Thursday, December 30, 2010


I really love those New Year's Eve year in review things. They always make me well up.

Here is my top ten of 2010:

* Two years of marriage: successful, blissful, lucky as hell.

* My New York debut at Merkin Hall: if you don't count my hundreds of millions of auditions. Thank god this was a paying gig!

* Seeing my mother happy in a relationship.

* My first and last Met National Council Auditions...

* The first full year I have ever been able to say that I really trust my voice, technique, and my point of view as an artist. Here's to confidence. Most of the time. Finally.

* Survived endless turmoil at my day job, lived to tell about it. Notable battle scars include a very expensive bill for a mammogram and ultrasound, after doctor found a little lump. This further proves my view that stress absolutely kills and will manifest itself in your body if you don't find a way to get rid of it. Was it worth it? absolutely not. And things are going to change. They have to!

* This was the year of fabulous, fun weddings. In my family, and with my friends. Not to say that there weren't some great ones last year, or the year before, but four in one year has got to be a record for us. Nothing says glamorously trashed like a family wedding. And nothing soothes the soul like a little tradition and some hopeful sentimentalism.

* Cooked a successful holiday meal...if you don't count the fire alarm going off about eight times because of some burning olive oil.

* Realized that nothing could possibly ever be as important as people and that being compassionate and kind is the best thing I could ever do to influence life on this planet. Realizing that I have nothing to prove to anyone, and that "standing up for yourself" isn't always the most important thing in personal relationships.

* A tweet from Deepak Chopra changed my life this year: It said that in the end, everyone is just doing the best they can. We all want to be happy, we all want to feel secure and loved. Boy did that make me look at folks differently, those few times, of course, that I could get over myself for five seconds.

Some how I now know that we are all going to be okay. Life is fun, and horrible all at the same time, fun, horrible, fun, horrible...over and over again. But it always turns out okay in the end. I can say this first hand, because after the semester from hell...I was rewarded with one of the best Christmases I've had in a LONG time! It's the yin and yang, ebb and flow that makes it interesting and keeps us on our toes. What I am SO lucky to have is friends, and a mom and aunts and sisters and cousins. I am so grateful to the people who seem to want to be in my life, for whatever reason. I can be a handful. I am well aware. They are people who have gone to lunch with me when I am no fun at all to be around (and even paid sometimes!), taken my calls, texted me, commented on my blogs, said nice things on my facebook wall, come to my performances, come to my parties, sent me cards, brought me wine, brought me soup, told me when I was acting like a jerk, told me when I was doing a good job, recommended me for gigs, listened to me endlessly complain when they know as well as I do that I have so much to be thankful for and that I should just shut up. It's because of them, really, that I have maintained having a husband and have not driven him batty, because I had other people to spread the love to.

Happy New Year! May you all have more gigs than you can possibly take, bring every audience to tears, and drink lots of wine in the coming year. Love.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Well, we did Christmas. We are about to do New Year's. And so far, despite the momentary family drama I am currently enduring in the midwest, it seems to have honestly been one of the best holiday seasons I have ever had. I honestly have rarely felt so happy, stress-free, and generally with-it for a Christmas. So it was good. And to tell you the truth, I think it had a lot to do with my friends.

I got everything I wanted, except, of course for the ever-elusive diamond bracelet. Because I would be mad at Joe anyway if he ever spent that much money, but someday maybe I can buy it for myself. Or we could go dutch.

Now, I have about one million pages of music staring me right in the face. I need to learn it. And I need to learn it immediately.

Today, I have a plan for memorizing, and hopefully can follow through with it like a good girl.

While I have mixed feeling about the idea of New Year's resolutions, I decided about a month ago to work toward making some significant changes in my life, to work toward making it really look like I want it to look. I can't settle for things, I have to work for what I want. It's easy to forget when you're having a lovely Christmas that there are things that need to be considered. When you are doing your best to stay afloat, you don't want to be bothered with things like change. You just want to go to sleep at night.

There is a lot of singing ahead for me, so how could I be anything but happy! And it's GOOD music.

Okay, so now, I better get off the computer and get to the piano.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Christmas is getting so close. I am excited for time off!

On Saturday, my trip to New York started off rough, I'll be honest. I parked in the wrong parking lot when catching the bus, and found out just before we were about to load the bus that I'd probably be towed if I parked there. Merry Christmas to me, and how about some SIGNAGE, people????? Would it kill you to put something up? Well, I had been in the front of the line, but by the time I got back from moving the car, and running the quarter mile back to the bus (augghhhhh) with luggage, mind you, I was LAST. So I ended up next to a big guy with no concept of personal space. He kept elbowing me and resting his arm on me, and I DO NOT like to be touched. I hate it. It creeps me out. But I was next to the bathroom, which is convenient when you are a water guzzler.

