Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010


We are off an running for a wild weekend of singing! I've noticed an interesting difference between my life and most other people's: they can't wait for Friday-- I can't wait for Monday! That's the night I finally get to have a drink and yell and scream and talk on the phone! Hurrah!

We haven't even carved our pumpkins yet which is depressing. Last year Joe did a lovely intricate one depicting a cat in a window. It was impressive to say the least, and even when we let it sit out on the stoop all night, no one vandalized it. You have to respect an amazing jack o' lantern, no matter what kind of a houligan you are.

Yesterday night, my mother asked me to meet her for a little shopping outing, and since I haven't seen her in a while and I am on schedule with my secco recits, I said, YES I need to shop, people.

Well, can I tell you I almost spent the rent on a VERY major bag that I saw last night. Sometimes it is good to shop with your mother, especially when she is a bit more frugal, because she will keep you from doing these kinds of things. But then that is also the bad thing, because I could have been walking down the street today carrying an incredibly sick handbag that I've *always* wanted.

It's better this way. It is technically more productive and respectable to squander one's money on application fees rather than purses.

But is it really? Excuse me while I log on to ebay...

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Last night's activities included an hour rehearsing the songs for the upcoming New York concert, after which I realized, oh man my voice is in shreds! Which I think is probably what extreme register shifts at forte every five beats will do to you. Then I went and made dinner (I highly recommend Cook's Illustrated's recipe for pan roasted potatoes, P.S.). Ahhhh cooking is relaxing and makes me feel so good.

Shreds or no, I still had a lot of recit to nail last night, and when by 9:30 I was starting to zone out, I thought to myself...self, let's go watch TV. Then, I decided to try going over everything before bed to see if it will cement itself in my mind while I'm sleeping. After looking at the same passages again this morning, I don't know if it worked. People say it does. Maybe I am doing it wrong.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Live in rooms full of light. - Cornelius Celsus

Light exposes the true character of everything. - Ephesians 5:13

The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun. -John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Can anyone please explain to me why in the world I had never experienced Sassy Gay Friend until today?

It was a revelation.

Also, I learned how to make perfect onion rings last night, complete with deep-frying.

I am so much more than just a singer. I am an expert deep-fryer.

Monday, October 25, 2010


All I can think about is chicken noodle soup. That is either because I am getting sick, or have spent so much time at the synagogue lately.

But I am happy to report that I have the ingredients and will be making some tonight.

Isn't my life supremely riveting?

I was in the paper yesterday, though, a promotional picture from a performance I just did was used with an article about the growing opera scene here in Charm City. It was lots of fun.

Then I had church. Then I had rehearsal. Then I came home and had in-laws. Almost had to call in sick, but I'm here, people, loud and proud that I survived.

Today, I intend to take a full day off from opening my mouth except if necessary and rest the voce. The poor little thing has earned it. I feel like I wasn't so good to her yesterday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Yes, I am fine. Sorry for yesterday's suicidal post that got hijacked by Jersey Shore I am not sure how.

I think I just need a nap.

And a trip to a third world country so I can be reminded of what a stupid, selfish person I am for complaining about what is really a fantastic life I am lucky to live. Will I never learn?

Friday, October 22, 2010


It is Friday, as if I ever have to remind anyone of that. I am tired. I have PMS. I went to the most wonderful wine tasting last night with a fabulous friend, and then came home and ruined it all by eating pasta and ice-cream, so now I feel bad about myself. I got rejected from an audition. Actually 2 auditions. I am a reject AND I can kiss that $35 goodbye. A double-whammy. My in-laws are coming this weekend. I have Shabbat at 8 am tomorrow. So it is a good thing we are having lovely weather because if it weren't I might do myself a harm.

I am weepy and cried over Audra MacDonald and Judy Garland singing on Youtube last night too.

It is an emotional mine-field, people. I would say there are grenades blowing up everywhere, except that ever since Jersey Shore, the word grenade has a strange and different meaning.

But thinking about Jersey Shore and grenades did just make me smile. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So there it is. I've applied for several million things. I've polished up my arias, and we're ready to go. I have the perfect dress. I have the perfect shoes.

It is scary to think that because I have prepared so well for this year's auditions, if I don't get hired, the only thing that could possibly be to blame if I don't get hired, is well, ME.

Me, freaking out and forgetting to be fabulous
Me, freaking out and forgetting to be the character
Me, forgetting to bring the select grouping of arias the company asked for
Me, being too vocally exhausted because of another gig to sing well
Me, not being able to sleep
Me, having a bad hair day

Okay. Enough of this. Now let me get back to work on another freaking application.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Joan Sutherland.

What can I say that everyone else hasn't already said?

You and Leontyne and Pav were my first loves. That recording of "Casta Diva" blew me away-- I think it might have slightly changed my life, actually. The way you made the hardest role for a soprano sound one hundred percent effortless...sigh, it set a standard for me in my own head that is going to be very hard to attain. :)

And about the whole diction issue. I just don't care. I never did. I actually get frustrated when a coach or a teacher mentions you because I had a moment of horrifically muffled pronunciation-- I feel offended on your behalf. You sing with such ease, such facility, and phrasing that I'm not ashamed to admit I stop caring about the words.

