30 December, 2008

lil' resolutions

I know it's not New Year's eve yet, but it's that time of year, when I get to think for a SECOND time about things that I want to change in the new year.
First I get it every Tishrei (usually September or October) and now again on the First.

It's easy to say you want to change things, and quite a bit harder to follow through. So why don't I start with the really little things that I think I can do--

1. Try to write...for FIVE minutes a day...about anything. Every. Day. (This of course requires going to Barnes and Noble and picking out a cool notebook to do said writing in). This is something I began last year around New Years as well. And I have the month or so that I was doing it to prove it..however last year I was trying to do artist pages...and that's more than 5 minutes. That's a minimum of 3 pages. Too long. Too messy (handwriting, that is). How about 5 minutes. Anything. My dream. What I'm going to do that day. A haiku so at least my brain tries to work a little more in the morning.

2. EVEN though I'm a devoted iLifer, REALLY try to limit my online checking of the mail, the facebook, the other mail, the nfcs, and the other time-sucking websites that I visit per day. This includes pressing the pretty button on the iphone that forwards my mail to me. And it also includes playing WordWarp on my iphone.

3. As prescribed by seemingly everyone these days: 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week. At least.

Those are three things that I can do! And one only takes 5 minutes ,and the other actually gives me MORE time in the day--to make time for the third.

Now to the longer term.
Doesn't it seem like whenever you are about to get busy with work and life that you want to do EVERYTHING else that's coming up as well?
Of course I'm about to leave for a gig which means daily rehearsals, one day off, 6 weeks of work, new opera, new character, new colleagues, new thoughts..and what do I want to do?
Open Next-score, summer-score1 and summer-score2, NEXT YEAR-score, and learn them ALL right now!
And added to that, revamp my consulting website so that next time I live in NYC I get to do it on my OWN terms.

Ok, I'll have to think of a long term list, but for now, I'll get to number 2- using the computer for time-sucking-activities less.

27 December, 2008


I'm surrounded by most everything I've worn or used in the past 6 months.
Jackets in one bag. Shoes in another. Summer clothes in the suitcase.
Scores- always a question of whether I'll be productive backstage or not (more often than not, I'm NOT) and learn something new.

I always try to do a full checked bag and a carry on.
I think I'll succeed again this time (I'm planning on it, even though move-out day is tomorrow and everything is still in piles all around me).

24 December, 2008

merry xmas!

Time to gather with family, break out the stocking and Xmas ham...oh wait.
Just kidding.
I'll be eating chinese food for the next 3 meals and watching movies all night tonight and all day tomorrow.
That's how my people roll.
But not on Shabbos.

22 December, 2008


I can't believe I'm packing up my nyc apt.!
I didn't bring much in the first place because I knew I'd only be here for just under 6 months.
But somehow I've amassed 5 more pairs of shoes/boots, anywhere between 10-20 new outfits from either the stores right outside my door that are just too cute to pass up (on sale of course), or when desperate times called for desperate measures- Strawberries and Century 21. OH yea.
More funky jewelry from the craft fairs and flea markets on saturdays and sundays, more music and photocopies of arias lying around for each time that I thought- I swear I have that aria, scoured the piles of paper, didn't find it, and had to go to NYPAL to make another photocopy of it..only to find it...in some binder where it definitely shouldn't be.

So what am I aiming for again?
Same as always.
One checked piece, one carry-on. And I'll have to take a garment bag this time because apparently the two opening night parties (2 locations) are black tie. Can we say junior year prom dress? It has served me SO well: Jr. Year, Recital, Philharmonic debut, and many many more events--where- HEY- it's NEW to YOU!

For now, I'm trying to sort through my summer clothes and remember which ones I like, which ones I still own but haven't worn in at least two summers (and avoid packing those EVEN though I'll try to convince myself that THIS time I'll wear them), and at the same time, leave out enough winter clothes to get through the next 10 days!!!

20 December, 2008

good news

Can it please come in threes?

No more comment on that.

Today was the BEST snow day in NYC!
I got to wear my white puffy snow boots that match my white puffy coat (something I've been waiting for the entire winter so far), I had a lovely lunch with friends, walked around the city in the cold and snow and sloshed through puddles, and saw a great movie with another friend tonight.

All in all, a much better way to spend Friday than AT WORK! And now I have 12 more days to enjoy the city and all of its wonders before New Years and next-job!

17 December, 2008

kind of done! (kinda)

Last audition of the FALL season went really well...I say fall because I'm already being scheduled for possible audition in January, and well, that would be winter, now wouldn't it.
Oh- so maybe last audition of 2008?

The breakdown:
(Since Aug.15)
Total: 22
16: Mainstage
The rest (I don't do math unless absolutely necessary): Young Artist of SOME sort

I'm not going to do the 07-08 and 08-09 comparison right now, but all in all, I think it was a good season of singing for me--considering that MANY singers did not get MANY mainstage auditions.

I think there are 3-5 companies, MAYBE, that I knew were in town that I wasn't singing for- either because of repertoire or just plain because.

What do I think?
Honesty now. It's the best policy.
21 out of 22 auditions I was extremely extremely satisfied/happy/excited with my performance.
1 (due to illness, that I should have canceled), I was extremely NOT satisfied with my performance.

My stats for starting aria: Mostly Durch, Sometimes Chacun, Once Zerbinetta, Once Fee, and overwhelmingly the 2nd piece choice was:
Young artist programs chose Rossini
Mainstage chose anything that was relevant in their upcoming season (English/Britten--no Glitter not even ONCE) :(

What do I do now?
Try not to think about it.
Wait some more.
Try NOT to email to ask questions about my status.
Wait some more.
When I hear, I'll hear. And in the meantime, I will think patiently about the fact that my 'job' is finished, and now it is someone else's 'job' to push for me, sell the goods, and remind those nice people after their Christmas and New Year's break how much they loved me at my audition...and how since I'm still young they can get a GREAT deal on me! hahaha.

Will Sing For Chocolate. Yummm!

Oh yea, still haven't written that economic crisis/singing business entry yet.
It's coming. Really.

13 December, 2008

home stretch

It's been a long few weeks of auditions--a great few weeks of auditions-- but long.
Sooner or later I'll post my little tally of who/what/etc. and compare to last year and do a little PIE chart. mmm, pie.

One more audition today, one more audition next week.
Maybe some other last minute ones if they come up? But right now my email inbox reflects only two red exclamation marks--which means two upcoming auditions.

Everything so far, in terms of mainstage auditions for future seasons, I would have to say has gone exceedingly well.

I have this last week and a half not to get re-sick with anything still going around.

I can't believe that in 18 days I'll be flying off to start the next show!

Hurray for work that is musical!
Hurray for meeting new cast and crew and opera peeps!
Hurray for WARM weather!

08 December, 2008

it's been so. long.

Ok, it's not even funny how long it's been since my last visit to the gym.
First the busted ankle, then two weeks of starting to train again, then two weeks of being too sick to get out of bed, then Thanksgiving, then auditions all last week, and now- it's Monday.

Re-motivating for the gym is the WORST!
For example:
1. IF I get my clothes on in 15 minutes, I could watch Oprah OR Law and Order at 4pm at the gym.
Yet, here I sit, checking my email, facebook, and watching the CURRENT episode of Law and Order (which I happen to not have seen---or, not remember seeing)...and the minutes inch towards 4pm. 14 left now.

2. Of course, the gym is 4 blocks and one avenue away.
And do you KNOW how cold it is outside?
How cold it will be for that entire 5 minute power-walk to central park west?
It was sooooo coooooold when I got home an hour ago. I couldn't even talk on my phone because my hands got too cold.
Who wants to go out in the cold? again?

3. I just ate some vegetables and rice. Am I going to feel bad at the gym if I go?
Should I have some protein? I ran out of emergen-C..and I need some flavored water for the gym.

4. My ankle is still kind of acting up.

So many excuses. So little time.
12 minutes to go.

decisions, decisions.

06 December, 2008


Had a lesson yesterday where once again, through some concentration on another part of the body---back, shoulders, ribs, core, etc., I achieved the 'stereo' sound of up and back versus the 'mono' sound of out and over.
Out and over works fine and sounds fine, but is produced with less support and more muscling in the larynx.
Up and back ..well...it sounds like NOTHING to me, but on the recording, it sounds pretty awesome.

I sang through two pieces yesterday that are not part of my 'normal' audition repertoire--although they've been in my repertoire for a very, very, long time.

Deh Vieni and Caro Nome.
Why not sing some low Italian every once in a while?

And they both felt and sounded like they never have before.

Let's do that again!

03 December, 2008

i love it when

they ask for all of Zerbinetta for my 2nd piece.


30 November, 2008

30 day count down

30 more days in the 'big apple' mean:

30- exact number of days left in my apt.
29- exact number of nights left in my apt.
28- number of times I SHOULD go to the gym.
27- number of times I'll want to not go to the gym.
26- number of quarters I'll need to do my laundry for a month..maybe?
25- number of times I'll hear the crazy dog in the apt. above me run across the hardwood floor at 2am.
24- a good TV show.
23- ok, I can already see that this is going to take way too long, so let's skip to the easier parts:
10- number of friends that want to crash at my place some time between now and the end of audition season. (the more the merrier, right?)
9- number of blocks I have to walk to get to the MET.
8- number of Fridays and Saturdays left to do fun new york-y things.
7- number of days between my last day of work and when I have to be unpacking in another state.
6- number of pages of recit with ONE or TWO lines on it that I haven't memorized...yet.
5- number of keys that I will not have to be lugging around- front door, 2nd door, mail key, and two apt. keys.
4- number of suitcases it will probably take to get my new NYC clothes out of this apt.
3- number of times I will allow myself to have Pinkberry before I leave.
2- number of shows at the MET that I have tickets for (Damnation and Thais), but that could turn to 4 if I see Tristan and Flute in the next month as well.
1- singular sensation, every little step she takes....in NYC.
0- number of DOLLARS in my bank account after living it up in NYC for 4 months

It's all worth it :)

28 November, 2008


Family at Turkey day always means way-too-competitive games of Charades (ok, WHO put "Merriam-Webster's English Dictionary", AND "The Michelin Guide to Prague", AND "Troilus and Cressida" in the hat?!!..Oh yea, my English Professor uncle and other smar-alecs in my family).

You can't even say "sounds like" for Cressida! Even if you break it up into syllables! Cre? Si? Da (duh?).

Although when my 80 year old grandfather pulled "Smack that B*tch" from the hat (a contribution from my 21 yr. old cousin) I will admit I was laughing my *ss off.

