Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

I think I am still recovering from the weekend. Two run-throughs later, and a coaching and a lesson later I am so ready to have a Fat Tuesday blow-out. Oh lent, I am not really ready for you. Maybe I can have a cocktail after practicing while watching American Idol. That would be superb.

It's been a rough day at work, as I work on trying to accept dramatic situations that arise instead of doing the whole resistance/labeling of everything as "bad" or "good" thing. It's harder, of course, because I have PMS too, which is a double-whammy, because on top of being weirdly hormonal, my voice gets all wonky, and that puts me in an even worse mood. TMI? probably. Nonetheless, I live in utter awe of the crazy attitudes and strange things that go down at this school. It's as if drama is in the water, in the foundation, in the walls? And then I think it may just be a musician thing.

Back on the subject of my current neurotic obsession: Don Giovanni. I love my colleagues for this production a LOT. They are making my life so much more fun-- keeping me laughing CONSTANTLY. Those of you who read this blog know that it's very easy for me to go into freaked-out crisis mode about a big role like this, and my coping tactic has been (and it's working) to try to have fun singing. Which is a whole lot easier when you can be inspired by your cast-mates' singing and acting, and really admire them for what they're doing. When I was done singing Sunday night, after our run-through, I actually felt exhilarated instead of tired. Although the true test will be the performances, of course, I am starting to think that I can sing this role rather well after all-- a true accomplishment and a testament to hard work.

And after this, it will be onto Micaela!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I have to go to the dentist today, which is not my favorite thing, I'll be honest. It's just a cleaning, though, and I'll get to leave work early. So, in light of that, it might almost be considered kind of a decent trade-off.

In other news, I have been locked in my apartment learning my blocking and trying to sing through the role to build stamina, since of course, Mozart in his brilliance decided to put the hardest aria in existence at the very end of the opera. In the past, I've been the kind of singer that lets her singing suffer so that she can throw her body into the acting-- which really was probably a defense mechanism, a subconscious attempt at covering up or compensating for a lot of vocal inconsistencies. So that's been a habit I've been working really hard at breaking-- and since Lauretta, I think it's starting to sink in. In Puccini, it's almost as if he's written the music to account for the things you'll be doing on stage, so that the movements that feel right also work for you vocally, at whatever point you are in the score (with the exception of the dying/lying down bits. Ugh). I felt that Musetta was that way. But Mozart. Oh my. In terms of the drama and action, my body may feel like it wants to travel in places where I know I just have to stand still and SING to make it sound the way it's supposed to. This is especially true in the aria, where I feel that sometimes even the slightest dramatic slouch of my shoulders truly compromises the breath that I dearly need in that piece. So it's been a process of finding those places and working them out and REMEMBERING where they are, in order to prepare for them.

I of course have to take breaks, and when I do, I turn on my DVR'd Flying down to Rio with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire (their first big movie together!), and watch little pieces of it. Oh the clothes! Oh the dancing! Oh everything! After ten minutes and some diet gingerale-- I'm ready to work on dumb old Mozart again. I think I might be obsessed. And before that, it was that Cary Grant movie where he's gotten a divorce from his wife, and then they fall in love again. I can't remember the name of the movie, but the glamor of the era is so mesmerizing to me.

Friday, February 13, 2009


LONG rehearsal last night and I am TIRED today. On our way up last night, we stopped off to get a little "healthy" dinner before rehearsal, and by healthy I mean, no fries with that. So, Ms. A and were proud of our restraint. However, after three hours of singing some loud-ass music with octave jumps to spare, I was really regretting not having eaten more. Oy. And the bad thing was, Susan brought me a whole huge container of brownies yesterday as a thank you for doing her a favor. I love brownies. I had been fantasizing about them, actually, at work on Wednesday, and that's probably what made her think to get them for me. So I took them to rehearsal with me, hoping that the hungry sopranos would polish them off and I would have non left to accidentally eat. So I guess I had a couple when I got home last night. But enough of feeling guilty. On to a new day of not eating brownies even though they are in front of my face.