And we should all be such lucky sopranos as to be officially called "Dame." That and singing with Callas are the two things of which I am most jealous. The rest of us just have regular names.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today I had a major break through.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but for about ten seconds I had the twinge of a feeling that is so foreign to me that I almost didn't know what it was.

Wait for it...

I realized that I don't care what people think.

About how I sound in my recital tonight. About what I look like. (And I'm sure this new found confidence will last all of ten minutes.)

Of course, I feel like on some level, you have to qualify a statement like that-- because I've always hated the kind of performers that don't give to their audiences and that seem to be singing to themselves. You have to want to create something for your audience, and you want to make them love you. But I think it is so different than wondering whether or not you are good enough. I have worked my tail off to prepare myself to sing in public, to sing well enough to get paid for doing it. So, I think it is about time I get up on my high horse and go out there and stop worrying so much about whether or not what I have is viable, worthy, and fantastic enough for everybody.

I've been watching the Showtime series "The Big C." First of all, Laura Linney is AMAZING. But, more than that, it's really made me think about how I should be making the choices that make me feel good about my time spent here, as short as it is. I've made the choice to be a singer, to be in a position to be judged and rejected on a daily basis. And actually, I'm very happy with my choice. If I knew I had several months to live, I think I would only want to sing more.

We have a lot of categories we have to try to fit into as singers. I'm lucky enough at this point to sound like something that fits my look...finally, my little voice has grown up a bit. As far as the look thing goes, there are those who might tell me I should lose 15 pounds. To them I say, you would hate to be around me when I am hungry. Life is short, people. Eat the french fries. Maybe some would say I am getting too old to be an emerging artist. Maybe others would say getting married is going to hold me back. I defy the belief that there's only one path to anything. Whether it's heaven or a career in singing. It used to really annoy me in high school when everyone was talking about how important it was to "be myself." Why would I have wanted to be myself, seriously? And that is assuming that I knew who the heck I was in the first place, which I obviously did not. I spent all of college trying to be thin enough for boys to like me, and all of grad school trying to sing loudly enough for the other singers to like me. It was painful, and exhausting, and such a waste of energy. Think of all the time I spent feeding my fear, when I could have been learning to trust myself and the hard work I was putting in.

Now I'm sure that all of this lovely non-fearfulness is just the result of a good nights sleep and two days off. But I'll take it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday again!

So today, it's a wonderful day off from work, and I get to pretned I am a full time professional singer, because I have spent my time doing things like learning my recits for Figaro, counting till my metronome bleeds for this contemporary piece I'm premiering in less than a month, and teaching lessons.

It's lovely.

Although I can certainly see that I would have to be very disciplined to not just spend all day long cooking and baking, which was very tempting today.

Tonight I have a lesson, for the first time in a few months, and it's time for a tune-up. Things are feeling great vocally, though, and I have to say, it is amazing to have had such a wonderful teacher that you don't need him as much any more!

Tomorrow, I am going to be in the library mostly translating, which I always dread. I have heard singers say they love this part, but for me it is really much more of an incentive to just learn top speak Italian fluently so that I will know already, and won't have to spend hours writing it in. I could try to impress you with my level of intellectual prowess and say that I am titillated by spending hours in the library writing very neatly and very small with a mechanical pencil, but it would be a big lie.

I always thought singing was the perfect thing for me to do because I love drama, poetry, languages, literature, pretty dresses, and being the center of attention. But then there are things like translating, and like paying to apply to auditions, and like riding the bus back and forth to New York eighty times in one month.

The good does out weigh the bad, however, especially Friday night at our opera cabaret. It was such a GOOD time. So much fun, and a really supportive audience.

Wednesday night, Ms. C and I are doing another recital in the never-ending pursuit of working out the kinks and polishing up those audition arias. I am spending an arm and a leg on accompanists, but it's helping me a lot to perform the pieces for an audience.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Monday, October 04, 2010


I love today. Which I can't believe I'm saying, based on the fact that it's a Monday.

Although yesterday didn't start out so strong, it became one of my favorite Sundays in a very long time.

I sang at church, came home for a very quick lunch and to change before the memorial service. The thing about singing for funerals and memorial services is that they are much more like a real performance than singing at a wedding, because at weddings, no one cares about the singer-- its all about the bride. But at funerals, the congregation is in a reflective mood and is really listening. I find it much harder to do well than weddings, because no matter whether I know the person, I ALWAYS personalize the readings and the speeches in my head and start to feel very weepy. TERRIBLE terrible for the voice.

I've found it helpful to set a specific goal for every audition or performance that I sing...something to focus on for improvement. It's also a way to keep myself from freaking out-- focusing intently on something is a good distraction from nerves. So yesterday's mantra was "I will not allow myself to cry or get in any way emotional." And I was mostly successful, and while the super-carpeted acoustics of the room felt horrible, I think I sang well. Actually, it takes more energy to not cry at funerals than to sing the music.

After, a few friends were meeting up at my house to watch the football game and eat pizza! We had all had afternoon performances and were getting together to finally have a drink. I think I had three beers. Maybe more. And it was SO good.

Now the problem is that I have a lot of leftovers, including cookies, and I keep eating them like three at a time. I do not do well at resisting temptation. But then, I don't have to tell you that.