Worked to the Bone

1 Dec

While sitting in my university’s cafe last night, I opened a drawer to one of the coffee tables. What did I find?

 

What a delightful metaphor for how most of us are feeling around finals time! Nothing but bones.

However: gross. Really, really gross.

Holiday Horror

29 Nov

I’m going to be real, dear Reader. I’m stressed.

So stressed I want to tear my hair out. Most of this is self-inflicted stress, in all actuality–between the papers I’ve procrastinated, summer program applications I’ve shoved aside, the engagements to which I’ve committed myself, impending next semester auditions (one of which is tonight) and my general Overcommitment Syndrome, I’ve not left myself much room for relaxation in these last few weeks before Christmas break.

Thankfully, I’m not alone in my extreme anxiety. Campus is covered by a palpable tension–a little black rain cloud of procrastination, if you will. Pretty much everyone within a three-mile radius is just as stressed as I am. So, why am I not comforted?

These next three weeks always turn out to be my favorite of the semester, strangely enough. Everyone finds time to sit and enjoy the company of good friends despite the craziness. I have no doubt that this semester will shape up to be like the last three push-to-Christmas semesters I’ve experienced since being in college.

But for now? If you see me, hand me a cup of chai tea. I could use it.

Grateful

24 Nov

Not going to lie, y’all, I have some really Mixed Feelings about the whole…Thanksgiving…thing. It seems sort of Against the Holiday Spirit to me that the original celebration of Thanksgiving led to the systematic subjugation and physical slaughter of almost an entire people. That whole idea doesn’t scream cornucopias and mashed potatoes, but I digress.That isn’t what this post is about.

On this day, I’d like to remind myself that I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. Among the many gifts I can count:

1) The ability to sing. Every day. Singing is hard and scary and frequently frustrating, but it is truly everything to me and I can’t imagine my life without it.

2) The opportunity to study singing and music at one of the best schools in the country, with who I am convinced is the best voice teacher in the world.

3) This semester, I got to be in a show with some of the best people ever. I’m thankful for that opportunity. I’m thankful for ANY opportunity to perform and show the world what I love.

curtain call at CINDERELLA

4) This goes without saying, but I’ve got some of the Best Friends in the Entire Universe. Them’s good folks, y’all. They put up with my neuroses and idiosyncrasies. They make me laugh. They make me think. I love them so.

5) I could devote a whole post to this, but MY MOM. The most wonderfully supportive mom I could ever ask for. I feel like a lot of people say that, but I can’t imagine that everyone’s got a mom like mine. I am never afraid to tell her anything about anything. She’s got advice for days. I’d like to think I get my good looks from her, too, yanno?

I’ll stop there because the sentimentality is killing me. But before I go:

grateful, grateful
truly grateful i am
grateful, grateful
truly blessed
and duly grateful

October in Review

31 Oct

Has it really been over a month since I’ve updated? Oops!

Since we last spoke, dear Reader, I’ve battled through midterms, eaten a lot of great food, and accomplished a few singing goals I’ve been itchin’ to complete.

My most notable October moment came early in the month. I ventured up to Tulsa with a few of my friends and studio-mates to see our studio alumna Sarah Coburn as Rosina in Rossini’s BARBER OF SEVILLE. My first staged Rossini opera experience was a success! There’s something infectious about Rossini–something almost effervescent that made my stomach bubble with butterflies the entire evening.

Sarah, of course, was sublime. She perfectly embodied the fiery, feisty Rosina–characteristics I want to bring to my portrayal of the Countess! Her singing? Stunning. What a gorgeous, gorgeous voice.

My friends and I stayed behind after the show to meet her. She is, after all, one of us!

She gave some great advice, too–when she found out we were undergraduate students (as opposed to our mature graduate voice counterparts), she exclaimed “be patient, be patient!” It’s something so hard to remember but that is absolutely vital to singers. Patience. I think I must have made someone mad in a past life in order to want to be a singer in this one… she or he is definitely trying to teach me patience through this art. I’ve got to keep chugging along, bit by bit.

