19 December, 2007

audition season recap

12- # of auditions between Nov.22th and Dec.18th
6- # of auditions from the summer through Oct.15th
2- # of productions during audition season that took me away from NYC
3- # of coachings during audition season (that's a rarity--being so HIGH and all)
3- # of competitions sung during audition season (1- won something)
4- # of apartments I lived out of a suitcase in between Nov.22 and Dec.18th

?- # of possible jobs I'll get from these auditions

4- # of planes I've been on in the past 3 days (about to be 5 tomorrow)
A whole lot- # of planes I've been on in the past 3 months!

I think I sang my best at every audition, maybe except for 2 of them- where I could have done one or two or three measures better (support, breath, getting excited and over-compensating with a not-as-pure/pretty tone)

Starting piece:
Chacun le sait didn't fail in Young Artist auditions, and I hope it doesn't fail in mainstage auditions. Either way, it packs a walloping first cadenza, it's a great acted piece, and it also shows some French style and line.

When I began with anything else, say, for a specific role they were casting, it also went very well (Zerb, Oscar, Glitter), and I think that next year, or next season, I could easily change my starter to Zerbinetta, from the So War. For the right company, it may show that I have voice and acting and am ready for the big roles that are HARDer to cast, not the mainstream roles that they hear every soprano for.

Audition outfit:
I had two, one for th beginning, one for the end. Got good comments on both, and think the 2nd one was definitely on the hotness scale. Goal for next year- something not black/gray or maroon (the color the seemed to replace black this year)

Audition style:
When I had the chance, I'd shake hands, smile, introduce myself, try to be as cordial but also not 'generally nice/sweet soprano' as possible. And always leave the room with a smile and a have a great rest of the day/holiday/weekend.

Accompanist choices:
17- awesome.
1- horrible.

Goals for the next time around and the next few months to make me a better auditioner and therefore a better choice for hiring:

Dance/yoga- take more classes and free my body. I did not work out ONCE during audition season because of the "general nyc stress/malaise" and although I didn't feel TIGHT, I definitely didn't feel loose and free either.

Coachings- now that I have the opportunity to be in NYC for the next few months with only my craft to work on, suck it up- I know the market is down so I can't afford SO much, but I want acting coaching, vocal coachings, and maybe to try out a few "coloratura specialist" teachers in the city who have been on the recommended list for a few years.

Finding 'It'- whatever IT is that gets people hired on the spot, gets people excited and remember you the day after when they see you in NOLA, gets the panel thinking about your audition for the rest of the day and finding themselves texting your agent to say they want you for SOMETHING- they don't know what yet, but something.

And now, it's ciao for 2 weeks while I eat a lot of Sushi in Japan.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and safe travels to all.

17 December, 2007

5 days?

That's pretty inexcusable--except--I have a good excuse.
I didn't bring my computer to LA, and I don't have it here in NY. Yes, I'm typing NOT on a mac, but on a PC (best friend's pc in Bklyn, while she studies for her Law school finals exams).
The review:
Flight- uneventful.
Staying at little bro's apt in Brentwood- jealous of his "real life" and me living out of a suitcase.
Audition- OOOOH I'll go into this one below.
Flight- windy, didn't sleep on the red-eye, and now it's the next day and I'm in bed downing tea, water, and hoping that in 22 hours I'll be able to sing pretty as pie for my audition.

BACK to audition.
I showed up early (as always) and had time to warm up as well as listen to a few singers before me.
Since I showed up SO early, they were able to take me early.
This is a lesson to myself and maybe the two other people who read this.

It's not enough to say "I'm offering Zerbinetta, are you comfortable with that" and believe the "I can do it" response.
You MUST ask "have you played this before and do you need me to set tempi with you" and ONLY proceed with the aria if that answer is "Yes, I've coached it and played it and memorized it and can follow you to a T".

Because otherwise, (if you're not in NYC and it's not 2007 and a "standard" aria here on the EAST coast), you will be singing Zerbinetta while the notes under you are:
a. in another key
b. in another tempo
c. in seemingly NO tempo when it comes to the runs
d. all of the above.

So- I SANG a great Zerbinetta.
What the panel actually heard was the right vocal notes with tons and tons of piano mistakes, over and over again, with someone who obviously assumed they wouldn't ask for it, and then had to sight read the piece after biting off more than they could chew, and not giving into their humility by saying, no, I'm not comfortable with that piece, do you have another German aria to offer...(YES, I HAVE THREE!).

Then they asked for Oscar and that went fine--except there were STILL a few flubs at the piano--which leads me to believe (and from what I heard before and after me) that it was just either an off day for the provided accompanist, or it was terrible all around and that's just who they had playing.

Now, I learned my lesson a few years ago, when Zerbie wasn't high on the list of pieces that accompanists actually knew and played a lot at auditions in NY. I never came to an audition without my own pianist, or at least someone whom I had called and verified had played the piece many many many times before.
But hello- I'm on the other side of America, the COMPANY supplied a pianist (not just someone from around the corner, but someone ON staff there)...and you'd think..well, you'd just think.
So I thought wrong.

I don't know if there was anything different I should have done in the situation.
When the wrong key and wrong tempo started (about 5 measures in) should I have stopped and said- maybe we need time to make this more of an ensemble- could I sing QOTN or DurchZ for you instead? Or something? Or do I just grin and bear it like I did and go through the entire thing just doing my thing and singing through whatever was underneath me?

Do I assume the panel knew I was singing correctly and the playing was wrong?
THEY asked for the piece, so you'd assume they know it..??
Their faces weren't twisted in dismay afterwards..they were actually quite pleased (seemingly)--but is that crazy? I mean, it's kind of sad for ALL of the singers who couldn't "do" their best because while they were singing, the KEY was wrong!
(Yes, two of my friends were there and offered mainstream rep. and still had mess ups with tempi and KEY SIGNATURES)...I think that's unfair to the singer, unfair to the panel, and just not conducive to a good working environment for anyone to be judged in.

OH WELL. It's over. I find out the results maybe in the next week- but I'm truly not expecting anything.
And if I DO get a call- is it because I sang "through" it?
And if I DON"T get a call- is it also because I sang through it?

SO- a lesson for me, (and the 2 other people who read this if you're sopranos that sing Zerbie)- don't ever assume that outside of NYC anyone can play this piece even if you ask them if they can and they say yes!

13 December, 2007

more than just updates

Ok, I'm sick of unpacking and packing, so I will write more.
I will write about my recently added aria.

I have known it was out there, in some version or other, I know the show, I know the role would be great for me, but it was never as "interesting" of an aria, as any of my other standard French pieces. It's a little out there, a little too much piano interlude music and too little singing (although the singing is quite nice), a little too much low/middle and not as much exciting high (there's only a C), but it's a sweet little piece, and it's very specific to a certain look/voice/need in the opera.

I learned it last week (see previous discussion on how thankful I am that I can learn music quickly and well), and offered it two days ago as a second piece.
It was chosen (even after I started with French), and it went---really--well!

I filled the musical nonsinging parts with dramatic involvement, found the character really sweet and fun, had good concentration, and got a nice comment or two after the whole thing too.

So- am I going to keep it? Sure. I suppose it's one of those things that can be phased in and out- much like the doll song. If someone is casting for it, I offer it. Otherwise, it's requested from the 2nd verse--IF I offer it (which all this year I have not been due to my first starting aria in French).

I have an audition that I'm specifically singing for this role again next week, and I'll be sure to think more about it and brush it up. And it's even getting me thinking about possibly not starting with my normal French (since another role I'm up for in the repertoire COULD be a "short and sweet" starter--and then they'll definitely ask for this French).

Hmm..things to think about.

What else?
Competition went veeeeeery well (as in, I'll be receiving the check hopefully in the next few weeks).
I sang Queen and Glitter- a delectable combination of fiery coloratura and crowd pleasing acting and comic timing--so I think it was well-deserved, and, supposedly there is a recording out there (that the panel made) that is floating around, so maybe it'll even be decent enough to use if that's an option.

Oh, competitions. I could look at Yaptracker for HOURS and try to see which ones I should do or not. But they all seem like such a crapshoot.
Some are the artsy- we want musicality/crazy arias/ the judges themselves run opera companies and know what they are talking about.
And some are just- we're the little opera theatre of next door, our donors and previous-winners are the judges, and we want to hear big italian arias so that we can cast you in our predictable season next year and you will win first place.

Ok, I totally understand that. You have to know your audience.
Just like in any job interview, or job situation.
Know your audience.
What do THEY want to hear?
Will they be totally put off by a Zerbie?
Would they like the fireworks of Lakme even though it's "less known"? Or should you just give 'em good old Queen, Caro Nome, Traviata, (NO, not ME, just in general)...and the crowd pleasing biggies for the audience vote?

So I learn and I adapt and I try. And I don't care how many people think coloraturas always win competitions--it's NOT true when in competition with the Italianate voice (of any kind- sop/mezz/ten/bar/bass) in a competition where pleasing the audience with an old favorite is the goal.

almost vacation

Arrived 'home' today to unpack, do laundry, and repack for three trips with three very different weather forecasts.

Saturday to Sunday- audition wear on the west coast.
Sunday to Tuesday- audition wear and back to NYC.
Tuesday to Thursday- whatever I want wear on the west coast again.
Thursday- JAPAN!