It felt like an eternity til we got to NYC. My back was killing me, since I had spent the three hours twisted in knots trying to avoid being touched. And I was starving, but what is new. The problem is that the bus was late, and I had to get to the east side and up forty blocks, so food was my last priority. Well, I took a cab. I was in no mood for more mass transpo.

It was a great audition. I felt so good when I walked out, that I called Joe to tell him all about it and then promptly put on my earphones and started listening to Mariah Carey's FABULOUS rendition of "Joy to the World" on repeat while walking back downtown. It was SO fun! I had the best time and I felt so in the Christmas spirit-- Madison Avenue is beyond amazing this time of year. Sigh.

Going home was not as bad, having had a great audition and good feedback from the panel. It feels good to hear nice things! AND of course I had snacks. And a more considerate seat mate.

Now, I must focus on getting all my music learned for January.

Friday, December 10, 2010


The riffing is kind of hilarious, but these two still give me chills


Getting ready for New York tomorrow. My voice is feeling heavy and horrible, so I think I had better rest it today. I will try my hardest to avoid screaming at students, I mean.

I need water. Is anyone else beyond dehydrated?

My dress is good to go. My shoes are sexy. My face is for once not breaking out from stress. I am so spoiled-- I hate having to go to the East Side for auditions. But I will do it, yes I will!

My travel time will be a good opportunity to work on rhythms and memorizing French. And I am not ashamed to admit, I can't wait to have one whole day ALONE. By myself, with myself, eating whatever I want and all on my own time line. Except for the part where I try to sing so wonderfully that I meet and yes, exceed everyone on the panel's expectations and they fall all over themselves trying to talk me into working for them.

Tonight I think I will bake cookies and work on getting ornaments on the tree. I have to do these kinds of enormous projects incrementally. :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


It's so cold out that when I arrive at work after my morning commute (walking fourish blocks), I have tears running down my face, from the cold, of course. But it's embarrassing because I'm pretty sure people are wondering why I am such a basket case.

Even though I'm not actually crying at the moment, I am more affected by the death of Elizabeth Edwards than I thought I would be. What an unbelievable woman, who endured so much sadness. Her attitude was incredible, and she never seemed like a victim. I'll never forget the interviews she did last year with Oprah about her book and the situation with her husband John.

It's made me think a lot about dignity. I have spent a lot of time flailing around trying to make sense of life, although maybe not outwardly all the time, more, maybe, on the inside. No matter how much one tries not to let it show, and to keep a stiff upper lip, if the flailing is happening inside, something's bound to surface. Is it even possible to be a dignified emerging artist? I wonder this almost daily. We jump through this hoop and that, pay this person and that person, work at one horrific day job after the next in service of a feeling that we have something to share, something to offer, something to say. And I don't I really know why, except that if I stopped, I wouldn't be happy, and living in a regretful way is not great when you get to be 75 and look back and wonder what it was really all about.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday: I have to share

This blog post is fantastic!

Go to one of my favorite bloggers for a little perspective on a Tuesday morning!

Monday, December 06, 2010


This week is shaping up to be a little intense. I have to admit that this November and December, I haven't taken on a lot of the normal audition season madness, because I've had gigs. Which is WONDERFUL. Oh, and because I am poor. This weekend, however, I've got to go up to New York again. I'm equally excited and filled with dread. A day off? Anyone? please?

Last night I went over my audition arias-- which I'm sheepish to admit, I haven't sung through in a few weeks. They were great! Bless the muscle memory, oh my soul. So I'm feeling better than I thought I would about the audition.

It is time now, also for me to get to work in earnest to begin learning the new score I've received for the production I start rehearsals for in January...I am having trouble motivating myself, not because the music isn't fab, but because....well....Christmas is looming. Shopping needs to get done. The tree needs to be put up. I have cooking to do. I am pushing myself to get through the next week and a half of school, so much work to do til the end, lots of concerts to work (ugh)...but I have REALLY earned the break.

I haven't really seen my husband in several weeks, since we are both in "tis the season for insanity" mode, but maybe, just maybe, after all the musical drama, family drama, and work drama calms down, we'll get a moment. We were lamenting our plight just yesterday, and then I reminded myself that it will make us appreciate our time together that much more!

Monday music

you can thank me later.