Thursday, July 31, 2008


It is always freezing in this office, and I'm an ice-cicle.

I went to the dermatologist today, and in passing asked about preventative botox...scarrrryyy.

Thursday is a weird day. But I like it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Waiting for pay day, people!! I got back this morning and checked the old bank account...sighhh. But, as I always say about money: There's more where that came from.

The weekend was lots of fun...Friday night with RD was a hoot, as always. Then it was off to Z's birthday celebration. Saturday morning, we left bright and early to start the trek to Ohio for shower fun.

On the way back, we got to stop off in Canton to see A and M, and it was great...

Now I'm back, and tonight I drive to my lesson. I need a break, for real, but I need a lesson before recording session #1 on Friday night. Ohhhh I need a new recording before all the deadlines start flying by.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's a VERY small world

So try to be nice to people, okay?

That's my mantra. Especially since I just discovered that ANOTHER friend will be singing with me in an upcoming engagement! That make three of us from the Body. I'm really excited.

And tonight, time for fun. No more working, please. Joe and I are going to RD's to gather round the wine for a little visit...haven't seen her in a long time, and I need my R fix. Then, we'll stop by another friend's birthday of my favorite people. FINALLY, it's time for drinking and friends.

This weekend is a bridal shower for Joe and I and I'm a little nervous, because...well, I've never had a bridal shower before. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Working hard/Hardly working

I had the very distinct pleasure of driving into the middle of Washington yesterday during rush hour! Something I would avoid at all costs for anything or anyone other than my coach GC. And, well, we all know I'd do just about anything for an audition.

I worked so hard in that session that afterwards I could barely drive myself home, and it didn't help that I get lost in her labyrinth of a building EVERY single time I go! So I wander around for several minutes before I run into someone who takes pity on me and tells me how to get out.

There are a couple of weird little habits I have when I'm singing that are similar to the histrionics pianists often employ when performing: as GC would say, "you're waving about again." I shift my weight from foot to foot, or move my head at crucial moments, when I really need to be standing straight for the sake of my sound. So I've been trying to correct it with both my teacher TH and GC watching me like a hawk at all times. All of you that are singers know how incredibly DIFFICULT it is to change habits like this when you've spent pretty much your whole life inadvertently ingraining it in yourself. It takes some pretty intense concentration. ALSO, she is encouraging me to do something else that is already de rigeur for most singers: record the coachings and force myself to listen to them. OHHHH it is so painful. I have been avoiding it as long as possible, but now it's time to stop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I like it!

Marzelline's Aria was suggested by none other than our dear blogging ACB. So I took it out, and low and behold, it totally works, at least from what I can see so far. AND I like it, which surprised me!

One little detail about me that I have had to keep kind of secret for most of my life, especially at conservatory, is that I really don't care for Beethoven. **And I can feel the shoes flying through the air directly at my head now** There's the odd piano concerto or symphony that I like, but most of it...well. It could be because playing Beethoven in college was the bane of my existence, over which I slaved for hours.

In other news, we're cleaning out our apartment. Doesn't that sound just great? And in this heat yet. Three huge bins of stuff for goodwill are ready to go today, and I think there's probably more. I hope so. Having a ton of stuff laying around has always bothered me...I LOVE the feeling of clearing the place out, cleansing, getting rid of things. I am in utter amazement that we even fit that much STUFF in the storage room to begin with. I think I would love to have one of those minimalist homes with like one chair and sofa and one bed and nothing else, all sleek and modern. But I have too much stuff.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I feel good I feel great I feel wonderful

It's Monday, people, and I am officially exhausted. What a weekend. I think the drama started with the world's longest and saddest funeral on Thursday. Friday night marked 3 months til the wedding, and we had a realllllly wonderful dinner, topped off by a Renee Zellweger sighting on the street in Harbor East. Saturday: long rehearsal, didn't feel great about my singing, and then was thrilled to discover that half the board members of the opera company had been there to observe the rehearsal. Sunday: cantoring at OSP (oh those Anglican chant psalms get me every time)and went to an audition (more about that later!), then came home and assembled wedding invitations for a few hours.

So, I am giving myself a voice day off.

One of the things that is feeling a bit difficult about rehearsals lately is that as hard as I try, I don't seem to be assimilating into the cast very well! I know that many of them have done lots of performing together, so that might be it. I'm wondering if it's me... Although, being assigned the job of writing down measurements for the costume lady the other day probably didn't help everyone feel a lot more comfortable around me. Oohhh talk about awkward. I am so nice, people!!! Don't you want to bond and go drinking together like you're supposed to in shows??? Well, at least I have T, whatever happens! My little Zita!

