30 April, 2009

three down, two to go

Beginning on Tuesday I could feel something in the air...it tickled the back of my throat, made for some extra sneezing, and finally, on Wednesday...full blown allergies slash sinus slash post nasal drip whatever-it-is.

I felt absolutely horrible yesterday. All day. Couldn't eat, had chills, thought I had a fever, (no, it's not swine flu), and was coughing up gross-looking things that were running down the back of my throat from my nose.

Gross. Gross. Gross.

But- the show must go on, right?
THANKFULLY it did not affect my voice.
I FELT awful out there, but I SANG like there was nothing wrong.

Then of course, I had to self-diagnose on the way home from the theater, and figure out what to take to alleviate the majority of the symptoms so that I can feel better by Friday night's performance AND get a good night's sleep (oh yea, I didn't mention that for the past 3 days I've been NOT tired enough to fall asleep until about 3am, and then suddenly WIDE awake at 8am for NO reason).

I was on the fence between Nyquil and Sudafed nighttime, but nyquil is really for colds, and I'm pretty sure that I have something allerg-y or sinus-y, so I decided on the Sudafed for "fever, minor aches and pains, nasal and sinus congestion, and runny nose".

I also bought Vicks vaporub to slather all over the back of my neck in hopes of not coughing all night..which worked!

I slept from 12-8. It was beautiful.

I still don't feel great today, but at least I ate some chicken soup (ok, it's 5pm and I just ate for the first time today), had some pineapple, have been drinking about 32 oz. of apple juice for the day, and I can even hum up and down the scale lightly and nothing hurts.

So. It seems my voice is fine, it's just that my throat feels like there are lumps inside of it (I know, this sounds like Strep, and I don't want to think about that), but I can't see anything that would cause alarm except for a red back of the throat--which I should expect from the amt. of coughing and nose-blowing I have done in the past 2 days.

I will continue to take it easy today. And do nothing.
I hope that this thing is outta here by tomorrow when my family comes to visit and see the performance!

27 April, 2009

2nd verse, same as the first

Ok, not really 2nd verse...but 2nd show...and then third, fourth, and fifth show...
How do I keep the energy up and keep it as exciting as opening night?
Well--just think of all those people that are there for the FIRST time to see us!
I don't think there will ever be a performance I'm not 'nervous in a good way' for. When your body and mind have been finely tuned for 3 weeks of rehearsal, there shouldn't really be any surprises, although the excitement of what is about to happen as soon as I walk out for my first cue always make me giddy and make my heart beat faster.

Onto #2!

26 April, 2009

opening niiiiiiight

That was so so so so SO much fun!
Singing, Dancing, Twirling...
and now it's 2am and I've been to one official cast party, one unofficial cast party at the local gay bar (always the best music), and my ears are RINGING (ok, that's probably from the high pumpin' Rhianna and Beyonce music...but still)...
It was SUCH an awesome night.
I felt REALLY good about it.
The dir. said it was the best 'aria scene' that they have seen yet...always a good thing when you're about to work with them again in the next production...and overall--I just LOVE that the audience loves this piece!

So yes, laugh, cry, shout, clap, and be amused--we are here to entertain.

24 April, 2009

it's almost the day of the show y'all

After a night of non-sleep and an early morning wake-up to deal with the thing that was making my sleep difficult, it's alllll ovvvverrrr.
Decision made.
I'm happy with it and looking forward to now being able to plan what I'm doing.


Opening night is tomorrrrrrrow!
I am VERY much not in the mood to write any cards right now, so I think I'm going to push that custom until closing night this time.
Sometimes I'm really into it, find the perfect gifts, funny gag gifts, etc. and can do the 'excited note-writing' the day before the show.
I suppose I do have tomorrow to get with it, but for now, I just want to have a relaxing evening.

Plans for tomorrow?
Sleep as late as possible, maybe a visit to the jacuzzi, and then a light warm up around 4...call to the theater at 6:30, and show at 8!

Have I mentioned that I love what I do?
I'm excited to HAVE FUN!
And yes, EVEN to DANCE!

22 April, 2009

things to remember

1. BREATHE before the waltzing and during the waltzing so that those silly little runs AFTER the waltzing sound as good as they possibly can.

