To win in life, ‘sing’ like this Raven

January 15, 2012

In the self-publishing age, we’re all performers. And, mortal beings that we are, we’re all on the clock.

Not that it isn’t healthful to check out every now and then. One of the most popular ways to do that in America this time of year is to watch freakishly conditioned men play an alternately violent and graceful game that can make time seem to stand still. (No, that was not a dig at video reviews or TV timeouts. Well, I guess it is now.) I’m talking, of course, about the NFL playoffs.

Even though you’re supposed to be checked out, to help you with your own performance, to help you beat your own daily clock, save that first fridge run for after the national anthem.

If you’re watching Ravens perennial anthem singer Mishael Miller, at least, you’ll absorb three qualities worth emulating. These won’t make you a rock star. But they will get you gigs.

As Sun classical music critic Tim Smith recently detailed, Miller, an assistant pastor at his West Baltimore church and Morgan State University music graduate who initially auditioned for only a one-time performance the Ravens first-ever home game in 1996, is dependable.

He has missed only a couple of games in 15 years, once due to a missed plane when he was overseas. Even when he has stepped aside on rare occasions for guest performers, such as country singer Martina McBride, he has been ready to help out if needed.

The 41-year-old gospel singer and former public school teacher is modest. Despite his insider status, he hasn’t hounded Ravens players for autographs, or, for that matter, even met any of them. Meanwhile, his reputation for delivering a classy rendition of the anthem has attracted other clients.

The classically trained baritone is flexible. Over the years, he’s adjusted his singing style to team management’s preferences. Each game, he’s prepared to speed things up or slow things down to stay on the carefully calibrated pre-game schedule.

If there is any delay getting everyone in place for the anthem, Miller will be told “to do the 55-second version, and he can do that properly,” Byrne added. “If we have the time, he can do the minute-and-a-half version. He’s very coach-able. There are so many pluses with Mishael. But beyond anything else, he can really sing.”

Whatever your craft, when you check back in after Sunday’s games, you’ll move closer to the top by mimicking Miller.

If you’re hungover – emotionally or otherwise – after your team’s big win or loss – or a more consequential victory or defeat – show up to work or school anyway. When you get ahead, don’t slow yourself down patting yourself on the back. When you fall behind, don’t let perfect become the enemy of the good – instead, pivot to your “55-second version.”

Baltimore Sun video

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