So inappropriate. He tried to get the team to guess the B word by saying 'sounds like' and then acting out witch. And he was riding a broomstick.
Then my 80 yr old grandma got "Gin and Juice". Hilarious.

More competitive games like Boggle, O-Hell (cards), Monopoly, and yes, Chutes and Ladders, were also played.
Of course we were surrounded by five Macbooks, one lonely Dell, 4 iphones without cell reception but with wifi for fun-with-applications, 1 guitar, 1 glowing fire, 2 football games with picture in picture of CNN (yea...), and all in all, a yummy and fun day with 16 people whom I love.

24 November, 2008


Leaving for T-day tomorrow afternoon!

One more audition before I leave which I'm excited about because it will be revisiting folks from last year's semi-finalist weekend o' fun "out/down South/West".

Today? Nap, warm up a bit and double/triple check that my singer-plague is GONE! (Now there are just remnants and dry heat from the heater that decided after a week of not working to kick in at full force around 2am last night, banging pipes et al included).

Pique Dame at the Met.

Audition, work for 4 hours, train HOME!

What I'm bringing:
Laundry- OF COURSE! (it's freeeee!, and I don't have to go into a scary basement after ransacking my jeans and shelves for quarters)

Snow boots and snow jacket!

A big appetite!

21 November, 2008


Ok, I'm already in the T-day mindset...This weekend and next week through Tuesday don't really exist for me, as I'm already making plans to be in snowy and cold VT with up to and around 16-20 members of my family, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

Noticing that December is already visible on my iCal, I'm thinking to myself--hmm...I PROBABLY should take another look at upcoming-role's big Finales and make sure that I'm not kidding myself that I know them..and those random 2 pages of recit that I have every 30 pages or so.
Right now, I AM kidding myself. Too many words, too little time.

But here is the master-plan.
(It never fails).

For some reason, my MOM is the ultimate memorization coach.
I don't know why, and she has NEVER studied Italian besides the key phrases that I wrote down for her for her two trips to Italy (quanto costa? un gelato "stracciatella e tutti frutti" per favore), but for some reason she runs lines like the pros.

She doesn't let me get away with ANYTHING, she is like the ultimate angry stage-mom when I mess things up, want to take a break, or have absolutely NO idea what the next line is. She helps me think of some silly reason for the next line of text to exist.
Whether it's because of the alphabet (backwards alphabetical, frontwards alphabetical, A, then C, then B), or because some Italian word SOUNDS like it should be a certain OTHER word in English, or some other non-sensical way to trick my brain into memorizing page after page of recit, finale, or otherwise 'random' parts of the opera'...she is there...and so, in addition to the pies and turkey and stuffing, I know I have my best critic on hand to give me a little kick in the tail and make sure I'm on the right track.

Sometimes you need mommies to do that for you.
And bring you soup and tea when you're sick instead of having to get out of bed all by your lonesome in your NYC apartment and do it yourself.

20 November, 2008

not quite there yet

I should have known better but I was REALLY feeling better at around 3pm today.

I didn't sleep almost all night--chills. That's weird, since I've never had that before.
Had to work, drank as much water and tea as possible throughout the day.
Got back to my place at 2, hot shower- feeling good! Warm-up- feeling even better! Thinking to myself- huh- I guess my voice does stay just fine even though my body is really tired and sick.

Fast forward to 5pm and add some nerves and what have you got? A first piece that had some nice moments but was in general not up to par, and a 2nd piece that was good but not the best that it could be.

Oh, I could blame the plague, the room, the cold...but bottom line is that I thought it would be better than ok this afternoon, and while it wasn't terrible, it wasn't what I wanted to put out there.

Back to shutting up, my blankets, my soup, and my tea.

19 November, 2008

cue jeopardy themesong here

will I or won't I?

It's 10:40, I have less than 20 hours to feel better.
I'm on my 2nd dose of Mucinex-D (every 12 hours), drank an entire carton of OJ today, plus tea, plus water, plus soup, plus EZMac (food of college dorm-room champions).
I have no idea how I'm going to feel tomorrow but I'm going to give it until 2:30pm. Or 3. Before I make my final decision. That will occur :

a. after a day of working that I'm so not looking forward to since I know I'll be kindof sick still, and
b. after I've had a chance to warm up for 5 minutes and 'see' whether this little engine that could feels like working tomorrow evening.

Still completely congested, feeling exhausted even though I've spent the entire day in bed minus 20 minutes at Duane Reade to buy said Mucinex-D and the OJ, but surprisingly a clear throat.

"just think of lovely things and your heart will fly on wings"...

apostrophe to a post nasal drip

Dear cold/flu/virus/bug that has taken over what otherwise would have been my perfectly healthy, actually getting-in-shape-for-a-marathon body!

Look what you've done.
On Friday night I felt this little tickle and thought you may be near, but I warded you off with Chamomile tea, a warm blanket, and staying indoors.
Saturday, still feeling like you were in sight like an unwelcome party guest at a high school 'hang', I limited my evening festivities carefully, choosing the healthy turkey burger and water, instead of the richer foods with wine. Ok, late saturday night I thought I could oust you with two vodka cranberries, but the alcohol should have cleared you right out of there, plus any lingering infection, no?

Sunday I thought I was finished with you. My throat didn't scratch, and I had downed enough vitamin C in the past 3 days to support a small colony of scurvy-ridden sailors.

But monday.
Monday, monday--I did NOT feel good. AND I had an important audition! What did you make me do? Leave work with a headache, warm up for way longer than my usual 5 minutes, be cautious as an auditionee instead of care-free, and then come home to soup, tea, and feeling like general dog-droppings.

Tuesday I knew I needed to take it easy but you had taken over my airways--and so tissues were on hand, cough drops were in sight, and it was a constant duo of nose-blowing and teeth-crackling-Ricolas.

Now I wake up today and the cough is in my chest? Really? COME ON! I am going to take extreme measures (just as soon as I can extract myself from under my warm blankets and self-pity), and go to Duane Reade and buy something that will knock you OUT of me!
I'm not quite sure what that is...just yet...
But it MAY be mucinex--and trust me, I'll DEAL with feeling medicine-head-y and slightly intoxicated just so that you leave my system in a TIMELY fashion!
It MAY be some kind of sudafed--and yes, I'll deal with the blood vessels thinning and the dryness for today AND tomorrow as long as You are OUT.

So get going!
ps- I have to get back to week 2 of training and you are really holding me up. What happened to all that good energy and work from last week? Oh yea, it's DROWNING in chicken soup and chamomile tea!


18 November, 2008

knock knock? who's there?

It's the singer plague!

Yep, straight from Rahree's lips... and sadly, to our eyes, nose and throats.

Whatever I was trying to ward off this weekend is now clear and present.
I've been useless for a day and a half. Couch, pjs, comforter, water, oj, tea, soup, emergen-c, rinse, repeat.

Of course it had to coincide with the two coldest days in the city so far.
Oh well.

Not much to do but push fluids and hope that I'm better by Thursday at 5pm.

decisions, decisions

Woke up this morning NOT feeling the best.
Went to work early, tried to do a little humming, and it was pretty bla for the entire morning.
I hate hate hate auditioning when sick. But I wasn't stuffy, my throat didn't REALLY hurt, nothing was swollen, things were just bla...felt like I had something in the back of my throat, but then felt dry at the same time, generally just not easy as it usually is.

I had a chance to actually warm up for about 30 minutes before the audition and decide my course of action.
TO sing or NOT to sing that is the question.

Usually I'm a NO if it's not going to be pretty close to perfect for me (or at least, vocally, mentally, physically perfectly prepared...etc). Gotta start out with the highest odds, right?

By the end of the warmup I was feeling good. Vocally. My body was and is tired, but I was focused on the voice working and my mindset.

Showed up, sang DurchZ and felt...well...
Easy--but not--the usual. I THOUGHT that I sounded different. Not wrong, not off, just not normal feeling or sound sensation.

The auditor remembered my Zerb from last year and so actually didn't need to hear anything second--which I'm fine with..except come on--I put on a nice dress, and have so much fun music! You SURE you don't want a side of Glitter...I mean...fries...with that?

Ok, fiiine.
So instead I went straight home (with a small detour to the hair salon next door- if you got your hair cut today all the money went to Equity Fights AIDS--yay for new layers and money for a good cause) to drink tea, water, emergen-c filled water, vitamin water, and in a bit--Duane Reade's version of non-alcoholic Nyquil...in hopes of kicking this little bug.

Here's hoping it's on the way out and not something that gets worse.

16 November, 2008

yes, virginia, it's 2:40am.

After feeling medicine-y all day, I got it together for my audition.
What follows is the drama.
SO. I'm always SO SO SO early for my auditions. Why? Because I'm a "what if" girl. What if for some reason it takes me 10 minutes instead of 6 to walk to the One?
What if the one JUST passed by and I have to wait 10 more minutes? What if they block off three avenues because Mr. Bush is in town? What if they auditions are running early? (hardly ever heard of), What if it takes me more than 30 seconds to take of my Uggs and put on my heels?

Ok, you get the point.

TODAY. It's 4:35 and I'm leaving for my 5:20 audition that is 23 blocks away.
I get to the one train...and it's running express, skipping the stop I actually need. OK, so I'll take it to Times Sq. and then get on an uptown for 2 stops.
Not. That. Easy.

The uptown doesn't come. Neither express nor local (not that express would help me).
So it's 4:59 and my audition is at 5:20 and I'm running from 42nd street (in my audition outfit and Uggs) to 54th street. THROUGH the insane broadway crowd throngs, through the SLOW-WALKING-TOURISTS, through everyone that does NOT want to get out of my way that minute.

5:13- I'm on the 11th floor of NOLA and I have 7 minutes to catch my breath, dab my face with a paper towel to make it look like I'm NOT sweating, and walk into the room all composed.

5:20- Sing DurchZ.
5:25- WHWHWHWHWAT? Did you just ask for ALL of Zerbinetta? AWESOME!!! I'm SO up for it!
Yes. I will SING all of Zerbinetta for you and love it. And so here I go.
Wow, it's hot in here. Is it just me or is it hot in here?
And then I can feel the sweat running down my face, my hair sticking to my neck, my entire body temperature rising by the minutes (and yes, I had twelve of them for this aria).

Thankfully, nothing vocally or dramatically was deterred. If anything, I committed MORE to the singing and the acting to try and get over what I could feel was my face starting to MORE than just "glow".

I must have looked like I just stepped out of the shower by the time I finished the piece...but I finished strong, and had a great time.