2. see number 1.

I'm having a lot of fun.
Still discovering new things and new ways to make my character develop...even in these last few rehearsals.
Nothing feels set or stale..everything is still up to interpretation, and I'm excited to see what the final product will be very SOON.

21 April, 2009


This evening was our sitz for the show.
I can't believe there are only 5 more days until we open!
I'm actually feeling SO good about it!
It's fun, I'm still finding new things to do and feel at each additional rehearsal, and I know that no matter what I'm just going to enjoy myself.

The previous blog matter has not settled itself.
I've gotten sound advice from all sides about what to do. I appreciate the more 'professional' of opinions of course, and agree with a course of action that may prove fruitful for impressing a 'big name' in the business regardless of the outcome, but I do have to remember that EVEN though I am a singer of a certain 'level', (as it is called by some who have reached a certain point where they are past school, and no longer their own 'scheduling' boss), my AGE still befits that of a young artist.
That's not to say that I should do pay-to-sing programs, although numerous singers of all levels go to these places to try out roles for the first time...but it does mean that I still recognize that times are hard for ALL of us, and pay or no pay or very little pay, a job is a job..and giving one up, no matter what the reason, would reflect on me in some way down the road.

In the end, I think I could be ok with my decision IF I could line a few more things up and make an entire foray in to Europe (this time in the Summer-HOORAY!) for another month worth my while while I'm there.

It's like an eye for an eye--except that no heinous crime has been committed. I would somehow like to have a feeling of contentment over letting something go, and excitement at what it is being replaced with...which is hopefully more than just ONE audition.

All that is to be determined and HAS to be determined by the end of this week...or as soon as possible...

17 April, 2009


Yes, it's my day off, but no, I am no where near relaxed right now.

WHYYYY can't scheduling EVER work out?
Ok, that's not fair to say..because most of the time, it does.

But I have been asked to do repeated things over the past few years and could NOT do them because of one day, one week, one production overlapping another.

And so I find myself in the same situation for these past few days, and a decision has to be made.

An offer to do a ridiculously amazing audition that COULD possibly yield work for an entire year...in the SMACK middle of tech week for future-show.

And the only choice I have is to give up the production completely....and do the really really important audition, OR not to do the audition--and the who knows what could have been or not. BUT it's just an audition. How do you give something up that is already concrete work JUST to be introduced to someone who MAY or MAY NOT like you and even consider you for the actual upcoming work?

I wish the magical fairies of opera scheduling would make this work out better.

15 April, 2009

tax day!

Happily for me, even though I was pressed for time once I got back to the US on the 22nd, I was able to get my finances and receipts and documents together and in order for my tax guy to give it the final once-over and submit by April 15th.
I don't particularly TRY to wait until the last minute for taxes...I always think about it...at some point after January first...but I never actually get to making that long.Word or Excel file to really document everything that I've done.
iCal makes it easy to see how many auditions I had, how many times I paid an accompanist, paid for a warm-up room, and paid for a CAB (only when it was raining!) to get to midtown from my upper west side abode.

That is all for now, as I'm doing double blogging duty elsewhere!

13 April, 2009

back across the country

I continue to have not the best of luck with my flights back across the country.
Today I sat in JFK for an extra 30 minutes, for seemingly no reason. We then boarded the plane, and sat for about 20 more minutes. Of course that is no where near the 3 hours that my FIRST flight out here was delayed by, but still.

What can I say about singing today?
Well, I had my iphone back stage and I managed to get a 'bootleg' recording of myself.
Of course, it's from backstage, so it's unusable--as you can hear people walking by (ie, the next competitor)
I sang Zerbinetta from So War and was asked for DurchZ.

What did I hear? Actually some pretty nice musical things..phrasing that I have definitely worked on and added since the last time I heard a recording of myself singing this (which was last May in concert). I also don't sound as 'light' perhaps as I did before?
I shall attribute that to either working with a new teacher, singing this aria at least 16 times in Germany, or just being almost a year older and singing it.

And then DurchZ
Woah- I mean, Woah--this was a different sound than what I remember as well (I get asked for this a lot, but again, the last time it was recorded was well over a year and a half ago)
Hmmm....there were ONE or TWO notes that I was not in love with.
And actually, one of them was the low note before the high run.
And one of them was the high note AFTER a middle run that I didn't hit in the center and then it was ok.