AS FOR the audition Sunday...well. I had trouble deciding whether or not to go, since after the hottest morning of my life in vestments at church, I didn't have an ounce of energy. I ate a grilled cheese for lunch and debated all the while. Checked email, sang through the aria, debating. Well, let's just go. And I did. I sang fine. That's usually not a problem, despite the mental torture I generally put myself through. No, singing is definitely not a weakness of mine compared to, apparently....DANCING. Which is odd, because it's not like I've never had to do a dance call before. And I'm a Latin dancing goddess. Well, kind of. But, what I'm trying to say here, people, is that I never thought I really sucked that much.

The choreographer wanted us to do this 36 count combo that was really just horrifically hard. With spins and leaps and things I just couldn't imagine being able to execute without having worked on it for weeks! I simply faked my way through it, smiling all the while, and as she added each new 8 counts of pure dread, I contemplated telling them "there is no way I can learn that in five minutes, I better sit this one out," or "okay, bye!" and walking out the door. But I figured quitting was the worst thing I could do. Wouldn't they want to see that I was at least willing to try? But it was just one hundred percent pure tragedy. I was SO embarrassed that when it was finally done, and after keeping my composure so beautifully for the longest ten minutes of my life, I simply took off my character shoes, picked up my bag, walked out the door, and, yes, I burst into tears.

I haven't cried after an audition in a very long time. I made it to the car, and made sure no one could see me before having my break down. But how very humiliating it all was.

Okay, well. Now I know. No more dance calls for me. Or at least until my post-traumatic stress has worn off.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Oh my goodness!! So many great things are happening I can't even stand it. Last night I had the best dinner with Joe and Mel, and then we went to see The Gondoliers. IT was so much fun...I was smiling the entire first hour. There were lots of friends in the cast and I'm always impressed at how funny opera singers can be when you put them in the situation of having to be. Hilarious, especially Madeleine! And some very respectable singing too...It was a great night.

I am lucky to have some very generous singing friends. Because we all know that not everybody is like that. However, I must be doing something right, because lately, I've been just walking into great opportunities because of nice friends who share their experiences and recommend people to talk to places to go. The thing of it is-- not only is keeping all your musical activities secret from anyone who could be considered competition really boring and difficult, it's lame, and actually pointless. Since, simply by the law of attraction, peeps, if you share what you know with people, you're going to get some good tips too.

You don't need me to tell you that being away from your fiancee/husband/partner/best friend/mommy/treadmill/kitty for great stretches of time because of the mere fact that you've chosen to be a musician can really be a drag. So, I've been just a little bit worried about my upcoming month-long separation from my special someone. My friend Jess, who's really having some great successes with her singing lately, helped me get into a master class I've been dying to do for this summer. The great thing is that it will not only give me another reason to go to New York, but it will give me something to focus on and keep occupied in my first tough week of separation anxiety!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Well, people, it looks like I'm finally

getting myself together in some kind of coherent way. My problem/challenge has always been that I feel I could do well in a few of the heavier roles as well as the lighter, especially in Mozart-- but my lesson last night confirmed that I can be a very vocally happy Susanna, and still sing out. I will be content to dream about the big girl roles when and if they come. I also think that singing perhaps a little lighter than what I am capable of, in auditions, gives a panel room to think to themselves "My, but she just might make a Countess some day too!" (Okay, well, here's hoping.)

In terms of my audition package for t he fall, that is. In all other areas of my life, well, the jury is still out.

Here is what my delightful little "young lyric soprano" list is looking like, and, as always, comments and suggestions are welcome, unless you are a rude mean person.

1. Adieu, notre petite table
Which says: look at my middle-low voice, bitches. Look at me be dramatic and sad and sit on a G4 alllllllll day long like it's nothing. It is just so fabulously tragic too.

2. Quando men vo'
Which says: my high voice is in fine shape in case you were wondering, and I can sing a legato line. If I haven't been out drinking the night before.

3. O mio babbino caro
Which says: if you can sing this well and not make people feel like throwing up, then, well, WAY TO GO. Always a challenge to sing something so jaded. But it is smack dab in the middle of my current vocal situation, and it seems a pity not to get some use out of it. However, NO ONE ever asks for it unless you're actually singing for a role in Gianni Schicchi! So, it would have to be a starter or nothing at all.

4. Vedrai carino
Which says: Once again, folks, I've got a middle voice and some Mozart style, and can be cutesy-sexy if required.

5. Deh vieni non tardar
Which says: I am making this realllllly hard aria look easy. And there's a recit too!

6. Kiss me not goodbye
Which says: I don't really know. It's pretty, short, and ISN'T No word from tom. Which should be reason enough.

7. **Name of German Aria Here**
I'm thinking Sandman/Dew Fairy, because I don't want to do Ach ich fühls. I just plain don't want to. It's just SO painful. Do I HAVE to have a German aria???

