31 January, 2009

so maybe taco bell at 1:30am wasn't the best idea

I have NEVER eaten at taco bell before. In my LIFE.

But last night after the show I was ravenous. Well, I'm always ravenous after the show.
But usually I can contain myself slightly and eat whatever is in the fridge instead of purposely stopping at a fast food place that's on the way home.
Ok, that is a total lie. There have been at least 4 evenings in this past month that I've gotten a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's after a particularly long evening rehearsal. NOT the meal. Just the sandwich. Protein, right?

But taco bell? Never. Well, with friends in town that ended up hanging out for about an hour after the show, and no food in the fridge because I haven't bought groceries in 2 weeks (except healthy things like apples and lettuce...and who wants THAT at 1am?)...we all decided to DRIVE THRU Taco Bell at 1:30am last night.

So after half of a chicken burrito and some mildly warm cheez-whiz-gelatinous-yellow substance with unsalted chips, I was feeling nice and full.

That plus half a bag of sour patch kids earlier in the evening will just about do it to any system--
Wake up feeling like your voice bla, your throat is bla, and there's no flu or rhino-virus to blame for it.

I know the health rules and the better choices, but it's difficult when my days and nights almost get flipped because of performance schedule.

Having enough energy onstage from 8-11pm means having extra energy until 3 or 4am, waking up at 11 or 12, lolling about, and only eating one meal that's probably not so substantial because I'm just not that hungry before a show.

So now I have 8 hours to be good and get back to normal.
Water, tea, maybe some eggs for breakfast (at 1pm), warm up around 5 and then off to performance number 6!

29 January, 2009

zen and the art of....singing

I had a most relaxing day off today which included going to the beautiful beach with great big waves crashing over my head, playing Matkot (that's, I think paddle ball? with the two wooden racket thingies and the little black rubber ball?)..I only know the name for it in the other language from over on the Mediterranean, where I used to play it as a child,... and hanging out with some of the cast members for a few hours.

Being in the waves, under the waves, and letting my body just be pulled by nature---all brought about a pretty calming feeling of "everything is supposed to work out and be good in life...if you work to make it so".

I'm feeling pretty calm about things right now, even though it would be easy for me to be flustered and crazed.

What with no specific daily schedule for the next 5.5 weeks except that I'll be "somewhere in Europe, most likely Germany"...

No Eurail pass bought (yet)..still holding out between buying the totally unlimited one or the limited one (it's a 300 dollar difference so I SHOULD just buy the unlimited one....I THINK?)

No reservations made....anywhere....because I'm HOPING and wishing that I will be in places where I have singer and director friends to crash.

No guide books, no printouts of maps from google, no repertoire lists...

I have time to do that all (in my 4 days between the end of this production and leaving) right?

Well, I think so.
And I"m feeling very centered and good about going over there, presenting my repertoire which I truly love and would love the opportunity to perform...anywhere..., and seeing what happens.

4 more performances here...which are still going very well, are fun, and almost routine now- although there is always something new every night from props to costumes to new looks and near-laugh-out-loud moments just to keep us all on our toes.

too much google for my own good

A trail of google-ing (that began with a facebook update, moved to firefox, and about three pages later--voila), led me to see that a certain role that I auditioned for this past fall has been cast.
I wasn't specifically waiting to hear about it, but I did think that I gave a good audition, and I was hoping. As I do for every mainstage and young artist audition, that I'll be the one they pick.
We all know the odds of that, and they're not high.

But this role...this role is what I really want to sing in full and is what I think will be one of the roles in my repertoire that really fits me like a glove and is a standout from the rest of the repertoire.

Disappointing, yes, but what can I do? I wasn't the one chosen. For whatever reason (I'm going to make the reason the fact that the production I'm already doing would have overlapped by 4 days with the rehearsal period anyway)....it isn't me, and so here is how I deal with the feelings so far.

1. Huh. Well THAT sucks.
2. Let's go back to my audition notes and see how I felt about it. Awesome.
3. Has the person they cast sung this role in its entirety before? (google). Is THAT the reason?
4. Are they simply a bigger name that I am? (google).
5. Does their agent know the artistic director?- is the conductor on the same roster or something? (google)
6. Ok then. Why not me? Looks? Height? Weight? Vocal weight? Vocal color? (google pics, google mp3s)
7. No answers, only more information that is not making anything better.
8. A few hours spent in quiet, mixed with a bit of self-pity and annoyance.
9. A few hours spent with brain spinning- well, then, what do IIIII do next that will be different and better?

