31 March, 2008

30 day projects

I'll jump on the bandwagon here for 30 day projects.
Because this production period conveniently officially begins tomorrow, which is pretty close to April 1st, which is easy to count the days down until May, and the circumstances seem right for the following.

Eating better- I'm in an apt. It has a full sized fridge. It has a full sized range and oven. It has all of the spices and pots and pans and plates that I need. I can cook. I should only buy fruits and vegetables and some ground lean turkey tomorrow (to make spicy turkey burgers that are really yummy and really healthy).

Working out- there is no excuse not to go to the gym daily since rehearsal blocks here only begin after 1pm every day except Saturdays. Plus the gym is maybe a 5 minute drive away. NO EXCUSE!

Learning things- nextopera is 2.5 months away and once I get down with this one and feel comfortable, I WILL make myself spend some quality time every evening on the next project. NOT watching re-runs of law and order that I've already seen..(yet only realizing that I've already seen them around 20 minutes into the show).

That's it. Nothing so lofty and SO out of the ordinary. I just really want to attempt to stick to the above for 30 days and to see what happens.

28 March, 2008

so close

Why do last minute gigs always come up at times when I'm already contracted to do things?
Did the universe not get my memo on that?

MAN- this would have been SUCH a fun one too (summer random-repeat)! But nooooo...I'll be in week-before-tech-week for current-show.

So what can I do? Nothing. I did request a release since it's a semi-staged concert version (again) and would only require missing 5 rehearsals..half of those would be my cast...but the answer was no. And that's acceptable. Really. I'm only bummed because of the actual role and how I just love singing it anytime, anywhere.

I'm already pushing it with current-show though...doing this role premiere as well as a NYC concert premiere at the same time in the first two days of opening nights.

So I guess third time's a charm can't really apply here.

Oh well. I suppose I'll just have to hope that our 'dear master's experiments' will work out sometime again in the future.

25 March, 2008

countdown and clothing

Ok, so I officially need to know things.
And guess what? I DO know things!
The things that I know include ALL of the recits! And ALL of the ensemble-y things! And, of course, arias and duets.

The other things that I know are that I have a lot of clothes for every season, yet I somehow manage to wear the same few things for an entire season.
Except--why give away clothes that fit, look good, and are still stylish--JUST because I haven't worn them in a year? (or two?)

Being a full-time traveler/goddess of packing, I have my favorites for every season and every show.
Two pairs of jeans, two pairs of black pants, three pairs of capris depending on the weather, and an assortment of workout/yoga pants.

That's usually what I bring with me for a gig--however--I have ALSO a NICE pair of dressy grey, brown, and dark brown pants..as well as some OTHER nice black pants...as well as TONS of other workout clothes!
But why start bringing grey and brown into the picture? It will just make me need to pack more pairs of SHOES! Right?
Ok, so I haven't worn 4 pairs of pants in 2 years. Does that really mean I have to give them up? Or will they remain folded in the suitcase marked "Winter" until I have an actual closet to put them in one day?

Let's not get me started on jeans.
My current faves are flare dark 7s from a September Mall run. Except I recently bought 2 more pairs (that need to be shortened), PLUS I still have 2 other pairs of jeans that I bought in December (and completely forgot about because, they too, needed to be shortened)..NOT to mention the four or five pairs that have been my 'favorites' for the past 2 years! I LOVE jeans! But I can always only bring two pairs with me...I want to wear all of my jeans!!

Ok, so the bottom line is that I'm currently surrounded by clothing--on the floor, on my bed, in the closet-- with two open suitcases that are getting dangerously close to being over the weight-limit for checked items, and I want to pack so much more than I can--even though I know I'll keep wearing the same things.

One day when I'm a real adult living in a real apartment of my very own, maybe I'll have a closet that has room for all of my clothes and not just the ones that have conveniently been packed and re-packed for gigs in winter/spring, or summer, or fall/winter.

