Wednesday, October 29, 2008

so tired

I'm still on Maui time, apparently, and can't fall asleep at the right times, resulting in a chronic lack of sleep problem. Driving to PA tonight for my lesson is going to be brutal. Oy.

But I need it. It's time for a tune-up.

Although, the week of relaxing, eating, drinking, spa-ing, and NOT thinking about singing at all, in the humid climate must have been good for my cords, as I surprised myself by vocalizing up to a VERY easy high e-natural. YES. Violetta, here I come. Just kidding. Lord knows the world doesn't need another aspiring Violetta. I aspire to much smaller things: could someone please grant me a freaking audition? I'm starting to feel bad about myself and a little worried, especially since I've been ADDING to my resume a lot this year.

Sunday I have a marathon orchestra rehearsal and run-through and I have to tell you I'm kind of dreading it-- there's a little awkwardness between the Marcello and I, but I think that after this Sunday we will have bonded.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to reality

WOW. Where do I begin??? The most fabulous 2 weeks of my life have come and gone. What fun it all was-- the wedding, Maui, and now we're moving into our new place!

And I have one thing to say: all the drama, the hard work, and the hot-gluing was 100% worth it. Never let anyone tell you it isn't. I had the absolute BEST time, and people have such an amazing way of coming through for you and stepping in when you need them.

I've been told that weddings tend to bring out the best and the worst in people. This is completely correct. You learn things about people you simply never knew before-- and while there were a few disappointments, I can whole-heartedly say that I am more thrilled and in love with my best friends than I ever was before. The ones standing up there with me (and a couple of adorable usherettes who tended to me in my most freaked out minutes before walking down the aisle) were truly the people who I know I can trust.

I am so unbelievably lucky!! Now, if I can just get some auditions...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Never shall I touch a glue gun again

It was an intense few days, but I'm pretty sure MOST everything is done!

I tried to practice yesterday and my voice sounds HORRIBLE, so I think I'll have a lot of reconditioning to do when the whole things is over...or maybe it was just a bad night.

After today, Drew will be in charge of the Joe and Jess Wedding Show. And I will have a little time to shop for a few last things, and try to spend a bit of quality time with Musetta before leaving on the honeymoon!

Love it.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

home stretch

we're getting there. slowly but surely.

it is way too fun to go out to dinner with my grandmother and mom every night and have drinks too.

and now, after all the drama, I have just one thing to say: I cannot wait to get married.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good news

We got SO many branches glued last night!!! I was so proud of the effort of my mom and Joe and I-- although, when Drew brought them over, I thought I was totally screwed because they were not the right color, and looked somehow fresher, greener and less brown and dead than I wanted them to be, so that they would fit with my color scheme. I was on the verge of making my mom drive me to Walmart so that we could get spray paint and make them dark brown like I wanted. Oh yeah, that would've been dumb. But by the time we'd made this decision it was already getting late, and I would have felt bad calling in reinforcements at that hour-- Ms. T had volunteered her services. The other scare is that, well, we didn't have enough branches and need to order more. Which means I may not have them in time for the branch gluing party I was planning on Sunday night. Sighhhh.

I got some very sad news yesterday about someone in my immediate family who won't be able to come to the wedding, and the heavy sad feeling has carried over til today, I'm afraid. I'm trying to get myself together so that I don't bomb at rehearsal tonight. When I woke up this morning it was as if I hadn't slept at all, even though I got 8 full hours of sleep! So, I brought my score today, to go over my blocking. I will overcome this feeling!!!! I will rock it out tonight even if it kills me!! I will not let me issues affect my voice, even though when I tried to practice last night I sounded like a bleating sheep. :)

Tomorrow is the Baltimore Marathon, which means we are basically trapped in our neighborhood because of the street closures. I PRAY that I can get out in time to go to the wedding I have to sing for!