Followed by- a mad dash back to my apt. to SHOWER (again), change clothes, dinner at Punch- downtown with friends from undergrad, one of whom is preggo (yay), another one of whom brought her 4 year old (WEIRD), Some Argentine Jazz in the East Village....(where I can't get by without the Maps icon of my iphone since once the numbered streets and avenues stop I'm pretty useless, and finally- upper west side festivities from midnight onward.

Of course, I know I'm still not 100%, so I did just take a dose of nighttime Duane Reade Nyquil, and I'm sure will be nodding off any minute now.

15 November, 2008

day 3 and that tickle

Ohhhhh day 3
Well, woke up at 7am, had a crappy day at day-job (which I may be quitting REALLY soon because, frankly, my priority is singing...and stress at 'work' just isn't worth it), then had a voice lesson. Which turned out REALLY really well, after I figured out what it is I need to do in order to feel absolutely nothing....which is when all of this sound and voice and technical stuff works best.

More on that later.

So then a frantic sprint to the gym to get my 45 minutes of day 3 in. 10 minutes into it I'm fine. 16 and I feel NOT so hot--shin splints again...it feels BETTER to slow to a jog than slow to a walk because that hurts too much.
22 and I'm thinking this may be it for the day but I stuck it out and made it to the 40..

I WILL be ready to move on to upping the level of full-out running next week and less jogging...but still. This day was hard, and mostly because of outside influences. Not the actual program that I was trying to complete on the treadmill.

Yesterday night I got that tickle in my throat. The one that means--start slamming the OJ, Emergen-C, cough drops, cough syrup, and everything that is anti-cold that is within reach.

It means that if I give in to the feeling that I 'have' to clear my throat or that I have to cough, this will turn probably a bit ugly for three days.

SO I bought my cough syrup (nighttime with no alcohol), was out by 11, woke up at 4am but managed to get back to sleep until 8:30. Have somehow stayed in bed until 11:45 (now)...and I feel KIND of better.

My voice- humming-- feels fine. My head feels a little medicine-y. I am PRETTY sure I"l be fine if I do nothing but chug water, tea, and OJ for the rest of the day and that I can get this weird 'starting to feel cold-y' feeling out of here without bearing the brunt of whatever bug is going around.

Off to get some more water and Emergen-C.
I still have a few hrs to decide how I'm feeling before audition later today.
I'd never sing sick unless I really really really had to, because it's just not worth singing not my best.
But I'm still feeling good, if a bit cautious, because I caught the pre-cold signals and am trying to get over it without actually getting it.

Off I go.

13 November, 2008

warmed up

It's fun when I've been singing or auditioning so much that I don't really have to warm up anymore.

I have some upcoming auditions that I'm pretty excited about. Well, really, I'm just happy to have the opportunity to audition at all...I'm getting stunned emails from friends who can't believe how little is going on, how many rejections or no-audition-slots-available emails they're getting for no real reason even though they've made progress, moved 'up' a level of apprenticeship or performance, etc., and they're having to cancel their own trips to NYC because it's not worth the $500 flight for 2 auditions.

Day 3 of training tomorrow and then a weekend of relaxing, audition, friends from undergrad reunion in the city, FriendsGiving- yes, a pre-thanksgiving friend dinner get-together with turkey, apple pie, and all the rest of the T-day works.

12 November, 2008

remind me

not to try and do day two of the training program, or ANY day of the training program
a. after 9pm
b. after arriving home at 5pm, eating sour starburst for about 30 minutes, ordering takeout with a friend who is in from out-of-town from TWO restaurants (we couldn't decide)
c. Eating said takeout : Spicy Crunchy Salmon roll, Pineapple Fried Rice with Veggies, and LAMB VINDALOO.

Today's 40 minutes from 9:15 and on were painful when?
1st 60 seconds of running. Ouch- shin splints.
Middle 60 seconds of running. Oh god- 15 minutes left? Kill me now.
Last 60 seconds of running. The seconds have never gone by more slowly.

I was actually motivated to go earlier, but plans change, friends come into town and text you when they're 5 minutes away from your apt., and of course I choose hanging out and catching up and dishing about auditions, past and upcoming, over going to work out!!

BUT I STILL got out of the house and to the gym at 9pm. So THERE. DAY 2. DONE.

Tomorrow. Wake up extra early to go to day-job, leave day-job in the middle for an audition, return to day-job and suffer for a few more hours which will include resume printing out (ie, killing trees) and shredding of resumes one piece of paper by one piece of paper (killing me).

11 November, 2008

oh, also

Went to see some more theatRE action this weekend-- Speed the Plow, with Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold from Entourage), that secretary girl from Mad Men, and that other famous guy. Yes, I'm THAT good with names.

A. MAMET is a god among men. His writing style is. There is no adjective or other noun. It just is. It is a being. Beyond comparison. Made me want to go home and read everything he wrote.

B. Although written in the 80s, this felt like a totally up to date rendition, made even funnier by the fact that when Mamet wrote the word "maverick" in the dialogue back and forth three times, he didn't know it would mean to audiences what it means today and forever-more.

C. I am in constant awe of the commitment of the actor in the dramas that I'm getting to see in NYC (THanks to RUSH TICKETS! People, if you don't know about this, GET THEE online and read the fine print...show up to the theatre 2 hrs before curtain, stand in line for 10 minutes, get orchestra seats for 26.50 MOST places).

Commitment. Confidence. Style. It's not acting. It's being. And it's the kind of performance that I want to give whether I'm singing opera, reading a monologue, or, if I ever get the chance, acting just for acting, somewhere...and not singing.

More, later, as I said before, on this 'financial crisis'. Although, I do have to say that while I'll write my reflections on THIS business, with a brother that is still THANKFULLY employed by Goldman Sachs (after 20% of his office was let go last week), I am most certainly aware that this industry is not the first and foremost to feel any kind of crunch whether on wallstreet OR on mainstreet.

run/jog day 1

40 minutes, treadmill, 3 minute warm up, brisk walking, then alternating 60 seconds running, 2 minutes brisk walk-jog pace for the next 32 minutes, then 5 minutes of cool down.

I didn't feel like hyperventilating at any point. I didn't feel like I was about to die at any point, and I also didn't feel like it was too hard and I'm quitting at any point.

Actually, I watched Oprah, and let me tell you--with only the closed captioning on and no sound, she and all of her guests sounded more like Sarah Palin than I'd like to admit. Every sentence was not completed, or it was a non sequitur.
Seriously. Try watching a muted talk show some time. It was painful.

But since she was promoting Baz's new film "Australia", I got to see one of my favorite pieces of architecture, the Sydney Opera House (not as good as in person).
I got to see how MUCH WORK NICOLE KIDMAN has had.
NOT GOOD. Why can't you just be ok with looking your age? Sad.

Back to the jog-running.
Supposedly on this itunes program I bought (thanks to Rahree, I believe), trains you for a 5k in 8 weeks.

So, day one was today. IF I can keep this up and my ankle doesn't get crazy from my injury about a month and a half ago, I will be quite happy with myself.

I have a feeling that I could get there before the 8 weeks since I easily ran a mile and a half the other day just to warm up, but I'm happy to take it slower and make sure that I am doing something right and with a routine.

Two auditions tomorrow, with office work in between.
The music biz is not the most fun place to be right now if you're an opera company that's not receiving the usual monetary donations from big previous givers, or administrators that are feeling the crunch of budgets, rescheduling shows, bumping bigger and more expensive productions, and of course...the trickle-down effect is---

fewer auditions, fewer jobs, fewer concrete offers, and, sadly, a feeling that many of those 'nyc singers' that are 'trying to make it' after graduation will turn their part time or temping work into a more permanent thing this year and beyond.

More on that when I'm not tired.

09 November, 2008

broadway and jazz

Last night I sang at a charity event and got to pull out all of my broadway standards and jazzy pieces that I know are crowd pleasers.

It was so nice to get a chance to see people's faces, watch their reactions to favorite showtunes and melodies, their recognition of a certain time and place--where they were when---this Gershwin tune was sung by Ella or Frank.

I pulled out all the stops-- romantic hits from Carousel, Music Man, up-tempo stuff from Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady, PHANTOM (because everyone needs a little Sarah Brightman impersonations in their lives), and then my favorite Gershwin and Rogers/Hart standards like Bewitched, Someone to watch over me, Embraceable you (this one elicited TEARS of joy from 3 audience members!) The Man I love...etc.

Finally I sang Glitter as my last piece (after about 45 minutes of easy breezy broadway), and happily and amusingly, this piece STILL felt the best out of all of them.
I guess there IS a reason I do this 'opera' thing after all.

Everyone loved all of the music, but what they couldn't stop talking about, even though the standards brought back memories and were more familiar, was the "Opera" voice...and how I do that...and how does it just come out...it was all very cute.

There were actually a few patrons who were very much into opera, knew what they were talking about, had seen all of the "greats" at the "OLD" Met and the new, and it was lovely to get to chat with them after the performance (at a VERY tasty dinner), about how the papers ran "Leontyne IS Aida" the night after her debut, and more.

Back in the city now after a night of having to remember how to DRIVE a CAR (and realizing that my driver's license has been expired since my bday on the 11th of last month) and really looking forward to the auditions that I have scheduled in the next few weeks.

06 November, 2008

dr. a...x2 and thoughts on the gym.

Saw Dr. Atomic again last night---yes, it's still awesome.
I took full advantage of the $20 orchestra rush tickets to graciously offered by the rich folks who want to get people in the seats to see modern opera. THANK YOU from row R of the orchestra!

Today was the last session of my personal training...with Tony the Trainer...no, not the tiger.
This was a birthday present to myself, of sorts...and the experience has been, as of today, pretty eye-opening.

At first I didn't really think I was getting any results. I was doing a lot of weight training with free weights and machines and body weight. Add to that some pushups, core work, and I was sweating...NOT glistening...by the end of the hour, every Tuesday and Thursday.

By the middle of my 15 sessions I could feel the pushups getting easier. I saw the number near the metal pin increase, my reps increase, and even though it still hurt every time no matter what I was doing, I was feeling pretty good about it.

Well....in addition to the training I've been sticking to my regular (ie, almost nonexistant) cardio--which is about 40 minutes of Elliptical (or, Act I of upcoming-opera score plus ipod)...twice a week? (sometimes not so much twice a week).