24 March, 2008

I'm as cool as Dawson! A cappella! yea!

NYTimes profiles a cappella music! (kinda)

Favorite quote from the article :

“When you’re in it,” he said, “you do think you’re a rock star. But you have to ignore the majority of the population who don’t want you singing jazz standards at their dinner.”

Article can be found here.
Oh, the good old days.

My update- been REALLY good about getting those last 2 pages of recit memorized. I THINK I'm ready! Yea!
Also, back to packing up my life..but what else is new?

21 March, 2008


While I'm being swept away by the enormous coolness of my new computer, I can add that I have also recently added two AWESOME new videos of performances to my super secret online stash--it's accessible on a need-to-know basis..(and you don't need to know! lolzzz)
Umm, yea, so there are video clips of me from live performances. I shall not divulge how I obtained said video clips. Let us just say they exist, they are on a video-sharing website, and they can't be on MY website due to the obviousness of their origin--plus the orchestra would be way mad for no reason (ugh, copyright union stuff). They are not under my name, they are not under their own title (ie, un-google-able), but there is a method to the madness, and whosoever holds the key (ie, password) can view them at their leisure.

I sang in a competition back in November and just noticed that the competition website put up clips of the winners.
I saw the clips and wondered if indeed the whole thing existed. Lo and behold- it did, and now I'm the proud owner of a KICK ASS Glitter on dvd with the high F thrown in, with great acoustics, with spot-on acting (if I do say so myself), as well as a Queen. Ok, I don't care as much about the Queen because I already have a recording of that on my website. But both are so fun!
There was a great acoustic in the hall, the angles are nice--I don't even need to complain that the camera adds ten pounds--because all looks good.

The funniest part of watching this video is remembering that I had to buy the gown at the last minute (thank you Loehmann's upper west side, sale $66 dollars), since we had just one day in between the semi's and the finals, and I didn't bring anything fancy with me to town...and so the gown is NOT hemmed (and thus, the normal 3 inches too long), the tags were still in it (JUST in case I decided to return it the next day--I didn't), I didn't have the, erm, undergarments (read: backless corset bra) that the dress required, and even STILL I managed to look surprisingly put together! Even in Glitter where there is definitely MORE than one opportunity to insert a twirl, a reference to my nice 'threads', etc, all looked 'in place' :) and I'm really happy with the performance--something that is rare for me.
I may even try to burn the audio off of the clip just to have something to send in on CD's that is better than what I already have (oh, except for the take with ORCHESTRA which so so so many companies are now refusing unless I have permission to use it)...really? I mean, I'm using it to apply to your singing competition! Not to sell a cd of my greatest hits with orchestra and not pay the union!

Oooh, a heated post for another day. Now back to some fun with my new mcbk.

19 March, 2008

500th post AND inaugural new computer post!!

I knew that there should be an occasion for the 500th post, and it happens to be that I just bought a MACBOOK!
Yes, 13.3 inches of pure joy, 5 pounds of lurv, with an added superdrive and extra RAM for all of my future computer needs.
And all for about the price of my tax return (which has yet to be deposited into my account, but WHATEVZZZ).

I feel like a little kid on Xmas morning...hmm..only I wouldn't really know how that feels--but this must be close enough!

I love new shiny things!
Who says diamonds are a girl's best friend? My new macbook is just as shiny, and I didn't need to wait for a boy to buy one for me!

Yippeeee! Happy 500th post to me!

15 March, 2008

499th post

Oooh! Fun!
What can I report about?
The double-checking of memorization is still at a bit of a standstill, HOWEVER it shall be remedied--why? Because over the next 2 days I'll be on a bus for a total of 8 hours--allowing PLENTY of time for line review and memory checks.

I decided to take a quick trip up from NYC to Boston to visit some extended family and also accompany my cousin up there to do an important audition for her acting career.
I think 8 hours of nothing but flipping through the score may just do the trick.