Wow. That first act finale will wipe you out. And then, straight to the trio in the second act which contains some of my most nightmarish octave jumps. It was a late night last night, and we were both popping advil to keep the headache situation at bay.

That being said, I have a lot of freaking blocking to memorize, and must somehow figure out how to make Mi tradi believable from an acting stand-point, and not too static. It will have to get done tonight, because tomorrow, I'm getting my hair dyed and that will take most of the day, and then there's Valentine's day to worry about. Dinner out? I say yes. And I'll be looking forward to some champagne. Sighhh. Champagne.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well, I tried on the dress in question, and definitely decided that, while it was a great dress, it doesn't highlight the parts that need highlighting in an audition. So I wore a high-waisted black skirt with a bright (low-cut) top, heels, tights and plenty of make-up. It felt comfortable and attractive, so...yay.

The weekend was filled with singing-related activities mostly having to do with getting me closer to feeling ready to sing this role. Sunday's rehearsal was long, but productive for me, as I feel I am a couple steps closer to feeling really confident about singing the second act.

Friday, I went to drinks, with a friend, and it turned into dinner. Funnnn, and then Saturday, Joe took me out for a dinner to celebrate our two year anniversary of officially being together. The Helmand was SOOO good. I always wish that I went there more often, but for some reason, it's just not on my radar as much as other places...I was garlic-o-licious for 24 hours after, too. But it was worth it. Deal with my garlic, people.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

how's this for riveting information

I'm auditioning for something tomorrow, and I'm totally and one hundred percent going out on a limb by wearing a large-printed dress that is very pretty but doesn't show any cleavage. Since I think opera singers are pretty much weaned on cleavage, and the idea that to succeed, you must show yours, this is a big step for me.

If I sing fabulously, therefore, I will blame not having been hired on the fact that I was just too daring in my attire. Large print and no cleave? It's taking your life into your hands. But so is singing, in some ways. Being like a quarter-tone away from utter humiliation every time you open your mouth, and the way you take in a breath determines whether or not you hit that high Q above L you were going for? Please. We're all masochists.

I try not to think about these things very often, because if I did, I would lose it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I get obsessed with weird things. Lately, it's been grape juice and club soda over ice (try it-- you'll be addicted too), leggings, and oddly enough-- making stir fry. Which means one of two things: I am either the lamest person alive or the coolest.

I worry about myself because some nights I come home and all I want to do is drink grape juice with club soda and eat spicy stir-fry while wearing leggings. This causes a lot of inner conflict, since, of course I know what I should be doing is working on memorizing the vast amounts of blocking for DE, or dusting, or doing my yoga video. This is a state of mind that I think is simply more about it being winter than anything else. I never thought it affected me much-- because I like winter, but I'm beginning to think it does at least a little.

Monday, February 02, 2009

liver recovery and other stories

Friday night, I had the best run-through yet of my arias. Things are coming along nicely and I am no longer not sleeping because of any Mozart runs.

Saturday, I definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I was beyond exhausted, and had the feeling that somewhere in there my body was trying to fight something off. Not surprising, as I am routinely surrounded by sick, coughing students. Oh wow was I in a bad mood. So, rather than force my suffering on others (well, except Joe of course, poor man), I laid on the couch wrapped in blankets and watched DVDs. That is until I got sick of it, went into the kitchen to get something to eat and realized we were painfully low on supplies. And the fact that there were no tie-backs for my new kitchen curtains was really really bugging me. So I complained about it for awhile and then just went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought curtain tie-backs for god's sake.

Then I went over my Mozart stuff again and it was SO much better. After that-- my whole day changed direction. I went off to work, and then to a cocktail party and it was just the best. Oh and grape vodka is too delicious. I had about three glasses-- just enough to make waking up for church job a little gross.

As you know, the Superbowl was yesterday. If you don't you are deaf and blind. Although there are a couple of people I have talked to today who are perfectly intact and never knew it was happening. So last night we had a few people over and accidentally made a pitcher of margaritas and they were so good. SOOOO good. And the beer was too.

And I am starting to sound like an alcoholic. But I'm not. I just REALLY needed a drink.