But it IS Friday, whatever other problems we all may have, and the weekend is here!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

noticing a pattern

It used to be that I was totally exhausted by Friday. That Friday was the day I crashed: walked in to work wearing god knows what, having shown no apparent interest in my make-up or clothes, clutching a large coffee, with drooping features and large circles under my eyes. That was before the wedding planning and Boheme.

Now, my friends, Thursday is the new Friday, and I find myself at this desk barely able to keep my eyes open, worried about gluing flowers on branches, worried about rehearsal tomorrow night, worried that I'm not practicing as much as I need to to be fabulous, sad that I'm finally doing a role I always dreamed about but there is so much other crazy stuff going on (moving, wedding, job) that I can't throw myself into it as I would like, trying to keep myself from bursting into tears. I did manage, somehow, to put on a decent outfit. I think.

Around 9 am, when I was actually already supposed to be at work, I had Joe drive me around the block so that I could stop and get another coffee. Well, just as we pulled up, naturally the big boss of the school walked in the door, and since I was supposed to be at work I couldn't go in and show my face. So, no coffee for Jess.

Tea? Yes, I can boil some water in the carcinogen-producing (oh, I am so not spelling that right) electric kettle. But tea is dumb and I don't like tea that much and I am falling apart.

This is all very ridiculous and dumb, I realize, in light of the stock market crashing, the possibility of another republican president looming on the horizon, world hunger, injustice, Darfur, Tibet, etc. I also realize that I was the one who chose to have a rather large wedding (or so it would seem at this point), instead of simply going over to the courthouse and doing it, or going to Vegas, or having it in a bowling alley, like my boss always jokes that I should. So it really is my own fault, but I know I will be so glad and realize it was all worth it.

I promise that in about an hour I will be over it. I really will.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

gluing flowers on sticks

Because I am apparently the genius of creating unnecessary stress and heartache for myself, I planned very early on in this wedding process that I would do all my own decorations, menu cards, place cards, candles, etc. for the reception. Sans (that's French for "without," Robert) florist. The original plan was not, of course, supposed to be stressful in any way, and was supposed to save me thousands of dollars. Which could only be considered smart, frugal, and very practical, right? I'm doing these big branches in tall glass cylinders. With little white flowers glued randomly all over them. Whatever it sounds like, or whatever image that may conjure up in your mind: I promise, it is going to be SO pretty. For real.

I was supposed to have those hundreds of branches yesterday, so I could start hot gluing like my life depends on it.

Well, Matt, or whatever his name is, from the warehouse called and said they won't be able to get them from Pennsylvania, or Transylvania or wherever until Friday morning.

Never mind that I have rehearsal Friday night and will have no time to begin gluing frantically. Never mind that I have to sing at another wedding Saturday, which will literally take up hours of good gluing time. Never mind that on Sunday I have an approximately ten hour hair appointment, and then on Monday, everyone starts arriving from our of town and all hell will break loose.

I'm not freaking out yet. Really I'm not.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Could you just let me sing, please?

Friday night: Was I out drinking like the rest of America, and like any girl in her twenties whose wedding is in two weeks should be? No. Joe was kind enough to chauffeur AG and I to opera rehearsal, so it was really fun, and we had a great time on the drives there and back. Everything in between, however, like the actual rehearsal, for instance, was a little stressful. It was our first time doing the blocking and singing off book. And all of us Musettas were there watching each other.

I am doing my very best to not compare myself to them, or succumb to the usual competition that's kind of built in to the double cast relationship. And it's easier this time than most, because I really like AG and respect her as a musician. We're different singers, of course, but at a similar place in our vocal development.

Saturday, no rest for the weary. I dragged myself out of bed and curled my hair and got the make-up bag together (I'm pretty sure I also took a shower at some point that morning, but I have no recollection of it), and took off with Joe for Philly for the next audition on my list. The drive was insane. There was a huge accident, involving a tractor trailer with a chemical spill, of all things, and a ten mile back up on 95. It was quite a scene, and everyone was driving in reverse back up an on-ramp to the highway to avoid the traffic. And I felt like I was in a movie, or the twilight zone or something. Joe is brave and followed suit, so that we could find an alternate route and not miss my audition...