But here is the kicker. I so much as LOOK at a treadmill and my stomach turns. I just hate everything about running and jogging. I always think I want to try to train for a marathon and then have flashbacks of having to run the mile in gym class freshman year, having an asthma attack, and the teacher yelling at me to keep going.
THEN I have a flashback to sophomore year- I had just finished basketball season (the monsters (sprints) across the court were FINE it's just those long distances that get me), and I wanted to try out for Lacrosse, it was March, it was snowing out in New Jersey, and our coach decides that the first week of lacrosse training is NOT learning how to use the crazy stick and ball, but instead, just running around the track for an hour straight every afternoon.

Uhh...thanks but no thanks.

Ok, fast forward to today.
I decide to switch it up and warm up on the....treadmill....!
AND contrary to almost EVERY time I've attempted to go running and had a mental freakout and started to hyperventilate----I RAN! And I didn't HATE IT!
And I think (THINK) I could have kept going. ?? Maybe ??

Is this the dawn of a new era?

That is yet to be seen. iLike.

05 November, 2008

a night to remember

There is now a second major event of my lifetime that I will always remember where I was, when...
The first, a tragedy for the country, that I had to view from afar while studying abroad.

The second, tonight's inspiring speech and victory and next four years for our country.

I will forever remember my day.
Work, Vote, Gym, Madame Butterfly at the MET in BOX seats (first time), checking my iphone for the updates at each intermission, and then a small gathering of like-minded hopefuls...waiting and watching.
An unbelievable flash on the screen around 11:15--what? Did we really just see that it said Obama is president number 44? They haven't called California plus one yet!?
A short "station identification" break..and then--YES...they called it!
Disbelief and amazement.
Hoping that the concession speech happens to make it REALLY real.
Waiting for the acceptance speech.
Watching tears of joy, screaming, cheering, laughter, on the faces of Americans of all shapes, colors, and sizes.

The speech that I thought moved a nation.

And going to sleep contented for the first time in three presidential elections in which I have had the privilege and right to vote.

03 November, 2008

pre-election anxiety.

Whaaaat is going on?!
I feel so tense.
Tomorrow night MAY mark the first election (since I've been able to vote) that I don't cry myself to sleep at midnight, then three am, and then a month later when it's official that the hanging chad and the state of florida were high on spf 45.

I need to relax. But I can't concentrate on anything.
I looked through my score of upcoming-show last night and I have definitely not spent enough time on the finales, although I have 2 months so I know it will be more than fine.
I just can't open it right now.

Don't have any auditions until next week, so I'm not really focusing on that right now either.

Ahhh...I just want it to be Tuesday at midnight and for me to be smiling!

01 November, 2008


So much sugar.
So much Halloween fun.
Too little time to recover...but thankfully we get an hour extra to sleep tomorrow.

That is all.

31 October, 2008

2 a days

2 auditions today.
Number one- young artist program. Started with that magical piece that everyone has liked. Will have to wait until next week to find out about a callback or not. Thought it went really well though and put me in a nice place.

Number 2- Durch and then re-singing an aria from a role I performed in 05. It's nice when it's just there still in your head. I looked over it a few times before the audition today because it's pretty wordy, and in English. Durch went well as always. The room (which I had just sung in previously this week) was very live with a very loud/slightly out of tune piano...sadly. Like singing in a small gym.
What can you do--it's not a place for nuance. So everything was one dynamic higher I felt--because it was just bouncing off the walls.
But both pieces went very well and it was an introduction to a new company for me...so hopefully there will be good feedback for the future.

28 October, 2008


Woah--I've recently gotten really good reactions to one particular aria that I haven't ever started with (and have, as of today, only sung twice in auditions) but have coached with a few different people, all of whom think it's somehow 'enchanting' and just right for me.

I'm JUST not sure about it as an opener. I want it to get chosen, of course. Actually, I want any of my pieces to get chosen for the 2nd aria because I love them all.

Decisions, Decisions...

27 October, 2008


Audition today--I woke up at 7, went to work1 (out of 3 in general, but out of 2 for today), showered and dressed for business casual office, left at 10, cabbed it across town to THANKFULLY my cousin's apt who lived 2 minutes away from audition location, changed in her room rather than a tiny bathroom stall, warmed up for 25 minutes, ate an apple, re-focused on the task at hand, got to the audition, sang Durch and Tytania, and then cabbed it back to work1 for 2 more hours, followed by work 2 for two hours in the afternoon.

It's KIND of crazy to try and be a 'singer' while having to work other jobs. Now I know what all those people meant when they said that working in nyc and not singing can suck you into a void that is hard to crawl out of. THANKFULLY 2/3 of my jobs are AWESOME..they understand what I am in my 'real' life, and that my life's goal is not to work as an administrative assistant in their office, shred papers, make photocopies, file papers, etc...I am teaching and tutoring in subjects that I ACTUALLY like (music and languages), and I feel like I'm making good connections with the students and getting through, but...for how long? They know I won't be back for the 2nd semester, but still...it's weird to think about the fact that I didn't really move here to the city to do..THIS..I moved to sing for audition season here (and happen to need money to pay the rent and see awesome broadway shows and ..oh yea, opera too)..and now I'm getting auditions and feeling weirdly guilty about leaving my job 30 minutes early, or taking a long lunch, etc.

It's nearly impossible for me to schedule anything in the morning and so I've already had to ask very politely whether time switches would be possible.
And I know it's ok, and people do it all the time...but I try to avoid that kind of stuff like the plague. I take the time I'm given.
If it's 9:30am-all the better--wake up, warm up, kick some butt, and get on with the rest of your day.

But for the luxury of living in this lovely city for 4 months, I know I have to slave away at a day job or jobs that are not always the most exciting or stimulating, and I know that I just have to learn to focus. Clear away the work before the audition. Separate one thing from the next, and then be able to jump right back into work when it's finished.

Of course, all that REALLY matters is the audition. That is what I want to be doing, not happen to HAVE to be doing so that I can write a check at the end of each month.
And that's how I'll try to approach it in these coming weeks of what I'm sure will be an interesting experiment in the time-space continuum as I try to make it across the park at rush hour in less than 45 minutes for some auditions!

26 October, 2008

waste of space

Woke up at 10:45...KIND OF. Got out of bed at 12. Have done nothing until now, 4:30 except refresh my email(s), THINK about my auditions this week, refresh my email(s) again, google-ninja people and things of interest, and basically be a waste of space.

This evening I'm working on a consulting project and making sure I know the words to the aria that I'm offering tomorrow that is not on my usual list, but that I've learned and sung before...around 2002.

Lazy Sundays....

24 October, 2008


as in...awwww...snap!
I loved it.
I got to sing the whole aria, it was on a big fun stage, and here are my thoughts from what I remember.
See...when I'm in it..I can rarely speak to my performance. It just feels exhilaratingly good. NOTE- blogger says exhilaratingly is spelled wrong...my SAT score of 800 in English in high school says that blogger is sadly incorrect.

Oh. back to the audition.
So. What I felt (other than the acting) when I was singing it---some words---round, open, breathing, free, exact, niiiiice.
But mostly I was concentrating on the scene at hand since I had the chance to sing the entire thing!
It's SO much more connected this way.
The arc is there for a character to be introduced, grow, change, and end changed.

What can I say about how it sounded? I don't know because it's not what I can listen to.
I know the high was high, the low was low, the runs were clean, no notes were fumbled or fussed over, nothing seeeemed hard or wrong, the room got me a bit dry about 3/4 through, but I got over it when I got to the moving section...but truthfully, I don't know anything except that feeling I had when it was over was that I was someone else and all of a sudden that trance was over and they were saying: thank you...I guess we didn't stop you like we said we may.


23 October, 2008

get in the zone (it's just me against the music)

24 hours until audition for most coveted role ever:
-a healthy and large warm walnut encrusted chicken salad from Josie's paid for courtesy of my mom being in town for 4 hours.

22 hours until audition for most coveted role ever:
-a healthy workout at the gym. My trainer saw me listening to my iphone and made me plug it into the main stereo in the studio we work out in...aaaand it was upcoming-role-1-opera which was totally a trip for him...he was like we're in YOUR world now--let's work it out! And we did. I don't know if listening to recit and doing 20 fly reps is double the pleasure or double the pain.
I'm pretty sure I'll be sore tomorrow...but maybe in a good way. I'm about to take a looong shower, have some more emergen-C, drink of champions who want to avoid sickeness due to seasonal allergies, seasonal weather changes, and the heat being turned on in the apt.

Rest of the evening: Show tunes channel, gawk a little at the L&O SVU episode being filmed directly outside my apartment building, think of character, love of said character, said character's 'loves', do a little warming up (maybe in upcoming shower), and in general ..

and you can FLY :)

22 October, 2008

comments- finally!

Ooops--my bad. Said I'd be back the next day with the 411 and really...I spent the rest of the weekend hanging out, doing laundry, photocopying music, preparing for the week ahead.

So. Back to Met Lucia x2 (I'm considering x3 with Trebbs).
Last year I sat in line all day for those cheap tickets in the orchestra section. Get there at 10am, wait until 5:45, get tickets if you're the first 100 people...HORRID idea---whoever was in charge of that is WRONG!
Just HAND out the tickets at noon or something for goodness sake. Tangent. Basta.

Ok. So. Dessay was amazing. The acting and the singing were one. There was no sharp, flat, wrong, NOTHING. Everything was clean and crisp and I paid attention to her more as an actress than a singer..even though the singing was perfect.

Damrau's singing was more thrilling, that's for sure. The color of her vocal range, the exciting top and how she gets ready for it...the full chest in the low. It wasn't perfect or executed perfectly at all times--but it was about the emotion and passion of the music I think. Which mirrored her acting nicely, although sometimes the awkward soprano/tenor in-love pose got a little tiring in the duet--hold me so that it looks like we are about to kiss or embrace but really we're positioning ourselves so that we can both sing out and somehow bounce the sound off of each others chests. Or...hold me so that it looks like we are about to kiss or embrace but really when you sing I'll pivot downstage and when I sing you'll pivot downstage so that we can sing out.

Oh. The mad scene was cool because it was newly blocked with crazy Diana minus the stairs and the rolling around on them.
What she did was just as passionate and slowly insane and unstable...and I loved that extra spark that it gave the final Act.

I LOVE that in live theater. Something that perks you up because it's not 'normal' or 'expected'.
A cover going on. Something wrong with the sets so you have to restage something...awesome energy because everyone knows it's not the same thing and THIS time will be different.

