I feel web-pressured to write some kind of summation about the year that has just ended, and my thoughts on the upcoming year. On the plane to current-yap someone left the entire NYTimes, and it was kind of fun to not have to read the newspaper online every day- and also have enough time to sit and read all of the editorials about the new year, Saddam, etc.
Well- last year at this time I was still "on break" from previous-Yap/School program. But I was memorizing the German for Flute (Queen and Spirit), trying to pick out the song cycles for my Master's Recital (and in the process getting so bored and preoccupied with just about everything else that I moved LJ to blogger and began posting almost daily), waiting to hear whether I had gotten into any YAP for the next year (I already heard from Summer-Yap), and pretty much in a place in my career where I was feeling good vocally, feeling challenged musically and artistically, having time to investigate new music as well as music that I needed to learn for performance, and felt pretty sure that I was taken care of for next year, one way or another (whether that was staying at previous-Yap or moving onto another degree program or current-yap).
The summer for me was blissful. Every summer program has been- despite the ups and downs of every program I've participated in. I am at a place for 8 to 10 weeks where everything is art. No school, no rent check, no TA duties, no real life. We're in this little bubble in the middle of nowhere and all you can do is sink or swim in proving to the company that they made a good choice in hiring you and investing in you for the summer.
I saw how others approach their craft vocally and dramatically. I saw the type of singer that I wanted and did not want to become. I saw the type of friend and person that I wanted and did not want to become.
It was freeing to only live with the music of that day or week.
To know that my schedule would be decided upon at 10pm the night before, and look forward to rehearsals for chorus, coachings, classes, and little free time for anything else.
And then the big move to current-yap and current-state. Across the country, far from everything and everyone I know, but still worth it for the art and opportunity.
This past week on vacation was the first time a few members of my family detected some sadness/resentment in my tone when discussing my career and what is coming up next.
Always the realist, I know that even though I have a great opportunity right now, this year, this season...it may not mean anything in terms of the future. And that is something that I realize more and more as an unmanaged and young singer who has made it past the stage of post-grad-trying-for-a-residency-program. Or post-grad-choosing-a-big-city-and-trying-to-"make-it".
That there is no security in this business.
That singing here this year may mean that in 4 or 5 years I'll be asked back to do one show a season---which would be great IF it happened. But still not enough for a full-time career, and certainly difficult if I'm not living in this city and have started a family, etc.
That singing here this year is another line, two lines, on my resume, but only proves to agents, audition panels, or even this company, that I'm good on paper. And they'll still hear X number of singers exactly like me who may sing better, act better, look the part, or interest them more at a live audition.
That said, however, I do have a strong belief in my talent and know that I have the drive to continue making this a career for myself.
What I don't have is the exact vision of what that career could be.
I've always written about "paths" that one could take in this career. Actually, last december in my favorite posts on the B.o.S, business of singing, I wrote about all of the great opportunities you can make for yourself in high school, undergrad, grad, what to do about young artist programs...a veritable how-to of the path to get to where I am.
And now I'm in this murky unmanaged-but-in-a-program area. Where I MAY have security next year (I'll find out this month), but even if I do, I'll have to seriously take audition season by storm next year...because year 3 here is not necessarily a given.
And what about my personal life?
It's been a hard year or two out of 4 these past two years. We're working. We want it to work. But the realization of life, career, future, does not always coincide with the opportunities that you either can or can't make for yourself in terms of location, job, security.
When I think about the future, the top two things that come to mind are my relationship and my career--and how separate but equal they are.
And what challenges that means I face in terms of career location possibilities, and even auditioning for those opportunities.
I think about happiness. The kind that I have when I feel like another person completes me. The kind that I get when I feel artistically satisfied when preparing, performing, and reflecting on a completed performance.
They are not similar. Both can be completely calm and also completely overwhelming. In their own ways of course, and usually not at the same time.
I think that I can write little resolutions like instead of watching law and order until 2am every night, don't turn the tv on and learn new music instead.
Or, throw out all of that candy and chocolate that you've gotten from the last 2 operas you've been in so you don't EAT it.
Or, eat healthier foods and drink more water.
Or--- anything that I've written about sarcastically for the past year and a half in this blog...
But really, those things aren't resolutions. They are a part of life that is a reflection of my state of being.
Am I happy? Well, if not- here's some chocolate and vegging out with tv to numb a void.
So the resolution is to try to be happy. I was really happy in my relationship for 9 hours yesterday in New York City ringing in the New Year.
I came back to a snow-covered car with no gloves or scraper, but I was happy trying to get the snow off with my bare hands to go buy healthy food at the store.
I am happy now that I'm back in my room, surrounded by music (that I have to learn by 3pm tomorrow), and that I'm going to have my routine back for the next 5 months, with excitement and normalcy and more excitement.
I am happy that I may spend this summer (still waiting for outcomes of last-summer-yap and 2 others, but barring any Yes's) doing what I WANT. Which is traveling halfway around the world (twice, in different directions each time), becoming fluent in another language, and spending time with people that I love.