01 October, 2010

funny/crazy (business of singing, kinda)

You know what? I was just re-reading my B.(o).S - Business Of Singing posts from the year 2005-2006, and I would not change a word or an experience that I had.
I did the BA/BM. I did the free MM (as I postured, pay for a great undergrad, GET paid to sing for the grad, if you can). I did the language immersion (semester Italy, summer Germany). I did the residency (even though I had a backup plan in case that didn't happen). I did the summer YAP auditions/preparations for 2-3 summers both while I was ALREADY employed in a residency, AND while I was experiencing what I said NOT to do, which was- move to NY for auditions. Although, my move to NY was because I already had an offer from a manager to COME to ny, and so even though I worked a part time job, what I was really doing was dipping my toe in the 'professional' lifestyle pool of a managed singer, living in NY, working between auditions, and hoping that these auditions with the new management would take me AWAY from New York.
A few months later, gigs started rolling in. I was gone for more of the year, but still had no 'other' place to call home, so I actually started looking for real estate in nyc. OH HARLEM 2br SUNNY apartment that was under 300thou, how I WISH I had invested in you when the market was still in my favor. Bygones.
And professional gigs, however many or few per year, continued to roll in from about 2007 until today...as a 'free lance'/guest singer, not doing residencies, and not doing young artist programs anymore.
And New York, well that was an 8 month stint, followed by planning a European audition tour, which turned into another crazy chapter of life called- falling in love, getting married, moving abroad...which brought on CURRENT chapter of life- juggling a singing career in both the US and abroad.

So- let's talk about THAT!
Recently on nfcs a professor asked that some PROFESSIONALS (am I that now?!?!?!) fill in the blanks so that some of his students could do a project about what they THOUGHT a singer's life/pay/rehearsal day was like.

I answered for both the US and for Germany. In my experience. Of course, it's very different in both places, but what I find myself thinking about more and more, is the fact that I am here, and there is still a whole lotta 'crazy' going on in NYC.
And this is the life that I HAD. Just a few years ago. Living there, and making EVERY.Audition.REQUESTED of me. And nailing it, because there were just SO many auditions that how could you NOT nail it? Auditioning was my JOB. I owned it. Loved it, knew exactly how many minutes it would take to walk from my apartment to NOLA, IN my audition dress, but my fake UGG boots (with heels in my bag), what rep. I'd be singing, who else I would MOST likely see there that was my 'direct competition', what rep THEY would be singing, and how I would rock out my Zerbie/Blondchen/Marie/Cunegonde or whatever else they asked for.

I suppose there is an 'audition season' here in Europe, which is, mostly late fall, with some spring opportunities. But in general, theaters have house auditions. Every 2 weeks or so. IF you can get a SPOT in those auditions, it's kind of like a no pressure situation. They aren't looking for specific rep (like in the US, where you always know what you're singing for). They aren't looking for a specific singer, unless they immediately need to fill a fest position. It's just like - rolling up and saying 'watup, yo!, I can sing Koenigin, wanna hear my high F's?' and they're all like- 'sure, ok, that's cool.'.

And it's not some CRAZY thing where you see all 5 of the girls who sing the exact.same.rep as you do in the hall before the audition, and one after the other goes in to sing chacun le sait (only I add the high g's, thank you very MUCH!). And you don't feel the PRESSURE that those ADs in the room have to cast for next season and next season and hear 30 people per day for the 3 days they are in new york.

But on some level, I REALLY miss that pressure and insanity. Because it gets to be routine. And once it's routine, you're golden. Nothing can get you off of your game.
Bad weather? Early morning audition? Sinus? A little cold? NOPE- your throat is a MACHINE. You can do it no matter what!

And so, here is where I am now. With great connections and offers from houses in the US (about to get greater next year). STARTING to get the hang of what's going on here in Europe, although still needing to get myself out there to MORE German and French houses. Especially French, I HOPE, soon. Representing myself well everywhere, but still trying to find that 'in' for how you REALLY get noticed at a 'house audition' when you're not specifically auditioning for anything.
WANTING to continue to work on 2 continents (and more!), but knowing that IF I have gigs during "US audition season" ie, Oct.-Dec., that the likelihood of the US gigs continuing will be mostly based on previous work and previous houses inviting me back, not necessarily auditions. (Which is why I'm back this year at all three houses that I'll be singing with in 2011).
Also huffing and puffing at the doors of my 'local' houses in Dland- not sure how to get auditions there yet, but obviously having the "Koenigin card" which I'm happy to play IF they are also interested in Olympia, Zerbinetta, and any of my other repertoire.

And there you are. Yes, I'm busy. Yes, this is my career. And my ONLY career at that. Yes, I'm making enough money to support myself and contribute to my now '2 income household'. Yes, I want to be busier. A lot of the Europeans I meet here do a LOT of concerts. I have NEVER done a concert. I mean one with Lieder and a chamber orchestra. I've done Carminas and Messiahs and such...but maybe that would be something to look into for the future.
So now it's about balance, remaining competitive which is ALWAYS my nature (with myself, not others)..but of course, I have to get the audition date and THEN bring it. And perhaps looking into this whole concertizing thing. OOOH! A NEW PROJECT to explore!
Not like I don't already have WAY too many things to learn or google already.

Ok, that was long. It's past noon. I'm in bed. I have no more chocolate muesli. It may be a croissant breakfast kind of day. IF I get out of bed.
OH YEA!
That jogging/running project? NIXED by crappy weather. I PROMISE I will try again in the spring or when I have a treadmill at my next hotel stay in the US.
For NOW- it's 40 minutes of yoga per day (from online videos for free) plus some situps and girly pushups.

1 comment:

Elizabeth McDonald said...

LOVE your blog ...always enjoy your view on all things singing....shared it today on my own blog which I write to encourage my undergrad singers here in Canada...usually I stick to Canadian content but today I couldn't resist including your hilarious thoughts on Queen of the Night!

Hope to hear you someday and see you listed in a program as "Coloratur...aaaah!"

Cheers!