So- my thoughts on the day---I did well. Well enough to be among that crowd. Can I say I'm happy with it? Well it's not like I sang a wrong note or cracked or anything..but those two little things that bothered ME in the recording...who knows if those were deal-breakers.

All I can do is wait and see...and actually, probably forget all about it since I'm called to rehearsal in 25 minutes, haven't eaten dinner, and haven't changed out of my 'airplane' clothes yet!

11 April, 2009

a quickie

At 3:30 tomorrow I'm released from rehearsal for a total of 24 hours.
Within the time constraints of those 24 hours I will fly back to New York (via Chicago), catch up with my old roommie, hopefully get a decent night of sleep, have to wake up early than I want to so I can warm up with sufficient time and get dolled up with enough time to make it across the park and to the audition venue...well, competition venue.

This is 'kindof' a biggie? Maybe?
I don't really know. Plus, I can't pay attention to these kinds of things.
I've done too many of these to know that there is no rhyme or reason to competition winners.
Everyone at SOME level should be there and is obviously talented...and from there on, I leave it to...whatever power is in charge that day...to be 'the decider'.

Pretty zen, I suppose--and I do try and think that way...although of course I will be feeling competitive with myself and with others that I may encounter backstage!

In the run-down of my auditions in Europe, which I haven't really discussed except to offer the number-crunching, I always felt like I do about the majority of my auditions in the US.
I bring to the audition room what I will bring to the stage.
That is- the voice, the acting, the musicality/artistry.

It's very very rare (knock on wood) that one of those elements goes awry (unless I'm sick--in which case I should NOT be singing the audition anyway!...arrgghghhghg..still shudder to think about that ONE this season that should not have been.)

What you get is a product. A look, a voice, a style, that you can choose to like, choose to dislike, or choose to not really have a strong enough opinion about to move on to the next level of competition or for casting consideration.

Of course, it's my JOB to get you to like my look, voice and style.
That's why I take voice lessons. That's why I don't go to Wendy's for their spicy chicken sandwich for every meal at lunch. And that's why I learn from directors, actors, literature, film, and my own research about how to make the stage work with whatever task I have at hand.

09 April, 2009

is it almost our day off?

I know, it seems crazy. There is a limit to the number of hours that we can work per day, per week....but I'm still completely exhausted from week one of staging.

What does "staging" involve in this show?
Well, let's see....
TONS of choreography, parasol twirling, two-stepping, waltzing, skipping, jumping, kissing cues, hankie-handling, heart fluttering, etc. etc. etc.

Tomorrow is our day off, which means I will sleep as late as possible, and then maybe take a look at my score and try to remember in my head what I'm supposed to be doing! Maybe it will sink in on the day off.

So far though, this show is FUN!
I love working with my fellow singers who are funny and talented. It's always a bonus when you can have an entire conversation in "Anchorman" or "Zoolander"...without missing a beat.
I love the kind of one-liners that make 3 hour dance rehearsals seem shorter than they actually are.

On a DANCING note--I do have to be honest and say, once again (since I think I've mentioned it before)..that I WISH my mom had thrown me into ballet lessons as a kid.
It's not that I'm not coordinated.
It's not that I can't get the steps, and get them quickly.
I'm just NOT the type of person that believes it looks GOOD or RIGHT..at all, ever.
And I don't need reassurance, because if I was doing it wrong, I sure would hear about it.
It's not my 'element', and therefore, I think about it, practice it, and think about it some more...always wondering whether it 'looks' somewhat natural and not as stilted and robotic as I think it is!

And so- my first goal for this character (very similar to last summer when I had to find a wider space for my Despina), is to widen at the top with stronger arm positions.
What I need is that Victorian body configuration....that every hand out extends from the mid-back through the shoulders, down the arms, up the wrists and out the tips of the fingers. All while looking and 'acting' natural, of course!

More after my day off when I can gather my thoughts and I'm not so exhausted!

05 April, 2009

some sunday night inspiration

I just found out one of my very good friends and previous apprentice-artist-colleague was offered a cover contract at the MET.