And the answer?

Oh you know--everything
-- from googling what other companies have that show in their season in the next 2-3 years
--to deciding that once and for all I'm going to make sure that I have the entire thing memorized because, HEY! maybe THIS one will be that EinSpring that I so hope for in Europe
--to making sure that the crazy opera that I know that really really hard and high aria from that only about 4 other people sing is KNOWN to a certain big-ole opry house that has the opera listed on its upcoming productions in the next 3 years....and maybe ...JUST maybe that could somehow be a giant step into another house level if someone in the 'know'...knew.

The bottom line is, yes, I'm disappointed. But it's only detrimental to me if I stay in that state. Instead, I take the information, process it, and try to do something proactive about what I can do differently, better, best, next time.

28 January, 2009


So THAT'S why I was so tired yesterday.
So THAT's why I inexplicably had to get up out of bed at 2am to eat 3 pieces of Lindt chocolates given to me on opening night.
So THAT's why I felt the sudden urge to stop at Walgreen's on the way back from the show to get Jalapeno Cheddar Pringles.
So THAT's why I ate those cheddar pringles followed by tortillas and guacamole, followed by grilled cheese and tomato on pumpernickel, followed by frozen thin mints (many more than just the 4 cookie serving size).--followed by the late night chocolate binge.

And So THAT'S why.
That is all I have to say about that.
Oh, and also that thank goodness I only feel like a crazy hormonal eating machine for about a day and a half. I'd also like to thank the gods of scheduling and the lunar cycle for deciding to torture me this time around not on opening night.

Guess there was good reason for wanting to steal a baby or adopt a puppy yesterday..and love it and squeeze it and hold it forever and ever.

Moving on.

Other issues that I will soon write about after I go get some more thin mints:
Self-Imposed-Censorship and blogging

Ok, back with a roll of frozen thin mints.

Now then.
If you REALLY wanted to try and figure out who I am, you probably could.
I began this blog as actually a locked "livejournal" (when that website was still cool and blogger didn't exist), meaning, I locked each post. It was literally just an online diary that no one else could read.
One day I forgot to lock a post, and I received a comment on my writing. Something probably about an audition or something about technique.
Thanking me for my view, and directing me to another blog, where someone of similar schooling level was also writing about the experience of trying to 'be an opera singer'.
And so what was a private and honest and cleansing exercise in writing, venting, forming, creating, reacting, thinking, guessing, trying---turned into something a bit more public.
Sharing all of the above.

Sharing the ride. The ups, downs, trials, triumphs, and everything in between.

This evening I found out a colleague of mine removed a post from a blog.
The colleague had good reason to post it in the first place--- honest feelings and reactions to a performance.
The colleague also had good reason to remove it--- honest feelings and reactions to a performance.

Writing in a public arena, albeit for ourselves and sometimes an anonymous but musically or operatically inclined/informed public, means that it's not just me and my locked diary.

What does it mean to be 'anonymous' here and also have the understanding that this is a very small world we live in, and is constantly getting smaller? And within the already small world, is an even smaller group of people that are singers, administrators, agents, opera fans, friends and family--who may stumble upon this site for any number of reasons---?
One blog to the next, a google search for "Zerbinetta's aria translation", word of mouth (otherwise known as email or text)...

It means that I think about what I write here. It is honest and what's on my mind.
But it's not everything. It can't be. I don't know of anyplace except for in my mind that everything could be felt and said.
Certainly not written--in one of those yellow-paged journals from the turn of the century that you can find 100 years later at a flea market, and buy for ten dollars because you're impressed with the penmanship.

Plus, I have really bad handwriting and was never taught cursive.

26 January, 2009


I think the time has come in these 4 out of 5.5 weeks that I'll be here, where the lack of general sleep is catching up with me.
Last night I went to sleep at my 'normal' 3am-ish.
After watching what is turning out to be one of the greatest BBC miniseries that a friend of mine has introduced me to on netflix- the Forsyte Saga- until about 2:45am.

