Saturday, February 26, 2011


I have not run that fast in platform pumps in a long time. I make it a point not to run. And when one is wearing heels, one expects door to door service and limos and butlers and things like that.

So, I get up at seven. I drink copious amounts of coffee, I shower, I begin to shellac my face with all manner of expensive potions until I am starting to look like a human woman. I eat some cereal, I curl my hair. I go downstairs so as not to disturb my neighbors (even though they are constantly disturbing me, but I am nicer)to warm up. I then drink a glass of water with lemon because I am hella phlegmy, and by this time it is time to pour myself into some control-top hose and put on my dress.

By ten-fifteen I was looking good, feeling good, shellacked within an inch of my life, and I got my binder and left for my audition.

Well, wouldn't you know it, my brand new car chose that moment not to start. Like not even a whiff of a start. Like the battery was dead and the thing wouldn't turn over. I panicked. I called Joe, I called Bo, I called the artistic director's office, but of course he wasn't there because he was listening to other people's auditions. And then, the brilliant idea of a cab came to mind. I could take a cab!

So that is why I had to run, because when you have been preparing for an audition, you want to go to it, and you don't want the people to think you just blew them off, when you clearly are nearly killing yourself to get there. I had to run two blocks in those god damn heels to get to a street where the cabs were more plentiful. When I got in the cab, I practically kissed the driver, and wanted to cut my feet off because they were killing me after having only worn the shoes for a total of like fifteen minutes that day. Can anyone please back me up about how annoying it is that cab drivers in Baltimore never know where any destination is. They don't even know where St. Paul intersects, well...any number of roads. You have to explain to them exactly where everything is, which I was much too stressed to do, and we missed it by like an entire ten blocks or something. So when I finally arrived, the girl just before me was singing, and it was time for me to go in. I didn't know what was going to come out of my mouth. I out of breath and a little bit worried.

But it was GOOD. What came out was GOOOOOODDD. I can't believe it.

After I sang and DIDN'T suck, I bashfully admitted to the AD of the company that I had left a pretty wacko message on his phone about twenty minutes ago when I was practically hitch-hiking to the audition.

"Just ignore it," I giggled.

When what I actually meant was, hey bitches! I just rocked the house after running two blocks in heels wearing a jewel tone dress and enough make-up on to make a tranny blush!

Just another weird ass day in the life of an opera singer.

And, I did find a legging supplier closer to home. It's a very good day.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Okay, well, its Friday and I am officially a memorizing fiend. I am the person you see walking down the street that you may have mistaken for a crazy person because she was singing to herself and crazily walking in rhythm with the song. But it works, so who cares.

In other riveting news, I have a legging shortage. When I realized that two pair had holes the other day, it was pretty good timing, really. The only place I buy leggings, you see, is this very specific Fashion Bug (some of you are cringing, and I don't blame you, really)in Lancaster, PA. They have the best leggings in the world. I don't really know why. But they are just really comfortable and great. Since my teacher's studio is near there and I was on my way to my voice lesson that evening, it seemed like I'd be able to stock up. Well, when I got there, parked my car next to a horse and buggy, and got up to the door, the golden Fashion Bug of Lancaster was closed.

Which means that now, I am going to need to spend the weekend doing a tour of Maryland Fashion bugs til I can find a place that has them, and then buy all of them. Because they are even out of stock online!

Let this be a lesson to you. Buy all the leggings you can get your hands on. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


A couple of great things happened yesterday. It snowed. I got a new Ina Garten cookbook.

And then I wonder why I'm feeling chubby...maybe its because all I think about is the next thing I'm going to get to cook or sing. And at least one of those things can really pack on the pounds.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Well, I am in utter disbelief that according to most, we are getting snow again. I am also in utter disbelief that I have to be at work when the rest of the world has today off.

I am happy to report that the first rehearsals of the contemporary piece I am toiling over went well. What a relief to have those first rehearsals behind me, the most nerve-wracking week ever! This week, I will have to really focus on Carmen. I tried to protect my schedule this week to be sure there was plenty of time for solidifying things. Practicing on lunch breaks is not as productive as I would like it to be. I feel like I've barely warmed up before I have to be back at work. Even those days when I put in what feels like hours of work on a piece, and leave it feeling like I've accomplished nothing with a capital N, I am happy to discover that hard work never goes unrewarded. Sometimes, I've found, you walk away feeling like a loser, and open the score up the next day and realize you actually HAVE learned the part you thought you couldn't get.