12 December, 2007

note to self part shtayim

ok, but on the other hand---

Ze ha-job sheli lishol anashim ka'ele ma ani yechola la'asot yoter tov, right?
Im ani rotza lashir yoter tov, lihiyot acaht mehabanot she'ha'batei opera lokchim, az ani tzrecha lish'ol ma ani yechola la'asot kedei lehasig et hatafkidim she'ani rotza.
Az ze haya TOV she'hu amar li et hadvarim ha'ele.
ma ani yechola la'asot yoter tov?
lashir bli lidchof, sheshum davar lo yihiye ksat gavoha, ksat namuch.
ulai ze gam ha-image sheli. lo choshevet, ki ani mekabelet machma'ot al ze, aval--tamid efshar laredet 3-4 kilo o mashehu.
lo choshevet sheze ha acting sheli. ki ze margish tov.
aval, beseder. chashavti al ze, ve yoter tov im ani yoda'at sheani yechola leshaper mashehu, measher lachshov sheani pashut lo maspik tova o mashehu kaze--vehem lo rotzim la'avod iti, rak biglal she'hem natnu li konstructive criticism.
ani lo mephachedet mize yoter. ani zameret tova. yoter mi-tova. ani yoda'at sheyesh dvarim sheyecholim lihiyot yoter tov, aval beintayim--ani shara, zaza, nir'et, venotenet et kuli.

note to self

Ok, it's going to just have to be in another language since I want to read this again in the future.

sharti hayom lo rak bishvil hasochenet sheli, aval gam hashochen- shelo ra'a oti o shama oti milifney 6 chodashim o mashehu kaze.
acharei shesiyamti (im shakun ve ha'aria hachadasha) hem yaz'u mehacheder vehu amar 'yofi'. ani hirgashti tov meod- chashavti sheha-panel ahav et shakun kee hem kzat tsachaku aharei shesiyamti. hasheni, yalla- ze, kol kach kashe lashir namooch acharei sheani shara g gavoha. Aval, MAMASH chashavti shezehalach yafe. bishvil ha-pa'am harishona.
Hu lakach oti hatsida ve'sha'al oti ma ani shara bashavu'a haba.
Ve'az hu amar shehu lo choshev she'shakun ze ra'ayon tov biglal sheyesh le'anashim tchusha mesuyemet al hakol shehem rotzim batafkid haze.
Ok, az im lo shakun, ma? Zerbinetta, DurchZ--ken.
Aval ani lo yoda'at im pashoot hu lo hitlahev kmo shana she'avra.
Ve'ani rotza lihiyot hachi tova she'ani yechola, ve'sheshney hem yirtzu la'avod iti le'harbe zman.
Az ani kzat depresseeveet achshav kee ani lo yoda'at im ze haya tov o lo. O, maspik tov o lo.
Ugh- sonet et ha'hargasha hazot.
chashavti she'hakol haya yoter mi 'yofi' ve'tov'. Tov, hayiti kzat lechutza ki shteyhem hayu sham, aval...adayin chashavti sheze haya echad mehayamim hatovim. ein li yamim lo tovim. ani chola- ani lo shara. acheret, ani sham im hakol sheli ve'ani notenet et hakol.

achshav ein shoom davar ad ha-erev veacharey ze, SHOOM davar ad LA beyom rishon.
Ulai ze yihiye tov me'od bishvili. Lachshov, velo lashir.

11 December, 2007

there's a liiiiiight....

Ok, so it's no quite Rocky Horror, but audition season is one draining time.
And I got here late, too!

It's the couch to bed to airmattress.
It's the carry-on sized suitcase with more audition clothes than daytime clothes (yes, I've been wearing the same jeans for 4 days- got a problem?!)
It's the LORD HAVE MERCY it's cold and I'm walking outside because I'm too poor and stubborn to hail a cab.
It's the oh, can I please not get sick this week or next week or next next week- WHAT is that cough?
It's the eating out because I don't really have an "in" to eat at.

But then again,
it's also the- wow, I haven' seen you in so long! You look great. What are you singing? Where are you living? SO glad I ran into you (at NOLA, of course).
It's the- I'm so excited you got it! You sang well! You heard back! You're a semi-finalist! You're an alternate! You're in!

What I did today:
Definitely not practice the song that I need to know for tomorrow.
that happens immediately after I press the "publish now" button.

Bought a dress. Oh yea. Like I have a gown in nyc this week? NOPE. Needed one for the finals. UGH. It's O-K. and it was cheap.
Bought a round trip ticket from LA to NY, because BEFORE I can start my vacation, I have to interrupt my vacation by coming back to NY for TWO more auditions on the 18th.

So, I've spent 460 dollars including a bagel and schmear, about to spend a bit more on dinner (DELUXE, uws), help a sick cousin out by giving her my mucinex (not ALL of it of course), and bringing her soup, and oh yea, then practice that pesky song.

Can it please be over soon?
The crazy?
Can that be over?

under construction

OH I am so annoyed with today.
First audition at NOLA. The room with all the windows, and yes, all the construction.
For my opening I just get one note and then I go to the cadenza.
Well LORD knows I'm not going to hear either with the drilling, sawing, and whatever else was going on.
I was just knocked right out of the comfort zone because while I'm hanging out on the high g, I suddenly can't hear MYSELF sing anymore, meaning, I don't know how many notes I have to go down the scale, meaning, I'm PRETTY sure I think I know where the aria starts, but I have no idea what I just sang or if I'm right.
Truly, I don't know if it was as big of a catastrophe as I'm making it out to be.
There may have been ONE note that was off right before the aria began, and the rest was fine. Maybe. But I wouldn't know because I could barely hear any of it.
Seriously. I finished the first piece and said something to the effect of fighting the construction out doors (as a joke)....but nothing could be done.
Oscar was 2nd and that's what they were casting (same production as before)...and I know I did better on that--but still! NOT FUN when I know I sing the pants off of the role (haha, pants role), THEY had heard good things about me via reviews and agent, obviously, and were looking FORWARD to hearing me...UGHGHGHHGHGHG..and I feel like it wasn't a personal best only because of the stupid CONSTRUCTION OUTSIDE!!!! WHat is UP with that?! I was in great voice, could sing rings around it all, and then can't hear what I'm doing so I get all whacked out.

To put it another way, it wasn't fun, and I'm not sure if it was good or bad because I truly didn't hear what I was doing for the first page and a half of music.

I arrived at the location to a list of 27 singers (selected via cd/preliminary round), and lo and behold, the majority of them were sopranos. WEIRD!!! SHOCKING!!!

I actually got there early enough to hear almost everyone sing that was in front of me.
I usually don't choose my rep early, and I like to wait and see what I'm feeling.
And also it's nice when the majority of singers are sops, to try and NOT begin with the same piece as someone before me--if I can help it. It's not that I care about being better, or them hearing the same piece and comparing--it's just that I have so many that are my usual 'starters' that it doesn't really matter to me. I love them all and would be happy to sing any of them.

Today I sang Queen. I always keep this around, never begin with it in auditions (I know casting preferences all too well), and yet it is a likely piece to be chosen in competition and be a winner. Yes, over Zerbie, which is a little more "out there" in terms of competition rep. where you can tell the panel is not necessarily all musical staff, but more board member, etc... (you pick crowd pleasers over artsy Strauss)

And it paid off because tonight I was called for the final round.

One more audition this week, for which I have learned an aria.
Hope that goes well.
One more final round of a competition this week, for which I hope that the 35 bucks times two (for the pianist) will yield a profitable gain.

10 December, 2007

weekend update

A weekend of arts and culture included:

Lunch and DESSERT at Cafe Sabarsky (at the Neue Gallery) for my mom's bday and other family in town.
What I tasted (along with 8 other family members):
Goulash, chestnut soup, mini-sandwiches, coffee, SACHERTORT, Mozarttorte, linzertort, apfelstrudel (I recommend the torts more than this, even though I was REALLY in the mood for some warm apple cake. Nay. It was cold. And no vanilla ice cream a la mode--it was pure whipped cream--which was tasty, but I just wanted something else).

What I saw:
A Christmas Carol (updated with a Ms. Scrooge, all women cast, and my cousin's NY acting debut) at the Secret Theatre in Queens.
The Klimt exhibit at the Neue Gallery
The Seurat drawings exhibit at Moma plus a quick walk through my other favorite galleries including Kandisky and Matisse (although my fave Matisse is still at his tiny museum in France).
The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway (oh, I could discuss this for AGES)...with BOB SAGET.

Where ELSE I ate:
2nd street cafe, park slope (umm, pumpkin ravioli anyone?) and a nice bottle of Cab.
Tempo, park slope (a lovely and cheap breakfast)
La Familia (2nd and 90th, I think), Italian style gooood food- including portobello salad.
The Chocolate/coco bar (or something like that) Park slope (amazing raspberry chocolate tort thingie)

What ELSE I did:
Walk all around NYC with friends from out of town--meaning, we had to see the Tree at Rockefeller Center, (including the madding crowds), the lights at Cartier, Tiffany, all of the other huge stores that decorate for Xmas, a walk through the park (in the freezing cold), a coaching (yes, still time to get voice-face-time in this weekend), and talking until all hours of the night about life and love with 2 best friends.

Today: Audition, competition.
Back to reality.

07 December, 2007

new territory

Today I sang caro nome for the first time in an audition- possibly ever. Since learning the piece at age 17 or so.
Yes, I know, time for everyone to freak out and say my teacher should not have been giving me those pieces back when my technique was probably in shambles, bla bla bla....
she gave it to me because she knew I'd sing it in my voice, and that is what I did. And it was youthful and pretty and I learned no bad habits that I had to undo. Next.

I offered this piece solely because there was a chance that this company was casting a cover or a B cast of the role next season.
Yes, I'll tailor my audition rep.- and go as far as OFFERING the piece for my 2nd. Never starting with it.

Well. After singing chacun it was a bit tough to come down and get grounded for caro nome.
But I still think I did it with style, class, my voice (which is NOT what the majority of American houses would cast a gilda as right now), and my sweetness to it.

I'm actually more surprised than anything--that it came out how I wanted.
I have coached this, done the mental thing with it where I get it in my thoughts and body (of course that went out the window as I was catching my breath from that final F and G of chacun and the excitement of the final salute!)...but I still think I represented myself well.
Outside the door ---a questions I NEVER ask, I asked.
The pianist- how was it.
The agent- how was it.

And both said good things.
NEVER. I NEVER ask this. Not because I don't want to know, but because I already know.
If I was sick, I wouldn't sing. Otherwise, it's a performance.

I just really didn't know on this one, because there is so much "public opinion" about the casting of a Gilda.
Can she sing the aria? Can she sing the duet? But can she sing the QUARTET and TRIO?
Yes. Yes,yes, yes, yes.
Not some darkened cavernous thing.
Not some light chirpy thing either.
Just me. Youthful and vibrant and my kind of Gilda.
In preparation for this I did some youtube-ing last night, and found that besides the "modern day"/current Gilda's, a majority of the recordings on there ARE of "lighter"..I don't even want to say that..."more silvery" voices of the past.

So I'll take it. The pendulum swings in different directions every few years. Right now it's for the rich, warm, dark Gilda. Same with Juliette. And Lucia.
Maybe one day it will be for the silver, sweet, bell-like version of those three roles.