And it certainly was.
Coming up this week---audition for a role that I so so so so so much want to perform--in LIFE.
Followed by three more next week and hopefully as many as I can get this season.
Because the bottom line is that thinking about being onstage, thinking about singing, getting to be onstage, getting to sing...and the entire process that goes into--long and hard and EXPENSIVE as it may be...is all worth it in the end when I get to say that this is the career that I chose and that chose me...and it couldn't make me happier to be part of it.

happy shiny rainbows and bubbles to all....
good night.

19 October, 2008

the lady with the mic

Lucia at the MET tonight.
Right after the 2nd intermission which was UNUSUALLY long, everyone was back in their seats when the woman with the mic came on.
Really? No one SOUNDED sick...maybe someone just took ill or something.

Nope- turns out...there is a technical malfunction, and they had to RESTAGE the mad scene!
The hydraulics didn't work, they couldn't get the stairs and the set in for the mad scene and they also didn't have the stairs in the Wolfcrag scene so that Edgardo and Enrico were pretty much in the same room, threatening to kill each other and within striking distance, but not raising a hand.

But the night went to Ms. Damrau who stepped up the 'crazy' even without the stairs and the entrance and the exit.

Much more to report tomorrow after I get a good night's sleep about the voices, my impression seeing it with Damrau and Dessay, and much more.
But first, slumber.

17 October, 2008

Zerb lessons

Last week- Zerb coaching
This week- Zerb lesson for voice.
Next week- audition for Zerb.

How did it go?

Coaching- great---found some nice new lines and power and detail. Language- U's can be more closed and rounded. Ah's are ah's like father and not whatever consonant comes after them to close them.

Lesson- it was a booty-kicking but in a good way.

Things I have to remember----EVERY note has to spin at the top..there's no just sitting pretty.
Every note has to connect and be round in the middle--anything up to an F-ish.

Free breath. Nice E's. Relaxed. EYES.

This is one of my favorite things to sing.
And one of my favorite things to act.
And I want it to be one of my bread and butter roles in life.
So I break it down note by note even though I've been singing it for however many years and learn from each lesson on it how to make it the master-work that I want it to be.

14 October, 2008

Dr. Atomic Opening at the MET

Opening night!
Even with my 'starving artist' seats in the back of family circle, I only have love love love for this opera.
I've seen a fair share of modern/contemporary works, and usually I'm a fan if it grabs me.

Well----Dr. Atomic is a story that weaves itself through music with beautiful lyrics based on letters, real broadcasts, beautiful poetry, maxims from famous religious works, and fleeting stream of consciousness poignant arias.

The orchestration was a dream for the singers--or so it seemed, because I understood almost every word (props to the English diction coach), they carried and cut over the orchestra, the ensemble underneath them was supportive without being too loud, heavy, or distracting from the melodies.

Not to say that there weren't a fair share of dramatic, strong, and LOUD moments--especially the last 5 minutes when it seemed like the whole theater was shaking--as if, in NYC, 10 subway cars are rumbling above, below, and to all sides of you. I actually was concerned about whether with that sound decibel it could ever compromise the structural integrity of a building.

Not that building...but just "A" building.

At any rate, it was beautiful music and poetry.
The production was cool and I didn't think anything was in there just to 'be in there' and make it 'new and weird' or 'shocking', etc.--everything had a reason and I believed it.

Yes. My review and advice is Yes. Go see it.
I actually may go again soon.
It's intelligent and passionate--brains and soul.
Smart and sexy.
go. now.

11 October, 2008

Happy bday to me :)

Yes, I'm wearing my pink gapkids shirt Ages 10-12 that says Birthday Girl in sparkly blue and has pink and red hearts and silver stars around it.
Over a long wifebeater, black leggings, and black boots. With half-pigtails.
It's so almost-normal for nyc anyway :)

Feeling the love from my facebook friends who are scribbling on my wall, feeling the love from the voicemails, calls, and texts from friends near and far, (and all dear)..and am excited for day II of b'day celebrations--which began a few hours before my actual bday last night--sushi dinner, 2 folk-jazz sets, followed by another jazz venue for big band jazz, some nice red wine and wonderful company all around!!

Feeling like it's just right to be my age right now. And loving the chance to celebrate with friends from all walks in NYC.

08 October, 2008

Salome at the MET


Ok, the singing was amazing all around. No need to even elaborate on that one since it's obvious with as stellar a cast as that.

Now let's talk production. I am a FAN! It was cool and half ancient Egypt half futuristic-plexiglass-topped-bunker old-school hollywood meets Judean-chic.

The thing that everyone thinks they'll talk about is the dance and then the no clothes...but you know..she just went there and it was totally natural in her state of mind and the progression of the character, and it was so right for what the scene needed.

The whole time I was thinking twisted Lolita or something of the sort. Salome knows what will please the older man who is supposed to be her role model and father figure but instead subjects her to themes beyond her years and forces her into knowing...how to use her sexuality to get what she wants.

And then I got to thinking how great it would be if there were an opera based on Lolita.
I put it out there people!!! and low and behold, Harbison began to write one in 1999 but never completed it. DO IT! It will be a big hit. I promise!
And when you do, please write Lolita as a young and overly knowing, naive, childish, snotty, sexual and misguided COLORATURA SOPRANO!! (and send me an email).


My bday weekend is coming up, one I share with Little Miss B and another coloratura sop. that we both know and many many other artistic minded, level-headed, diplomatic, idealistic, charming, romantic, flirty, sociable (all according to wikipedia) Libras.

Happy bday!

05 October, 2008

Mozart at the MET

Caught Giovanni tonight.
Weirdly and surprisingly, it's the first time I've ever seen the entire thing. I've been part of scenes before, have heard all of the arias numerous times, heard the overture played at different concerts, but have never seen the entire opera.

My impressions of the MET production were:
Polenzani's voice and presence is amazing and sweet.
Erwin is hot and sounds hot and acts hot and the director happily found enough dramatic motivation for him being shirtless for most of the second half AND pouring a goblet of wine on his chest...twice.
I loved the women. How different they were from each other, how different they sounded from each other, and how each one commanded the stage and attention when alone but let the ensemble speak for itself when in quintet or sextet.

Oh. The set.
Bricks and darkness. Not too fond of it.
The Commendatore/Hell scene was cool, although the swirling snow was not very indicative of the fiery hell that the Don was about to encounter.

I got great seats for this one because of friends in high places, and it was really a nice way to begin my MET season (I have tix for 5 more shows) from the orchestra section.

02 October, 2008

My minute by minute FB status updates during the Debates

"darn right we need tax reliefs for Americans" (quote number one of the evening)

if you rape the continental shelf, do they have to pay for the tests?

NUKULAR??!?!?!? Arghghghgh

diplomacy is hard work by serious people

i'm so encouraged to know that we both love israel... awwwww

WHAT just happened? was that a SENTENCE?

certainly accounting for different conditions in that country and there are certainly different conditions in that country.

in all fairness, biden just said Bosniacs--which is still correct, but not the number one word choice.

John McCain Knows What Evil Is

now each one has to prove they are middle class. Home Depot! Main Street! Katie's! My 'hood!

shoutout to all the 3rd graders!!!!!!! (even if you're smarter than I am)

why does the camera show Palin's butt and not Biden's?

she just said agenda and position and flexibility and 'in there' three times

my experience as an executive will be put to good use...executive of the tiniest more redneck town in Alaska? YES, I've been there!

we represent a perfect ideal--democracy..and tolerance--unless you are a 15 year old preggo incest victim.

Did he just pull the dead wife card?

SNAP!!!! TEARS!!?!?!?


you appoint people regardless of party affiliations---except if they ever crossed you

we're gonna fight america. AMERICA..F*$K Yea!!

Doesn’t want it to end!
ooo, is her preggo daughter gonna come up onstage too?

dude i swear to god, that Trig baby is only being held by the daugher. He is totally the daughter's baby

why are you letting the 5 year old hold Trig?

is so over "spin alley."

odds and (rear) ends

It seems that I'm very un-bloggy lately...well, as opposed to my daily or every two day postings of yore.
So let's play a little ketchup:

It's the new year! Well, at least for the chosen people...which means apples and honey, really amazing homecooked meals plus leftovers for a few nights, feeling the most full you've ever felt in your life and still eating that last piece of apple crumb cake, and of course, turning over a new leaf.

What better way to re-institute my new year's resolution from JANUARY (get in shape and stop eating like a jerk)...on my religious new year--actually, I've been better at this. For the past month, yes, I have been a member of the new york sports club. I cough up the monthly fees and was preeeettty good about going....but my gym experience is something like the following:

5pm. Ugh. I have to go to the gym.
5:10 Ugh. What clothes should I wear to the gym.
5:15 Ugh. I guess I"ll walk to the gym..wait, should I jog there? Nah. I 'll just do some warm ups when I get there.
5:20-6pm: When can I get off of this godforsaken elliptical machine? (All this while listening to my ipod with current-opera AND flipping through current score while trying not to be distracted by whatever is on TV that my neighbor on the elliptical is watching).
6:01: I feel good!
6:02: I should have some protein and water and a salad and I'm only eating healthy from NOW on!
10:55pm: I'm so hungry I feel like eating everything in my apartment AND going outside to pinkberry across the street because they're open for 5 more minutes and getting a small green tea ice cream with carob chips on it right now.

So, to get my booty back into bathing suit shape (which I will need well before this coming summer thanks to a sunny winter-gig), I am now working with Tony the trainer who likes to make me do things on machines that I would have otherwise had no idea how to even sit on, likes to make me jump rope ...a lot, likes to make me walk up and down stairs with weights in my hand, and especially likes to make me try and do pullups--hahahah--something I couldn't even do in 10th grade gym class to get the presidential award.

I guess I should be happy that I have the luxury of time and money to invest in something like this. I am taking it seriously now--seeing him 2 days a week and doing cardio 2-3 additional days a week.

Other odds and ends that don't have to do with my re-shaping of the rear:
Great voice lesson again, I think I 'get it'--meaning, the technique, meaning--keep it simple stupid---meaning, this should be about feeling nothing. And then it's right.

Going to see some MET shows in the next few weeks that I'm excited about.

It's my BDAY next weekend (not this weekend) and I'm trying to figure out what to do that will be fun and low key and have I mentioned fun..and it might include the words KARAOKE...Maybe.

28 September, 2008

Bernstein, Bolcom and Boulez

Thursday night I attended the NYFOS concert in honor of Bernstein and Bolcom. This was the first opportunity I had to see Steven Blier's work, although I've heard about him and working with him from many singers over the years.
His performance, anecdotes, attention to the singers, and everything about the presentation was moving and beautiful.