I KNEW I had to wake up early today to drive north. I knew that. Really.
But it didn't matter. I wasn't "tired".
Well, after waking up and feeling like death around 8am, sleeping until 8:40, rushing around, leaving without eating, stuffing a few pieces of sushi in my mouth around 11:30 before the coaching, singing the coaching (which went very well except I was feeling a bit vocally bla from everything, including 2 performances and dinners and hang-outs and opening night parties, etc), and driving back and wanting so badly to just crawl into bed, I held out until 10pm..because I knew if I took a nap, I'd wake up at midnight and be fresh as a daisy.

So. It's 10:08. I'm exhausted. And I ACTUALLY think that if I turned this little box of magical internetsss OFF right now, that I WOULD fall asleep.

Will I actually do that? Or find some amazing new website or blog or google-ninja path to follow for the evening?
Let's start by pressing "Publish Post", and see where that takes me.


Yesterday we had our second performance with sort of a second cast (only one role is double cast in this production).
I woke up way too early for no good reason and was feeling super tired, but got around to reviving myself with some clementines and hummus (not eaten together!) before the show, plus some chocolate from opening night that is always evil-ly lying around in the dressing room.

Everything went well again, except that again, I seem to somehow step into the hem of my dress every time I have some sort of fall onstage, and my shoe gets stuck for a second.
By the end of yesterday's performance I had about 8 safety pins replacing where the sewing line should have been at the hem. Unnoticeable because of the lace ruffle on top, but still, not ideal.
And the arm's eye ripped again.

AND I picked up food off of the stage floor and ATE it (after it fell, thankfully did NOT travel all the way to the orchestra section)---but that's just part of being flexible with whatever happens on stage.
Plus, it was a croissant. I wasn't complaining! :)

I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the show was over because the next-day-matinee is really something you have to rally for.
Energy, voice, tiredness, everything is affected by what happens on opening night, how much sleep you get, how many donors you talk to at the after-party, etc.

Today is our 'day off', but instead of going to the beach, I'm driving a bit north of here to do a morning coaching on some upcoming rep for the summer.

I know I won't overextend myself vocally, but being awake at 8am after two days of excited energy and little sleep is just a tad painful right now.

25 January, 2009

yayyyyy....it was the day of the show y'all!

Opening night---I had so much fun!

Things to remember:

-I ripped the dress a bit in both armholes- wow, my poses must be REALLY dramatic.

-At some point in the climb on the table scene a stray fork got stuck somewhere in the ruffles of my dress, and therefore in the fall OFF chair continuation of the scene, a fork went careening into the cello section. Thank the LORD it didn't hit any instrument or eye--apparently there were laughs in the orchestra, and the conductor didn't even realize it! Whew.

-I forgot ONE sigh. UGH.

It felt like I was in the moment, having fun, jumping around, concentrating, and loving what was going on at every second.

Bring on the matinee tomorrow!


24 January, 2009

final dress

Still waiting for my director to email me notes about tonight's performance, but I think tonight's dress went personally well--of course something NOT good did have to happen just so things wouldn't go perfectly, and my not good things were costume and wig related:

1. completely entangling myself in some lacy ruffle of the dress, which ripped and then dragged my left character shoe into while I was either :
a. climbing onto the table
b. falling off the chair onto the table or
c. swinging feet on the table

2. Hearing the pins as they slipped out of my wig and onto the stage as it teetered atop my head in addition to the the spirit gum which was also useless as I was sweating so ridiculously from running around in the first 20 minutes of the show.

Otherwise- I was actually vocally a bit tired, but I still tried to give it all, making sure I wasn't doing anything that I'd regret for opening tomorrow night.
I sang a lot already today (probably not the best idea, but I had to record some art songs for an upcoming competition), but hate to give less than what I can, especially during the last run with the orchestra.

We had an invited audience, and it's always interesting to see the things that get laughs...and we had everything from belly laughs to giggles to clapping in new places, which all of us adjusted well to (especially when you can figure out what key your recit begins in after an aria because you can't hear the harpsichord!)

I'm tired, and it's EARLY for me to be tired.
A few more emails, blogs, some facebook time, and then maybe I'll head to sleep.

Tomorrow is a light day- a late lunch with friends and then leisurely head over to the theater in the evening. MAYBE, just maybe, the beach in the morning, if the weather is cooperative.