Monday. 2 more.
Wednesday. One more.
That MAY be it for next week.
Then fly across the country. Then fly back for one/two more. Then fly far far away for a vacation in a new land.

06 December, 2007

oh, really?

Feedback from today: Best audition yet.
How I felt:
Well- in the morning SO crappy due to previously mentioned issues, but 2 advils quickly relieved that (I know, it's bad for singers..bla bla bla...I had 3 hours before I had to sing...)

Warming up- ugh- what is that CRAP in my throat? Oh yea-it's everything in my body including my vocal folds feeling mucky and generally thick...DUE TO previously mentioned ISSUES!

Walking to audition with a Halls in my mouth- a bit better.

Getting to audition and hanging out there for about 30 minutes (the usual, I show up early)...
better than usual, as NOLA was not an insane asylum of singers today.

Chacun- good top g, down to the bottom. I definitely felt more open/resonant (due to previous coaching) on the low and middle. Is this what they mean when they say that I have a bright sound and that I need to "round it out"? Just get the middle moving a bit more warmly and that's it?

Then Glitter from the 2nd verse- great. I was into it. Frankly, I can't say enough how much I love this piece.
It's just me to a T. I get to be silly. I get to be serious, sarcastic, crazy, sad, depressed, whiny, sexy, and everything in between. All in 7 minutes of awesome music.

So I walked out like any normal audition, but the feedback was that it was the best yet.

Hmm, so what were the other ones?
And should I ALWAYS sing for people between the 3rd and 8th of the month (give or take 3 days before and after depending on what I eat, how much exercise I get, and what evil tricks my biological system is up to that month)?

Lunch with a friend- talked shop. About how much these auditions actually mean NOTHING because yay, you got an audition. That doesn't mean a job and that doesn't mean anything, really. You give it the best you have and you still may not be their choice.
And that has to be ok.
Except when it's not.

Dinner with 3 more friends. At least singing wasn't the main focus of conversation. Life, love, and other thoughts ..and then auditions.

I do love auditions. And I'm pretty realistic about them in terms of that translating into a job, this, my "first year" "out".

05 December, 2007

constructive criticism

I had a coaching today on a brand new aria with a brand new coach.
An aria I have to learn by Monday.
And sing for an audition.

I know, it's not the modus operandi that I prefer, but knowing that I can do it, and do it well, I do it--even on short notice.

Just so it's on record, here, today--
this coach turned to me and said "when you sing it like that and I close my eyes I hear Damrau".

I laughed it off and said I imagine my voice as a complete 180 from hers.
Since, truly, most of the rep. I've heard her in (and it has never been live) has been Youtube videos of Queens/Glitter and a bit heavier rep. than I'd ever sing.

And he said, that after working with her and hearing her, the voice isn't that large, but she knows how to use it and always sings with full resonance.
Ok, I'll accept that.
Tone and color, I'm still not sure about, and I suppose I have my recording of today to prove him even remotely in the ballpark or not.

It doesn't matter in the least, it was just the most amusing comment of the day, in addition to extremely good work for the hour.
Turns out my grad coaches WERE trying to get something out of me that was there, but I wasn't ready for it to come out yet.
Turns out that when I really really and I mean truly relax into something (especially in the middle voice), the resonance opens up so much...so much, well, that this coach thought I sounded like Damrau. ha.

I was feeling
a. extremely crappy in a girl-time kinda way,
b. extremely not warmed up since I found out only an hour before the coaching that it would actually happen, and I didn't eat or really warm up for more than 10 minutes, AND I walked in the freezing cold to get there,
c. very much in a "work it out" mode and not "sound pretty to perfection" mode since this is a brand new piece and I just need to see what it sounds like more than anything and how I deal with it.

And it turns out that even with all of that not-so-goodness that I was feeling, I got great work done.

Pleased with myself, filled with yummy sushi and good dinner company (and did I mention the cruncyspicy salmon role?!, and hoping to have a good audition tomorrow.

04 December, 2007

i'm baaaack

Did you miss me? Really? I missed you, you cute little ibook!! I know, I'm sorry baby. I left you in the trunk of my car for TWO days (and yes, the temps were freezing and I was so concerned about your health that I even wrapped you in my emergency blanket that I had to buy last year when I lived in cold-mid-west-state for the slim to none chance that I break down in the middle of no where and start to freeze), and then I opened you up and you were still cold! 2 hours and after driving in the heated car home!
It will never happen again.

OK. Why no internet love? 2 concerts, 1 competition, 1 audition, and 1 slight bronchial cough later (and oh yes, staying without wireless for 2 days at a hotel where you had to PAY for it---the GALL!!!!!), and my lappylaptop couldn't connect (yes, I did pay for 24 hours for 9.99 plus many taxes), the WHOLE time.

Review of the weekend:
First sing-for-Jesus concert ever- GREAT.
Competition- pretty good- they picked nice pieces and I showed myself well but I don't know what they're looking for at all.
Audition- awesome. And the 2nd piece they asked for was the role I was singing for. Hooray.
Second sing-for-Jesus- VEEEERY GOOD minus my headache during the whole concert. Boo.
But I still sang very pretty. (I have my illegal recording device and its contents to prove that even though my head was pounding, you couldn't hear it on the recording).

And now. 10hours of sleep- I hope.
Audition. Audition. Audition...etc.etc.etc.

Oh yea, and the previous post was number 420.
It's funny that as a freshman in college I didn't know why our next door neighbors in our dorm, number 420, got stolen all the time. It took until Junior year, when I lived in a house on College Ave. with 5 delinquent boys to figure that out.


I'm excited about this week.
I'm NOT excited about this cough that keeps rearing its ugly head, but as it has not affected my singing at all, I will try to be less angry at it, and more into the Halls and Tussin.

29 November, 2007

audition (rejection) season

Ok, I've done the math. (See "proof" post below), and I know that the odds are not in any soprano's favor.
But still, every rejection stings for about 2 minutes.
So I didn't get it.
So who DID get it?
And the google odyssey begins to find clips, bios, previous shows, schools, etc. etc. just to see what I'm up against out there.

This morning- news that summer-role-of-choice-at-previous-yap-as-mainstage had been offered to someone else. NOT accepted (yet)- offered.

This afternoon- news that summer-high-level-yap is a no.

Well, I can't do much about it. I sang the heck out of both auditions and I know I impressed with every aspect of my performance.

So- onward and upward.

Lieder Competition
2 performances
and a mainstage audition almost every day of next week!

And HANUKKAH!! I'm invited to a very special candle lighting ceremony with my FAVORITE Israeli rock star omgomgomgomg next Wednesday night in NY. I've met him 3 times before, love his music, and I hope I get to hang out w/him after his mini 'unplugged' concert again.

28 November, 2007

monca nyc

This morning, and I mean MORNING, I sang for the districts here in NY.
I have sung for this competition three times now, in different locations (depending on where I was in school and where I was doing my residency last year), and now- NY.

It seems a bit more exciting and fun when you do it here--well, exciting and fun and 90 singers and 3 days of districts.

So I'm not expecting much.
But I will say that I sang veeery veeery well this morning. MORNING.

Auditionee number three of the day.

I sang Chacun (yes, and hit the g), and then they asked for Zerbinetta from the Rondo.
MAN- If Zerbie is always asked for after Chacun there's NO WAY I'm ever changing my starting piece from it!
I LOVE singing this piece. AND I know I can never really offer it first, unless the role is being cast, or I sing it from So war (which is still a good 7 minute first piece).

So I'm so happy when they ask for it 2nd! From whatever part of it!
So far - 0 for the recit, 1 for Noch glaub, 2 for So war and 1 for Rondo.


I'm not too stressed about whether I get through to the districts or not.
I gave a great performance today, and 2 of the judges are people that I'm very glad that I gave a good performance for. If they are interested, they'd be good people to have impressed this morning.

Had lunch with a few yappers-from-last-year, went down to Magnolia (AND DIDN"T BUY A CUPCAKE!), and then took the train back here...time for my big nap of the day.
It's been crazy waking up so early. I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
It still feels awful even though I've gotten up at 7:30 or 8am every day this week.
Ok, that's only three days, but STILL!

Now to call pianists to play for my auditions next week!

Oh, and NAP.

27 November, 2007

paaaatience, Iago

(think: Jafar accent from Aladdin).

Ok, my thought of the day (or thoughts, as this always turns into some kind of tangent).

My auditions are usually low-stress.
I have my routine, I know how much time I need, I get ready, get there early, warm up if I haven't already, and then just sing what I sing best.
I don't think too much into it, I do sometimes offer pieces that are in the season if they are already in my rep., but pretty much I don't stress too much about it.
I do my thing and basta.

But this year for some reason I'm feeling especially comfortable in the process.
It's not like I walk in there with the "FU" attitude. Not at all.
I'm relaxed, calm, looking forward to singing my first piece, and genuinely happy when they ask for my 2nd...to sing something completely different and show other things.

Which brings me to my thought of the day. Patience. In transitions.

I see or hear a lot of singers do this (when they are asked for a piece):
Head down to signal start to the pianist, head up, pop, go.
Second piece is asked for: Yes, absolutely.
Head down, pop up, go.

I used to think I shouldn't waste the panel's time. I should be prepared quickly, as long as I have my breath under me I should "go".

But no- this time around I find that I'm realizing that a truly great performance, at an audition, can be given when I take the time to REALLY change characters in between my pieces.
If that means 10 seconds, so be it.

It feels GOOD to make that transition.
It feels like I'm not just singing an audition. I'm singing the role like I'd sing it onstage.
And that's a great feeling, when that is exactly what I'm trying to convey at an audition.
No games, no peering over at the table to see what they are reacting to, no playing TO the table. Just me and an audience imagined as I see my reflection in those side mirrors of NOLA, the back mirrors of Liderkranz, and the ring or the dead of the other venues.

It's not about the room anymore--and that's a really great thing to come to. Perhaps it comes with year number z in the business. Perhaps it comes because I'm in a zen vocal and physical and emotional state about it. Perhaps it has always been there but I've never let myself feel it before.

It's this patience and calmness about the whole process.
These next two weeks could have been the most high-stress of the season.
Bottom line is, I am looking for a job, like all of the other sopranos out there.
I'm not perfect for every company, and they are not perfect for me.
But maybe a good match can be made, and we'll both be the happier for it come 2008-2009 season.