I just found out the whole story/process...from someone knowing that he sang a certain role, contacting his manager and asking whether he could come sing a certain aria in the Hall for ONE person, being asked to come back to sing a house for THREE people, and then getting an email the next day through his agent asking if he was available this fall to cover!

I mean...that is so awesome!

The next day!!!

So cool.

How does that make me feel?
Well, first of all REALLY happy for my friend, obviously.

And it's the craziest thing, but ever since this email has gone through for my friend, companies have just been lining up for auditions and bookings for him.
I guess that's being the 'it' person of the moment..and having 'buzz'.

Second, inspired-----thinking about the upcoming rep and the fact that I'd somehow like someone to know that I sing both arias from crazy-opera-2012..and maybe just maybe just maaaayyyybe I could actually be involved in that production...somehow...if the heavens part and the stars align...(and I do an audition and rock it...)..that I could actually achieve this BIG HUGE thing in my life and career as a young singer...and consider myself ...as the MTV show would put it...MADE.

So---I guess you just never know.
It can happen if you just keep chugging along, working hard, and staying at the top of your game...and with the right people knowing that you are doing those things as well.

A lot of inspiration for the night--and a smile on my face, as I go to sleep (early!), and look forward to staging my aria in my first staging rehearsal tomorrow afternoon.

03 April, 2009

travel day

Well hello there from about 20,000 feet in the air. I’m on the airplane!
I was SUPPOSED to be landing right now. But for some reason, this day (and previous night) has proved to be the most “interesting” travel day to a gig that I’ve had so far.

Beginning with last night. I know this always happens—I can’t sleep well when I have to wake up for an alarm for something other than the ordinary. The ordinary being rehearsal, costume fitting, something within the FIVE to TEN mile radius of my sleeping location.
No, I had to wake up for the car service to take me to the airport.
Which meant, I slept from about 2:30-4:30. Then my body decided to wake up on its own and be wide awake until 7:30, at which time I decided to get up and get ready for my 8am pickup.

And isn’t it SO fitting that I asked the car to pick me up at 8 assuming there would be traffic for at least an hour like there usually is, and I arrived at the airport at 8:40.
My bag weighed 50.5 pounds and the check-in lady ALMOST made me pay the overage fee for HALF a pound! I told her I’d take something out..and she decided she didn’t feel like waiting for me to do that and just checked it. (and then charged me 15 bucks for it).
I proceeded to the cafeteria since I didn’t want to go through security too early (after all, it was now 8:42 and my flight departed at 11:15!), bought a banana and a water and sat around listening to my iphone tunes for a while.

At about 10:15 I went through security and arrived two seconds later at my gate (not before the guy in front of me had to ask three different guards if he needed to take his computer OUT of the carrying case).
----- YES! Do you never fly?! I mean, REALLY? Did you not hear the lady guard say at LEAST five times while we have been in this line that ALL COMPUTERS MUST BE IN SEPARATE BINS AND OUT OF THE CASE?!

THEN I took the most amazing picture with my iphone—shown in this post for your viewing pleasure.

I mean, heaven forbid some Chinese or Taiwanese underpaid assembly-line worker should be approached by an international terrorist organization and forced/asked/paid to put bomb-making gelatinous materials INSIDE of the snow-globe with a picture of snowflakes falling at the Empire State Building, and somehow get that EXACT snow-globe shipped to the “EverythingNYC” store at the LaGuardia Airport, only to be bought on the exact date of arrival by another part of that same terrorist cell who has just been activated and has already lived in New York City free of any suspicion and now wants to use said snow-globe and its suspicious liquids inside to threaten a flight to….wait for it….Milwaukee.

Come ON people! Really? Snow-globes? Could you not come up with anything that would be MORE of a threat…like, ohhh…say….I don’t know—Easter Peeps? I hear you can somehow manipulate that sweet yellow marshmellow-y mass into concealing a PREGNANT WOMAN.