I'm excited for what is a super-fun show to be involved with!

23 January, 2009


No, not the tv show with Jack Bauer, agent extraordinaire, the
a. number of minutes I worked out at the gym for today.
b. number of hours before I'll have to be thinking about taking a shower and warming up before leaving for the theater for opening night tomorrow.
c. number of days--ok, I can't think of what's happening in 24 days--let's see what iCal says: number of days before I'm on a train from Berlin to Leipzig for an audition.

But mostly A.
Even though the other 2 choices are true as well.

So lame, but I had to do SOMETHING. So much for new year's resolutions!


Tonight someone mentioned something during dinner about a certain aria in a certain upcoming opera that will be sung a step down.

I can't elaborate any more because I know more about the background situation and why such a thing is occurring.


This is THE crowning aria of the piece.

And while I want to try and be understanding about the entire situation...it's really hard to hear that, because the piece is already such a rarity in the repertoire due to it's vocal requirements for both of the leading male and female roles.
And it being a role that I've sung before and all, well that just makes it tougher to swallow.

In addition to the fact that yes, I know divas o' the day could do whatever they wanted like move Lucia up a 3rd, or do the original version in F for the mad scene if they had high notes for days, or yes, even move things down because the rest of the role fit and the aria didn't....what about the musical integrity?

Why was that key originally chosen if not to showcase the voice in a certain way that requires leggiere singing?
What about the theme reiteration in the next scene after the aria?
What about the rest of the pianissimo high notes and fioratura?
What about the overture theme?

I'm bummed not because I'm not the one singing the role, but because the more houses may accommodate these key changes because they want a certain name or voice to sing a certain role, the less that role becomes a vocal specialty, something that I and I'm sure many others with that facility work very hard to excel at.
And of course, who will know? Probably not many outside the process.

Basta. Had to write it to get it out.
Final dress is tomorrow night and I'm looking forward to renewed energy after this day off.

22 January, 2009

day off

We had our first full rehearsal with orchestra tonight, which always adds yet another level of energy/consciousness/newness to any performance.
The level that was stripped away was the costumes and makeup that we got last night (although I still had my crazy wig because it's heavy and we had to "practice" with them!).

Doing the show in jeans and character shoes just doesn't compare to last night with full dress, pantaloons, corset tops, etc. But it was still exciting to find new things--most recently a laugh that I've incorporated to the character, and also a new way to play with the fact that my wig is about as heavy as a 10 month old baby.

Ok, not THAT heavy, but still. I let it now dictate more of my movement, more of my leanings, and more of the way I carry myself.

Tomorrow- a full day off. It's been pretty freezing here so I don't get to take advantage of the weather and go to the beach.

I'm sure I could find SOMETHING to keep myself occupied--say, oh, memorizing UPCOMING-ROLE?!?!?!

That or shopping. Tough call.

21 January, 2009

it's official

For a grand total of $451 dollars (plus 20 bucks to the agency) I'll be flying nonstop to Berlin in a few weeks to spend 5.5 weeks auditioning.

Take THAT orbitz and airlineconsolidator and expedia and nwa and all the other sites I checked before calling up my 2nd cousin 3 times removed who works for a travel agency!!!

What do I have lined up so far?
Auditions for a few agents in some of the major cities, a competition or two, and still waiting to hear about house auditions.

What's my super secret hope?
Well, not only that I'll have a great time, get to travel, visit friends, remember my German, kick butt at auditions, etc. etc.- but that somehow what happened to me 2 years ago will happen again--that is, Einspring--- a last minute call from a friend of a friend of a friend who has a colleague that just got sick and is supposed to sing tomorrow night/tonight and have I done the role and how fast can I get to the theater?

It would be like- "heeeere I come to save the daaaaay"

Hey, it could happen!!

20 January, 2009

First Costume/Makeup Dress rehearsal

Hurray! I didn't trip over MY dress, didn't trip over T's dress, didn't trip over C's dress, and overall, didn't fall on my butt tonight--first day in costumes and wigs and makeup.

Things went well for me tonight- I think I incorporated as many notes and changes as possible as I was directed to over the past week, and over all- I had FUN!

