Thursday, December 31, 2009


Tonight is the last of 2009. It has been a crazy, sometimes painful, sometimes glorious year with a lot of exciting moments. It's been so long since my last post, that I thought I better write something down~, even though I am really far behind schedule with getting my hair done and my make-up on for the big soiree tonight!

The holidays were nothing less than chaotic, but I had Joe, and we were together, and that is what really matters. There is so much to report, that I couldn't possibly have enough time to post on it now.

After today and tomorrow, of course, when I plan to recover from tonight, I will be back to role prep and major practice and planning for the the Met comp!

Love to everyone in 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I lived! And it was really fun.

My last round of auditions were Saturday, and I am pleased to report that all three were great. That being said, I already got a rejection letter from one, so hooray for me! The last one of the day was especially promising, and everything worked out so that I wasn't too late getting home. Now that it is all over until the second week of January (besides church of course), I feel I accomplished something personally and vocally with each chance I had to sing. They were not all my very best, some were, some weren't. But I just love singing so much that I hope it comes across to audition panels and WHOEVER I sing to, whatever the situation. We might complain, but there is something really invigorating about the maniacal couple of months we call audition season, and it must have some allure or we wouldn't keep doing it.

Tonight is my big holiday party, and after work I will go home and frantically finish cooking everything. Whatever shall I wear? I have no idea. But my nails look good, so that is what is really important.

Next up, family, Christmas, and then: the Met competition. Mmmmm

Friday, December 11, 2009


My situation hasn't gotten itself worked out yet, and I am currently in the process of making peace with having to sing on very little sleep sunday morning. Which bothers me, because I really do take everything I sing very seriously. Every note is something that represents me and my musicianship in a very real way. So, I warned the other soprano, and at my second job, the solo is low. Which may be a good thing, or a bad thing, who knows. At any rate, I apologize in advance, people. It won't happen again until this time next year. :)

Maybe what is really happening here is that I am delirious from lack of sleep and need to stop just randomly typing everything I think on this blog. Also, it is good to have a reality check for ourselves every once in a while, during which I take myself out of the drama in my mind and repeat this mantra: "This is music. This is singing. I am not saving lives."

In other news, to take my mind off it, I made the most amazing coconut cookies last night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Oh the drama of it all.

So basically, I now have three auditions on Saturday, the latest of which I just found out about yesterday. And it is scheduled for 9:45 pm!!!!!!! I am freaking out a little, considering I have to be back home that night and at church the next morning at 8 am. Would I love to get a sub and skip church? Si. Would I love to just do the audition and stay over night in NY and have a leisurely breakfast and then take the train home the next day? Si. Can I afford to miss any church whatsoever during the season of Christmas presents and Holiday parties, and oh yes...CAR PAYMENTS??? NO. You can understand my level of concern. So I am waiting to hear back from the company in hopes that something can be done. It is not an audition I would consider not singing, either, as they are doing literally three shows chock full of rep that is right up my alley. Mainly, I am just glad I was offered an audition at all, so I am not complaining, believe you me.

I will spend today focusing on it all turning out just right, with me getting home in time to get enough sleep to sing straight tone high As with perfect intonation and gloriousness at 8 am.

Last night I am so pleased to say that I SCHEDULED my practice time, protecting it from all else, and really just got a LOT of work done on my upcoming role. It made me feel so much better and really just more relaxed having spent a few hours getting things going. Tonight will be more of the same, and teaching a new student! I am excited to meet her for the first time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Negativity is born in the gap where love has been excluded. Gaps occur in places where we are afraid to see ourselves.

Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Not really sure how, but I lived through this weekend.

Saturday, naturally, was the first snow of the year, and also the day that I needed to drive to Philly for an audition. Despite being really rather ill, Joe came along and drove me, and so it made it easier more fun than going alone. After my last audition, when I felt I had been a bit distracted in the acting part of my performance, my focus on Saturday was to make my showing a truly well-rounded performance, solid vocally and dramatically. There were plenty of practice rooms, and I had time to warm up and primp, and I was feeling good, despite the fact that I hadn't slept well the night before, and my low voice was the slightest bit labored. My middle and high voice is always there, but the low is the first thing to go when things go wrong. I need to remember that a switch in starting arias is prudent if I feel at all tired. Something higher would work better.

The auditions were running behind, but when I was finally called, the panel was very warm, and that always helps, and I love it when auditions are on a real stage. It puts a little distance between me and the panel, and helps me remember that auditions are supposed to be just another performance. The pianist was kind of unorthodox, and played my very familiar aria in a way I had never heard before, which only slightly threw me...but I really started to love the way that he helped me in the phrasing and really played loud enough to make me feel as though there was really something underneath to sing over. I ended the aria wishing it had been longer and that I could have sung with him for a few more minutes. As usual, nerves make any natural effects of fatigue worse, and it was not the cleanest singing I have ever done, but I felt I gave a good performance, and was very committed to the character. At least that's how I felt when I walked out of the room. On the drive home, I did what I always do and began to analyze the notes I wasn't pleased with and stress about the ways it could have been better, and how I need to be perfect if I expect to be hired for any of these things for which I am auditioning. Which, as we all know is entirely counter-productive, and the best thing to do is to just sing and completely forget about it the minute you walk out the door, and go on to the next thing.

