28 June, 2009


I've written in the past about doing a clothing overhaul...realizing that yes, in the ideal world, I will one day have a huge walk-in closet that can house all of my shoes, dresses, and clothes that I've had since who-knows-when that still fit me, since I've been the same size since about my sophomore year of college.

Still, every season or so, I go through what I have, and give away things that I won't wear again...in exchange (sometimes...if I can handle the shopping which I so despise) for a few new items.

Well, once again, the downsizing began this week, as I have an entire lifetime packed away and carefully labeled in the basement of my parents home---waiting, wishing, and hoping, that one day I will be settled enough...SOMEWHERE to be unpacked and placed on the shelves and in the drawers where they so rightfully belong.

Interestingly...it's not that easy.
Since in this next year I still won't really have anywhere permanent, and I seem to be leaning towards splitting my time between the US and Germany at least for the next half year...it gets harder to take all of those 'must have' relics and reminders of the past across the ocean--without actually making an official move into a place.

And so over the past 3 days I have:
--Found my CD collection from Highschool through College--yes, the CD's that were TOO numerous to even make it to my first FOUR gig ipod (later replaced by 8, later replaced by 20, later replaced by 60gigs, twice)...I've found the collection, isolated about 20-30 cds that I may copy onto my computer/hard drive, and I will either sell or donate all the rest of them for about...oh, a dollar a pop --or LESS!

--Gone through THREE huge boxes of every book that I had to buy for my college classes. Umm, sadly, I had to part with much of my collection of books for my international relations classes...books I always thought that I would have forever and would one day sit on my shelf JUST in case a debate about what neoclassic theory REALLY says about the overthrowing of the first Shah of Iran and the consequent impact on emerging Near-East democracies.
(I kept all of my music history and theory books..even the jazz course books...just in case I ever decide to want to each some poor soul solfege or theory).
I'm left with one HEAVY plastic bin of classics that I had to read for courses such as "Modern Arabic Literature", "French Satire", "Literature 200 level: Love and Sexuality", "Modern Philosophy", "Kant and Nietzsche", and of course my favorite classics and modern epics that one just can't live without in a personal library...The Russians, the British playwrights, The American wartime novelists, etc.

---Sifted through two boxes of HIGH SCHOOL awards, medals, trophies, report cards, essays for English Honors Freshman through Senior Year, teacher recommendations, copies of college application essays--all things that, sure, would be nice to look at once every 5 or 10 years for the purposes of nostalgia, but that were really just taking up boxes and will never be 'prominently displayed' in my "HOME".
(Got that down to Half of a Box ...kept all the essays and poetry...and the diplomas...and the other half of the box is all of my journals, and my favorite childhood books that are a bit tattered, but inscribed to me with love from my parents dated from birthdays and holidays that I won't soon forget).

---SHOES. Given away about 10 pairs of cute/fun/fancy shoes. That is all.

---Electronics. If I couldn't find what the plug was for, the plug was trashed. Old printer connections, DELL laptops that cost THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS in 1999, wires and more wires that I have no idea of the origin or the purpose, but I surely don't have the electronic device that they are supposed to charge anymore.

---And last but not least---tried to get SOME, I repeat, SOME of my music in order.
Obviously the easiest thing to do is tackle my scores. Most of which are real scores that are bound and bought from stores, SOME of which are photocopied because of a rare edition, some of which are photocopied because the company supplied premieres that way, and about 2/3 of which reside in the basement--the other 1/3 scattered about the house and other suitcases depending on when I've had to use them in the last few years.

I made Piles and Piles of art songs, arias, musical theater pieces--all in the form of photocopies...that I have used in the past 5 or more years. I found my junior year undergraduate recital music (holes punched, but no binder..of course)...I found my HIGH SCHOOL musical review broadway tunes, I found everything..but could not find a place for it..just yet...because going through those loose pages would just about drive me insane for two days straight, and I had already been tackling this basement job for 3 days.

So I organized my scores alphabetically by composer, in one huge and long box with titles showing for easy access if necessary, and I left 4 or 5 insanely huge piles of: Musical Theater, Looseleaf Art Song, Bound Art Song, Choral Solo, Orchestral scores, Aria Compliations, and "Teaching Materials" from my days of assigning Vaccai and 24 Italian pieces to my students.

Although I have always been a pack rat--I've been an organized pack rat...I know what I have, where it is (usually), and why it's there--there's a method to the seeming madness...
But it somehow felt really good to consider whether these items would REALLY be in my 'House" someday...and where they would be...WOULD there even be room for them.
If they weren't shelf-worthy...I most likely didn't keep them.