The photographer was there tonight so while we were trying to pay attention to the conductor and the piano we could hear the shutter flashing away. No flash though.
But of course hearing the click click click makes you think you're in a photo shoot---

"you're a MONKEY Derrick!"
--pose, and pose...Madonna, Madonna, Madonna-and Vogue.

At any rate, I was making sure that my wig wasn't slipping off of my head half of the time.
It was secure, but my hair is always so slippery and never holds anything, let alone a TWO foot tall wig with plastic FRUIT on it!

haha--it looks so amazing though.
I love the costumes in the show.

I think everyone is ready now.
Ready for the dress rehearsal with orchestra, ready to put this sucker in front of an audience--and we soon shall!

in 'awe' guration day 2009

Short of sending us on another mission to put a man on the moon, the new President has enumerated the tasks before us--to restore the values that this country was built upon, and to be forward thinking in our aims and reaches, both at home and internationally.

Anyone else up for it? I am.

Just seeing the approximately 1.4 million (and that's probably a low number) people on the Mall was inspiring, and a once-in-a-lifetime memory.

Tonight- first rehearsal with costumes, hair and makeup.

Hurray! (Except for the washing off the makeup at the end of the night and realizing that I did such a crap job of it that it's still on my face the next morning). Oh well. Some things never change.

19 January, 2009

667th post.

I have the day off today and had such high hopes for doing fun things.
Instead of sea kayaking (it's too cold and kind of overcast to be on the ocean right now), I decided to send out a zillion (yes, actually a zillion) emails.

Some in English, some in German, some in both, most with numerous attachments--regarding my impending wish to spend 6 weeks abroad in hopes of getting as many auditions as possible.

I began last night and continued this morning, going through the lists, sifting the people and places that I thought may have an interest in a person of my 'fach', and now I wait.

The difference is, now I think that I'm at a level in the US where I could request an audition from just about anywhere and have it granted. At least the hearing, of course not necessarily the hiring.

But in Europe first I have to get the agent to even hear me. And that's a no go if they have too many koloratursoprans in their roster, or if they know of no openings for the next year at houses.

I haven't bought the plane ticket yet, and even when I do, I'll certainly spend the extra 100 dollars to make sure that it's refundable, JUST in case I'm not as busy as I would hope to be.

But I really really hope that people start answering their emails!

18 January, 2009


Hello from our first sitzprobe. I've been sitting here with trusty iPhone games and the internets while the parts are sorted, the sixteenth pickups are changed to eighths, the cuts are reiterated, and the orchestra gets a feel for what it's actually supposed to sound like instead of just playing fiiiive---onnnnneeee. Rest rest rest. Fiiiive-one.
It's always fun to hear the orchestra for the first time. It brings one more level of excitement to the upcoming performances. Another layer to work with and add to the already changing rehearsal process now that we are in the theater
What does that mean?
Well the first night of tech Is always a bit hectic
Are there railings on the 2nd floor entrance to the set? How steep ARE those stairs that were previously marked in purple tape on a black tarp?
Do I have enough time for the crosses and to cross behind the set?
Last night was the usual stop and start. But that's ok. It's part of the process. It makes me concentrate more instead of relaxing into the show like I may have these last few runs in the rehearsal room.
The theater, as always, is every temperature from hot under lights to freezing backstage. Always dusty but hey, I'm not complaining. I've learned that almost every morning after the first time in the theater I'll wake up stuffy or just feeling weird. And allergic to everyhing. And a week later it won't matter at all and will feel like we've been there the whole time.
Everything as usual for a first tech.
Backups slowdowns speedups and then on Tuesday I'm sure we will settle into a rhythm.
Now back to the music rehearsal- almost singthu of finale time!

16 January, 2009

final room run

This evening is the last run that we have before we move to the theater to begin tech and last week before the show opens!
I slept like crap last night, but I still have 4 hours to get it together before tonight.

One of my goals for this evening is to try and put the whole show into an arc.
Right now my head is thinking.
Opening, fall with intention, don't forget the recit, split 1/4 on the poses, split C on the final poses, exit, and then look in my score for the next entrance and review that recit speed-style.

And not in any frazzled way...it's just compartmentalizing--what I do best as a Libra. Until I let the total passion of it take over--which, I'm hoping will happen tonight. And if not completely tonight, then I know it will be once we move to the theater.

