20 November, 2006

bleu(s), or, it's not easy being "green"

Back in the middle of no-where, with cellphone charger and re-discovered ipod charger.
Received first "no" of the audition season today. Must press on.

Jeez, I feel like I'm writing some journal as a scientist doing geothermal research on the antarctic peninsula or something. Maybe I'll start using complete sentences.

Question to the empty echoing chambers of the internet:

Do you have to be between the ages of 27-30 and already famous/managed, or have already attended certain top 5 programs to be the soubrette/coloratura soprano that the top 5 summer young artist programs accept?
And even when you are that age/level- why is it that in this business you are for some reason still considered an apprentice artist and covet so much the tiny role of "maid"- which was originally written for a 9 year old girl to sing in Mozart's time? -Even though you have a steady career, work for a year or two in regional houses, and people in the "biz" have their eye on you for the future?

This isn't my way of dealing with the "no"--- blaming ageism. I did my best at the audition, felt as if I made a good impression, and felt really good vocally and dramatically. That's all I can control. So I smile and say thank you after my 10 minutes is up.

It's just that a few minutes after I received that no, a friend of mine- very different voice, kind of same castable rep., emailed me her good news of acceptance into one of the top summer programs out there--one that she had attended last year, and one that she will be returning to after getting one of the best up and coming managers to sign her this past week, and turning the big... well, yea.

I've seen ageism work from both ends of the spectrum in this business. You're either a wunderkind (Bass or baritone, age 20- usually or Wagnerian Soprano- age 24), or you don't look the "soubrette" part anymore.

Again, no complaining, just a reflection of what I'm seeing around me...as I am currently in a year-round residency and am getting opportunities and visibility and training and mainstage time, etc. NO COMPLAINING.

I think I've just had in my head since the age of 22 and my first "go" at auditioning for summer YAPs that 25 was going to be the turning point- that point where I was taken seriously as an artist because of talent combined with the "right" age- the right age being, not too young and untested or being "green". But from the successful (soubrette- I don't really know any young successful coloratura) sopranos around me who have just this year or last year been accepted to the top programs for the summer, it's not 25. It's more like 27-30. Is it a hard fact? No, I'm sure there are exceptions. In fact, I know there are exceptions. So yes, there still is a chance that I could be that "exception" this year for one or two other summer programs. But then again, IS it an exception? Oh, this could go on forever in my head and in this post.

I have been among the youngest, if not the youngest member of all YAPs I've sung in so far. What does that mean? Nothing, really. Maybe I got in the "game" early and had it together a year or two before other sopranos my age. Maybe that's why I've always felt on par with singers who are two and three years older than me in terms of vocal development, performance opportunity, and in "resume-comparison"-ie, experience.

Even though I only sent my materials to three or four summer programs, they are among the top programs out there. I'll be interested to see (google) the final crop of singers that each of them picks and to once again do my yearly analysis of "non vocal" categorizations- ie, where they went to school, who they studied with, how old they are, what other programs they've done, who they've coached with, who their manager is, and whether any of the aforementioned biographical/schooling/contact facts have current connections or trends within that certain summer program.

Dorky, I know---Maybe I should have stuck with studying economics and international relations--but these charts do make me more aware of the business and the trends of casting and hiring and re-hiring.

Too bad I love music so much! If I were a 22 year old Mid-East policy genius I could be having dinner at the White House and on a special "young person's panel" to discuss peace in the Middle East. (Mentioned only because an undergrad friend of mine is getting to do JUST that- and we were classmates/co-conspirateurs for a better world through negotiation...oh, just three years ago).


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