Except for TWO inopportune cellphone ring interruptions (one right before the intermission and ONE during the LAST measure of the almost-a-capella Bernstein 6 voiced encore---ouch....really...that one was painful), the night went smoothly, with amusing and beautiful selections across the board.

The Bolcom McTeague selections were pretty awesome, especially the "gold babies" aria which I wish I could have the opportunity in context onstage because I think it's a modern mad scene that could be amazingly directed and sung with the right crowd.

One of my favorite pieces from Bernstein's Peter Pan was performed by a good friend of mine, AND the crowning glory of the evening what that I got to go to an after-party AT Bernstein's apt. Well, what used to be his apt. Now his daughter lives there...W.57th between 8th and 9th...Penthouse.
I was IN the presence of genius...Seriously..I rubbed up against the walls so I could touch the same things he maybe did.

THEN, yesterday, I went to see the NYPHIL at Avery Fisher under Maestro Maazel play an AMAZING program:
Mahler Adagio from Symphony 10
Maazel Music for Flute (pretty cool actually)
Boulez Pli Selon Pli ....AND
BERNSTEIN Symphony 2 Age of Anxiety---AWESOME. Really. His music just makes me really really happy.

The crowning glory of THAT night was that right after the concert got out I got back on the 1 to go to a party uptown and there was a lone flute player on the opposite track playing solo selections from Candide--Glitter and Be Gay and Make our Garden Grow--and I got to smile all over again.

Mmmm....it's just so happy and genius all mixed together.

A happy and inspiring weekend.

26 September, 2008


An edited version of a recent family email I sent describing my day job duties as a NYC singer here during audition season.
Names, departments, places of work, and other details have been eliminted so I don't get "dooced".

I've recently entered the real work-force with two part time jobs.
On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-1:30pm I work as a temporary administrative assistant.
LET me just begin by saying--if you work a real job- bravo to you.

A sampling of my recent schedule:
8:15am- arrive, punch in, login to my computer (it took the tech department 4 days and 5 signatures of three people to get me an email here).

8:17-8:55, or, before my office-mate gets here- try to make myself look busy to the boss who sits in the office next door by walking around with blue files in my hands (we hold all personnell files here and have to sign every piece of paper that comes through about them..and THEN refile them). Walk around with blue folders some more. File a few. Put a few in another pile to file later. (All this work actually takes 5 minutes to any normal person with alphabetizing skills, but I stretch it out for as long as possible).

8:56-9:45am- logon to the company email and PRINT, one by one, the 150 or so daily applications we receive for : Security guards, administrative assistant, purchasing managers, etc. BEFORE I can give them to my boss I have to make a cover sheet detailing how many applicants there were, where the found out about the job (ie, Craigslist or the newspaper), and then place them neatly on her desk. This is interrupted by the arrival of my 2 other office mates and stories of their commutes and the late trains from NJ, and their class schedule for that day, and their dinner out with their boyfriend last night, and the shoes they are going to wear to their friend's wedding this weekend, and eating an apple or a banana.

9:45-12- Think about how I wish I had brought a better-tasting lunch instead of just throwing some rice and chicken in a Glad container.
Also, get asked by my boss to follow up on emails and calls that I wasn't there for in the first place, get sent on wild goose chases like "find a file from 2006 from a company we no longer work with", and
"take these time cards up to the fifth floor". (5 minutes later) "Take these time cards up to the 4th floor" (10 minutes later:) "Can you get this guy to sign this paper on the 5th floor and bring it back here?" (we're on the ground floor)..and OF COURSE there are elevators, but if you had ALL of the documents lying around in the first place, I THINK I can handle carrying more than one thing in my hand at one time.

12-1:22- Look at the blue files again. Maybe file one or two---to leave some work for the next day.

1:22-1:30- pack up my purse as SLOWLY as possible.

Today, since I'm working until 5 I've managed to extend my 'doing nothingness' into the extreme. AND have I mentioned my boss isn't here until Monday?
I checked my email every 5 minutes. I read the entire NYTimes online. I wrote a friend's bio, resume, cover letter. I baked a cake.

Of course, the filing and alphabetizing work never ceases--new health forms, payroll forms, changes of address forms--dare I suggest to them to move everything to an online system and make PDF scans of everything that comes through so that NO ONE after me has to FILE anything ANYMORE?!
Yea, that would never happen I'm sure.
Until then, I'll be the one knee-deep in blue file folders in the middle of the office floor alphabetizing and sorting payroll receipts.

My SECOND job is every Wednesday from 11-4pm. I babysit two twin one year old girls.
And I swear, nap from 2pm-3pm included, I feel more ALIVE during those 5 hours than one SECOND of work in this office. And they can't even talk back. They just smile and laugh whenever I read the book "Is THAT my Dinosaur" to them for the 12th time.



Ok, now, really- it's not like I don't WANT to work. I'd love to do something--but if I finish all of the filing right now, there will be nothing. I'll sit here, waiting to be given more work, not get any, and then get sent on some idiotic task that doesn't really need to be done, but is being assigned to me because I'm here and look like I need something to do.

So. There you go. Note to self and my future business practices- streamline, streamline, streamline--if you don't know what your assistants are doing for you at all times, you most likely don't need those assistants.

That is all. Back to my exciting work.

24 September, 2008


First two auditions of the Fall Season.
Saturday-Zerb and some MT
Monday- Blondchen and Oscar.

I'm liking how fun and easy this already feels..as usual.

Nothing much else to report which usually happens when I'm being a busy bee.

20 September, 2008

post-lesson things

Had a great lesson yesterday and will attempt to write down the things that signify the good/correct/beautiful/open sound at all times.

Breathing- back expansion, full everywhere not just low, breathe to the point where all you can do is let the air flow back out, never any less, regardless of what the next phrase is like.
Eyes- smiling eyes, smiling cheeks.
Under jaw- loose, fatty, should be able to put my thumb in that space and not feel anything going on. Low, free.
Sound- back and over
Space- sideways hitting my molars.

I never talked technique before, really...most of my teachers had the creative/artistic/feel this approach and that was fine with me.
With this new teacher I'm getting a bit more tech talk but it's being modified to sensations and sound which is what I identify with most and work with best.

Bottom line is musicality and artistry. Words. Feelings.

Now to see if I can translate that successfully into my audition today.

18 September, 2008

sounds of silence

I haven't been so bloggy because I've been so busy!

Working, working out, workin' the new aria list, etc.

Everything is going just peachy.

Today I received an email with the upcoming cuts to upcoming-show.
I know, I know, I shouldn't be surprised that my always-cut aria is...cut.
But I just WISH that there were three extra orchestra minutes so that it wouldn't be cut.
It makes so much sense! It's funny and silly and gives some dimension to the 'other side' of the story.
Ok, ok, maybe not but it would have been awesome to throw in those high E's and F's in an appropriately hilarious manner and really get into it onstage before the finale.

Ah well. Maybe next time.

13 September, 2008

Dear me in 1999

Dear Self in 1999, thank you SO much for sticking to your gut, believing in your musical abilities, and dreaming about being onstage for the rest of your life.

Self 2008 thanks you profusely on behalf of all of the 9-5 days that I did NOT have to endure for the past 9 years.

Sure, part time work, internships, making ends meet, jobs here and there, even some crappy office work endured. But today, as my 'first day training/shadowing' I worked a 9-5. Filing. Work emails. IT department. Payroll. Time stamps.

Can I please have that daily schedule? That email sent at close to midnight that tells me what I'll do the next day? Rehearse which scenes? Go to which donor benefits? Have which coaching? Call times to rehearsal? Directions to the theater? Costume and wig fittings?
Something different and exciting every day and something that I know I rock at?! (Although, I DO alphabetize and mail merge at an alarmingly fast rate)


11 September, 2008

workout woes

I was doing sooo well. Every day at the gym last week except for Sunday.
Then on Tuesday I decided to take a class called--something or other cardio.
Wasn't paying much attention to the class description and so I'm in there and all of a sudden all of the women set up their step thingie (that I expected) and ALSO take a bar, and 2 sets of weights.
I'm thinking- ok, some squats with weights, some lifts with weights, etc.
I got through the class, WITH weights, doing all of the reps and feeling like my biceps were about to pop out of my skin. Literally POP out. They got so huge with all of that lactic acid..or whatever it is that muscles make when they get worked out vigorously for the first time in hrmsmhhrmsmss years.

Well after the class, even with the stretching at the end, I still felt really tight. SO I decided to stay for a YOGA class. Nice, relaaaaxing yoga. Right?

Welcome to Astanga yoga.
Welcome to jumping back and forth into and out of sun salutations (12 times), welcome to doing things to my body that I haven't done since gymnastics 10 years ago. With heavy controlled breathing. The kicker was that my arms and legs were SOoo overworked from the weights that my balance was all off--I could barely even stand in warrior one, let alone hold any kind of plow pose without my ab muscles freaking out and doing that weird pulsating thing and my legs shaking and my arms burning.

That night- felt good! 2 class workout, yea!
Next day- "help I've fallen and I can't get up". Seriously, I couldn't put the phone up to my ear. It HURT to type! My poor macbook got no love.
Walking, sitting, standing, or moving into ANY position from my PREVIOUS position. OUCH.
Today- thought I'd be able to go back and do some cardio.
No. I still can't really walk straight or fast--I feel every muscle move. I mean, I'm proud of myself for doing two really challenging classes and kicking my own tushy, but YIIIKES, I will NOT be doing that again soon.

Today- first day of work2 (and made enough to cover tomorrow)
Tomorrow- coaching, GYM (yep, I'm going back for more)
Friday- first official day of work1.

I'm going to take another hot shower to try and get my muscles to reeeeelaxxxx.

09 September, 2008

the real world

Since I'm here for 4 months and I can't spend all hours of the day practicing, memorizing upcoming music, coaching, and taking lessons without some sort of income to support my singing habit, I decided to apply for part time jobs.
Got the first 4 I was offered. Had to choose, and hopefully I made the best choice schedule/flexibility and sanity-wise.
It feels nice to be wanted--even if it's not in the music-hiring genre.
Time to make sure I have corporate casual looks for tomorrow.

07 September, 2008

I'm in a NY state of mind

As much as the whole world may be at my fingertips online, these days it seems as if everything is open to me as I walk out my front door.
What did I do yesterday in the torrential downpour?