It would be so much nicer if I could think of the entire character. Where I'm starting, where I'm ending up, and every growth and movement in between as a big pool--or rather, ocean (extended metaphor since I'm near one)- where a wave starts out a tiny ripple and by the end with wind and weather and both external influences and internal 'natural' process, it gets to the other shore and crashes triumphantly, only to seep back into it's original point of starting, but now--having changed, and experienced something new.

non notes

Yes, it's 1:30am, surprise, surprise--I'm still awake!
I've exhausted the 'refresh your email' button on hotmail and gmail sufficiently over the past hour, I've updated my FB status about 7 times since 5pm, read the Times online, read all of the blogs on my list, written emails that needed to be sent out...pretty much the only thing I haven't done is bake a cake.

mmm, cake.

15 January, 2009

Notes 2

First. Note to self. No caffeine before runthrus!
Energy that is not naturally mine just doesn't work. I usually hate coffee but for some reasoni stopped at sb today
About an hour before rehearsal (where I am now-- yea iPhone)
I feel like I'm bouncing off the walls- on the inside. I'm focused but weirdly so.
Too much in my head too little in my body.
Things are both going in slow motion and passing me by too quickly at the same time

More notes- slower entrance. More vogue. Drop face on family portrait
Faster on all recit entrances
Motivate cross to d on high note and all the little 'oh's that build up to 'the' 'o'
Once more- face boobs turn out lean fall crawl
Slower and body burn on trill

One more quintet review and act ii notes and then I'll be left with only energy for the rest of the night
It may just be a legally blonde the musical kinda night around 2am again


Not that this will make sense to anyone but myself, but here goes, because I have to think about it and get it out of my head before I attempt to fall asleep tonight.

-slower down steps while C is dream-dancing
-hit C with boa
-Madonna pose on each "Don" "Ra"
-Butt at 3/4 on dad's aria
-Baby Throw- more disinterest
-Bigger Coat movement
-Papaaaaa(flower, smile to frown)
-Boobs, arms, fall, crawl
-Mi fa male (xDSL of T), mi fa MA (pull T)

Act II-
Kick/Fall earlier on BASti, and not because I"m angry.
Fall R of Ctr. for whiny recit- stay there.
It's raining on my head and messing up my hair ...ie, "It's raaaining, on prom niiight, my hair is a meeeessss, it's ruuuning all oooover my taffetta dreeeess".
OMG who is that--isn't that...wait, what?
Finale- not so far right, one step off stage then on.

First run-through-- as my good friend Borat would say---a great success...yesss...niiice, alaaaaaiiike.

Take 2 tomorrow.

14 January, 2009

in which the bloggy world gets a little smaller

Dinner with a current-colleague tonight reveals that we have both read the other singer's blog in the past year, and not known who the singer was!
Well, I COULD have since this singer isn't completely anonymous, but she was left to guess!
All was revealed over some brown rice, black beans, and chopped chicken--including the fact that our parents live about 10 minutes away from each other.
(We're trying to set up a blind date before the opening of the show!).
Mom, Dad- here is another set of mom and dad that have a singer for a daughter, Tawk amongst yourselves.

In a world where usually the extent of a relationship (in an opera 5.5 week rehearsal/performance situation) is usually- you're my new best facebook friend, it was nice to sit down to dinner, get to know someone, and talk about things like LIFE as a singer, and not just being a singer, or the show.

Sometimes people are just ok with being facebook friends and 'show-friends'- meaning, you hang out in rehearsals, you have some meals together during your time off for lunch or dinner, maybe you even go out on the town a few times during the production...and afterward the texts, fb messages and all communication otherwise dwindles--except for the obvious--omg, are you in NYC for auditions? We should totally hang!

But more often I like to keep in touch on a 'real' basis. Ok, yes, it MAY be through messaging on facebook, but HEY- I'm just not a phone person (except for the cool apps on my iphone), so my interweb-ninja self WILL be in touch, and hopefully it will be before we find out that we're cast in a production together in 2011 and have to do the awkward--omg, it's been soooo long, I should have been in better touch.

So, new blogger-buddy, and current-colleague, let's hope that we ARE both cast in something fabulous together in 2011 and that when we get there it'll be like no time passed at all!

