04 December, 2006

try to remember...

"Deep in December It's nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December It's nice to remember
The fire of September that made us mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember
And follow, follow, follow..."

Remember when it was September and this whole audition madness was just beginning?
And you were excited that you TOO may have the chance to perform in one of the top young artist programs for the summer or next year?
What HAPPENS to singers in December?

Seriously. Reading through my last few posts you'd think I'm manic.
There are these extreme mood swings that can involve the highest belief in yourself and your art and then the lowest self-deprecating and sarcastic remarks about the fact that you haven't gotten "into" something.
And why do we do this to ourselves every year in our twenties, and sometimes into our thirties?

The Resume? The prestige? The contacts? The connections?
Maybe all of the above.
To prove something to ourselves and to others? To distinguish ourselves from others?
Perhaps, also yes.

But-- do we NEED it?

HOW many singers out there are doing JUST fine without having gone to Glimmerglass and Merola (I use these 2 b/c I didn't apply to them!)
HOW many singers concentrate on their own coachings and rep. over the summer, or just keep working and making money, or have year-round careers and just simply take the summer off???

Again, this could be construed as bitter b/c I got "rejected" from somewhere, but no, actually that is not the case (yet! haha)
It's really just something I think about during this month of waiting and watching the nfcs posts about the lucky ones who just found out they got in somewhere, and those still waiting and posting about whether "PFO's" have been sent out yet.

Why is this month so horrible for singers?
Well, it doesn’t help that there are two major “family” holidays and everyone is asking about your career, where you will be next year, and where you will be this summer. “Hey mom, guess what? I just got my fifth rejection email!- Happy Thanksgiving!- pass the cranberry sauce please!”

It also makes you scramble a bit. Some of these programs notify before January, but some don’t, and what of those who are “first alternates”? They play the waiting game until MAY sometimes, to see if they too will be joining something for the summer. Then what? Now what?

I feel like one minute I’m quiet and calm, thinking of happy thoughts of being invited back to “last-year-Yap” (which hasn’t occurred yet), and thinking how GREAT it is. How GOOD I should feel about that- the fact that to get into ANY program on ANY level is an accomplishment already.
And then I’m anxious and moody because I ask myself- well then have I not made any improvement in the past year and is that why I’m not getting into the “top three or four—however you want to categorize them, by prestige/name/or actual summer experience for a singer” Yaps--- OR are they ALSO taking back their coloratura from last year?

Basically if I do get asked back it means that some coloratura who is a year or two behind me is pissed just as much as I am, that some coloratura who is a year or two ahead of me got asked back to HER program, which would have been a “step up” for me.

And is it really about “steps” also? I mean, truthfully, if I DID get into Santa Fe (which I don’t know I haven’t yet, but am pretty sure that I haven’t)—and sang chorus in all of their shows and did nothing except for that one day of singing for all of the famous agents and opera houses--- would my experience be better than “last-year-Yap” inviting me back this year to cover a leading role that I want to learn, AND to sing a leading role and comprimario role mainstage? And actually Add lines to my performance repertoire rather than just a line that says I went to Santa Fe on my resume??? (and I’m NOT saying this is going to happen with “last-year-YAP”, it’s just what I’d HOPE for IF they were even considering me again.)

This back and forth, these ups and downs… Somewhere inside, if we really want this career, we know that we can do it. But these little deterrents like an email from “operaadmin” entitled “your audition for xyz opera” does NOT bode well for the rest of your happiness that day or this whole month.

It’s nice, though, that a FEW companies who hear you will give you feedback. They of course won’t say why they picked another coloratura or if they even picked one, but they’ll comment on your musicality and your performance at the audition. So at least you know what they thought of you. Whether that makes me feel better or not, I’m not quite sure, because they still didn’t hire me.
And then we come full circle to my original musing- do I NEED to be hired for things like this in order to “validate” my career or myself?

Whatever the answer, I’ll still be refreshing my browser on nfcs and hotmail all day.


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