Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday: Back in the Saddle

Are the holidays over yet? It's like I woke up from a long intense crazy dream complete with the strange dream hangover feeling. I laughed, I cried, I steamed, I sang, I cooked, I drank, I ATE, and most of all: I TRAVELLED. It has been the drivingest month and a half of my life.

I have to admit that part of me is really glad to be back to relative normalcy. Although I was mildly offended when my sister referred to Joe and I as "normal people," I suppose despite the fact that we are a mostly broke pianist and singer who have a lot of trouble deciding between groceries and the next audition application, there are some really normal things about us. Although when I think about it, perhaps that is not a question of normal, it is really more like a question of stupid :). For instance, I like to cook dinner. We have two fantastic cats that are as good or better than kids. We would like a vacation on a tropical beach as much as one to Prague. We are never too good for a little cheesy TV-- like, say, The Bachelor. And then, of course, there is the Sunday Night Football.

I think maybe being normal can be a good thing. But it is so much more delightful to stand out in the crowd a bit. I actually LIKE it when someone says they could tell just by looking at me that I am a singer.

The Met Competition went well. It was a personal triumph for me in a couple of ways, despite the fact that I did not advance.
As I was standing backstage, waiting to sing on Saturday, despite the fact that I was well-rehearsed and felt very prepared to sing the rep I was about to sing, I could feel the familiar feeling of freaking out beginning to seep in. There was a huge audience, and a large hall, and some AMAZING competitors, and I could feel all the moisture starting to just drain from my throat. And I just told myself, what the hell, Jessica, this is ridiculous. Please! Get it together, this is a great chance to just SING to people, and to perform on a stage, which you LOVE to do. DO NOT let your mind get in your way.
And I didn't. I really went in nailed it. And the AD of a regional opera company came up to me afterward to give me his card and congratulate me on my performance. And all the Met Guild ladies loved me! It was heartening. Unlike the always stressing judges comments, despite their kind demeanor and the nice things they said. We all know that the nice stuff gets forgotten when you hear X needs to be addressed if you want to be really competitive. Do I want to be? Yes. Did I want to just quit for a good 24 hours after? Yes. Did it feel a lot like a member of my family had died? Yes. But there is always wine.

Now I am back here, practicing again, for the next audition on Sunday, and then the next the following week, and then performances, and so on. I have things to work on, but I knew that. I am the one who is the hardest on me. And going forward, I have every good feeling about the great things 2010 will bring.

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