26 November, 2007

is it really that easy?

Ok, I did wake up and felt like someone had punched me.
It was at 3am. You know, one of those times (when does this NOT happen to me?!) that I'm scared I will sleep through the alarm (that could never happen), so I toss and turn. Finally falling into the deepest sleep around 7am, only to wake up to the alarm at 8.

Exhaustion aside, I trekked my way to the West Side, warmed up at NOLA (don't like paying their prices, but they were closest to the audition site), and had audition#1 for, hmm, how shall I put this-- big-ole-opry-house-that-considered-me-for-5-minutes-for-real-2-wks-ago.

Now, I began with Chacun.
Here is where it gets interesting.
I used this aria as a starter about 2 or 3 years ago. With a g in the first cadenza and then a fun sing/act piece.
I was always surprised and a bit giggly at the panels' reactions.
Head up- what--did she just? Was that a..?
Head down- furious writing and typing.
Head to the side- to confer with neighbor about the cadenza.

All in the first 3-5 seconds of the piece.
They get all peppy in their seats, straighten up a little, pay a little more attention, are really WITH me when I continue on with the piece, possibly waiting to hear more surprises (which, yes, I do have in store).

AND THEN they always comment about it!
Is it such a shocker that I do this? I mean, more than one person has posted on nfcs that they sing this note and add it into cadenzas. I didn't think I was the only one by any means. Perhaps the only one with a full-voiced g? Usable? Sustained? not just tapped?

I just don't get it.

And afterwards- they pick my FAVORITE pieces second!
DurchZ and Zerbinetta (and they heard it from NOCH GLAUB and not just from So War!)

So is this really my starter now?
It kind of feels like a trick in some way...I don't want to be a one-trick pony (which is why I know they ask for Mozart-y/lyrical stuff like DurchZ and Zerbie afterwards), but is that really all it takes to get them excited and want to hear more?

It's just a bit odd.
I think if I would have started with DurchZ they would have chosen Oscar 2nd and that would have been that.
They heard the solid E, they saw the good acting, and basta.


So even though the entirely of the low/middle of Chacun lies lower than the low-middle of DurchZ, they still prefer this one, and I get better feedback and attention paid to me in the following piece, simply because of this one note at the first cadenza.

I suppose I'll take it for now.
It feels kind of like cheating. It's just so easy for me--and to see that kind of reaction, I feel like I should be working harder to earn it.

Oh well.
First two auditions down, however many more to go.
Early wakeup tomorrow, and my weird bronchial cough is back. Perhaps it's time for some theraflu.

audition in 10 hrs

Hoping I fall asleep soon so that when I wake up tomorrow it doesn't feel like I got punched in the face.

I made it to NYC in record time today- 7am-10:30am (it should take 4:10...ooops! There were no cops in the NYState Thruway).

Settled in to permanent location1, unpacked a bit, took a nap, bought healthy-ish food (oh yea, my goal for this audition season is not to eat CRAP every day just because I'm on the run).

2 auditions tomorrow. I booked a warm up room because the first one is so early that I don't want to wake the neighbors here with my vocalizing.

This will be a tough week. I'm not coughing at all anymore. A bit stuffy because of the heat, I think, but otherwise looking forward to the challenge of the week.

Auditions for YAPs and Mainstage, new concert piece rehearsal and performance, and maybe even studying some German verbs...after all those months- I feel like I need to get back into it just in case Europe is in my near future.


24 November, 2007

packing again

Au revoir Thanksgiving relaxation and mild cold, bonjour New York City.

I've been going through "items" since about 5pm.
Mail that has accumulated for 2 months (thankfully no bills, that's all online!), papers that I keep putting in new and improved piles (music to learn, music to really learn, copies of music that I may need in the next three weeks, double copies for coaches), and finally, the clothing issue again.

What to take for THIS week in NY (besides a gown and 3 possible audition outfits)?
Well, even though there is an entire suitcase of winter clothes that I didn't take BEFORE I left for last-gig, I'm not even breaking into it. I'm simply recycling what worked best in the last month.

There are SO SO SO many pairs of SO SO SO cute shoes that I really want to wear! When will I EVER be in one place to wear all of my shoes?
I bought the cutest cowboy boots over the summer, GREEN (awesome), and I have only worn them ONE night in New York City (and that was the day I wore them back on the plane from Germany because they wouldn't fit in any of my suitcases home!).

I narrowed it down to slouchy black boots with a tiny heel for walking all around, the ever-dependable Rocket Dogs with velcro that I love, and my heels for audition wear.
That's it!
No sneaks for any possible gym time, no brown heels to match anything else (so, no brown clothes either), no black boots, tan slouchy boots, winter-y cute boots, sporty brown boots, no myriad of other sketcher-type mary-jane/sneaker/shoes that I love.

Just three pairs of black.

This week will be kind of a treat (or a pending disaster depending on which way you look at it), because I'll have a CAR in New York.
Now, granted, I am going to try VERY hard to leave it in Brooklyn at all times and not move it unless Alternate Side of the STreet parking requires me to, and ONLY drive it to the 2 rehearsals and 2 concerts that I need it for.
But- is that realistic?

We'll see!
I hope I don't get ticketed, towed, broken into, or otherwise dinged and damaged.


22 November, 2007


Very full of food and family :)
Tomorrow- a quick trip to the outlets to see if I can find a new gown for my upcoming Messiah gig.
Also, make SURE (for serious) that I know all of the words to all of the lieder pieces that I'm singing for the competition next week, and ALSO figure out what I'm singing for the MET competition. Yes. This week.

Ummm- choices?
What I already told them I'd sing:
Zerbie, Lakme, Queen, Chacun, Glitter

No idea.

With time limits Zerbie may not be the best idea (although it was asked for as a 2nd last time around in a different region last year).
Neither does Lakme, although it's the most showy of the pieces (I started with this last year at Regions).

But Lakme is just one of those pieces that's totally a showpiece--I love it, but does it seem to OTHERS (meaning, the panel) that it's just a show-offy type of thing?
Here's my E, here's my added G. Yes, phrasing, story-telling, beauty of line, tone...but isn't that all trumped by the panel just hearing all those notes and thinking- this girl just wants to show off her high notes?
Which is of course NOT what I want to do! I just love the piece, I've performed the show recently, and I think it's a good choice vocally.

As is Zerbinetta. But once again, I feel like that is the reaction when a panel sees that piece on your list-- (if they're not casting for it).

So do I substitute a DurchZ? Do I start with Chacun, hit the high G and then just sing the rest which is in middle voice and more of an acting/attitude thing (that of course has to be delivered musically well too!)?

Things to think about as I ponder making my way to the kitchen for leftovers since it's midnight (almost tomorrow).

turkey for me, turkey for you

I'm in warm and cozy parents-house-in-the-middle-of-the-woods with TX-cousins, MA-cousins, LA/Boston-brothers, aunts and uncles and grandparents--yes, all 16 of us are here (no, we didn't all sleep in the house lest you think that I live in some palatial private ski resort in the mountains), and so far it's been a blast.

Although I'm not sure why it's 9:30am and I'm awake (after going to sleep at 3am), I've been doing nothing but relaxing, catching up with family, laughing a lot, and also devising master-plans for my impending takeover of the world...um, I mean, impending beginning of 2nd-business-which-I'm-totally-qualified-for-and-kinda-want-to-try-out-since-it's-"artsy".

My cousin, you see, is now a "New York city actress" (read: coffee server/barista/waitress).

And in THEIR business, you also have to impress some sort of talent agency and get on a roster.
However, here are the things I have found out about trying to "make it" in NY whether in straight theater, print modeling, or TV/film calls.

THEIR agents (casting agents and agencies mostly), burn the candle at both ends--literally.
In addition to attracting the talent and signing it (probably about the same as opera, except they can have endlessly large rosters and send tons of actors out to each casting call), they also have to attract the movie/producer who will want to AUDITION through them.
So you could be with ONE casting agency in NY that has the market cornered on feel-good-hallmark commercials and the casting of the Movie Speed 7 with the robot-like Keanu.
But that casting agency won't touch print work. Or local bway. Of course they'd probably like to, AND could send their people on those auditions, but they are not actually "THE" casting agency for that project, and therefore, your chance of hearing about it or being sent on it go south.
And then of course you subscribe to backstage and playbill and all of those silly things that singers do too to find out what's going on that you can send your own materials into for consideration.

So my masterful idea of somehow being an agent to my singer-friends, is now turning into, and quite realistically, being an agent/manager for HER and her acting friends.

It's not that I want to work in opera admin. (yet!), but between the hours of 11pm and 2am last night I reworked her resumes for theater, print work, and film, wrote her 3 sample cover letters, made her a PDF of her materials, AND applied to 20 auditions via email for her--so I think that MAY be a clue that I enjoy that part of the business and that it's something I'd really love to do on either end- receiving the apps. and finding qualified talent, OR being the manager/careerguide/lifecoach for the talent itself and promoting it to larger and auditioning companies.

There you go.
Now I just need a catchy name for my agency.

AND nothing annoyingly theatrical (such as the following that were thrown around at dinner last night):
Red Carpet
Curtain Up

AND nothing that already sounds like a current fundraising computer program:
Razer's Edge/Edge
(also thrown out there last night to a whole lot of laughing family).


21 November, 2007

oh really?

Oh really, jet lag?

You think it's cool that even though I got into town at midnight that I wasn't going to be able to fall asleep until 3am, really?
You think it's FUN to then mysteriously wake up for NO reason at 7:30am (after only 4 hours of sleep) and proceed to my audition on no sleep, post-airplane voice?

Yea? Really?

How'bout after the audition (which btw went awesomely and THEY asked for ZERBINETTA!!! Everything except the First Section!) when I felt like death around 3pm but still couldn't fall asleep enough to take a nap?

And then the train home tonight- a perfect 2.5 hour opportunity to snooze, when sleep doth/didst leave me--because it never came!

And how about NOW ---2:20am. Day two of not sleeping for more than 4 hours previous.

Weird bronchial cough approaches.

All I can say, jet lag, is that you're LUCKY it's Thanksgiving. I HOPE for YOUR sake that I get sick..tomorrow. Then it will be finished by the weekend and the beginning of next week when it REALLY counts and I REALLY can't be sick. At. All.
OR TIRED for that matter with all of the auditions, travel to rehearsal, hours in the car and on public transportation, and having to stay with a CAT too!