It was the most unbelievably gorgeous day in Rittenhouse Square, and everyone was eating brunch outside at the restaurants, and old ladies were at tables registering people to vote, and it was just a totally uplifting place to be. Of course, we had the usual park-the-car-rush-to-get-jessica-to-a-bathroom drama that happens every SINGLE time we go on an audition trip, but I made it in time.

After all that time in the car, I got to the venue, and low and behold, big surprise: no place to warm up. EXCEPT for a very scary, probably haunted, musty basement with lots of old furniture scattered around. But I did it, I kind of actually nailed it, and sang three full arias, including my new Countess action. Afterward, it was interesting, because the conductor took a little time to talk to me, and I told him about my recent changes to the rep list. When I talked about Susanna, he said "Actually, I could still see you doing that." Yes, so I could I. But I like this other aria so much better, people. So, I'll keep both of my Figaro girls, and sing whichever I feel like???? AHHHH!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008


We got burnt just a bit too crisp last night, I'm afraid. Although I'm doing a pretty good job of covering it up. And I have some stripes, which will look great with my gown. Curses on my brilliant idea of going to the ghetto tanning place just because it was convenient. I see a stand-up bed in my immediate future, and after the swelling goes down. JK

Therapy today was oddly therapeutic, although, after taking a long break, you always have to rehash things you really thought you were over. And you probably were. But, hey. I cried for the first time in weeks, but realized that all in all, I'm doing pretty well with all this stuff. I'm coping while not fabulously, better than most. As Aunt Nancy is fond of saying: "It's a wonder you're not a serial killer."

At this stage in the game, most brides are a couple weeks into their starvation plan, but I've been nothing but hungry for literally days straight. Am I not getting enough sleep? Probably not, but hey. I want everything in sight: Fries, pizza, cookies. Luckily, I've only been eating reallllllly truly bad stuff about once a week. But does the seconds of vegetarian stir-fry from last night count? No, but I guess the skittles kind of do. Oy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The camera adds ten pounds

I watched a video of myself last week. And I don't have to tell you that it completely ruined my day. Yes, I am that self-absorbed. Do I really look like that? Oy. It was rough. I'd been doing so well with my self-image issues, just trying to "listen to my body" **barf** and be good to myself, and then this video comes along and plops me right back on the train to neurotic-ville. So I was totally freaking out, but then this morning I put on a "certain" pair of pants, and well, they were a little bit loose. sigh of relief.

Oh well. It was a rough week for my self-image. I was reading a fellow singer's blog the other day, someone I don't know personally, and came upon an entry that contained some thinly-veiled tasteless criticism of my most recent show. Nothing bad about me specifically, but I guess I can chalk it up to: GET USED TO IT. NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.

I had a lesson with my teacher on Monday, and it was great to be able to tell him about GS, and La Boheme (which shall henceforth be referred to as LB), and the offer to do Donna Elvira. I was slightly dreading telling him about the latter, because I knew his eyebrows would go up, and he would say, in the most fatherly and protective of ways, "That's a BIG role." Which is, of course, exactly what he did say. But then he shrugged his shoulders and asked how many performances and what venue and promptly replied that it couldn't hurt. So, I'm really seriously considering it. The biggest problem, of course, being "Mi tradi" which is enough to make anyone scream.

This Saturday, we're taking a road trip to Philly for an audition for which I have added to my rep for the first time: The Countess. It feels so much better than trying to squeeze myself into "Vedrai, carino," and when I told my teacher I even had it on the list for the last one, he winced, as if in obvious pain. Which is actually akin to what I felt when I realized it simply isn't for me. Because I really freaking like that aria and I LOVE Zerlina. Hands down the coolest girl in Mozart, besides, maybe Susanna.

Tonight, I will do something I generally don't necessarily approve of, except in extremely small doses once in awhile: going to the tanning bed. Don't judge me. I'm the bride.