I was OUTSIDE! Walking the streets of my neighborhood, getting drenched in the rain and hot wind, and loving every second of it. Laughing as I jumped through puddles in my slippery and squishy flip flops, drying off with the air dryer in the bathroom of Lincoln Center Plaza, watching everyone hurry by with their huge umbrellas, or standing underneath the construction beams that partially shielded them from the waterworks, seeing some couples improvise ponchos with plastic bags from Zabars, some who just chose to get drenched and walk like it was a sunny day through the streets of the upper west side, not a care in the world to the horizontal rain coming at them.

Sure, it was a bit uncomfortable and generally wet. Yes, I even bought socks (3 pairs for $15 at the gap) and put them on during the movie that I saw last evening, still in my damp dress in the seat. But overall, it was my kind of day, in my kind of town.

Everything within reach.
Especially the new Pinkberry that opened up across the street from me. Mmm..dangerous.
My gym, my favorite salad place, my proximity to the public library and the natural history museum, my block, my street...I've known this area for a long time and never felt like I really belong--as I was mostly couch hopping or running between one audition and the next. Now I get to come home, put the keys on the table, and know that if I need anything else, it's probably right around the corner.

04 September, 2008

check out that package...


O-Kay! I may have settled on the top 5 arias for this audition.

I was looking for
-something that is a departure from the 'same old, same old'- meaning, high notes, coloratura, spunky character that is full of energy, cute, cunning, etc.
-something off the beaten path, but not too out there
-something that shows legato line but also doesn't compete with the lyric bel canto sound and, finally,
-something that is not a zillion minutes long (like most of my pieces)


Durch- because Blondchen is awesome. It's mozart, it's line, it's high notes, it's coloratura, it's a great character acting piece, and it shows everything I want to show in a 'hire me now I've done this before and I'll do it again' kind of way.

Fee- because it has low, it has subtlety, it has beauty and a magical sparkle about it that draws the listener in because of course, they know the story of the magical fairy godmother that makes everything ok in the end. Beauty of line, a pianissimo high C, trills galore, and, hey, it got me a big job this year...so there must be SOMETHING about it that is special. It's a LITTLE off the beaten path, but what pretty/crazy/cool French piece isn't?

And the shocker of the evening, Italian- Handel, Alcina, but NOT Tornami.
Since I didn't want all 'olympias, oscars, norinas, blondchens, etc'..I think I'm going with a SLOW Handel, Morgana's last aria from Alcina.
I can ornament it beautifully, it's repertoire that I am very flexible and at ease with, and it WILL show the grown up, leading dramatic lady that I want it to show.
It was a close call between that and Presto Amiche, the added aria from Il Turco, and I will still learn both and have both ready in case I feel like adding some 'flare/sparkle' into the package at any point.

Rounded (?) out by Zerbie that pretty much just shows it all--
Slow, fast, high, low, German, acting, coloratura, legato, have I mentioned acting?

And, depending on the audition and the likelihood of new music being done, either,
The Tempest, or Glitter.

Oh yea, and depending on the pianist as well.

All subject to change, of course, but I'm happy to have sung through the french and italian choices and to have trusted input about which ones were the best.

Feelin' good. Maybe it's those endorphins from the gym today. That or having an awesome coaching.

gym day 1

Ok, so I didn't get up for the 9:30 class, BUT I did do 42 minutes on the elliptical machine while listening to upcoming-opera-1 and looking at the score. I got to the Act I Finale. Not too bad.

Off to shower, warm up, and go to a coaching where I will focus on figuring out my best Italian piece for upcoming audition season.

give my regards to broadway

Wow. Two amazing musicals in one week.
Wicked last week and tonight Gypsy with the unforgettable Patti LuPone.
Oh, and during the week via tv, dvd, and dvr: The Producers, Legally Blond, Hairspray, and Chicago.
Yea, it was that kind of week :)

The performance tonight was electric. AND I got Ms.L's autograph after the show!
She was SOOO nice! EVEN though her car was waiting to whisk her away for the evening, she Sharpied every program that was held out for her after the performance and was more than cordial about it.

It really has been about a month full of music for me- from live operas to live theater, to new musicals and old favorites.

I'm ready to dive into my own work.

Oh yea, and like Lil'MissB, (we must be on the same wavelength or something), I also went to the gym for the first time in a *while* today, signed my name in blood for the next year (plus or minus a month of 'holding' my membership when I'm away), and signed up for 3 personal training sessions so a big buff (and hopefully hot) man can tell me to get my butt in gear and stop being a little baby about the zillion and one sit-ups he's about to make me do.

My alarm is set for 8:30am tomorrow. Cardio class.
Let's see if that actually happens.

Coaching tomorrow.
Goal: Sing through everything Italian possible and PICK something for audition season.

01 September, 2008


I flew to Chicago for the weekend to surprise one of my best friends for her birthday.
Our activities included lunch at A Mano (lovely Italian place that reminded us of 2001, the year we met while studying abroad in Milan), cocktails at Rebar (in the Trump tower with a view of the lake), Wicked (yes, the Broadway show which I had never seen before), and the LBD (little black dress) third annual party. All of the girls showed up in their little black numbers, all of the boys showed up in their "I'm not really wearing a suit" pants and ties, all of the martinis were mixed an hour before showtime to avoid any alcohol-induced spillage in the kitchen, and the night was certainly an affair to remember (over-sized sunglasses and messy chignon the morning after to prove it).

Back in NYC now to try and work off that weekend of indulgence, but how can you go back to carrots and hummus after cupcakes and highballs?

28 August, 2008

practice makes perfect

Sang through a bunch of Italian things today.

Revelation: I may not be a H8tr anymore.
Is it possible that I'm actually growing into it and onto it in a good way?

I'm in lurvvv...Celine Dion style.

Off to a weekend of favorite people and favorite activities IRL....with my ever handy NEW IPHONE to check my email if I'm really really tempted.

26 August, 2008

Week o' Opera

Madama Butterfly, Flute and Figaro this weekend.

All were fun, dramatic, inspiring, and all those other good adjectives that make you want to go home, open scores to new operas and old operas, and sing your heart out in your apt. in the middle of the day, hoping none of your neighbors are still home and think that a crazy person moved in next door.

This week I am starting to pursue my other side-gig profession--putting people's lives in order...mostly singers...mostly editing and writing-based work...mostly offering kicks in the behind to people that don't have their materials updated, their auditions mapped out, their cover letters written, their headshots photoshopped...all in the wonderful form of work called 'consulting'.

It's something that I enjoy doing. Hey, I can't sing in the apt. ALL day long, right? So what ever can I fill those hours from 10pm until bedtime--around 2-3am with?
Either way, I'm hoping to get it off the ground in this new city. Although most of the work is done via phone/email, there still is a new base of potential to work with in the city. And that requires some netective work, some google-ninja-ing work, and some cover letters to be written that offer my 'services'.

Back to my real job-
and the elusive "5"...arias that is. This has been a recent topic of discussion on "The Forum".
Here are my thoughts for this year...in no particular order..

Starter (probably) DurchZ. Pros-- Mozart. Line. High notes. Low notes. Character.
Cons- maybe sung by a lot of sopranos.

French possibilities:
Olympia verse 2- Pros: coloratura cons: Olympia verse 2. HA

Fire- pros: short, coloratura, SHORT. cons: everyone and their mom sings it for a short french piece, and the opera is not done very often.

Fee- pros: line AND coloratura...kinda. cons: not very high, not performed often

O legere Hirondelle- Pros: a bit of line and coloratura. cons: rare, a kind flitty character, repetitive!

Lakme- too long
Non monsieur non mari- long and overdone in auditions, I think.
Nixed from the line-up: Marie- due to casting tendencies for more lyric voices and fewer fun cadenzas.

Oscar- pros: character, legato, previously performed. Cons: I feel like I get cheated out of a 2nd aria when this is asked for 2nd. I know it's so the panel can hear line, but it's just so short...wish I could have something with legato AND fireworks to replace it.

Norina- overdone and hated by many
---all leading ladies, arias on the long side but they are 2parters, some casting tendencies are heavier/lyric, I'd offer any one of these 2nd, with coach and teacher approval that the sound they will get will not be the full lyric-y sound, but will still cut, carry, and be lovely.

Clorinda- kind of perfect character and crazy cadenza-wise..but maybe not because it's a cut aria and because it's not a leading lady. So what does aria choice say about my audition? Does it reflect the same way as a 'rare' aria does? People go digging through everything these days to find something that's not overdone.
I'm on the fence about this one being put into that category or into the 'uhh, does this girl know that this aria is usually cut' category.

Contesse di Folleville- awesome but 10 minutes long and I don't think I can find a cut to do it justice.

OR- early guys:
another under-done Handel of some sort.

Easy- after Durch- Zerbinetta.
Also can throw in at any time: Sophie, Queen

a bunch of MT that is considered operetta
crazy new things! that sound weird and show off crazy high notes and the ability to learn modern music and sing it with shape and presence.

Decisions, Decisions.
I don't NEED to change my rep. up, but I want to.
and all of the arias are learned and ready to go anyway.
So now it's up to the court of public opinion (coaches, teachers, etc) and my own instincts to put together a 'package'.
What I really want to make sure is that it doesn't come off as a one-trick pony--only crazy high notes, or only cutesy high energy characters.

Searching for that perfect aria in SOME language that will give depth to the rest of the 4 or 5 that I offer, that are the opera's show-stealing arias.

21 August, 2008

one word

If I had to only use one word for WTOC's Ariadne this past Tuesday it would be: Fierce.

A la Christian from Project Runway, a la the generally encompassing awesome-ness of the singing, direction, costumes, attitudes, and success of the production.

I was happy to see a number of my colleagues perform a challenging and beautiful work in a lovely musical acoustic and intimate theatrical space.

Looking forward to this weekend of continuing operatic travels, and then a weekend of labor day fun that will include seeing Wicked (for the first time, I know, I know--this needed to happen years ago and just didn't. Not that I don't know all of the music from youtube).

19 August, 2008


Sorry, it sure has been a while.
I've been meaning to update, but I've been mac-less since Friday. Now I'm writing on an inferior compaq6000 which belongs to my cousin who is currently at work, as normal people should be on a tuesday at 10am.

DC has been lovely so far. Beautiful weather, fun activities, great museums, and the best is yet to come with the performance of Ariadne tonight at Wolf Trap. Have I mentioned how excited I am for this? ?? ???

