Happy New Year!
I rang it in with too much white wine, red wine, grappa, champagne, and then some more red wine. But it was wonderful!
Then I fell into a googling rabbit hole, as it were.
Started with recent news of an important debut for a colleague of mine. Ended with me checking every single colleague that is about my age/my level and seeing whether we are still 'equal'.
Is that helpful to me at all? Well- we shall see.
I mean, until last year, we were all on the same career track, but with different experiences.
Some singing leading roles at B/C- heavy on the B-- houses and high profile concerts
Some singing leads in B/C houses- heavy on the C, still doing summer programs, but high profile ones with tiny roles or tiny programs with big roles.
Some Maybe singing tiny roles at A houses.
In voice competitions, I consider myself out of the game already, so a few gals definitely have a leg up, but I'm very much over that part of singing...and although I do know you can get cash and get heard by people that may have a say in 'future things' in your career--it's not worth the crappy judging and the favoritism- mostly.
Some other girls were on the A-house level, but singing as young artists. This year, they're singing as principal artists, but in what I would consider still small roles, and covering important big roles.
Some girls went to big-named-important NYC schools for 6 years, sounded great and made all the right connections through teachers and coaches, guest conductors and directors, and basically just slid into a nyc-based career with high-level management.
And somewhere in there I fit in. Leading roles in B/C houses, small roles in A houses, out of the young artist game, but quite a few important roles on the resume sung at important places (whether as a young artist or not). And now, international credits.
Who can tell who is doing better and why? And does it REALLY matter in the end?
Some have extremely high-level international agents- and so, how can I compete with someone making their XYZ international house Opera debut, when I haven't even had a chance to audition for said company?
Some have 'boutique' agents--I see their names and faces all the time, and yes, they get some roles I want, and I get some roles they want. We all have about the same number of productions per year--they have their 'hometown favorite' opera house...maybe I kind of do have mine as well (starting next year, I hope).
Should I be comparing? I can't compare vocally. We sing the same repertoire and all sound completely different on it. Matter of taste and preference, I suppose.
So today I took a look at my colleagues, and in effect, my competition.
What do I need to do better? What do I need to do MUCH better? And what am I already doing really well?
Let's start with the good. I think my track record at companies so far that want to hire me back/are pleased with my work/know that they get what they pay for with me--is really good. Considering my previous work, my upcoming contracts, etc.
I also think my 'first impression' rate is pretty good, as I have new work coming my way from 'one time' auditions.
What do I need to do better? and what do I need to do MUCH better?
And I'm not talking vocally here...that is always being worked on...improved, added repertoire, etc.
Ok, PHYSICALLY--even though I am small and a totally acceptable size for stage, a FEW of these girls are NATURALLY stick-like. I could NEVER be stick-like, but again, maybe I could get a bit more toned...just to see if that makes a difference...although losing 7 pounds due to swine flu already put me well on my way to being an actual 'number' size smaller which is always fun.
And then--is it all about connections?
SHOULD I jump back into these competitions that I loathe- JUST in case one of the judges has some say somewhere and decides to throw something important my way (ie, a cover at an A-house that then miraculously gets to make a last minute debut?)
I got lucky with contracts for next season, despite having done SO few auditions in NYC this year (because of performances abroad)..but how long can that continue--and WILL it?
There is no 'worrying' here. It's just considerations and strategies. About where I am. About names of up and coming singers who were my colleagues in young artist programs a few years ago- now having pretty important agents and beginning to sing nationally and internationally at a very high level.
And the question is- if I had that opportunity- ie, to sing for the ADs at these high levels (because, I'm not assuming that jobs just magically land in your lap if you're with CAMI--although I really don't know)-- WOULD I get the job?
That is all for now, although there is much more to think about...and google, I'm sure.