“Chugging along” has been a recurring theme this month. If someone had told me in high school that I would, in college, transform into a student who completed tasks little by little over periods of time rather than procrastinating the entirety of projects until the last minute, I probably would have laughed that person out of the room. Unfortunately for the procrastinators of the world, too many important skills in singing are built gradually rather than all at once. I will learn to sing perfect scales, but not all in one night. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? My voice won’t be, either. I’ve got to be patient and chug, chug, chug along.

I’ve had a few musical rough days. Days where my practice room is a little torture chamber. Sure.

But: a little work everyday and who can even begin to imagine the potential results?

All things (and midterms) considered, it’s been pretty smooth sailing in October. Fall weather is here to stay and I couldn’t be happier. Hello, sweaters and pajama pants! I’ve missed sleeping in a jacket.

What’s on the schedule for November? My 21st birthday, for one, within the first week! I’m also going to be performing the role of Queen Constantina in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA. Recital season is starting, which means I’m a happy camper– and of course, I’m going to get to go home to see my mom and a few wonderful cats for Thanksgiving.

Not bad, all in all! See you on the other side of this month.

A Moment of Zen

6 Sep

Every so often, I get so flustered that I need to step back and have a tiny, quiet moment amidst the hustle and bustle of the Every Day. Today’s zen moment is brought to you by:

 


COMPUTERS FOR EVERYBODY! The 1981 classic, updated for the Modern Times of 1983 in its second edition (the first edition sold a WHOPPING 60,000 copies!).

Yes, folks, you too can read Jerry Willis’ and Merl Miller’s sage advice on everything related to those terrifying, newfangled machines. Chapter One: Computers Aren’t Scary Anymore. It’s even got color photographs to “captivate your interest.”

Does anyone miss floppy disks? I know I don’t.

August in Review

31 Aug

I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog! August has come and gone. What have I been up to?

There were tons of nail painting parties:

 

Tons of good food:


Tons of good friends:


And.. one dead bird, which I laid to rest:


August is the month where I get back into the swing of things–when I remember that I am first and foremost a singer, when I remember that you never laugh harder than when you’re with your friends, and when I am reminded that no matter how long you’ve been away from a place you love, coming back still feels like the Right Thing to do.

The hardest adjustment is the work load, of course. I’ve spent all summer getting paid to play–so returning to my stressful practice schedule and commitments is not necessarily the easiest change to make. It’s a strange exchange–I love lazing about, but when I am lazing about, I miss the hustle and bustle of school. But here I am, ready to work.

Now that I’m a junior in college (where did the time go?), I’ve got to start focusing on Big Girl things. First? A junior recital. 30 minutes of All Georgeanne Singing. Next? Thinking about applying to grad schools, summer programs, and competitions.

When did I grow up?

Goodbye For Now

13 Aug

It’s never goodbye, it’s always “see you later.” Bye, Little Rock! See you so, so soon.

And Knowing is Half the Battle

4 Aug

If you ask me, “Opera and music theater. Huh. How’d you get into that?” (as so many people have, usually when referring to classical music [which, for some reason, is inherently more Zany and Weird than MT]), I will give you an answer. I will tell you. And I’ll look something like this:

except not dr. sue, sex therapist

Because the truth is, I don’t know. I’m pretty upfront about that. It differentiates me from the millions of other performers who have some half-true, half-dreamed story usually involving a childhood experience at the theater that uncovered a hidden, smoldering flame for stardom. You know, the ones where a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed kid is sitting in the worn down, plush seats of your Hometown Theater, probably watching the 39th non-equity tour of CATS, when it suddenly just.. strikes the child (in a paranormal, emotional bolt of lightening not at all related to the chocolate-covered nuts this child consumed at intermission) that this is what he/she is made to do.

oh, brother

I don’t doubt the validity of 90% of these claims. I think the other 10% is embellished, perhaps for good “about me” pages and performance biography material.

But as for me, I don’t have a story like that. Well, let me rephrase. I do have lots of childhood stories of sitting in plush seats, watching THE KING AND I, GODSPELL, or any number of other musicals. I was one of those kids, wide-eyed and gape-mouthed at the lights, the scenery, the dancing, the costumes. Ask me about what my mom and I did on the weekends and I will tell you that she’d put the A CHORUS LINE cast recording on our turntable and sing “At the Ballet.” I loved the theater. My entire life I’ve been surrounded by music. (Thanks, Mom!)

