Monday, January 26, 2009

A day in the life of an young Opera Singer.

"Ok so I've spent all morning getting ready, and now I'm ready.
Big Eastman live audition today...
Do I have all my stuff? (Run through checklist for the 74th time)
Yes, I do. Ok, let's go.
I love this evening dress, even if it is noon now.
Man, I feel my blood pressure spiking.
Suprisingly, my brain is very calm.
Too bad my body hasn't caught on yet...
It will, it will... deep breath..
Drink water.
Mom decided to drive me.
We got here early, always a plus! Low stress, low stress.
Where's the warm-up room?
What? Right next to the audition room?
That little room with just a few sheets of sheetrock 
between me and the current auditioner?
I think not. I'm way too loud.
The halls will do 'til accompanist gets here.
Drink water.
Oo! Time for info session!
Do I have any questions?
Just the little one about the discrepancy on the website where
one page says I have to only sing 4 songs,
and one page says I have to sing 7.
Drink water.
We'll figure it out when it's my turn in the audition room.
What? Rent for a loft apt. in Rochester is only $400? I was really expecting more...
Here's my accompanist!
Warm up together in a giant room. 
Good acoustics!
Oh yeah, feeling good.
I wish my heart would stop pounding.
Ok really now, heart. Chill.
Just a bit.
My legs aren't shaking, right?
I hate it when the legs start shaking... nothing,
no, Nothing
will stop them once they've started.
Drink water.
I'm really gonna have to go to the ladie's room later with all this water..
Glad no one can hear my thoughts so they won't hear that last part..
not really ladylike...
just true.
How much longer?
ooo I'm next.
It's ok.
I feel calm in my brain.
Body is still behind.
Poor heart.
I feel like I'm in that really uncomfortable state when 
you're getting your blood pressure taken, and it lingers on the tight setting.
Yep, body all in turmoil just like that.
Could I have prayed over this audition any more?
Drink water.
Glad my mind grapes are clear.
I just said mind grapes.
Talk to the nice people in the hall.
Oh Matt is here! And Dean!
Nice to be auditioning with friends. What if we end up schooling together again?!
Drink water.
Door's opening.
Here we go.
I only have to sing the 4 songs.
Sheesh, so that extra emergency lesson working the extra 3 was kind of a waste...
Oh well.
First song, here we go.
I love French! Glad I'm starting with the easiest one.
Ok get into character.
Just singin' about the flowers and woods.
Deep stuff.
ack, did I just say Le when I should'a' said Les?
Good thing I haven't broken character.
Just keep singing. You love those flowers and woods.
One down, 3 to go.
German next.
Drink water.
Remember to release the tension on those passagio notes.
Release, but keep strength and energy full.
Singing is such a fun, yet difficult contradiction.
2 down. 2 more.
Drink water.
Alright! English aria. I've got this.
Who's my character- Blanche DuBios
What's my thought process- I've lost my young husband, 
lost my estate, much of my dignity,
live in complete denial,
must have this man understand and love me anyways, 
surely he'll understand in spite of my senility. 
Got it. Now sing.
Last note. phew. Not bad, Annie.
Last song!!
Italian aria.
Now I'm a woman falsely accused of killing my baby boy and mother,
and am going crazy in jail.
It's kind of fun to play a crazy person!
Final note!
Out of character.
Just me now, just Annie.
All done.
My heart hasn't busted out of my chest yet, 
my legs didn't shake,
I had great high notes, even passagio passages,
stayed in character well, moved as my characters gracefully, 
and shared yet another big moment with my accompanist and mom.
Sweet mom came and actually sat outside... waiting for me now!
She gets so nervous, but came anyway to listen instead of sit downstairs.
I'm a lucky gal.
All done!
Won't hear anything about acceptance till mid-March.. boooo.
But I'm done!
Auditioning really isn't as bad as I thought it'd be!
So great preparation really is everything.
Feelin' pretty good.
Thanks, God.
Now to lunch with the family, who are taking me to lunch just 'cause they're proud.
So lucky.
All in a day's work.
Man, I love this."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recap 2


In my mind, New Year's Eve is somewhat of a big to-do.
Friends, parties, fun.
The past several years, New Year's has been not exactly that:
Maybe a little fun watching the ball drop with Avery,
but no parties, 
and no outside-the-family friends.
Not that I'm complaining; I mean, I'm not really your "partying" kind of gal, 
so it's ok.

But this year, I was doin' something different, I decided.
So I was completely stoked that I was doing stuff with my girlfriends, sister, and new bro.

Out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory:

Afterwards, Lydia, Toni, and I decided to make "Puppy Chow" to eat while we watched the NYC goings-on.
Ingredients and excitement:
Lydia's way of mixing the sugar with the chocolate gooey goodness:


Recap 1


For the past 10 or 11 years, the gals in my family have made
Christmas Cookie Tins
for family friends, as Christmas gifts.

   I decided to make only 2 kinds of cookies,
as opposed to previous year's 5-6 kinds,
   for my friends and fellow teachers.

With mom's school schedule being so full,
and my own work schedule being packed out, 
simplicity was my goal this year.

My sister came to help, however,
and had other plans.
So together, we embarked on making 4 different kinds of cheery goodness:
Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies
Pecan Sandies
Sugar Cookies,   
Gingerbread Men

Cookies are a wonderfully delicious treat,
but there's nothing to sober up the niceness like a pile of butter...

... next to all of the other heart-healthy ingredients.

The finished products taking over the counter-tops:
And then, to top it all off, I was stuck cleaning up the entire mess all by me onesy.

What a MESS.
Now I remember why I only wanted to make 2 kinds.....