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Before the Feeling Fades

Old Mike

Today I go to my first Washington Opera rehearsal.  I have wanted to get in consciously since I was a senior in College.

            I vividly remember a fellow singer, who I didn’t think was very good though others liked his voice, say, “I think I will sing in the Washington Opera Chorus,” implying that after he graduated he would audition and get into the Washington Opera Chorus.  I mentally scoffed at him thinking that it is incredibly competitive and it was naïve of him say he would sing with them rather than audition.

            About a year later I auditioned for the chorus.  I didn’t think I would get in, but I was expecting the next year or two to hopefully get in.  They were very nice, asking if I was in school.  I said I had just graduated and thought I might go back.  I didn’t get in that year or merit further comment for the next three auditions.

            Five auditions later, they once again asked if I had gone back to school.  I once again said no, I had been studying privately.  They said that the work definitely showed.  And I got in.

            I woke up this morning and I said, “I am singing with the Washington Opera.”  This is a crazy dream where I have been kicking my own ass over and over trying not to get discouraged.  It has been hard to go through the same audition process over and over and not make it.  This was my year and I made it.  I must remember this feeling when going to rehearsal becomes a pain and I am stand in the back of a clump of men.  It is a feather in my cap, a Maltese Falcon on my mantle that I can point to.  I don’t need to be a star, but I am good.  I am in fact a great singer.  I am in the Washington National Opera Chorus.

"In Creditable"

Ego has landed
I got mentioned in a review of my latest show.  I've been complaining about it form day one, didn't want to do it, and now I am thrilled I got mentioned.  I misread it at first thinking it said I was incredible, but it actually said

"(Clearlyhere and two others with the smallest roles in the opera) all turned in creditable performances as singers and actors."

Thank you Washington Post!

Good Body Image

Hugs to You

I have learned the value of a tight t-shirt since coming out.  I get slightly disappointed that my regular non-t-shirt clothes don’t show off the body I attempt to keep in shape.  So, it has been nice that over the past month or two people have been commenting on my body.  Yay!  I went to visit Rob and Meghan and she said it looked like I had been working out lately.  A Safeway employee, who I used to buy sandwiches from regularly, asked if I had been lifting weights.  Yesterday, a cast member said something was huge.  I wasn’t sure was he was talking about, but he asked if I was flexing and I said no.  So, at least this working out thing has some positive results.  To me, my arms don’t look very different, but other people can tell.

 

Yay.

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Companies you love and Companies you hate

Ego has landed

In the past year, I killed myself doing as many productions as possible with as many companies as possible and now I’ve hit a bump.  I kind of want to be done.  Done with singing?  I don’t know.  It is just hard to keep on working so much.

I’ve been singing with an Opera Company, XX XXX[i], for the past 3 years going on 4.  My parts[ii] aren’t getting any better at this point and I sort of sick of it.  They don’t make me want to come to rehearsal or perform with them anymore and I am sick of the director.  She just makes me feel uptight and intimidated.  Singing can be joyous and the joy is lost at XX XXX for me.  If I get sick of anymore people maybe I won’t be singing with anyone.

            That’s not true.  I’m waiting to hear from 2 companies to see what they want me to do in the current season.  I had so much fun with one of the companies last season that I can’t wait to find out what they are doing so I can be a part of it.  I want to get somewhere and I feel stalled at the moment. 

Right now, I do have Washington National Opera to look forward to at the end of the month, very professional and it is something I have been working on since I left college.  It really means something to me to have gotten in after 5 auditions and after doing Virginia Opera, I am really anticipating having a great time.

 



[i] To protect my Live Journal from Google, I decline to name names.

[ii] I’ve been taking bit parts everywhere and few supporting roles which I certainly relish.  With XX XXX, I’ve done a series of tiny roles.  I had this horrible audition this year so I wasn’t surprised at not being cast.  Later, I was offer another tiny role which I should have declined and didn’t.

Ego has landed
After not being very happy with my recording on Tuesday.  I am mostly pleased with Wednesday.  It was really good to hear myself and evaluate how I was doing.  Normally, I rely on other people to tell me what to change.  This time I took it on myself to do what I needed to do.  My self reliant streak also has a self doubt streak.

I've been reviewing tracks of myself this afternoon.  I am mostly pleased with the recording except in the live space there seems to be a sniffly breath sound.  I thought it was the recording engineer, but he says it was the fan.  I am going to get an edited version of the recording and hopefully get that sound out of the recordings.  I am mostly reassured, but not totally.