So, I have my Halls, Ricola, Tea, Emergen-C, Vicks, and hot showers--what do YOU have you pneumatic sounding dry cough?! BRING IT!

20 November, 2007

pretty please?

Can I please fall asleep this evening? I mean- morning? Or as I used to call it in college when I NEVER went to bed before midnight- morningnight?

It's 1:30am, I have disembarked from my day-long airplane adventure which began with me falling asleep Sunday night around 2am, waking up at 5:30am, returning the rental car, getting on airplane number one for 5.5 hours, getting on airplane number 2 for 2 hours, and arriving in NYC at 11pm (after a 30 minute delay due to gale force winds in Minneapolis).

But what time does it FEEL like?
It feels like party time!
I didn't sleep very much on the planes even though I was tired in the morning.
For the first time, I used my ipod to watch movies (even though they've been on there for over 6 months), then I listened to the Messiah (well, the parts I have to sing next week) about 6 times in a row, then I listened to some Lieder that I have a competition for, then my ipod was almost dead, and the captain asked us to turn off all electrical devices for landing.

So now it's 1:40am, feels like early evening to me, and I have an audition tomorrow that I have to wake up for!!!

The one thing that I did well on today was making sure I was hydrated on the airplanes. I'm not a person that needs 3 days to recover after travel, but on the flight over a month ago, I certainly was in no mood to sing the day after arrival (and thankfully, that was our day off). The voice was just itchy and tired from recycled dry air and not enough water.

Well THIS time I juiced myself in the morning (Naked Green drink..yum), and drank a LOT of water, mixed with Emergen-C on the planes, AND kept a Ricola or Werther's or something sucker-ish in my mouth the entire time. Oh yea, and I used my newly knit burgundy scarf as a surgical eco-mask to "filter" the dry air. (That probably didn't work, but it's the thought that counts, right?).

Recap of the shows, and other thoughts about recent bloginess to come.
For now, I really am turning this thing off and trying to fall asleep.

17 November, 2007

one more show and then....

I'm on a full day plane ride back to NYC! (full day because of the time change).

And my schedule seems to be getting quite full (in a good way):
Monday 10:30pm arrive at JFK (UGH) wait for bags. SLEEP. (even though it will feel like 6:30pm when I force myself to go to bed).
Tuesday- audition, lunch w/bff, get key to her apt. where I'll be staying next week.
Tuesday night- 3 hr. train home for Turkey day
Wednesday- RELAX (otherwise known as help mom w/the cooking)
Thursday- EAT with extended family all in for Thxgiving- all 16 of us!
Friday- SHOP (for a gown for upcoming concert, and anything else that looks good at the outlets, and hopefully have an appt. with the chiropractor (a little slice of heaven)
Saturday- DRIVE back to NYC (find alternate side of the street parking in Bklyn)
Sunday- rehearsal
Monday- 2 auditions
Tuesday audition, rehearsal, rehearsal
Wednesday- audition, possible competition
Thursday- audition, rehearsal, rehearsal
Friday- audition, performance!
Saturday- audition
Sunday- performance!

And that's just through the end of the month.

Knocking on wood for no colds, sniffles, chills, or mass transit delays for the next 20 days.


16 November, 2007

mom's response to me and little bro's math

I lost you all at "hello"...
Still, I am smiling cuz the odds are that we- as talented, fun, smart, audacious people with a great gene pool and of course a Jewish Mom factor telling everyone you're awesome will by defacto default necessarily raise the odds for you getting everything you want...and if not...you can send a letter to santa!
love, mom

15 November, 2007

a PROOF. foolproof that is. updated for funniness at the bottom.

First of all, show numero deux went very well. The audience laughed more at physical comedy than spoken witticisms, but it was still very fun.

Now, to recent blogginess readings and comments.

Over at WTOC, the last two posts are of utmost interest to me.

First of all, because of the "2nd year syndrome" (as I like to call it).
The post is a GREAT explanation of the continued stagnation of young artists in this business. I was discussing this with a cast mate just last night (before our entrance in Act III).

Here is the evidence: A proof, if you will humor me:

A. Let [X = number of students graduate with Bachelors OR Master's degrees in Voice or Opera each year from Y number of conservatories, universities, and colleges, all of which have charged exorbitant amounts of money for tuition each year (upwards of 45,000- except the 1 or 2 in each Master's level that was on full assistantship).

B. [Z number of singers (comprising of XY plus N (non music majors who want to be singers after a four year major in international relations and then a private teacher who says they are ready)] between the ages (most likely) of 21-30, audition for YAPs or RAPs each year. The majority are sopranos.

C. [Z minus (60% to 40% of Z)] singers receive a live audition with a number of companies (anywhere between one and twenty-five/thirty) for that summer or next year's resident artist program. At this point, singers are thinking that they are the upper crust, the top 40 or 60 percent OF those that have even received a live audition, and they have a ONE in possibly 250 chance of being accepted to a summer program that hears 350 singers over 3 days. (250 sopranos, regular breakdown for every other voice type)

D. Let your chances = 1 in 250 IF an overwhelming majority of the following are true:
e = experience onstage is greater than performances just in your college shows
p = programs previously attended include mid-level summer apprenticeships
rr = your resume has no mistakes on it, and you sing the right rep. that day
t = your audition time is not right before a bathroom break, or after lunch break
c = you coached with the actual staff accompanist of the program last week
t = your teacher personally recommended you to Mr. Domingo
v = you have the voice of an angel
l= and you Look damn good in your burgundy and NOT black dress

E. Factor in the following:

PS = previous singers from last year, extremely talented, who already have a working relationship or audition history with the program you want to be in, and there is ALSO a two year "expectation" via AGMA or the studio to apprentice level of training and allegiance to the program.

NPA = Number of Previous Applicants that have already sung with this program in the past, who are auditioning again, and would have NO reason NOT to get in, unless they accepted a contract at a program ONE level HIGHER than the program you are auditioning for.

And finally,
NSN = Number of singers needed. 16 to 20?

I'd say your chances go from 1 in 250 to...well, you get the picture.

Now, I'm not saying this practice is WRONG by ANY means. I believe that most programs DO take very talented singers, DO enjoy their work, and DO want those singers to return a second year, and then return as mainstage singers.

All I AM saying, is that each year that this practice is repeated, (yes, FROM the schools taking too many music majors and telling them they are ready, TO the programs that will take THIRD year repeats even though AGMA says they can't be there), there are more and more and MORE singers that MAY be talented, but may NOT have even been heard, who actually DO fill all of the requirements above, but have just never been "that soprano" who was heard twice by a great program, asked to do it the third year, and then invited back for her 2nd year there.

And what I WILL say to that practice, is that programs should get it a bit more together in terms of being honest about what they are looking for.
If you're one of the top summer programs and you send out an email in August to the singers who YOU would consider asking back for a 2nd year to ask about their "plans to re-audition", what is the harm in that?
Then you KNOW that if you want that girl back, you have one less spot for a soprano who may travel from LA to NYC for an audition. Maybe you won't accept 40-60% of the soprano applicants, and only hear the cream of the crop top 20% of soprano applicants, sending back many-an-application fee (for those that send unheard apps back), and saving 500-600 sopranos from shellacking their kitchen table with rejection letters.

If you're a residency program that takes kids for 2 years, and you have a full lyric, why are you auditioning other full lyrics in that soprano's first year? You KNOW you won't take a full lyric, because you only need one.

The question is, I suppose, is it BETTER/to the singer's benefit just to be HEARD? Is that an honor in itself? Does that start the ball rolling on a good future audition/relationship so the panel can see your progress?
Or would it be better if you knew they weren't taking your voice type in the first place?

Personally, I am disappointed when I read audition notices that say "Note, we will not be hearing any sopranos this year". Of course, I would have RATHER them considered or just heard me..who is to say that who they have already is better or worse than I am?
BUT when you pit that against a 30 dollar audition fee, getting to NY, getting an accompanist, and the hoopla of the day and THEN getting a rejection even if you sang so so so well, is it worth it?

I haven't quite made a decision on that yet.
And I'm sure administrators will say it's worth it to hear people. To hear progress. To try and hear as many as possible even though we know there may not be a spot for them this year. Because you can always have that surprise voice that you have never heard of that blows you out of the water.
I'm not sure what most singers would say.

Let i = the imaginary number, (and square root of negative 2), and my general imagination of insanity while coming up with all of this.

Wow, I guess I DO remember some calculus after all. Washer method and 3D axes here I come!

Oh, but my real point is. IF singers between the ages of 21-30 were NOT doing all of this auditioning and possible participation in young artist programs (due to the fact that MOST singers really are only taken seriously in their late 20s and onward in terms of real futures on stage at leading houses in leading roles, with leading management), what would happen?
Would there be FEWER singers trying to make this a career?
Would the undergrads who can't get in to programs at ALL (because they've only been a tenor for a year and a half!) still be trying this 5 years later?
Would the GRADS who can't get management or a mainstage audition because of no experience on their resume still be able to afford 30 auditions a year?
Would singers go back to the "old school" ways of studying with one teacher, one method, once a day, out there in upstate New York, secluded, until they were ready for their MET debut?

Again, no answers here, just questions about the future of the form.


EDITED to include the following because I sent part of this post to my family (yea, they don't know I blog) and this is what my brother, the ACTUAL first year analyst at Goldman Sachs has to say about my proof.
Read on for more mathematical amusement.

Dear family,
While "bigSis" is insane, I too can go insane when you're sitting at work waiting for the credit department to come back with numbers to input into your model and they were supposed to come back an hour ago and we're still waiting. Enjoy my mathematical additions to Sis's theoretical proof. Or don't enjoy them. I don't mind.

Sis's odds of getting an audition and a job in the next two months: (updated - with numbers)

Throw out the first three steps of this proof. Since you have already proven that you can get an audition, and have experience, I wouldn't pit you against this "Z" number of people, but rather choose a probability, zPrime[a], that you will get an audition per season, with [a] being the number of auditions received and zprime[a] being the probability of receiving those exact number of auditions - the zPrime score will fall as the number of auditions [a] rises.

