I CAN Story: Frances Brett


High school was one of the biggest rollercoasters of my life. It was the place where I took a talent I found in primary school and trained it.

I preferred to interact with the girls in year levels other than mine, be that older or younger. I remember in Year 7, I was known as “Mini Mary” (my older sister was two years above me) – and I sat with a group of older girls. I don’t quite remember exactly what happened, but they asked me to sing for them – and it went quite well! Actually a lot of other groups approached us – I got in trouble with the assistant principal but it was worth it.

Shortly after that little happening at lunch time, I was approached by what would be my first voice teacher. She said she overheard me at lunch and offered me singing lessons – it took me a while to decide, but it was my Dad saying he regretted rejecting singing lessons in his youth that got me to say yes.

Then, the next year, a girl in the year above me said that Presentation Day was approaching and I should audition for the talent quest. I figured meh, what have I got to lose? So I gave it a go.

A few people advised me against trying, saying I was going to embarrass myself and be laughed at, but I actually did really well! I got heaps of applause. Then, after I’d left the stage, I felt the school hall shake and the staff and student body yell and cheer my name! The girl next to me pushed me saying “get back up there!” so I did. I had no idea what to do so I just thanked everybody. I ended up placing third in the talent quest.

The main lesson I learned from this was to actually give things a go – as outrageous they sound. I’m not sure I remember what went through my head when I performed, but what my parents call it is chutzpah – something we all have inside.

By Frances Brett


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