And so having to choose between keeping "blue-y" (a light blue dog) my favorite stuffed animal from when I was about 7 years old, and a stack of musical theater reviews and the "All Around Music" Award from my high school didn't seem so tragic after all.

(Blue-y won).

26 June, 2009


I received a call yesterday about a POSSIBLE opportunity that would pretty much allow me to do the 'ideal' Fall split between New York and Germany, and also make a bit of money and add a new role to my repertoire along with it.

It's silly to imagine that everything that is a 'maybe' will somehow work out, but all I will say is that it would be REALLY nice if this could actually work out.

So, in the meantime, I'm not thinking about it (THAT much), I'm just blogging it to note that it's a possibility and if it happens I can look back here in however many years and consider the moment.

24 June, 2009

back 'home'

Although I'm not really sure what I can call home these days, seeing signs that are written ONLY in English felt like a return to 'something normal'.
I arrived at the airport yesterday morning, stayed awake for as long as I could, and woke up around 6:30am today. Not too bad for post-Europe jetlag, but I will still be tired 'early' tonight, I'm sure.

The run-down of life for the past month and a half? The right choice.
For so many reasons.

For all of the crazy last minute decisions that I had to make, this one felt right...and so I can say that I'm glad that I went, glad that I had the opportunity to do the 'important' audition that most of the decision was based on, and no, I don't have an answer or feedback yet..still waiting to see if this possibility could work out for a future season.

Looking at finances again (because that's just what I do, I guess)--I again saved as much as possible while I was there, paying for 4 cheap hotels, and with the Eurail travel, again, saved a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on travel. Food? Yes, it was expensive, but that's a given anywhere unless you live on Ramen Noodles like in college...and frankly, I didn't see those in the stores...nor did I have a microwave to heat water!

Considering what the next 6 months will look like is my new pet project.
Working backwards:
I know what I'm doing beginning in Mid-December through early February.
Upcoming shows 1 and 2.
I know that I want to be in the US for the majority of 'ny audition season', but the thing is..looking at my calendar from last year, I had three auditions between August 15 and September 20th, and then tons of auditions only after October 20th. The audition season that once was September, October, November, December, is now looking more and more like- end of October through December...due to financing, I'm sure--but still. Unknown.

Add to that my wish to return to Germany to do this YET again...at the 'right' season--even though September is still on the early side of auditioning for theaters that may not know what openings they have for the next season.

Add to that general anticipation of possibly hearing that I've made a good enough impression from previous-big-audition-in-Europe to actually GET the job? Maybe?? And then know that I am "set" for a certain period of time..which would of course mean, that I don't HAVE to worry about what is on the schedule for 2010 in the Fall.
Ok, that is the longest shot ever, but it would make me so so ridiculously happy to know that I don't have to think about where I'm moving/living every 5-6 weeks if that kind of offer came my way.

So, apparently because of 'life', somehow my 'ideal' has changed a bit. It's not 'ideal' for me to hang out in NYC with friends from August to December, as I did last year, and wait around for auditions to happen or not happen while living it up in the big city--because there IS a place I'd rather be, or rather, a certain person I'd rather be with--who happens to be NOT in NYC.

That doesn't mean I will ever just give up on NYC...I know I need to be there for auditions in the US, and how important it is to try and get there during audition season. And I remember how many auditions I missed when I was doing a production across the country that only ended in Mid-November about 2 years ago..and how I didn't know what to think--was it better that I was doing this job, or was I missing too many audition opportunities for NEXT year?!

In short, there are a number of decisions to be made. And again, they must be made without confirmation of specific auditions or work in either place that I'd like to be in the next few months.

Off to pack my things yet again, for a few days of 'country' unpacking, repacking, going through stuff in the basement that has been there for 10 years and deciding what I'm keeping and what I'm giving away, and then Boston for a few days.

22 June, 2009

free wifi at the airport


It just makes traveling so much easier. We already have to show up three hours early to the international flight check in, I've already waited in too many lines to count, checked my bag (ONLY because it contains a seriously sick amount of Hummus from the Homeland and they won't let me take that through because it's KIND OF a liquid), scanned the duty free shops (and bought my favorite lotion), and had breakfast. And now I can just relax with my wireless---email, NYTIMES, facebook, and everything else that needs catching up on or more relaxation before I board my flight and arrive in Frankfurt once again.

Upcoming week COULD be a bit hectic depending on whether I receive a call or email about a last-minute flight change that I may need to make today.

Otherwise, will be back 'state-side' tomorrow morning!