Oh yea, lesson number three.
Worked a bit on the intro. to Zerbinetta. Then offered an insanely high/modern/contemporary/crazy/and have I mentioned insanely high? piece to work on just to get an opinion...the resounding advice was yes, because maybe only 4 or 5 people in the business could sing it at all right now.

I have two more coachings before I'm on my own with the score and rehearsals begin at the end of the month. I think I'll use them to go through as much as I can and just try to be comfortable about the whole thing. What I DO need to remember is that even after just the beginning of rehearsals, I do have a whole MONTH to still make it my own and get it into my body with the staging, etc.
So however low or middle or tentative on cadenzas it feels right now, I think I'm really going to have a stronger idea of what I want when I meet the cast and begin working under directing and conducting.

OK, looking forward to a nice forced-study session on public transit.
And the 500th post.

14 March, 2008

tiiiiime is on my side...yes it is

Ok, so I have about 15 days to convince myself that I have this opera memorized.
DO I have this opera memorized?
Hmm...let's see.
First recit section- sure, why not
first aria- yep.
next 2 recits and duet- yea
all that crazy finale stuff that goes on for way too many pages--ok, maybe not ALL of the sung interjection-type parts, but the words, repeated words, repeated parts of phrases of words, and that fast stuff...pretty much.

The next act is where it's kind of shady. Sad recit and then angry recit and then mini-trio and then marriage recit are still murky. Some days I know them, some days...not so much. Plus I have the score within eye-sight the entire time I'm quizzing myself which also leads to some cheating, I admit.

SO. 15 days to solidify the last act is totally do-able, I think.

Just need to stop distracting myself with other fun things like possible shiny new computers (yes, ibook might become a hand-me-down to my parents, and macbook may be on the way!), and other distracting activities (no additional info. provided here!) that have been recently taking up my time :)

12 March, 2008


I love when there is some semblance of possible futures and I can't write it out here because it's unofficial and totally not set...but a possibility..in life.
I have to try to write an entry to describe what it could be, without giving it away--because, after all, in this business, it easily could turn into --couldn't be, or could be something else, or never was, or whatever...

To describe these two things in these two places in these two languages AND different genres:
A. gastronomical capital of country where I studied abroad during college.
B. a visit to my cousins.
A. I'll have to make my diction 'razor'-sharp.
B. I'll surely be seeing 'stars' when I sing.

If I read this post next year and have no idea what I was talking about, it means it didn't work out~ lol.

11 March, 2008

lesson number two

Met with new-teacher yesterday for lesson number two.
It's so amazing to hear and see and feel progress---in 2 45 minute sessions.
After the first session, I had three auditions, recorded 2, and was impressed with how different-in-a-good-way it sounded. Rounder. Polished.
After yesterday, where I ended up working through the three arias that are most "me in auditions" right now, I felt like I could keep singing for hours and hours, and that it just got easier and easier.

So what can I say to describe how I need to think about the sound?
As usual, eyes and cheeks--smiling.
The eee vowels is in an 'oh' mouth--or a tube--but still "above" something, not right on it inthe middle.
Expansion like fairy wings in the back.
Leaning on the front column of air and keeping it pressed out the entire time.
But NEVER holding. ANYTHING. Always moving. Always air flow. Always vibrating. And ALWAYS easy. No space-making, no tricks, just saying it, relaxing, and passaggio F/Fsharps are smaller than I want them to be. So are top notes. Always sing from a place where I can start a trill.


10 March, 2008

feedback from one

as reported to my agency over brunch:

IF they were taking a coloratura, they would have taken me as number one.

Ok, the good impression was still made, and when THEIR coloratura does get sick or move on, maybe I'll be next in line.

MUST GET UP....as it is noon, and I slept from 3-8, let the painters in, and then slept from 10-12.

It hurts to be awake right now.