Oh- audition last week: sang Durch and Norina. Had to go through immense amount of drama, as my drycleaner 'misplaced' my audition dress. YES, my favorite, awesome, pretty, bold, red, audition dress.
And of course, since I was in the process of moving into nyc and my clothes were all over the place, I couldn't find any.thing.else. to wear. So it's 4:30pm and my audition is at 7:30pm. I find a dress that is a print that may be a LITTLE bold, but hey, it's the summer, so why not.
But. I have no shoes. To be specific, blue or white shoes. WHO owns white heels? Or for that matter, a blue, but NOT navy heel?
Not me.
(I usually wear the dress w/flats and was NOT about to audition in peeptoe white flats, as cute as I would look on the street in them).

So after my drycleaners completely piss me off by lying that the dress is on one of five trucks and it won't be there today (Friday), after they said it WOULD be there LAST wednesday...(yea.)...I begin the shoe-store shuffle on the Upper West Side.
First 3 boutiques on Columbus...yes, they have something that would match- but NOT worth 350 bucks!

Fourth store- has a potentially great shoe that is on the cusp of too expensive, but they don't have it in the color/size that I need--and this blue matched PERFECTLY.
BUT they have another location!
(cut to me jogging to Lincoln Center)
(cut to me at the 2nd location)
Scope out the shoe, see if they have my size and color--7-7.5-Blue- YES!
Ooook, since it's my only choice and otherwise I show up to an audition in black heels and a blue dress. No. Unacceptable.

However--at the end of the day, I'm KIND of in love with these shoes, and KIND of want to wear my new last-minute audition-configuration as, possibly, one of my 'season' outfits for auditioning.

Oh, and after all the running around it started pouring anyway, making my 'I'm living in NYC on the UWS and not taking any cabs anywhere' promise to myself null and void.
Put my sneaks on under the dress, hopped in a cab in the pouring rain, changed shoes at NOLA and sang a great audition.

Coming up this week and weekend:
Madame Butterfly and Flute in the White Mountain state
and Marriage of Figaro near the Green Mountain State.
And maybe buying my iphone in Beantown if I have time to get down there and visit.

12 August, 2008

have I mentioned

How great it is to be able to apply to programs online?
Thanks, that was quite painless.

No ink smears, no licking envelopes, no looking for that stash of Forever Stamps that I bought and put 'somewhere I could never forget'..and then forgot.

The internetsss is such a magical and wonderful place.

new digs

Yesterday I moved a majority of my things into the apt. I'll be living in for the next 5 months.

Wow- this may be the longest stint that I'm in a single place since I was in my last year in college. No, I take that back--since the residency program I did 2 yrs ago--that was 8 months long.

I've obviously learned to pack light and only had to transport:
My late summer/early fall clothes in one large suitcase, my winter clothes into another suitcase, a carry-on suitcase with audition clothes and the clothes I'm wearing this week.
A few more bags of shoes than I'd like to admit.
A keyboard.
A bag full of hangers extension cords.
A box of music I'll need for the next few months and papers I'll need for auditions (copies of headshots, resumes, recommendations, drivers license/passport, etc)

And really--that's about it.

I've learned how to travel light, and even though I have a cute clock collection, a favorite stuffed animal (yes, still!), tons of pics of me and my best friends from all over the world, and other chatchkes lying around that I'd love to add into my personal decorating of an eventual 'home', this one is temporary. And the more I bring now, the more I'll have to just pack up again in 5 months.
So all that's staying safe and sound in the basement until I'm a real person someday.
A real person with a place for everything that I have collected over the years that means something to me (and of course, doesn't clash with minimalist modern decor).

10 August, 2008

olympic inspiration

Just a short line about how inspired I am by watching the life work, life training, however few or however many years that is, from the youngest competitor to the oldest, of these Olympic hopefuls.

07 August, 2008


I had the opportunity to see a fabulous play the other night-
A Flea in her Ear, by Feydeau--translated into English, of course, although, back in the day (first semester of undergrad), I took a French class called French Comedy and Farce, and we had to read it in FRENCH.

I was at a highly prestigious summer theater festival that has seen the likes of Blythe Danner and her somewhat famous daughter...you know..what's her name...oh yea--Gwyneth Paltrow (in one of the pics she was just 8 years old in a play there), walk through the doors and out the stage actor's exit once the curtain came down.

Aaaanyway, it was a study in comedic timing.
And a good one at that.
In comedy, there is laughter from the audience. Sometimes, where you never expect. Because of a gesture, a double take, a word, the TONE of that word...
and here, wrapped up in a delightful little bundle of acting and directing, was an amazing book from which the actors had to shape their words, phrases, bodies, and minds.

Yes, I caught them ...sometimes thinking ahead to their next line while putting on the 'face' of listening to their dialogue counterpart.
But about 95% of the time it was flawless, seemed so natural, off the cuff, and non-rehearsed, even though I'm sure that it was quite the opposite...meaning-OVER rehearsed to a point of exhaustion where everyone was convinced they were NOT funny anymore...and then--voila, you have a comedy.

06 August, 2008

downsizing and other musings

This shouldn't be so tough, since I lived the majority of last year out of two suitcases..but that was just clothes.
All I required on those gigs were current-gig-score, audition-binder, and maybe next-gig-score.

Now that I have the opportunity to live in NYC for half a year--what music will I bring with me?
Music in the 'I'm going to learn this role' pile?
Music in the 'I should learn these cantatas' pile?
Music in the 'I photocopied this aria 3 years ago and wanted to add it to my audition binder' pile?

A smattering of all of the above will travel with me, but I also don't want to live among boxes of music, and I know that I have the NYPAL at my fingertips--literally--8 blocks away.

Also, 'tis the season of figuring out who I'm going to ask for recommendations.
Oooohhhhhhh..recommendations- a necessary evil (for companies) and very very...just plain evil.. for singers who are no longer in school, are graduates of young artist programs and year round residencies, and have begun the career of a young professional.
This does not age them out of still participating in programs and residencies that could offer continued training, high level visibility, the opportunity to work with a new set of coaches, conductors, directors and colleagues, etc. etc.
The value of these programs for singers at any early stage of their career is very high and important.

As I haven't been in an academic or apprentice setting since a year and a half ago, I suppose I'm left to ask colleagues from the main stage--conductors, directors, etc.

More and more often, in the lists of young artist participants in summer programs and year-round programs, I'm seeing managed singers, singers who already have a pretty steady regional career and gigs for the next 2 years, in the mix.

When I was a youngster I used to ask myself why these singers would want to stay in the young artist game? Yes, they're mostly all under 30 and, by the rules, have a right to apply and get in. But I thought once a little career momentum began, it wouldn't be so tough for them to just go out there and try to keep doing it.
I see now that it's more and more common, even for someone that is booked through 2010 in leading roles, to accept a young artist position at prestigious summer programs and year round residencies, and make more contacts with more people that will most likely lead to more hiring in the future.

Which begs the questions--
Can you just go it alone based solely on your voice and your resume?
Or does it take a big named program to want to invest in you before others really start to take notice?

What's in a name....


04 August, 2008


Performances that I'm going to see in the next 3 weeks include:
King Roger- (saw it at Bard yesterday)
Cesare- Glimmerglass
Ariadne- Wolf Trap
Flute- Opera North
Figaro- Berkshire Opera

And those are all BEFORE I arrive in NYC and begin the operatic viewings there for the next 5 months!

The above trips will involve a bit more gas money than I'd like to spend--but hey, it's worth it to see friends perform, say hello to colleagues that are coaches directors and conductors for the summers there, and above all, see ARIADNE for the first time LIVE which I'm very very (have I mentioned very?) excited about!

Up next on my plate (or, what SHOULD be up next)
is learning 09opera-1 and 09opera-2 roles...buuuuut wouldn't it be MORE fun to work on some new arias and revisit others that I haven't quite performed in a while but could be great for this year?
I say- YES!
So, I'm thinking about throwing some new-(er) things into the mix before audition season begins and seeing if they work.

I am the wife of Mao Tse-tung (nixon)
Fear to the sinner (tempest)
Pour en faire (cendrillon)
Sventurata (cenerentola)

Off to be productive.

03 August, 2008

I'm baaaack

Landed yesterday after a lovely flight that included:
Be Kind Please Rewind
Nim's Island (I couldn't stop watching partially because it was so sad to see Jodie Foster in such a crappy kid's movie)
Annie Hall (yes, the first time I saw the entire movie. On an airplane)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (see above)
Aladdin (Thankfully we landed halfway through this movie because I don't think my row-neighbors appreciated me singing and saying every.single.word.to.the.movie at a SOFT level, but nonetheless out loud while it was playing).

All in all, another airplane success across the ocean. Not too much turbulence, not too much bad food, no disturbances from small children kicking the back of my seat...
in short.... "a great success!"

29 July, 2008

suitcase results and a look ahead

I'm doing laundry one last time and beginning to pack for the trip home.
It shouldn't take a long time at all because after all, I came here with a carry-on sized suitcase (yes, for 20 days), and I also brought presents that have since been unloaded (and not replaced by too many purchases for myself).

The run-down on my packing skillzzz versus my wearing skillzzz, though, leaves something to be desired.

There are three 'fancy-ish'/hot shirts that I haven't worn here. That's because I haven't worn jeans except once--too hot. Always skirts or dresses.

There is one pair of sandals (well, classy flip-flops) that I just bought that went with two outfits that I brought here. Wore the sandals once-but it merited packing them because no other shoes went with those outfits.
Wore my black flip flops almost every day.
Wore my cute white ballet flats with the dresses that they went with.
Wore my sneakers ONLY on the plane.

Didn't wear khaki shorts. Eww..shorts. But they didn't take up any space, so it's ok.

Read one out of 2 books that I purchased at the airport on the way here...that's alright, the other one is still something I'm going to read (Rushdie), so I can lug it back.

Electronics: ipod got fair use on the plane and on the beach. macbook definitely got used due to free wireless at all times. Cell phone from the US- didn't need it at all, but I want to have it when I get back to the US and immediately want to check my messages.

Journal- I've been bad...let's just leave it at that. NO entries except from the flight OVER here! Oooops.

Score- ok, I DID look at the score...umm, 4 times I think. All the way through each time. Doesn't mean much, but it was worth taking with me if not just for the osmosis factor.

The results are in, and besides bringing those couple of shirts that I didn't wear, I'd say I did pretty well. Much better than last-opera where half of my suitcase (and no, it wasn't a carry on that time) went unworn due to unique weather circumstances beyond my control.

Vaycay is winding down, and although I never really want to leave here because it feels the closest to what I call home, I am ready for what is ahead.

A great audition season where I can concentrate on just that--and not running around nyc with multiple sets of keys and bags trying to figure out which friend's couch I'm crashing on that night--an exciting two shows that I'm preparing for after that, lessons, coachings, living in nyc for the first time :)