We are getting to that part of the year when I start to covet new clothes. New bags, new flats. And god knows my leggings are all running ragged. I'll be needing a couple new pairs of those too. Also, I am discontented with my hair. Isn't it too long? The color is boring. All I really want is to look like Kim Kardashian. Is that too much to ask, people?

Friday, February 18, 2011


"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."

Maya Angelou

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Guys! I am still alive after my weird study/focus experience last night. It turns out it was actually really fun because I ended up seeing someone I knew, and then I got cut from the study and still got paid! But the decor really freaked me out at first.

Tonight, VOICE LESSON!!! YAY!!! I need it so badly after my flu situation. Tune up time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday night

I'm at the study and the office is painted the most unbelievable shade of yellow.  And not in a good way.  It is like being in the twilight zone and I'm freaked out. It also smells funny.  I hope my teacher knows what I am willing to endure to pay for voice lessons.


My methods of learning music are expanding by the day. It's becoming even easier to learn those weird intervals, now that I have my fabulous piano app on my phone and and play the passage and record it, and then listen to it ninety times, or as long as it take me to get it into my head. SO much more efficient than rewinding recordings hundreds of times. I know it sounds silly, but it also helps to just carry a score around with me wherever I go. That way, if it is in my hand and I have a few minutes, I can speak the French to myself, making use of whatever extra time I have that I would normally be texting my friends or playing tetris or some other thing I really should not be doing. Also, I fancy that maybe it will seep into my brain magically through osmosis.

Valentines Day is one of those days that people in relationships marginally enjoy, although it seems to come with a lot of expectations that can sometimes make even those in relationships feel shitty, and people who are single tend to feel really bad about. The problem is that I think that maybe, the holiday is supposed to actually be about all forms of love and not just the romantic kind. Sadly, it's not marketed that way, and lots of people feel horribly left out when they shouldn't. My V-day was really lovely, but I am always sensitive to the fact that it feels like a kind of unfair day to a lot of people. One of the reasons I loved yesterday so much, is that after about ten days, it was the first time my voice felt back to normal.

Tonight, I am doing something truly weird-- participating in a focus group! when I heard that I could make a couple hundred bucks for two hours of my time, my first instinct was "Sign me up!" I mean, that will pay for my voice lesson and a therapy session! Then I started to think...oh man. What if it involves painful medical procedures or me being forced to reveal embarrassing details about my life? So, I asked a lot of questions, believe you me. And now that I have been satisfied that it isn't going to be like that, and it is just going to be talking in a group with a "professional moderator," I can go, do my duty, take the money, and run.

Just another exciting chapter in the riveting saga I call my life.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday, for V-Day

Love. This song is absolutely over-flowing with it. Both the composition itself, and the interpretation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Yay! I realize this does not make for riveting reading...but it feels good to know I know this music better than I thought and that finallllllyyyy I am starting to get it.  Also, it would suck to get fired :)

Sorry, I had to share.  Good coachings are cause for celebrations, I think.  Pop that bottle of Cristal.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today was too fun. It felt great to sing again...after a week.  Then a birthday party with lots of little kids and some great adults too.  Kids have such an amazing way of reminding me to just cut the crap.  What am I bitching about that is really that important?  Seriously.

Oh, and two year olds are even more delightful when there is wine!

Happy weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Back in the saddle again?

Kind of?

The flu will knock you out, people. Do not get it. And, let me just say that getting the shot didn't really seem to help me. Which is a rip off, because, despite the fact that it cost me nothing financially, emotionally...well. I am such a horrible baby that I have to psych myself up for hours to get an injection.

At any rate, the phlegm is my last remaining problem, and my gig tomorrow morning will be interesting. But this is what we pay the teachers to teach to sing in adverse circumstances. How to rely fully on what we know about singing, versus how it sounds coming out-- one of the most challenging things for me, and a skill that comes in handy not just when you're sick, but in situations with bad acoustics. Takes me back to an audition in the fall that I did...not my proudest moment. In a church that was literally, and I kid you NOT, carpeted from floor to ceiling. It had to have been intentional on the part of the auditors, because it certainly did separate the men from the boys. And when I say that, I mean, it wedded me out, that's for sure. I was vocally tired from several days of rehearsing, had just sung at church, and when I opened my mouth to sing and heard nothing come back to me...oh my...I was thrown. Even in my second piece, I barely recovered.

So tomorrow, I'll put myself to the test again, still suffering PTSD from church last week when my vocal cords felt like they were flapping in the wind.

Here goes nothing.