21 June, 2009

I love paris in the springtime... (finally)

Written June 12th:
My Parisian adventure—
6am train from Frankfurt to Paris.
Arrive Paris.
Find my hotel near the Voltaire stop.
I usually try to book hotels that are near my audition location, however, Paris proved one of the most expensive cities, so I booked the cheapest room with a bathroom and shower included and hoped for the best.
I arrived at the hotel a little before 11am, fully aware that I could not check in until 2. However, I had to be at the audition location at 1:30.
So- I hoped for the best. Maybe there would be a room available earlier, maybe I could at least check in, leave my things, take a SHOWER, do my hair, and look presentable!
The man behind the counter was not amused and was of no help.
-come back at noon. MAYBE one room will be ready-
Well that certainly wasn’t going to work out, since by noon I hoped to be somewhere NEAR the audition location, perhaps having some baguette et beurre and some kind of cheese slathered on top of that before the audition.
So- dressed in my jeans, with overnight bag in tow, I headed out of the hotel and up the street.
For those of you that haven’t had the most experience with booking hotels that aren’t five stars…here is the greatest tip I can give you.
IF you can’t check in to your hotel and you need a place to get ready—go to another hotel that is less than 3 stars. Know why? Because those “Pensiones” or “Hostels” or “2 star motels”, MOST likely have the option to book a room that does NOT include a bathroom and shower. What does that mean for this weary traveler in need of a shower?
I waltzed right into another hotel down the street, walked up to the 2nd floor, walked into the shower, and proceeded to get ready for the next 45 minutes—hot shower and all.
Ok, so there was no towel and the space was cramped and I forgot the transformer for my hair dryer in Frankfurt so I had to let my hair air dry—but HEY- I was clean, there was a mirror to put my makeup on, and I got a hot shower on the day of the audition instead of feeling like a zombie that just got off a train.

Next- finding a warm up room.
Well, I would SOMETIMES usually do this at my hotel (all the while feeling guilty if there was some poor jet-lagged soul in the next room—but I keep to the hours of 9:30am-7pm for singing in public places with thin walls).
So it was back out on the street again in search of—some kind of alcove to warm up in and make some noise without all of Paris gawking at me wildly.

Tip number two- warming up in strange cities when it starts to rain:
If it was NOT raining, I would have just walked to my favorite park- Place des Vosges, and sung in the shade of the tree lined pathways.
However, it started to rain. Pretty badly. And so I didn’t venture far. I had two options- a Laundromat (it was occupied by only ONE person who was reading and listening to his ipod..so I felt KINDA bad singing loudly), and option two- out of nowhere I saw a sign for “gymnasium”…yes, people pay to go into a basketball-court-like establishment and play pick up games after school. It’s not a full gym..but there are ladies and men’s dressing areas, and basically a big empty gym. With a guard at the main entrance…but NOT at the other entrances! So- in between the heavy doors and the inside doors I stood, singing on Ah, Eh, Ee, Oh, and Oo…warming up in the rain, while I’m sure passers by with umbrellas paid no attention to the strange noises from behind the doors.
When the guard finally did hear something and approached me I played the best card you can play in the hand- the stupid foreigner.
Even though I knew quite well what he was saying—Madame, you can’t stand here. I must open the doors completely—(en francais), I spoke only English, and halting English at that.
And he didn’t attempt to speak any English to me…just looked at me strangely and went back to his post.
Voila--- showered AND warmed up in a hotel that I didn’t book and a gymnasium that I don’t belong to.

Now onto the actual ‘audition’ / working session.
This was one of the coolest/strangest audition experiences I’ve had.
Without going into too much detail, I can only describe it as an actor’s workshop session…with three or four people up for each role present, group acting/miming/improvising activities all WHILE singing the arias from the production—but not in a stand-and-sing audition kind of way….
No dressing up, no announcing the aria, no thank you very much.
Just acting your center and core, and seeing if that translates into something that this very famous director wants.
I don’t know whether what I did is what he wanted..but I can say that I’ve never felt MORE connection to being the desperate mother of an abducted daughter and trying to convince a young prince to save her and restore my power and treasure.

A quick train ride back to Frankfurt, a night of frenzied packing, and a few hours later, and I’m now on the plane to the motherland to visit family and vacation for 2 weeks.

20 June, 2009


ok, I know it's been close to ten days of no postage, perhaps even more.
It's not that I haven't been thinking about you, sweet blog 'o mine--it's just that the beach, the waves, the sun, and visits all over this lovely country have been taking up all of my time!
Plus, still no wireless so I can't post about my audition in Paris and I don't want to 'move on' with more musical postage (because there IS some more musical postage) until that one goes up.

So you'll just have to be patient.

au revoir for now,

12 June, 2009

coming soon

I PROMISE I will post my two next entries just as soon as I can get wireless from my own laptop. They are already written and saved as documents.
But for now, I'm relaxing in the sun and on the beach--so ciao!