Ok, really though, the comedy of errors is just beginning.
I arrived at the gate.
11:15 departure is now pushed to 12.
12 turns into 12:30.
We board around 1—yay! We’re all on the plane AND the guy next to me moved up into a free row so I’m sitting by myself.
And then the intercom of doom comes on.
…..Ladies and gentlemen,…bla bla bla..bad weather, no Western runways are being allowed to take off (and I’m flying West)…bla bla bla…we don’t have a lot of FUEL so we’re going to turn the engines off (WHAT?!) bla bla bla…stay tuned.

Oooookeeeeey dokey! So I nap for a while. 40 minutes later…
Still nothing. There is a line of airplanes behind us, I’m getting hungry because of course, I thought I’d be at my destination eating lunch by now. Not so much.
Up next- the flight attendants pick up the intercom phone and say—since we’re sitting here waiting until who knows when, we’re going to play…AIRPLANE TRIVIA!
Yayyyy! Isn’t that SO much FUN?!

1. What is MY name?
2. What is the HEAD flight attendant’s name?
3. What are the names of all the 7 dwarves? (umm, really?)
4. What is the city code for where we are flying?
By this point, about 3 people are paying attention, I’m being sarcastic about the whole thing to the singer that is also on my flight to the same destination, and then..the next questions---
5. For the prize of a cinnamon roll---WHO wants to come up here and sing the national anthem?

COME ON people! There are four opera singers on this flight!
But the other three didn’t volunteer. And since I was getting pretty hungry, I decided to stand up and sing the national anthem (after speeding through the words in my head to make sure I remembered them!)…and while it was not the WORST live performance I’ve ever given…somewhere less than superbowl and more than college varsity game…
It was actually pretty hilarious. Of course I went for the octave high note at the very end…and then people clapped. And then I got my cinnabun.

Now that I think about it, it was probably left over from this morning’s flight TO New York..but I don’t care. I’m going to eat it when I get hungry. Possibly now.

Oh. The update—the flight left at 2:30 on a runway heading EAST and then did a sky turnaround through the no-visibility and extreme turbulence of the crappy weather clouds out today.

Two more hours to our destination.

(posted from the sanctuary of my extended stay hotel room which will be my home for the next 4 weeks.)

all my bags are packed and I'm ready to go...

One last hurrah in NYC (ie- great concert, great sushi), before getting on my mid-morning plane tomorrow.

Too late to really get into what I want to accomplish over the next 4 weeks, but I'm hoping that I can be diligent enough to get everything done.

01 April, 2009

procrastination central

Today I spent 48 dollars at CVS. 28 of them were on TOOTHBRUSH heads for my Vitality Sonic TOOTHBRUSH~~~ that is SO unacceptable.

The other 20 were on things I NEEEEEDED, such as a Twix bar.

I've been staring at my 2 suitcases that need to be closed for the past day and a half.

I have one more day in NYC to "leave out", my "plane outfit" to leave out, and then I have to make the decision whether to cut any clothes.

Already, I have taken out two black things. It seems like everything I own is black.
Black long sweater that goes over outfits to make me warmer and black zip-up Bebe hoodie are both about to be evicted from the suitcase. That is because I already have gray/slate jean jacket to keep me warm, AND ghetto black hoodie that I will use at the gym that I COULD use for rehearsal IF I get cold, and ALSO have black wrap-thingie-with-sleeves that I can tie around tops if I'm cold.

I'm bringing MORE shoes than EVER before on this gig--mainly because I've purchased more shoes than ever before in the past week.

I'm also bringing German text books. In anticipation of my return and conquer of Europe in the near future. More on that....later.

I have to bring upcoming-heavy-score 1 AND 2 (although I can't find 2, so I may have to borrow OR buy a new one---which I TOTALLY hate because I KNOW that I OWN in and it's somewhere....in a binder...somewhere...in the basement)

So- why are the suitcases still open?
Well, I'm trying to be a little different this time instead of taking the same things that I have for the past half winter/half spring-weather gigs. Some pieces that I haven't worn in a while, some different jewelry.

I've basically been staring at these suitcases and trying to convince myself that it's a good idea to take clothes that I have not worn in a while to this gig.

Plus, keep trying to take stuff OUT so I don't have to pay a 'your suitcase is too heavy' fee when I get to the airport to check the one, and carry on the other (the carry on will have all the German books and opera scores).

Ok, end of blogging. Must close the suitcase.