Using historical analysis, we can assume Sis has the following zPrime scores:
zPrime[0] = 2%
zPrime[1] = 15%
zprime[2] = 22%
zPrime[3] = 37%
zPrime[4] = 16%
zprime[5] = 5%
zPrime[6] = 2%
zPrime[7] = 1%
zPrime[8+] = .01%


Using this breakdown, the Weighted average number of live auditions Sis receives is zPrime[a]!a! = 2.78. This is Sis's zScore (the amount of "1 out of 250" auditions that Sis receives)

Without any other help, you would take this zScore, and divide it by 250 to get your chances of getting an audition of 2.78 / 250 = 1.11% per season. Not Good.

D. Let your chances = 1 in 250 IF an overwhelming majority of the
following are true:
e = experience onstage is greater than performances just in your college shows True
p = programs previously attended include mid-level summer apprenticeships True

The previous two eliminating variables work together. Whereas the individuals who don't have e (maybe 3% of the 250) are inclusive in the individuals who do not have p (Probably more like 10% of the 250). Therefore, if you have p, you can ignore the e variable altogether. Having P puts you and 224 other people above 25 people in the group. If you reduce the denominator by 25, you essentially multiply your previous chances by 1.111x. To be conservative (and realize that there is that smallest of possibilities that some schmuck who hasn't had a mid level apprenticeship gets the job) we'll say that the multiplier of having p = 1.1x

rr = your resume has no mistakes on it, and you sing the right rep. that day True - This is a binary multiplier. It doesn't help you, it can only hurt you - so it's a 1x if you did it right, and it's a 0x if you did it wrong. Then again, assuming that maybe 1 or 2 of the auditionees get this wrong, it essentially IS a multiplier that helps you - but probably a negligible one, given that the person who screws up a resume probably would have screwed up something else on this list and therefore been excluded anyway

t = your audition time is not right before a bathroom break, or after
lunch break

This is an interesting multiplier. Assuming that there are 3 bathroom breaks and a lunch break every day of the three days, that means that 12 people are doomed from this variable. If this removes 12 people from the running, it is essentially a 1.05 multiplier for anyone who doesn't get removed. Since this is totally random, it could have an effect on the good, or bad people. Therefore, you have to put a 50% discount on it, because it may remove those great singers that wouldn't have been removed from any of the other factors, or it could remove the bad singers who would've messed up on their resume anyway and not needed a bathroom break to remove them from the running. Overall, the multiplier is probably near 1.025x

c = you coached with the actual staff accompanist of the program last week

I can imagine no more than 10 people auditioning happened to have coached with the staff accompanist. This means that it would give you a 25x multiplier. But, the accompanist can only do so much to help you get the actual job, so I would divide that 25x multiplier by 10, giving you a 3.4x multiplier (you take the excess multiple of 24x and divide by 10 to get 2.4, then you add that to 1x)

t = your teacher personally recommended you to Mr. Domingo

A personal recommendation is good, but probably 20 people got recommendations by someone as well. That would mean a 12.5x multiplier if that made it a sure thing, but of course, divide by 10 because a recommendation once again doesn't get you the job. Multiplier = 2.15x

v = you have the voice of an angel

If this is true, it is mostly already reflected in the combination of recommendations and previous experience and the fact that you are at this level already. But given that we have not removed some people that may have had recommendations and experience but still have "demonic" voices, we can say that there still remains 50 of these people in the pool. This is a 1.25x multiple.

l= and you Look damn good in your audition dress

Looking good won't get you the job (SO NOT TRUE LITTLE BROTHER!), so you have to put a discount on this multiple. Given that, probably half of the sopranos are less than good looking, but only one quarter of them show it because the others put way too much make up on for the audition so you can't really tell. Therefore, this will eliminate about 75 candidates or so. This is a 1.4 multiple, but divide that down by 10 to get a 1.04x multiple because looks probably matter much less than singing.

E. Factor in the following:

= previous singers from last year, extremely talented, who already have
a working relationship or audition history with the program you want to
be in, and there is ALSO a two year "expectation" via AGMA or the
studio to apprentice level of training and allegiance to the program.

= Number of Previous Applicants that have already sung with this
program in the past, who are auditioning again, and would have NO
reason NOT to get in, unless they accepted a contract at a program ONE
level HIGHER than the program you are auditioning for.

PS and NPA can be looped together. The assumption is that there can only be about 20 to 30 of these in every 250 person applicant pool. That being said, this is a pretty good thing to have, because it pretty much gets you ahead. It , gives you a 1 in 30 chance to get the spot. Discount that down because it doesn't always work like this in reality. Normally it would give you an 8x multiple, but if you mark that down by 10, you get a 1.7x multiple.

And finally,
NSN = Number of singers needed. 16 to 20?

This actually HELPS you. Originally, we were assuming they only take 1 singer. If they take 5 sopranos, you just got 5 more chances. Multiplier for everyone = 5x


I'd say your chances go from 1 in 250 to...well, you get the picture.

This is the way the proof works, Your chances = zScore time NSN (number of singers needed) / 250. Then you add every multiplier to either the numerator of the denominator depending on if you are helped or hurt by having or not having that variable. In Sis's Case =

zScore * NSN * p * c * t * v * l *
---------------------------------------------- THEN - multiplied by the probability of auditioning around bathroom/lunch

250 * PSNPA

Sis's chances of getting a job this season are =

2.78 * 5 * 1.1x * 3.4x * 2.15x * 1.25x * 1.04x
250* 1.7

This yields a 34.2% chance to get the job.

Not Having the auditions in the bathroom/lunch spots move your chances up to 35.0%

That’s a 1 in 3 chance! Awesome.

(thanks to my amusing brother for that mathematical rendition of my chances at being employed).

13 November, 2007

new muzique learning.

After a wonderful opening weekend, spending the next day with relatives who flew in to see the show, I had a day off yesterday.
Except- it wasn't REALLY a day off, because I arranged to have a coaching on some upcoming repertoire that I will be presenting in about 2 weeks.

A 2 hour coaching later, I felt fabulous.
We sang through two brand new Italian arias (I needed to get a quickie recording of this done for a last minute submission)...which brings me to a post on learning music and getting in your body.

I HAD to record this music. It's from a rarely done opera, by a composer known more for his symphonies and oratorios than operas.
Early music, so there were ornaments to be worked out, and it just also had to MAKE sense (yes, all 8 repetitive minutes of the aria).

I received the music on Friday afternoon.
Looked at it repeatedly on Friday night, a bit on Saturday before the show.
A lot more on Sunday (which even included buying the arias on itunes to make sure I was going in the right direction on my own).

But without my usual resources here of libraries with scores, recordings, easily accessible coaches that could bang through it with me before I had to record it--I did it all on my own, and yesterday at the coaching I have to say it went quite well!

I CAN say that the arias were in my voice. Maybe not so much my body.
The recording is accurate, it is nuanced in the correct period of music and vocalism that the era and text and ornaments require. It is sometimes exciting, but it is definitely something that I can tell, when listening to it, that is not a role I've had experience with.
No staging in scenes class from undergrad. No auditions previous to this, no recording projects that make this one of my old "standards".

It's new and exciting- and that sounds a bit weird to my ear, which is used to hearing polish mixed with ease of delivery.

I am "happy" with the recording, but I wonder how much different it may have sounded IF I had either sung this role before, learned the whole role, or had any experience with the opera whatsoever before I was informed on Friday that I needed to record the aria asap.

And so, about learning music on the "quick". What I do:
Get music.

Look through pages of music to see the high, the low, the coloratura, the A or B sections, get a feel for the structure of the piece.

Translate words.
What? Old school Italian? OK, translate them using the ancient dictionary and make sure you understand that it's about cupid mocking YOU, not you mocking cupid (fool reflexive verb tenses that are no longer used).

Bang out some pitches and rhythms.
What? It's Baroque? Awesome! I already KNOW the A prime except for all the ornaments I have to make up now!

Try to sing through it.
What? No piano? No rollout keyboard?
Just that same pitch pipe that you used as the music director of your a capella group in college? YEP. Hope it's still at A440 after being dunked in chloraseptic spray numerous times when you sang while you had mono because you were committed to the group! And also when it was at the bottom of your bag which was mysteriously submerged twice in pineapple juice from those mini containers you used to keep in there, but forgot about before slamming said bag down on the pavement to wait for the shuttle but to the top of campus.

Break down and check out online.
Has anyone sung this? Is it a midi file? Break down again and go to itunes. WHAT? You can buy the entire 3 opera compilation for 65 bucks? NO THANK YOU!
I'll just buy this aria for 99 cents. You rock, itunes.

Oooh- lookey-here! I WAS singing it correctly, and HEY! That chick just used the same ornament I was going to in the prime! sweet! I'm on the right track.

And that is how, two and a half days later and an opening night later, I prepared for this recording.

But hey, it sounds great, all the notes are there, and I probably will never have to sing this aria ever again in my life unless I get the actual role--and you know what?
It's actually a really nice little sing! A sweet character, well-written, funny and heartfelt at the same time.

Today- day off from singing.
Tomorrow- next show.
After tomorrow- back to the new music learning (Messiah). I'm already rejoicing greatly.

12 November, 2007

hot off the press

Got a great first review of the show.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--press SHOULD NOT matter, and vocally critiquing me or my acting really doesn't make or break my day. I don't live and die for it or because of it.

However it DOES create buzz when it's sent to possible future employers/GDs/people that make decisions about my voice and me before they even meet me or hear me and just get a sheet of paper or email from an agent listing me as a possibility for xyz upcoming role.

So there you go. Good press in a new role that will hopefully continue the ball rolling and lead to repeat performances as well as new opportunities.


11 November, 2007


Tonight marked the addition of yet another one of my 'bread 'n butter' roles to my repertoire.
I arrived at the theater early (as I always do), to just be there, be in the air, get focused, and of course leave little goodies and treats and cards for my castmates.

Hair and makeup is kind of a big deal this time around since I have to be blond. My whole coloring is changed so I'm not washed out by the WHITE costume and blond wig and that requires layering of foundations, and a long time in the wig chair to push away all of my long dark hair and make sure the tight blond is the only thing that's showing.

And after all that, I only have one entrance in the first act and it's not even an aria!
So I warm up, I look at other music, I hang around the hallway, I listen to the show, and mostly I just wait until Act II when I do most of my work- aria,duet,aria, quartet, with a bunch of chatter and stage business in between.