12 January, 2009

pros and cons

Should I or shouldn't I?
After this production I"m going to have 6 weeks off.
The big question yet to be answered is will I go to Europe in hopes of doing auditions?

The issues:
Money, Timing, Probability that I'll get auditions/offers.
Money- don't have much of it now, but after this production I should have enough to finance the following:
Round trip to the cheapest city in Germany from NYC--maybe 600?
Unlimited Eurail Pass for a thousand smackers or so.
Audition fees, food, etc.
Housing: To be hopefully taken care of by GENEROUS friends and friends of friends.
Berlin- check, Leipzig- check, Hagen- check, Dusseldorf- check.
I'll totally youth hostel it up in any other places, or find cheap lodging as I always do and 'rough' it.
I THINK in total I would attempt to spend less than 3thou? I mean, the flight and Eurail alone would add up to close to 2.

I don't need to eat, right?

Ok, so that's money. I will have it.

Yes, it's a 'good' time to go, according to most. Second to fall audition season which coincides with the American audition season.

Probability that I"ll get auditions.
Now this is where it gets tricky...maybe...maybe I'm overthinking it.

I THINK that what I should do is what most people do-
1. Get out that big list of all agents in Europe, send them an email or snail mail BY February 1st, say I'm coming over there from X to X date, and will they hear me.
2. Get out that big list of houses. Send THEIR KBB office an email requesting a house audition. Wait and see.

What I have:
My resume and bio and cover letter translated into German.

What I don't have:
What I don't have, really, is the knowledge to deal with 'what if' situations. ie- I have engagements in the next year, and IF I do this and IF I get some offer, WILL I be able to negotiate releases or should I not do it at all because releases aren't granted
Do I say that I have upcoming engagements? Do I leave it all open? What looks better? What looks like I WOULD want to move there for a year, IF given the chance and IF also given that release in the next year?
Do I audition for "studio" programs simply because I'm age-eligible (under 30 or in some cases 28) even though I'm 'mainstage' here?
Do I audition for EVERYTHING and just see?

I'm usually a more compartmentalized type of person for this type of venture. And these lingering questions that no one can really answer because no one that I know is really in this exact same situation...are not making it any easier to make a decision.

11 January, 2009

all done~ or, the beginning.

This afternoon the entire show was blocked.

So. Now I have all of these scribbles ...some in my score, most in my head...that I get to flesh out and make sense of for the next fourteen days.
A basic shape or flow, that I get to change things up in. From tempo to demeanor to stance to facial expression. And at the end of it all, all of my specific choices will make an arc for this character that hopefully will flow seamlessly from beginning to end.

Some of the challenges that I think about before going to sleep (as I go through as much blocking and speed-thrus in my head as possible) are:
-Avoiding being generally whiny and whinging.

I think I can avoid that by making my gestures more refined. Slower to gesture, but quick intellectually--means that I've been schooled in "how" to gesture, so I have an element of refinement and snob about me. I know what's right and sometimes can't HELP but gesture in a flowing/correct/finishing school manner. But I'm also quick to lose my temper. It's the losing the temper where I'm wanting to speed things up ..and I think I get too 'modern' gesture with it...so I will try to lose my temper with stronger facial movements rather than quick gestures. And perhaps also with sharper body angles. But fewer fast 'modern' moves.

-Avoid NOT liking myself.
This is exactly what it looks like it means.
I (as the character) don't want to comment on what my behavior is like on stage. WHILE I'm on stage.
I need to be this character...someone who was brought up with the best of intentions of going into high society and succeeding but who just couldn't get through that final Emily Post etiquette class because of my fiery demeanor and lack of positive nurturing female influence. Someone who puts her own needs first, and has a list of who is a 'friend' and who is a 'frenemy' (which can change by the hour). Someone who enjoys being girly and sometimes takes it to catty.
Someone who sees the options of a bright future dwindling away as the father drinks the family money and name into oblivion--and who wants to be proactive about doing something to change that--but is a little too wound up and oversensitive about the subject in the first place to actually succeed in that endeavor.

Am I like-able? Well that's not for me to decide. I like myself. I feel sorry for myself and my 'lot' in life most of the time. I feel like I should have been 'born to higher things...here I droop my wings...aaahhhhhh---singing of a sorrow..nothing can assuage.'
hahahaha! if ONLY it was as easy as Cunegonde.

