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A Rose By Any Other Name: Part 3 - The Final Chapter

It seems to me that one would want to put the name they were born with and live by day to day, to claim their identity. The name they were born with or married into. I was Gail Perenchio to my family and my little world of peers for 18 years. I was Gail Perenchio to them all until I married and became Gail Engling. Changing my name to my husband’s name was not difficult at all for me, it was who I was to become, since I was in kindergarten… I wanted to be married and become, my husband’s wife complete with name and everything. So I adjusted accordingly.

However, my professional life was something I had always wanted as well, and I had created an identity and branded myself as ‘Gail DonAvan’. To strangers in the outside world Gail Donavan is who I was, and I loved the mystery of anonymity of it; they didn’t know who I really was and I had a private life. I was able to leave my job and go home unnoticed and secure in who I was outside of the lime light.

I imagined that my fans had created their own story about me and who they THOUGHT I was… well that was until one day a young woman came out to see us perform and said…”I know your real name and where you live”. EXCUSE ME!? To my shock and dismay and actually fear now, why would she do that to me? Why would she invade my privacy like that? Why would she even venture to dig that up (as if it were that difficult.)? Why would she even care? Wasn’t my music and fun personality enough for her? It never occurred to me that someone would want to know more about who I really was and then go and RESEARCH ME! I felt naked, and very vulnerable, who else knew? Who else was out there and RESEARCHED my true identity and and just wasn’t saying it out boldly like that to me? (and how did Clark Kent get by just wearing geeky glasses? No one he knew ever figured out who he was!?) "I know your real name and where you live...." I had no way to recover from that statement. My reaction on the outside was “oh really”, my reaction on the inside was “HELP HELP I HAVE BEEN VIOLATED, GET A RESTRAINING ORDER! HELP HELP!!!!!” Ok that might be a little over the top, but I definitely had anxiety over this. Thank the Lord that she wasn’t a Stalker. LOL who would stalk me? Oh wait!… she researched me!… Come on that is just ridiculous… The torment continued. Of course it was all in my mind, after all in 22 years no one (well with the exception of that guy I mentioned in part one of this blog), no one had made the attempt to STALK me. So I just tucked it under my hat, and went along as if it never happened, but I must say I was a bit creeped out every time she came in to see us. I couldn’t help but wonder what else she dug up on me, as if there were anything interesting to dig up.

I am an unusual entertainer in that respect, although there are some others out there like me who like to keep their private life private and peaceful; those of us who actually live that kind of lifestyle so as not to bring extra attention to ourselves, I just didn't have it in me to be gregarious and gigantically visible as so many of them are. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones whose faces you see in the tabloids, screaming at the photographer, I just wanna be left alone this is my business, and all the while are doing or saying something outrageously shocking, that it just has to be publicized.

No I just wanna sing for people, entertain them for their enjoyment and show them the love of God thru who I am. That is when it hit me, (just recently I might add); God just wanted me to go out there and be the person HE CREATED me to be; NOT the person I created me to be. He was the one who would or could protect me. I was trying to do this myself, but I wasn’t up to the task (obviously) and really it wasn’t my job, it is a job HE wanted. Okay then, now I am getting the bigger picture here.

Gail Engling on the CD cover, Gail Engling out there on the stage, Gail Engling that is Who I Am. Not Gail DonAvan as my first CD title would suggest, (which as a side note is basically a musical biography of milestones in my life. Odd don’t you think that my music shares who I really am, but I thought I was keeping that a secret.

And though I still stutter sometimes when I am introducing myself on stage, “ Good evening all, I am Gail Dona…Engling… Gail Engling. Yes I know who I am…And Singing Under Grace is what I do and how I do it, that will never change, I just won’t be trying to hide under it any more.

So world here I am, the REAL ME~ GAIL ENGLING. This is my world and welcome to it!