Wow – I am now 25% of the way through my artistic sabbatical. The past 6 months has FLOWN by and I have loved every second of learning, attending awesome performances and performing with some incredible talents! I have not been blogging as much as I had originally hoped, but here I am today to talk about my 2014 experiences thus far.
January was full of rehearsals, learning music and getting back into my Italian studies. I was excited to cross off a 2014 goal early in the year by finally getting to the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC for the first time! I saw Die Fledermaus, which was a fun production featuring a talented Canadian soprano with whom I attended a summer workshop 20 years ago! February brought two very fun shows – The Blue Room with AACC Theatre and a Broadway Love Songs concert with two of the most talented people I’ve ever met!
The Blue Room was a stretch for me as an actress, but overall a very fun experience. It was the first straight theatre show I’ve done in 16 years (yikes… what do you mean there’s no music???). In a show about romance and sexual relationships between the characters, I played the Actress. She was completely dramatic, but one of the most empowered female characters and SUPER fun to play. I was also the oldest person in the show and one of two married people – most of the cast were young students. You might ask, was Pete ok with this? Yes – I wouldn’t have taken this on without his ok first, especially given the physicality in the show. 🙂 The only downside to doing this show in February was the weather! We had 2 of the 4 shows cancelled because of snow storms…. not cool! But at least we got to do 2 shows, and closing night was a full house! 😀 The cast, crew and leadership in this production were all wonderful – I felt very fortunate to be part of such a great group of theatre peeps!!
What did I learn from being in this show? I learned about vulnerability and about letting go of my fears about my body. Yes, I wore fishnets and a corset, in an intimate theatre where people probably saw more of me than they wanted to. But as my character said about baring yourself, “it’s easier on stage“; I completely agree. Once I stopped caring about how I looked, how much older and curvy-er I was than the rest of the cast, it was wonderful and so fun! For the record, curvy-er is not a word, but I don’t care. 🙂 Did I have self-conscious thoughts, doubts about my body, concerns regarding judgement from people who came to see the show and the odd ‘what the hell am I doing’ moment? Absolutely. But the wins were much greater than the negative thoughts and learning how to dismiss said negativity was a great skill to acquire.
The night after Blue Room closed, I sang in a Broadway Love Songs concert with the world-class talents of Baritone Shouvik Mondle and Pianist Seth Weinstein. The concert was really special to me: the music was wonderful (Phantom, Les Mis, Love Never Dies, Secret Garden, etc.), the program flowed really well and singing with talented friends whom you trust completely is always amazing! Plus, I got to wear a fun sparkly dress!! 😀 It was a bit of a marathon sing, with a wide range of notes and minimal water breaks, but it was worth every second! I SO hope we get to do this program again sometime. If you’re interested, here’s a clip that was posted on YouTube of our encore:
Side note, in case you were wondering: yes I did mess the words up in this… but I did my best to hide it in hopes that no one would notice. Oops… cat is now out of the bag. Yay live performance! 🙂
This weekend, I am having a blast singing in the chorus for the absolutely beautiful Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Delaware. Stunning music, wonderful singers and lovely, talented people. Also, quite possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen paired with opera, a silk screen artist joined the cast to paint scenes throughout the show! Mr. Lee Zimmerman’s work is stunning and seeing his works come to life during the show with the beautiful music is very special. If you’re wondering how I can sing and watch the artist at the same time, I can’t. I do not have special head twirling powers like Beetlejuice. I was just lucky enough to see Baltimore Concert Opera’s production of Pearl Fishers last weekend, where Mr. Zimmerman painted as well and thought he brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the already beautiful singing and acting. I am very much looking forward to singing again tonight and Sunday in Wilmington!
Looking back at how I’ve grown over the past 6 months, not only as an artist, but as a person, I feel very humbled to have this opportunity to explore my passions in life and to learn more about myself. I love acting, I love singing and I love meeting new people. Period. I believe I’m definitely on the right path regardless of where it leads me and when I have doubts, the universe seems to throw me little nuggets of encouragement. It is amazing when you pay attention to your surroundings and open yourself up to the world what will come back to you. And I have so many people to thank for keeping me sane and going in the right direction – my hubby, my family (blood and acquired), my voice teacher, my acting coach, my friends, my work colleagues, my studio mates, the Kneseth Israel congregation, my classmates, and the professionals who continue to teach me so much about being an artist and a good person. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for contributing to my journey. May the next 18 months be just as wild a ride!!!
Have a great weekend and if you’re in North America, fingers crossed spring is on its way!!