09 March, 2008

giddy in the city

No details for you the public, but some reminders of a lovely weekend:
Old friends, new friends, great food, great company.
New outfits, skinny jeans, cuban infusion, credit cards, middle eastern, outdoor concerts at midnight, the wind in nyc, catching up over brunch, two hours of sleep, many hours of afternoon 'catch up' sleep, and a return to my new upper west side abode--for the next bit of time.

Tomorrow- another lesson with hopefully repeated good technique-learning, yoga class, and maybe another outing.

08 March, 2008

the rain in spain...i mean, nyc...

Stays mainly...on my head.

It began as a light drizzle. I was walking out of an audition yesterday, overflowing bag as usual so I couldn't close it to avoid the drops hitting my music binder.
And then the downpour.
By this time I had changed into outfit number two for the evening.
It got so bad I had to go into the Gap just to pass some time (I ended up buying a 16 dollar umbrella there), and into B+N to be able to hear a call on my cell phone.

Still like that outside today, and I'm dreading the trek uptown/crosstown to my new place of residence for the next week.

Audition/Competition recap:
well, I already wrote about the first.
So, competition: Sang Chacun and DurchZ. Did really well. Felt the energy of the room. WISHED that I had brought my minidisk recorder up there because it was SO easy to set it up in the little cubby of the room before I walked out. Oh Wel.

Audition yesterday:
Zerbie and Queen (yes, it was for Germans).
Felt great about the Zerb. ONE note--the most important one, that I sing forte and then pianissimo--that was good, and then I got artsy with it and it didn't want to cooperate on the way down. Nothing major, just a tiny little non-connect between that note and the next. Note to self: just sing it...stop thinking about it.
But in OTHEr fun news, I now officially don't take a breath between the held/trilled B for ten thousand measures, the descent after it, OR the arpeggio UP after that---something I had been fooling myself into thinking that I needed. I don't need that breath. And it feels good.

Queen- the panel said they just wanted to hear the first section to make sure I had an F, and I replied that if they wanted a G they should have picked chacun le sait (insert laughter).
Went REALLY well too. This piece is just so easy for me, that sometimes I think it should be more dramatic and start to over-dramatize it...both gesture and voice.
I stayed away from that this time, and lo and behold- it was as clean as ever, and easy as ever too.
Note to self- JUST SING IT.

This week- If I don't seriously make a dent in upcomingrole2, and seriously seriously test myself to make sure that I know upcomingrole1, I will put myself on my own angry list.

06 March, 2008

alphabet of things

a. I need to practice upcomingrole1 more.
b. I need to CRACK OPEN upcomingrole 2.
c. I bought 2 pairs of 7s today AND a cute 'date-y' outfit.
d. I have an audition tomorrow
e. I sent in my taxes today
f. I have to pack...again.
g. I had amazing risotto for lunch today..except lunch was at 4pm, and I didn't eat anything before that.
h. I almost bought really cute shoes today--and still may...tomorrow.
i. I REALLY need to get an i-something to act as a line-in to my laptop.
j. I really neet to get the above, then transfer my minidisk files, then...
k. I really need to send in those two applications for competitions. By the 15th.

Really? Only 'k' amount of things?
O..K(!) then!

05 March, 2008

audition a.m.

After a sleepless night (WHY do I always get the crappiest non-sleep when I have to audition or perform the next day?!!), I finally decided after being awake for 2 hours that I may as well get up at 7:30, 15 minutes earlier than I had planned. Got in the shower, had to be quiet not to wake the world up around me.
At 8:45 I got to a quick practice room for a 20 minute warm up and then I was off to the NYIOPS at Riverside.

Couldn't really decide what piece to start with, I was kind of leaning towards Chacun as of yesterday's coaching..but I went with my normal "starter for European people or things that could actually cast me" (rather than my normal -competition starter)..which is Zerbie.

I can absolutely feel the work that I've done in recent coachings and lessons creeping into these arias..and I LIKE it! I recorded myself at Riverside and wow--the sound is just...surprisingly round, lovely in the middle--I really am enjoying this..and it's all EASY and NATURAL which is the bottom line for me when doing any tweaking of my singing. As soon as it begins to feel laboured, I'm doing something wrong.

