The only thing that can truly make a change, if we put down the weapons and let love conquer.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

It's done!

It is done. Fini. After months of writing, the first draft of my novel is finished. It hasn't become a long novel. At 61,000 words it is considered quite short, but I might add things when I start editing. I might also delete a lot of things. But whatever I do with it, I finished it. I finished my first book. I never thought I could. I always stuck to short stories because they were easy to get done and not as much of a commitment as a whole book. I'm printing the first draft now to let someone else read it. When I get back from holiday, I will read it myself and the gruelling editing proces will begin. Once I'm satisfied with it, I will translate it into English.

I am incredibly proud of myself. There were times when I just wanted to quit. I thought I didn't have any inspiration any more and then it came back all of a sudden and the writing went extremely quickly. I just don't know what to say. I've been typing all day long today to make sure I finished it before I leave tomorrow and I did it. I DID IT!

I just wanted to let you know that. Also, I won't be online much for five days. I know you will miss me, but you're big boys and girls, you will manage.

Did I mention I finished the first draft of a novel? Gosh it seems so surreal now.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

That time I sang a song on stage.

Yesterday I went on stage and sang a song in front of people. You might think that that's nothing to remarkable, but it is, considering it's been 8 years since I stood on a stage and sang solo. That didn't go too well. The keyboardplayer played the song in the original key which was too low for me and I was too shy to stop the song and tell him to go lower. Which meant it was a disaster and as it was a schoolthing, I had to deal with mockery for a loooong time.
That's fine. Shit happens. I kept on singing, although I was afraid to be on a stage again and to sing by myself which meant people could actually hear my voice. I know I'm not Beyonce and I don't want to be. I sing because I enjoy singing and it makes me happy and for a long while I kept it to myself because I didn't want anyone to take the joy away from me again with their harsh words.
Cue the end of 2012. The opportunity to sing on stage with Mika as part of the Polka Dot Choir arose. I first watched videos of the choir in the US and their audition videos. Most of them were amazing singers and I thought I'd never in a million years would have a chance. But I wanted to do it so badly because no matter if I'm singing or dancing or acting or even reading a story, I feel happy on a stage in front of people. So by the time the opportunity to send in a video for the European dates came around, I was very nervous and of course I got a cold so I didn't sound too great. I knew there were going to be a lot of entries for Amsterdam so I thought I might send in my video for Cologne, but then I thought, fuck it, it's Paradiso, worth a shot.
Long story short, I saw someone on facebook mention she was in, I checked my email and I also got one. I screamed really loudly. I hadn't been on a stage since I was 15.
So, the gig happened and at first I was incredibly nervous, but once I got into it, I really got into it and it was amazing to see the crowd respond and to be part of something that makes so many people happy. After that I wanted to improve my singing, but it wasn't until February this year that I actually decided to take vocal lessons. Luckily, I got a really lovely vocal teacher who is just as eccentric as I am and incredibly patient. Whenever I would be down cause things didn't go the way I wanted to, she would highlight the positive. We'd focus on one technique at a time. Main goal was to get rid of the air I used when singing, as I pretty much sounded like a lame Britney Spears tribute act. We practised with Love of My Life by Queen and she told me to sing it without air which I did and then try it again with air, but the air was gone and I couldn't get it back. That was the point where I realised I could get better.

She asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would like to sing at the end of year presentation. I refused at first, as I still had the disaster of teenage me in mind. She persuaded me anyway. At first I wanted to do Thinking of You by Katy, but it was still a bit too hard so I chose Stardust by Mika instead. I was one of the last to go on and I was incredibly nervous. The room was pretty crowded and I just thought 'what if I'll fail?' It was the first time the pianoguy played the song and we hadn't practised together. So he started the song too fast. This time I did stop and asked him to slow it down. I'm glad I did. I sounded rather shaky and uncertain until after the first chorus. Then I started to really enjoy myself and I realised why I wanted to do this in the first place. I did make a lot of mistakes but overall I think I did well. You can watch it below:

Stardust from Ingrid Chant on Vimeo.

The people in the audience were quiet throughout the whole song. My vocal teacher was really excited and proud. Most importantly, I am proud of myself. I'm proud that I did it despite being scared. Fear is the worst advisor. I'm not scared of criticism anymore. I know my strenghts and my weaknesses. I know that I have a long way to go but I only want to improve for myself and to make myself even prouder. That's why I share this video, because I'm proud of myself.

I hope that I continue to improve myself and I hope that I will get more chances to be on stage and to do what I enjoy doing most, whether it be in front of 15 people or 1500.