Update (minutes later):
The recording engineer called back and says that he screwed up the second day and there is nothing he can do.  He is offering to give me my money back or do a new session and pay for the pianist.  I took off time from work for this.  I don't know what I can do at this point.

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I am making a CD: Today

Ego has landed

I am making the recording today.  I spent an hour and a half fixing an arrangement I had written of “How can I keep from Singing,” but I am not going to use it in the recording.

 

Wish me luck.

 

Recording update 

1.       Choose the arias I want to sing

2.       Get those arias coached by a good coach

3.       Practice, Practice, Practice

4.       Get a pianist for the recordings and practice with them before recording

5.       Get someone to do the recordings

6.       Get both pianist and recorder to agree on availability

7.       Get a venue at which to do the recordings

8.       Do the recording

9.       Choose takes for CD

10.    Get the files

11.    Make CDs

12.    Send CD for auditions

I am making a CD: Cross off number 7

Ego has landed
A venue has been secured.

I am going to make a CD Part III

Ego has landed

I’ve practiced with the pianist, given her the copies of the music I’m doing, and have scheduled another session with my vocal coach.

I finally heard back from the recording guy and so I was able to send the application into the Church.  The Venue Application is IN.  They told me, I should hear on Monday whether I am approved for use of the space.  As usual, I have added those hidden steps that you have to do in arranging a project.  It is amazing how complicated it is to get these things done.  What I need to do most is not rush the recording process considering I will be paying for the venue, the pianist, and the recording.  None of these things are cheap, but I don’t want to calculate the amount of money I will spend.

Songs I’m recording

1.       “Vi ravviso, o luoghio ameni” La Sonnambula

2.       “In diesen heilgen hallen” Die Zauberflote

3.       “Every day at church” Tartuffe

4.       “Ave Maria” Schubert in G

5.       “Danny Boy” Traditional

6.       Wedding Psalm, (Maybe)

Now I am thinking I should include a wedding psalm, which is gorgeous and I sang at my sister’s wedding, to include for wedding promotions.

 

Recording update

 

1.       Choose the arias I want to sing

2.       Get those arias coached by a good coach

3.       Practice, Practice, Practice

4.       Get a pianist for the recordings and practice with them before recording

5.       Get someone to do the recordings

6.       Get both pianist and recorder to agree on availability

7.       Get a venue at which to do the recordings

8.       Do the recording

9.       Choose takes for CD

10.    Get the files

11.    Make CDs

12.    Send CD for auditions

I am going to make a CD Part II

Ego has landed

Recording update

 

1.       Choose the arias I want to sing

2.       Get those arias coached by a good coach

3.       Practice, Practice, Practice

4.       Get a pianist for the recordings and practice with them before recording

5.       Get someone to do the recordings

6.       Get a venue at which to do the recordings

7.       Do the recording

8.       Choose takes for CD

9.       Send CD for auditions

 

I’ve practically got the venue arranged and I have a pianist. 

Rehearsal is set up for pianist. 

I am half way through step 4!

 

I had to add some steps (8 & 9) for the CD because I can’t dawdle in choosing which takes to use!  These are things I have to tell myself to get this thing done.

Down about my state of self

Ego has landed
I’ve been feeling down about my job lately. It hasn’t been the most fulfilling job in the world, nor did I expect it to be. This is not the field I want to pursue and I easily get frustrated at that field anyway. After five years, I probably should move on, but I don’t because I could hypothetically get an opera apprenticeship and if I could do that while keeping my day job I would so have it made. In truth, my job just doesn’t keep me busy and the day can be long. With more than a month of vacation and a month of sick, I could theoretically be off for two months which is what these summer programs entail. I’m kind of tempted to just go for a full 9 month program and say bye-bye to the job. I didn’t get any bites last winter, but hopefully the work I’ve put in this year will make people notice me.
My voice teacher and my vocal coach both think that I am heading in the right direction, but as always it is up to me. I need to do whatever I can to get into good voice and be ready for singing before stepping into those audition rooms. How can I cross the threshold from good local singer to up and coming Bass Artist? Sometimes, I feel as if I am treading water and I should just give up on this dream. The effort that I need to maintain is just so great that it is disheartening to receive rejection after rejection. I need another feather in my cap, now.

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