Monday, February 07, 2011


Well, the plague has been fun. Actually, no, it hasn't. And yesterday's experience with singing on swollen vocal cords...well, I wouldn't recommend it. It felt like trying to walk with a broken leg. Everything was all floppy in there, and I couldn't get the cords to approximate and well, anything in the passaggio sounded much like a dying animal. Luckily, the first reader was very supportive, and I think it might not have been as bad to them as it sounded in my head. Maybe? Because to me, it just sounded like I was doing damage. So today, I will be quiet and continue the salt water gargling. I think nothing is as harmful to singing as coughing-- and when you are coughing and can't sleep-- it's a recipe for disaster. That codeine I had left over from my wisdom teeth debacle came in very handy last night when the robitussin didn't stop the coughing.

But enough of that.

I watched something yesterday that was amazing-- Maya Angelou's Master Class on the Oprah network. She is incredible. If only there was a way I could have a recording of that on loop in a set of earphones that were glued to my head. I think I would be a much better, more grounded person.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Ughhhh. I had better be over this cough before tomorrow when I need to sing so that eventually I can get paid.

Friday, February 04, 2011


Singers are headcases in every sense of the word. Self-doubt, fear of failure, hypochondria, type A perfectionism (I don't know, correct me if I'm wrong, but this is mostly a soprano thing), and oh my god, do I see a lot of ENVY. I can't believe I'm saying this, but at my ripe old age I think I am FINALLY learning not to compare my career path to other people's, but it is hard. My husband is a brilliant pianist who just won a fantastic grant from the government to further his career. I love him, I live with him, I know him. He DESERVES it. He works harder than any other pianist I know. But did I have just the tiniest tinge of wondering what is wrong with my singing that no one is handing me money to help me promote myself? I have to admit I did. I've talked before, actually nagged, before about the girls I can't stand, the ones that grill me about everything I am doing, but not because they are concerned about me. Instead, I always get the sense that they are thinking "Well, if she could get a role with that, then I FOR SURE could."

The other thing I have to say before I go on is that I love singers. They are way more fun than regular people. When you have gone to singing school, you go out into the real world and think to yourself, good god these people are not exactly a laugh riot. Compared to us, they have absolutely zero personality. The problem with that is that the rest of the world finds us supremely annoying. And so freaking LOUD.

But come on, people. Ladies, gentlemen, gentlemen that wish they were ladies...etc. Can we please stop it with the whole thing where we try to make each other feel about one inch tall. Can we stop with the barbed suggestions such as "You should definitely apply for this competition-- I think you might have a good chance-- it's really small-- not many people were there last year." I mean, is that supposed to make me feel like you are trying to be helpful? I actually had someone say something like that to me recently. The sad part for me is that I always think of awesome retorts several hours AFTER the fact. Now, that isn't to say the whole system seems kind of designed to to make us suspicious of each other, envious, and critical.

On that note, and because I have probably already pissed a lot of people off, I will go on. I think it's time we stop assuming that we deserve to win competitions or get roles every time we audition for something. No, the fact that you didn't win doesn't really mean that the competition was rigged. Maybe it was, but you are not doing yourself any favors going around telling people that. Have I done it myself in a moment of weakness, or after I have been horrifically demoralized when yet another 19 year old tenor wins and I cried the whole 2.5 hours home? You better believe it. But I really do know better. I know in my heart that he probably deserved to win too. And god bless all the things I have won in the past when I may or may not have deserved them. God bless all the people I somehow convinced to pick me! So, good for the 19 year old tenor singing Don Jose. He must have struck a chord with somebody.

Okay. And now, that I have gone there, I will return to my regularly scheduled positive and uplifting bitching about my life. Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Off to rehearsal! Nervous...none of the notes quite make sense yet.

Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Wow. Intense weekend, intense yesterday, but when I got home...chicken fajitas and beer.

It's scary how much better a little thing like that can make you feel.

I have my first coaching Thursday night for a role that I am creating in a new opera! I'm nervous. It's much more artistically fulfilling, in some ways, than being the one millionth person to sing Mimi or Micaela, because I am blazing a totally new trail. Making this crazy biatch Ekaterina into whoever I think she should be... And then there is the part where the music is incredibly tricky and there is no recording to get ideas from, and help with musical cues. BUT the thing I love about this kind of a role is that the notes themselves are such a task to learn, that once you've got them, the role is pretty much memorized. It's exciting, and the music is very good.

Today, I slid to work in my cute new rubber boots, and I feel pretty glad to be alive. Could've broken my neck, actually. So it's already a fabulous day.