How did I feel about my performance? You know that thing that I always write about- the weird nerves that sometimes happen and I don't know why because I'm feeling calm cool and collected about what's about to happen?
NOTHING. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I was smiling, happy, focused, I even ATE something today in the afternoon. I felt energized, and also like it was just rehearsal all over again and I knew what I was doing.

So strange! Maybe it's a pressure thing. House, people there..but no, there were people there to 'see' me tonight that have some future influence on 'things'.

But then again, NOT strange at all, because what I think I'm learning is that I AM prepared for everything I do, and honestly, I think that I do it quite well.
As I've written before-
WHY do I do this?
Work so hard? Put myself through the teachers, coaches, criticism, self-critiquing, everything that so easily could knock a singer down?

To hear the overture tonight.
To be backstage at the door two minutes before I go on for my first note.
To come off stage glowing and in a tizzy, not knowing where the music began or ended, because LIFE is the music, and I just lived for someone or something out there on stage.


10 November, 2007

(i have to do it...don't hate)


(2pm, I've been lying in bed since waking up at 11). Please excuse the Guffmann quote, but it shall and rightly should show up at every opening night.

Tminus 4 hours until I am turned into a Marilyn-esque Platinum Blond, and will cavort around in an "I dream of Genie" bare midriff (oh LORD I can't eat dinner or it will show) costume.

07 November, 2007

so THIS is what it (almost) feels like

My day so far:
7:21 am- call from agent.
me at 7;21- what the...WHO is calling..(can't read the phone, eyes still half shut from sleep...damn, missed it...foolish people in NYC) Look briefly, it was the agent. Uhhh.they KNOW I'm here..what's up.

7:26 am. agent again.
ok, there is a problem i'm answering this one.

Hi. Do you still know role x that you sang 4 yrs ago at first-yap?
Big ole-opry house MAY need someone to do it on Friday night.
Can you give me artistic admin's cell number at current- opera so I can ask about a release on your dark day?
I'll be in touch.

(me: holyshitholyshitholyshit..awesomeawesomeawesome)

Numerous calls and emails later:

7:45am through 11:30am.
Try to upload clips of opera to agent via email. FAIL. Hotmail, gmail and yahoo all FAIL at that.
Upload them as private Youtube clips to send to agent and big-ole-opry-house.

Find out whether local library has said score (they do, in the wrong language).
Find out that the odds are VEEERY VEEERY small that big-ole-opry will take a chance on someone they're never even heard live (DUH), but still am thinking that maybe they'll let me sing from the pit (which is the plan anyway).

Find the libretto online. Go through it. Still there, mostly. Would have to brush up a duet, and most of the little recit-y lines, but I could totally do it.

Stop and Think: COULD I do it? Holy crap, what a huge break that would be IF they would let me.
In touch via facebook with cast-member-of-said-show who is pulling for me and saying how fun it would be to do.
Me replying yes, but the odds are slim to none.

I know this.

Another hour passes.
Still trying to upload things on Youtube.
Calling library to find out if they'll check something out to a non-resident (no, damn- then what's the point of GOING? to photocopy the whole score?)

Also find out I'm offered a Messiah gig in the meantime.
TANGENT- You'd THINK I'd know this, but as as nice Jewish girl who has only subbed for church job once, I don't.
But I will by December!!!

Back and forth email patter with agent every 4 minutes, cast-member on facebook, bff via phone and email who is also faxing me OTHER music (yea, that Lieder) that I need to learn in 2 weeks...

Me wanting to kick my own ass for not having gone through this score in over 4 years...but still excited about the possibility, the tiny tiny tiny chance that I could get a chance to just be FLOWN there to be there IN CASE, (saving their behind and making me look good).

And then- 11:39am (my time). Not needed anymore.
Ok, but I was a CONSIDERATION, right?
And it felt almost as exciting as those times that I DID get to go on for the ailing singer, made my debut at previous-yap 2 years ago on the mainstage, and since then have continued to be semper-prepared, always ready for anything, and uber-on-top-of-it-all.

So. Not this time.
But next maybe :)
Plus I sing for that company's young artist program in a few weeks!

Ah, the weird in-between YAP/RAP/Mainstage/REAL singer years.

What a morning.

06 November, 2007

tech week

After getting used to morning, afternoon, and/or evening rehearsals, tech week seems a welcome break- only called at night, at showtime.

So what am I doing with my extra time?
A mix of being productive and then not so much.

I've revisited the lieder that I have to re-memorize for a competition that's upcoming. It's all there again (just need to work on Amor a bit more), and once I find a pianist when I'm back in the city I'll look forward to running that repertoire again.

What else?
It seems that of the auditions I'm getting for myself this season, they are all set. I've heard back from everyone and have everything scheduled for late November and early December. Happily, I have two days with two auditions each- which makes me a happy camper. One warm up, one change into audition dress, plenty of time between the times, and voila- I feel like I've been way more productive than just getting ready for one five minute sing.

I'm not singing for many places because current-opera runs over a lot of the audition season opportunities.
Still, I'm hoping that mainstage companies are still in town when I get back so that I can present myself for next year.

04 November, 2007

401 posts?

oh really?
Nice of blogger to keep track of that for me. Huh.

Ok, in response to the chocolate post below, for all of you SO interested readers (umm, no one?) yes, I had the chocolate. The bar. Not just a square. And it was gooooood and yummmmmy.

And the right TIMING if you pick up what I'm puttin' out there.

Oh yea. Tech week, dress rehearsals, and this is what I have to deal with? WHY oh why does that horrible Gap theme-song commercial keep mocking me while running through my head-- "I enjoy being a girl" ?

Nope. Not so much right now.

In all fairness (fairness?), it will be "bye bye bye", or 'gone baby gone' by opening night.

So, I have a headache, I just watched Joyeaux Noelle so I'm a bit emotional as well...in addition to aforementioned 'condition', and I'm glad that in 11 minutes it will be midnight for another hour, which means I have another hour to sleep or try not to make any sudden movements while I'm awake tomorrow and before our afternoon and evening of photoshoot, provided dinner, re-hair, re-makeup and run-through.

02 November, 2007

a chat with chocolate.

I really can't explain to you how much i want that chocolate right now.

maybe if i write an apostrophe to it i wont eat it.

why should you stay alive in bar form and not get in my belly?

is it because you were processed at the hershey plant and may have come into contact with other nuts and wheat products?

is it because if i eat you i'll ruin a perfectly good day of being good, eating fewer calories than normal, and hoping to look a LITTLE better in my jeans and not have a preggers belly in my midriff-baring costume?

is it because i shouldn't really eat past evening even though i've been at rehearsal for 3 hours and i'm very very hungry? and I deserve it?

why are you so tasty?

no. you're not even that tasty.

not like chocolate from the true source, with 75% cacao, or something Belgian or some German truffle.

You're just plan old Hershey's. Milk chocolate.

But you're sitting there, in that grocery bag from last week (when I was weaker than I am now), and I really want to at least lick you.

Or take one square? Who am I kidding? I will not eat one square. I won't even stop at half of you. I'd eat the WHOLE thing If I could...right now.

I'll just go have some water.

night night chocolate. we shall meet again tomorrow. this isn't over.

01 November, 2007

run-through stasera

Tonight we have our run through for the designers.

While I'm sure there that it will mostly run smoothly, we spent most of yesterday editing, cutting and rewriting dialogue, changing blocking to make things go more smoothly and to let some people deliver lines from a more sweet spot onstage than upstage at the top of the rake.

So there could be some snags along the way with forgotten changes, etc.

Yesterday we had a dialog rehearsal.
Singers that I've worked with, for the most part, have such a hard time learning lines that aren't sung. They freak out about spoken lines. Except those that came from theater backgrounds, of course,
Well, welcome to the Singspiel.

In THIS show, however, we all seem to have it under control. A few people come from theater, a the others are just comfortable, the rest are just funny. Improv, as I've said before, is a common phenomenon during rehearsals, and things are really taking a nice pace.

We tightened up a few things, did a speed-through, and with that, the show was on its feet and ready for tonight.

I'll be running through the show in my head, relaxing, and make-believe-ing that this is the start of the runs so that I can begin a vocal, mental and physical routine.

31 October, 2007


Umm, when you live out of suitcases, you don't really plan on dressing up for the holidays. I'm a bit too old to trick or treat (a bit!), and the last Halloween party I attended was 3 years ago (where I dressed up as slutty, brunette Britney Spears: The early years). So what will I do this time?

Well, I suppose I'll try.

I'll to to the grocery store or drugstore, buy some devil ears maybe, and wear something black? red? I don't know.
My wardrobe is pretty limited to rehearsal jeans, rehearsal cords, rehearsal black pants that were a mistake to wear to rehearsal since the floor I roll around on is not that clean, plus many sweaters.

Most of all, I'll buy some treats for everyone at rehearsal.
And NOT eat them.

Oh yea, have I mentioned that my costume is bare bare bare? Midriff, abs, arms, legs.
I like my figure--really I do. I know I could always use more abwork and some freeweights for more toned arms. But this costume was a lovely reminder of how I should NOT hibernate in the winter in my blankets and with a book (as I have done for the past hour since waking up), and that I should instead wake up early, get over it, get to the gym, and just get a workout over with!

I hate it so much. Putting the clothes on, going there, locking my stuff up, looking at the clock every 2 minutes, wishing 55 minutes were over.
Ok, I'll give you that it feels good if I do it every day for..a week...and then it gets normal and I'm not such a hater.
Let's just say I'm not at that point this week!

29 October, 2007

shaping up.

The whole show is staged as of this afternoon, and I think I've come up with my new challenge for this show.
As I said before, vocally, it's not very tough. I've sung Aria1 many a time for auditions, I've had scenes of Duet1, and I have basically just been listening to this show for a while because I love it.

So- new challenge of current-show:
Comedic timing with a partner.

Now, I'm funny- if I do say so myself.
I sing a mean Glitter, know how to milk comic arias, and have generally not had to try so hard because being obnoxious or silly comes...well, naturally.

Add a partner, add lines that fly by, patter, chatter, duets, jumping on benches, running in and out of doorways, slamming windows, timing a slap, and that's where I am right now.

Surrounded by "moves" that I have to make natural every night, despite the ENTIRE cast's inclination to completely ad lib it--making us constantly break out in hysterics.