Someone who is SO driven that everything else is a blur. But someone who is somehow destined to not succeed. And there is always that drive to change that. And MAYBE that's what I finally see at the end--forgiveness and acceptance is the way that I can put my 'drive to success' to better use.
Just maybe.
But I'll still be pissed that I don't get to ride off into the sunset with my knight in shining armor.

08 January, 2009

act two already?

We've been in rehearsal for 5 days and all of act one is blocked already.
I think this show is a runner-up to the most physical show I've had to do (and who knows what's in store in Act II).

From the start I get to FAIL at ballet twirls, trip over things, fall down the stairs twice, fall while I curtsy, fall while I run, fall while I am angry, fall while I am amused...you get the picture.
I'm a klutz but at the same time I know the RULES of being graceful and try to achieve that as the older more cultured child.

So with Act I staged (and Act I finale staged...it's awesome), I have to say that I'm starting to feel the fun!

We are doing some repeating and plugging the chorus into the big scenes..and the more we repeat, the more opportunities I get to make what I'm doing feel impulsive, even though it has mostly been carefully "choreographed" at some places. I get to now find the motivation to make that choreography work.
Not just know that at measure 5 ON the downbeat we snap our heads left.
But find a reason for it and make it work.

Still on a pretty messed up sleep schedule, but otherwise I'm very much enjoying myself and will VERY SOON (really, now..) start to think about the upcoming things that I have to think about.

More on that and possibly being abroad for a number of weeks...another time.

06 January, 2009

chop chop

We opened up about three cuts today- one in a recit, and two in a quintet. For dramatic interpretation and for story line. Makes sense and adds about 4 minutes to the show in total.
Now if we could just re-open pages 326-329 I'd be a happy camper. Alas...it's almost always cut, and so will remain listed here as well.

Character work is getting trumped by plain old stage business for today with running about, fake falls, double takes, singing under a special, freezes, and generally just trying to figure out how to put this act I finale together!

05 January, 2009


It's amazing when one person walks in the room, then walks onstage, and without saying a word or singing a note, brings the energy around him up to 200%.
Everyone was bursting. We all perked up. How one person's energy, fun and attitude can do this--I'm not sure--but it's inspiring and VERY fun.

04 January, 2009


First staging rehearsal--well HELLO there character shoes, rehearsal skirts, boas, more boas, feathers, prancing about, and basically being a new person on stage..seeing that develop.

We have 2 lead mezzos double-cast, but the rest of the cast is single-cast, so it's fun to get to do everything one extra time, just to make SURE you know where that cross, fall, slap, or spin is.

It's always interesting to work with a new director, new conductor, new cast..and see how things are shaped.

Right now I'm enjoying figuring out how to make my character's desires strongest on stage, how to make sure I'm avoiding slapstick (the pitfall of many of this composer's comedies onstage), and also taking a trip down memory lane for how to be the oldest child...an older sister...with the perfect mix of mothering, teasing, and best friend all mixed in.

03 January, 2009

rehearsal day one

Ok, I didn't mess up the directions to the rehearsal space, I didn't crash my rental car into someone else on the highway while cautiously getting two lanes over for a quick exit that I didn't realize was coming up (and no one crashed into me), I dressed up appropriately (audition attire), heels, warmed up, didn't forget my score, didn't forget my pencil, didn't forget to have SOME breakfast, and voila- rehearsal day one can begin.

I met all of the cast besides one, conductor, director, opera staff--I THINK I have all of the names down, and we were off.
Music rehearsal number one- a sing-through.
Today was a bit more specific than a sing-through though--with specific thoughts about line and direction and interpretation ... input on tempi and finales, etc...to put everything together before we take it apart in our blocking.

It was really helpful, but also really tiring--to do that kind of work on a piece that you're just meeting for the first time- with seven other new people around you- trying to work as an ensemble.

But from what I can tell--this is going to be a terrific show.
I really like everyone's attitudes, the smiles (could have something to do with the BEAUTIFUL weather here), and the fun that I think we're all going to have to put this together.

Off to a good start. Now to end the day with a bedtime earlier than 3am would be nice.