And yet? Here I am, almost twenty-one years old, halfway done with my undergraduate degree in vocal performance. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Now how’d that happen?

Four years ago, I was a junior in high school, applying to college. I attended a well-regarded arts magnet school and singing was a Big Deal to me. All-Region, All-State, solo festival–those were the true markers of success. Those numbers mattered. Still, other numbers mattered, too, and even in my zeal for singing, I couldn’t help but be moderately obsessed with my other grades, too. Okay, maybe completely obsessed. I was an overachiever, okay? There is a difference between 99% and 100%.

I applied to college initially thinking I would triple major in literature, political science, and some sort of cultural studies major–preferably third world studies. I was going to be a human rights lawyer.

But something was missing. In the back of my mind, I wanted to sing. Nothing else mattered but singing, truly. Politics was a passion, and changing the world a goal, but I knew that I wasn’t meant to accomplish change through civil service. I was meant to change the world through art. What stopped me from doing it? Honestly? Bear with me here.

Fear. I mean, come on, it’s not like theater (in any form, classical music or MT), for all its acceptance and tolerance, is the easiest world to make a name in.

You’re probably in the throes of lizlemoneyeroll.gif face right now, and I can’t say that I blame you.

you mean to tell me that she "just knew"?

It’s contrived but totally true. At some point, I had to give up the safety and security of a stable career and admit to myself that I wanted to be on stage. And that it didn’t matter whether or not I was good enough, but that I was doing it. When I did, it was like a Carnegie Hall Sized Weight was taken off of my shoulders. I had always known that this was what I wanted to do. Singing was natural for me. From listening to “At the Ballet” with my mom to watching the ballet Coppelia, I have always, somehow, known, that this was for me. This is for me, it is me, it will be me two days from now and two centuries from now.

How’d I get into opera and musical theatre? Well, for all my “not knowing”–

I just knew.

Shots Fired

3 Aug

Every so often, a change comes along that forces a perfectly good singer with a perfectly good headshot to have to get new ones done. That change, for me, came in May of this year when I decided to go brunette. Even after a good four months of living life with darker hair, I can’t help but double-take when I look at myself in the mirror.

I was lucky enough to get shot (hee hee) by Nelson Chenault. What do you think?

July in Review

31 Jul

Not going to lie, July’s been a pretty wack month, as far as months go.

I started off the month with a bang and a really nice car wreck. Driving down I-40 eastbound, my tire blew, and I ended up going across the median and two lanes of traffic before going airborne, landing, and snapping my wheels!

don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen, but you too can own a state-of-the-art HOVERCAR

All things considered, I’m a grateful little girl. From the people who helped me (thanks, tow truck bro, I know coming out at 11 PM wasn’t the funnest thing you had planned for a Friday) deal with the inevitable insurance madness to the sheer fact that I didn’t come out dead or maimed, I had a lot of things going for me. I’m usually not one for the “it could have been worse” route, but, come on guys…it could have been worse. And it wasn’t.

So, the car that I had only received at the beginning of the summer–my sweet little blue jet to Parts Unknown–said goodnight.

I spent the rest of the month at camp, which proved itself to be as enriching (and stressful) as ever.  Where else could I search for miscellaneous objects in a bowl of green pudding, robbed of the use of my hands?

there is only one correct answer

Since returning home, I’ve spent the majority of my days knee-deep in Law & Order marathons and the always-wonderful taste of meals made by my mama. I did some shopping (stay tuned for more news about that in a later post), got my hair done, and made up my mind to practice every day, which I’ve done pretty well with so far, despite wanting to find the corpse of George Friedrich Handel and set him on fire. I’m enjoying the air conditioning–y’all get back to me on being lazy when you just spent two months in 115+ degree temperatures. I’ve never been so grateful for being a little chilly.

T-minus two weeks until I make the trip back to school. Until then, you can probably find me watching Law & Order. Donk donk.