It has to be fast, smart, funny.
In between being breathless from chasing people around the stage, and oh, yea, singing pretty too.

I think I'll begin settling into my nightly ritual of running things in my head.
That's how I usually learn music, staging, dialog, and anything else.
Before I go to sleep, I run through the whole thing in my head.
Stopping where I'm not sure. Going back, and figuring out the flow of the entire performance.
I find that it really helps my concentration, let's me settle a bit before nodding off to sleep, and I wake up the next day "magically" knowing things that I haven't really worked on.
Ah, the sub/un/conscious mind--it's a beautiful thing.

25 October, 2007

in a tizzy

the forum is aflutter with the usual audition season posts:

Did anyone here from?
Can I switch auditions times?
Why did I waste my money on them?
Is there an accompanist available?

It's interesting to read these posts from the perspective of a currently working singer.
On one hand, I wish that I was in NY doing auditions so that I can get work for NEXT year!
On the other hand, I'm being paid to sing a role right now that I've been dying to do for a long long time, that will show houses that my role experience is now rounded out with another "biggie" in the repertoire, and I'm having a lot of fun!

I know that when I get back in a few weeks I'll be auditioning a lot (or, at least- I'm hoping that is the case- a lot is still tba as far as I know, plus I'm not the one really setting up mainstage auditions for myself anymore).

So what I'm feeling right now is a bit of separation anxiety for not being in NYC, trying to find out about those last minute auditions, calling up pianists early, rehearsing repertoire, commiserating with fellow singers over the occasional Magnolia cupcake, and wandering around the Upper West Side in between auditions and coachings.

Things here have been going really well.
We had one CRAZY rehearsal last night that was supposed to be a staging of the quartet. It's turning out to be a choreographing of the quartet. We are ALL over the place. And with the blocking, added to the fact that the quartet goes on for about 20 pages and has about 20 words in it, you know that was a recipe for disaster.
Whenever we would stop, we had no idea where we were starting again in the music, I came in early on a line once, it was on the verge of the hysterical.
But that is what happens, and now it's in my head a bit more after a good night's sleep. SO next time, although I'm sure it won't be perfect, I'll at least remember what the next move is supposed to be as well as what the words and notes coming out of my mouth are supposed to be.

The show in general is an easy sing for me.
Two arias that are easy and fun- and depending on how they get staged, could be breathless with stage business.
The challenge is the dialog, the comedic timing, and making it believable to break the fourth wall and also experience things truthfully as the character.

More on character another day.
It's time for breakfast and maybe working out. I'm 2 for 3. I SHOULD do it today.
Really I should.

23 October, 2007

rehearsal day one

Yesterday afternoon we had a sing-through with full cast minus-one (last minute casting change, couldn't get the new one here in time).
If anything, this opera will sound great.

And that's pretty much what it needs for this kind of Mozart.

If tenor1 and sop1 can't kick the crap out of their arias, the dramatics fall flat, if tenor2 and sop2 can't be the sweetest smartest sidekicks AND sing all the high notes as well, the show is boring.

Well- happy to announce that we've got a wonderful cast (I'm actually the only person who is new to my role---kinda sorta---sop1 has sung my role before and is movin' on up to a more dramatic fach---)and everyone is comfortable. No scary high note moments. No ensembles that need tweaking.
Even after the first read it sounded crisp and "Mozart".

In the evening we had a dialog read in which we thankfully scrapped a bunch of lines that were a bit cheeese-filled, and rewrote things to make more dramatic sense and be funnier.
We also have carte blanche to continue to adlib and just see where the scene takes us.

Everyone here seems VERY laid back. In the best of ways.
Because I'm still not used to the time change I've been waking up really early, YES, working out (ok, I did yesterday. Today I SHOULD, but haven't yet---chill out--it's 9:20am!), looking at OTHER music that I need to learn, and of course looking at current music to make sure that I know it.

At dinner with two castmates last night I noticed how, at the beginning, and well into the middle and end, this business is still about- oh, you know that person? I know them too.

And I wonder about that.
IS it because we have SUCH unstable lives, travel everywhere, can't really say that our next-door-neighbor is our best friend who comes over, we confide in them, our husbands know each other, etc... that singers do the name-game so much?
Do we find some sort of comfort that another person ALSO knows a friend of ours--and ARE they really a friend, or are they someone we have worked with in ONE production, TWO years ago, for ONE month?

I mean, of course everyone I've worked with is a "friend".
But in this day of the "update/mass" email, the rarity of a phone call, the status button on AIM and facebook, aren't we just all living vicariously as 'friends', and really just reading or hearing about someone else's accomplishments and maybe dropping them a 'congrats' email once in a while?

And is that wrong?
I mean, COULD I actually keep in touch from 35 singers from summerYap1, 40 singers from summerYap2, any number of castmates and resident artists from the past-yearYAP, PLUS the "real" people like directors, conductors, coaches--who it is actually VERY important to keep in touch with?

It seems impossible. And so, most singers that I meet play the name game. The where have you worked game. The, oh, yes, we did a Flute 3 years ago game.

And that makes us feel like we're part of a small small world of circulating working singers. When really perhaps what we want to feel is that we have a community of close-ness, not unlike what we saw as children, when our parents and whole family lived in one (well, for me much more than one-- but still) location, knew the neighbor's and walked their dog, babysat for the kids down the street, and had a sense of what friend really meant.

21 October, 2007

blue morning (Aka I'm here)

After a long flight yesterday that involved waking up at 5am,

(meaning, I never really went to bed because whenever I have to wake up that early I freak myself out that I'll miss my phone alarm- the loudest possible thing..ever...and I wake up on the hour every hour until it's 30 minutes before I have to get up, and I've had no sleep)

having a dry starbucks bagel at 6am, flying to the midwest, eating French toast at the airport at 10am, and getting on another 5 hour flight and eating untoasted poptarts that I had the forethought to buy from the vending machine for a dollar instead of paying 5 bucks for the "snack box" on the airplane, I arrived!!!

My suitcases got here (after being 6lbs over and having to remove 2 sweaters and overpack my carry on which led to some storage problems of its own on the planes), I tried to hydrate myself as much as possible on the airplanes (even though I was in the window seat and felt bad making everyone get up so I could pee), and I'm here now.

Woke up feeling ALL stuffy in the nose and dry in the throat, but hey, I don't have to sing until tomorrow. So today- more water, some healthy food, EmergenC, Flinstone's vitamins, and we'll see how it is tomorrow.

For the past 2 hours that I've been awake (earlier than I would ever choose on a Sunday, but the time difference makes it so that it's morning here, but in NY it's already noon!), the sky has been the more pure color of baby blue.
I can't tell whether the sun has risen (I should google that), or whether it still will rise later on.
There is a layer of frost on everything outside, and I'm guessing it's about 30 degrees.
It hasn't snowed here yet, but all of the locals are expecting it any day now.
My plans for today?
Well, if the weather forecast looks ok (meaning, no snow storms) I'll drive down the coast on what is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives you can take in this area.

My rental car has been pre-smoked in (yuck), but I'll open the window, take my camera along, and hopefully enjoy some peaceful nature before the fun of rehearsal begins tomorrow.

We've been supplied free gym memberships here, so this time, yet again, I'll say that I will TRY. TRY to make use of that as much as possible.
Although there are gorgeous mountain and coastal trails just a few feet from my doorstep here as well.

Plans for this month besides rocking out in this new role:
Taking a lot of pictures
Making workouts a regular thing
Working out Spring plans, competitions, travel, and work.
Taking advantage of where I am right now and what my surroundings have to offer.

19 October, 2007

Macbeth Dress reeeeehearsal @ MET

Out out damn spot is going to need a LOT more than a Tide Wipe or Bleach Pen in this show!

Production- me likey the updates, the soldiers and then the kind of dictatorial looking king winning in the end.

Set- Love the way the bed appears and is MRS. Macbeth's and then also the King's bed, and then it's hidden well behind the center drop. Like the forest and the general shape of the sky as it cuts through the top of the proscenium and feels like a "heaven" is out there- or at least a big giant storm--ominous is the word I'm looking for.
I like Banquo's heirs coming in from the ceiling although I could do with a little less Green "club" lighting as they came down- it was a bit too "waiting for 2nite" by JLO circa the MILLENIUM.

Witches are now Mrs. McGonagall's from Harry Potter, mixed with white bobby socks, old purses, and looking like hungry Jewish grandmothers on their way to Zabar's and about to smack someone who gets in the way of the Marble Rye.

Maria Guleghina: (WAIT- before I talk about the voice, her negligees almost had a "superbowl janet/justin" moment, she needs to be strapped in, and she was constantly playing with the robe on top to make sure that it didn't happen AGAIN ...as it did in rehearsal...or so my sources say)
Vocally her arias were exciting, the "libiamo" flamenco dancing with the congratulatory "cup" of the king was nice, the duet right before her aria got a bit off track, but I was moved overall. The high notes were there, the low notes were there, the drama was there, although it felt a little like she was in her own world the ENTIRE time and not so much relating to her Mister- except in the ewww-this is bloody, but now you're going to push me down because it turns me on- kind of way.

Dmitri Pittas sounded really great as a YOUNG Macduff. I didn't really believe he was singing about his two possibly dead children, but I sure believed that I wanted him to keep singing to me in that sweeeet tone.

Lucic (add weird symbols above the C's that I don't have in my menu right now) was VERY strong. Again, I missed some of the "togetherness" acting with the MRS., but he really carried his arias alone onstage, and also the weakness and semi-crazy prophet scene.

John Reylea- hawtness as Banquo in body and voice. I liked when he came back as Zombie Banquo.
And I liked his Harry Potter scarved child.

The chorus did mostly well- OH- well, they were AWESOME in the prayer/a cappella scene--- but otherwise sometimes they rushed Jimmy and the Orchestra.
But they were all into being whatever they were supposed to be- weird witches, royalty attendees, soldiers, traitors, soldiers, refugees.

The whole thing came together very well and I understood what Adrian Noble wants out of it.
What I wanted more of was the crazy/sexual/dominant/subservient/love story between the Macbeths.
Like how neither one can live without the other, PLUS the power.
And how killing the king makes them want to dooo eeeet on the kitchen floor.
And how weakness is not an option.