There it is. I think it really makes sense. FINALLY!!! Now, to memorize the two Mozart pieces and things. While my soul dies a little to think that this rep list does in fact put me in probably the single MOST congested, competitive fach in all of opera, it's worth it to know I'm not going to be killing my voice before it's time singing bigger things than necessary...just thinking about all those other little adorable girls singing my same pieces makes me need a drink. Martinis anyone?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let's talk about how I sat in traffic for an hour and a half last night

shall we?

On my way to rehearsal, just past the state line, I was talking on the phone to someone about singing a funeral on Thursday, when it seems that the two lanes of traffic came to a complete halt.

And it didn't move again for an hour and a half. No one was getting by, because apparently an enormous piece of metal debris had fallen from an overpass onto the interstate below and it was going to take three to four hours to get it cleaned up. I texted the musical director to let her know the situation. She said for me to turn around and just go home, if it looked like I'd be sitting there on the highway not moving for the duration of the rehearsal-- no such luck. No exit, and a HUGE barrier in the median.

So I thought, well, wouldn't this be a great time to put into practice all of the excellent coping skills I've been learning from my "guru" (this is not my therapist, Sally, but someone else, for those of you who THINK you know who I'm talking about!). I could feel myself kind of starting to get pissed about the situation, as many other of my fellow traffic-disaster-ees definitely were. There were lots of people standing outside their cars cussing on their cell phones. And, really, I said my fair share of choice words to Joe about my predicament as soon as a trucker brought the news that we would be sitting there a while. But I was determined not to let the situation turn me into crazy bitch girl.

The first thing I did was look around the car for a container to pee in in case there was an emergency. The second thing I did was thank god that I didn't have to pee at all at the moment.

For people who like to feel like they are in complete control at all times (when in fact none of us really are at all, PS), being stuck in traffic miles from an exit is a real bummer. A real potential psychological disaster meltdown. So I decided to just accept the situation for what it was: something I had to go through, something I could not get out of or get around. And that was that.

I'm not going to tell you it was fabulously fun. But it wasn't the most terrible hour and a half of my life. It went by relatively fast, as I focused completely on ACCEPTING the situation instead of resisting it. Resistance to circumstances like this can make them unbearable, as I've found myself saying things like "I absolutely cannot believe this shit!" "Of course THIS had to happen!" "I am so furious about this." When none of it can help what's going on at all, and only serve to help me create more inner drama.

So I got to rehearsal an hour late. And life went on.

Monday, July 14, 2008

couple days off

I had a couple unexpected days off from singing and rehearsing. It was great, unbelievably! Usually when I'm not practicing everyday, I'm spending time worrying about how long it's going to take me to get back into shape. Unbelivably, I spent almost NO time thinking about singing, and didn't even try to vocalize in the shower, which is my usual obsessive way of recouping some of the time I'm supposed to be taking off.

And now, I've got to get back into it, since I have rehearsal tonight and will probably have to sing a high Q above L.

The other thing I need to do is have Musetta's Second Act scene ready for next week's coaching with my new favorite person ever. YAY! This week is already completely packed and I guess I'm going to be learning music on my lunch breaks again. Little chunks of time work too, as long as I can focus my ADD self on the task at hand.

I'm trying on my wedding dress tomorrow! I absolutely cannot believe it. It's so freakishly exciting. Once you have the dress, it's for REAL.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tired and broke but happy

Sunday is not usually one of my favorite days. For many reasons.

a) an underlying feeling of dread because I have to go back to work the next day
b) getting up really early for church and singing for four hours straight, after which I'm usually totally spent, and can only manage to lay on the couch afterwards.

But this weekend it was great. At church, I got to collaborate with a friend who played the piano and we did some really kick-ass anthems. Then!!! We went to Wolftrap to see the Candide in concert with Jason Alexander, and, of course, fellow blogger ACB!

It was fantastic. Thank god we sprung for indoor seats-- because there was some major rain that night-- but we had so much fun. It was cool to see "George" onstage singing! and being all theater-y, and the rest of the cast was great too...I just freaking love Candide. I really do.

Last night, it seems my voice was back to normal after a week of some serious hormonal freaking out, and so the aria went well, and most everything else did too.

Life is good.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

It is summer, after all

Tomorrow night we'll spend our first 4th of July on my mom's roof-top deck with a great view of the Harbor and the fireworks.

A fun getaway to Maine is in the works, too. And it's starting to feel like a real summer.

I will, of course, continue to stress about learning my role by September, while planning a wedding, and while opening Gianni Schicchi, but, hey. Whatever. Life is good.

My sister, it appears, is hard at work with her south-side Chicago homies choreographing a little dance number for my wedding. A little something extra to add intrigue to my already fraught with craziness wedding day. If she embarrasses me, I will never speak to her again. Just kidding.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

losing it

When I got to work today, I realized I have a huge stain on my shirt and forgot to put on deodorant. Nice.