THEN they asked for ROSINA!!
(this is the 2nd time it's been asked for)--I pretty much put it on the list because I saw that they were trying to cast a bunch of other rossini operas, like Viaggio, etc.-- It's usually not on there..MAYBE for competitions.
But I sang it well--again, felt the new middle voice/low voice difference, rounded out those legato lines EVEN on the coloratura..and in general felt awesome about it (especially the last F that I hold forever).

AND THEN one of the panelists asked if I sang Flute, and could I take 5 minutes breather and come back in and sing Queen.

So I waited one singer more, drank some water mixed with emergenC, (my breakfast of champions since I DESPISE any type of food in the morning when I have to sing)...and I was back in the room.

Queen sounded nice as well. I was a bit tired by this point, so I COULD have sung those grace note sixteenth pickups to the coloratura more cleanly..and I ALSO could have sung a few of the D's in the coloratura better--but the F's were all there, nothing was out of line...and...
(the best part)

AFTER I was finished the dude asked me IN GERMAN where I learned German..and I answered IN GERMAN that I studied in Munich in the summer at the Goethe Institute! And I think I even used the KIND OF right pronouns for everything!!! HAHAHAA (three thousand dollars including the flight WELL spent for just that one answer).
And then.....
wait for it...

he said---ihre deutsch ist sehr gut !!! OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT--which pretty much means I RULE.

NOW I'm calming down for another hour..because the competition is later today--I sing at 3:15. Have to be there at 2:15.

I'm in my pjs. Drinking some "Naked Green" juice, trying not to fall asleep, but trying to relax.


03 March, 2008

bad blogger

I blame you, New York City! And all of the exciting wonderful things that I've been doing here.

Meeting up with friends for brunches, in the park at Union Sq., for impromptu sushi consumption in the middle of the day, coachings, lessons, weekend activities that included a lot of Middle Eastern food around the West Village (twice in one very late night), as well as karaoke (even later in the night/morning)--the perfect combination of fun!

I've been exploring a few new social avenues lately and am all aflutter (is that word allowed ONLY to be used in My Fair Lady? or is it fair game here?) with the possibilities that are ahead for me.

And now, to share the greatest possible offer that one could be offered in NYC:

This fell in my lap last minute and will replace me bouncing around between friends for the next few weeks.

9 days. I have to water the plants on Tuesday, and let the painters in every day (weekday) at 8:30. And in the apt. downstairs (2 couples going on a joint vaycay) I have to feed the cat and have free reign on the GRAND piano and multitude of scores for the entire dayyyy (not to mention the lovely view of the Hudson).

YAYAYAYAY! Add free internetzzz to piggy back off of, and I'll be a happy camper. So- POSSIBLY more posts more often are coming your way!
This means YOU!

01 March, 2008

temporary housing

Well, it's been 9 days of New York City living, learning, coaching, hanging out, taking advantage of the city. I'm still in transit where my lodgings are concerned, although thanks to very generous friends I'm able to avoid paying rent for the time being.
I will be here next week, and have the pleasure of being put up in a hotel for 4 days courtesy of a competition. And then the NEXT week I'll be house-sitting on the upper west side...so all in all, not a bad way to spend three and a half weeks in the city, saving money (is that possible here?) preparing for the next role, and getting a chance to catch up with old friends whenever possible.

I think the next time I'm here for a long period of time (possibly the entire fall?) I'll definitely look into a sublet. It's wonderful to have friends with open doors, couches, beds, kitchens, and other various amenities--like hairdryers, and visitor guest passes to their gym...but I can't really imagine being in transit like this and NOT being in opera rehearsals with provided housing..somewhere.. for more than this period of time.

Up next- coaching, audition, competition, lesson, coaching, lesson, discussion panel, and very possibly some social activities that may involve....gasp...dating?