08 June, 2009


Tomorrow at 6am I'll be on a train to Paris (that is, if I successfully wake up at 5am, having pre-packed everything I need except for what I'm wearing on the train, get to the Hauptbahnhof on time, and make it to my seat--which I still have not reserved--that is to be completed later this evening), and will be preparing for the Main reason that I flew back over here in the first place---
----big fun important amazing audition opportunity---

Well, not the ENTIRE main reason, but the first 'ball' that got the 'ball rolling' on me having to make a decision about summer plans and such over one and a half months ago.

So. What do I think? How have I prepared?

Well, it's just singer-work/life as usual.
My day includes reviewing the 2 Queen arias--language, diction, tone, intent, dramatic purpose...all in my head. Maybe singing them a bit later on.
It includes the mundane- doing laundry, packing for a day trip that requires one audition outfit plus character shoes for a 'working rehearsal', thinking about travel, hopefully not-missed train and metro connections, not getting lost in Paris (which is never a bad thing--unless you have an audition to get to at a certain time), and basically just staying calm cool and collected, as I always am before auditions.

It definitely includes excitement at the opportunity to DO this audition for this person in the first place.
It also includes the usual "god I hope i get...i hope i get it..how many people does he need ...how many boys how many girls" (some Tony-inspired musical lyrics to describe what every singer goes through at auditions).

But not the desperate kind of thinking...just the excited kind of thinking--that IF this works out and bla bla bla, etc. etc. etc. how super-cool (please re-read those two words out loud in a French accent) that would be.

Off to check on the laundry, hum some Queenly melodies, and attempt to repack my carry on for my NEXT adventure, post-Paris.

05 June, 2009

FREE wifi---finally

No, I will not pay 24 euros for 24 hours of internet surf-age!
So, sadly, that has meant that YOU have not heard from me.

Now I'm in a free zone (thanks to the hotel that I ALWAYS stay in when I travel to Munich), and can surf page to page for as long as I please.

Two auditions down, one competition to go.
First audition- specifically for a French Offenbach piece--sooo--I sang the doll.
And may I add kicked some ass on the high G's and F's and whatever else I added in there.
I even have it recorded on iTalk on my phone...and so, I KNOW that it was good.
There were 10 other girls there singing for the same part (oh how I love typed-auditions--ie, showing up and having only the role you are singing for being cast that day)..ugh...
So- today (upon my arrival at my hotel) I received a kind email from the KBB saying that I did a great audition and bla bla bla...but I'm not the one that will be picked.
Ok, so shall I list all the possibilities why it's NOT me?
non-Austrian-ness, non-EU-ness, voice, acting, looks, wearing black and red to the audition, singing third, what else....I'm sure the list could go on.
But what I really care about is- I know I sang well.
So, just like in the US when we sing for 30 companies each fall (or so)--and MAYBE...just MAYBE get one or two great jobs out of it...
such is life here as well...


Serenity Now.

Next audition- this morning, back in Deutschland.
Sang Queen and Musetta.
FIRST time ever singing musetta for an audition--and guess what? I LIKE it!
Have it recorded as well....and yes...I like the product. Not final by any means since I worked on it for a very short time in comparison to all of my other arias and have only coached it once...BUT- it was audition-ready for THIS purpose (where it was required)...and it went really well.

Who knows when or what I'll hear from these people--if anything...but again, at least I know that I'm singing well.

Tomorrow- competition.

Have to decide whether to start with Zerb or Una Voce.
I had to pick my arias earlier (hate that), can't change them (don't hate that so much, just hate having to remember which arias I actually picked!), and so now I"m doing the 'first aria dance'--which involves overthinking everything--such as:

Ok, IF I pick a 12 minute aria, will they hear another one?
Will they be annoyed like in the US?
Will they be IMPRESSED cuz it's in German and I'm rocking it?
Should I OFFER to start from the end?
Will they like my interpolations for Rosina IF I start with it?
Will they HATE the final high F if they are 'style sticklers'?
Will they hear that aria from mezzos a zillion times that day and not want to hear it from a soprano?

Sooo many silly questions to think about...so little time.

03 June, 2009

ooops i did it again

Lack of postage.
Due to extreme circumstances beyond my control- ie, having a ball in Europe.

The start of the middle of this week begins three auditions/competitions in a row (Thurs/Fri/Sat). I'm about to get on a train to Vienna, and I still haven't decided whether I'm taking my macbook.

I think the answer is ...of course...yes...since I'm about to be on a train for 7 hours and what better things do I have to do? (oh yea, except learning scores, music, preparing..bla bla bla....)

Postage may resume either tonight or tomorrow...depending on my free wifi status.