Sunday, well. You know how Sundays go. They are stressful in their own way, with my fill of straight-tone unaccompanied singing at nine in the morning, and then rushing to the next job to sing a solos and lead hymns, and then off to school to work a concert afterward. All I can say about Sunday is that I was really glad when it was over! I came home, put on my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, and took a nap.

Yesterday, I drove to DC for another audition, warmed up before, knowing that there would be no place to do so at the venue. I planned my time of arrival carefully, and went dressed and made-up, so that I could essentially walk in and sing. No such luck. They were running behind an hour, and I let three other sopranos go before me who had planes to catch. Sometimes I wish I could be a mean diva and say no to things like that, but the truth of the matter was, after standing there in the cold, warehouse-like waiting room for an hour waiting, what was another fifteen? All of us were wrapped in our coats, freezing. I felt especially bad for the girl in a gorgeous gray sleeveless dress and no tights!
When it was finally my turn, the auditor kindly apologized for the wait, and the pianist was very good. But I found that when I opened my mouth to sing, what I heard did not sound very warmed up any more. I cracked, something that never happens to me, on the first high note of the first aria, and couldn't spend any time being mortified (until afterward, of course), but tried to go on and make the rest of it so fantastic they would forget. Thankfully, my second piece went very well. So, it wasn't perfect, but under the circumstances, I made the best of it. Then, I went home and finished decorating the Christmas tree, all the while, trying to forget about that frightening crack in my first aria.

Now, I am back at my desk. With work seeming like a lovely, comforting routine, and just glad to be able to SIT somewhere for a while. After this weekend, my round of December auditions will be done.

Friday, December 04, 2009


My day in NYC on Wednesday was good, hectic, but good. It was one of those days when I felt like I might have been menopausal or something. I was having hot flashes like you wouldn't believe. Sweating one moment and perfectly normal the next. I have no idea what was going on, but that audition dress is definitely going straight to the dry-cleaner. Oy.

When I got to Nola, it was utter chaos as usual this time of year, with three opera companies auditioning singers on the same hall way. What a smorgasbord of eyeliner, lipstick, binders and FMPs. Oh, the interesting outfits, earrings, hair-dos, and the screams of delight when singers see each other for the first time since last summer, etc. When I was finally called and I went into the room to sing, it was only a bit unnerving that the panel was talking, almost at full voice for extended periods while I sang, only stopping, thank god, to look up for the sensitive moments in the aria. My voice was in a good place, and I felt my singing was particularly solid, but it was all I could do to stay IN the scene in terms of character, being somewhat distracted by the talking. I know I should be able to block it out better, and the distraction should be no excuse for not having a perfectly rounded acting moment, but hey. When I exited the room, I thought, "I can be proud of that." Not horribly down-trodden or depressed or feeling like a gigantic loser. So it was really a success for me, in a very personal way.

I made the truly bad decision to not change before leaving the studio, since the bathroom is just way too small to think about changing in it, but running to the subway and then to the bus in my audition heels was agonizing. And I was having another one of those hot flashes at the same time, so it just felt maddeningly uncomfortable until I finally made it to the bus and changed in the smelly bus bathroom. But then, I could sit and read and sleep intermittently until we got back to Baltimore ahead of schedule!

Tomorrow, it's off to Philly for another. This time at AVA, not FOR AVA, heavens, no, but at it. That place is slightly intimidating, I have found, in it's old-timey grand austerity, and it's glamorous scarf-enveloped inhabitants. You have the distinct feeling that they are all much better singers than you are. The last time I was there for an audition, however, I met a really lovely mezzo in the pizza place across the street and she personally directed me to the practice rooms so that I could warm-up and made me feel very welcome. I wish I would run into her again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Back from Thanksgiving, back to work, back to singing. I am usually excited to go away on trips, but ALWAYS glad to come home. I love my cat children and my bed so much.

The past couple of days, my throat has been drier than dry and I am drinking herb tea and water like it's my job. I've laid off all booze. From now until, oh, about December 15, I'm going to have to be careful. Audition season has truly begun.

Tomorrow I'm headed up to NYC for another audition, and can't help but be grateful just to have some lined up. My dress is ready, but I've yet to decide what to do with my hair. When you've got bangs, you've got special problems. I've got my i-pod ready too. It is going to be one sexy trip. :)