Leads to too much time reading the internet.
But an interesting discovery. A few articles about the misogynistic culture that surrounds sports and I realized that THAT is why my hubby and I aren't fans. We'll occasionally watch hockey or baseball or soccer.... but we can't STAND the culture surrounding them.
I noticed this a few weeks ago when there was another athlete in the news for murdering his wife... and all the news was about his career-ending deed, and how "it came out of nowhere," when there was apparently quite the history of spousal abuse. (Of course I can't remember any of the details, because I'm that far out of the sports loop.....)
I don't have a ton of time before my flight to say much but these are the things I'm reading/thinking about/exploring.
Wanted to share while I'm thinking about it but not necessarily to make my facebook wall a soapbox when I'm about to get on a red-eye and start adjusting to a time change. (Oh yeah, I'm going to London, Berlin, back to London... just 12 days this time though, not 10 weeks!)
I need to learn to chill. I'm not so good at that. Which, for as lazy a person as I am, should be easy, too....
Tuesday I had a lesson with another teacher. It was fine, I think she totally was headed in the right direction, but I started really tense, and didn't feel we got very far. I don't know if I was still tense because I was grieving my poor kitty (today was the first day since we had to put him down that I felt less tight), or from the drive being so far, or if something about her made me nervous. So I don't know if I don't want to go back because what she was doing was slow, or because I didn't feel I showed myself well enough.... or what. All I know is my gut says her technique is good and yet she's not the right match for me. I DID want to schedule another lesson with her when I was there, but I think I need to cancel it, and I can't really decide why... just a gut thing. Which I'm assuming I should go with. She is also expensive, but she has a good track record.
John is closer, cheaper, and CHILL. Mel was really good for me, because of how chill he was. I'm not so good at being calm, at letting go... I want it too much. I got so calm with John and everything was easy and out poured all this sound... I guess I've made up my mind just by typing it out. Good to know. I see someone tomorrow that is more a networking connection than a real candidate for a teacher.
Now, anyone out there a type-A personality that has learned to chill? HOW do you do that?
I have 3 weeks tomorrow til my UK audition, and if I can chill out, I will be FINE. If not, I'm going to work myself into a tizzy and into knots before then and waste a bunch of money. Today I found a nice quiet moment where I wasn't freaking out and gradually warmed up on commercials while watching last night's tv online. Then, when I went to sing, it was all there, all the "surround sound" feeling of letting everything vibrate and it taking no effort (as opposed to the make-it-work trap I tend to fall into where it doesn't sound or feel as good but I convince myself I'm working hard so that must be worth something!).
I suppose it's time to explore some meditation...
I've had 3 lessons so far, and 2 more scheduled next week. As of right now there are two people I want to work with in tandem, (who would both be ok with that) and they are both cheaper than what I was paying before, which is exciting.
However, I don't want my decision to be based on who is cheapest, obviously, but on what works best. Next week I see my coach again, and then the teacher she has recommended (as presenting the most solid technical results in students), and another teacher (closest to me, just in Niagara Falls) who may have some connections to gigs in the area but I'm not sure I want to work with privately.
I want to write a note to my previous teacher to explain that I'm grateful for all she taught me but feel it's time for a change, but have been putting it off because I've never had to do that before and it feel so awkward. Anyone with any pointers?
I'm basically a month away from my audition in London. Trying not to feel it looming over me and just work towards the long-term without feeling overwhelmed. Not putting everything on the audition, just happy to fly over there and have some fun. Also, going back to Berlin to work with John Norris, who started this whole fach change thing by getting my tongue out of the way and teaching me to breathe for real! I had 3 days of nothing in between the prelims and when we find out about the finals, and then it turned out he was teaching those days!! So two lessons and a masterclass with him in Berlin and then I'll fly back to London. Maybe sing in the finals and if not shop or see museums or something, then fly home, teach, have Easter, and be right back at it.
Also, doing small gigs, April 12 at my grandma's retirement home, April 28th at a restaurant in the Falls. It might be a bit small for my sound, but it'll all end up being people I know coming anyways, so I'll just plan on having my family sit closest so they are the only ones who get blasted.
Trying to make sure to sing everyday, which I was not doing before. Everything feels good right now, so that is very reassuring.
I got my fill of babies over Xmas. Brother and his wife had a little one on the 28th, and hubby's sister and her husband have a little one about a month old. Got to hold and cuddle and give back, while catching up with family cuddles with Chris and Nahum. I think missing them when I was away in Europe was expressed as wishing for another, but it was really about the intimacy of all of us cuddled up in the bed before we start the day and other special family times, as opposed to really wanting to return to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and diapers. Those were all wonderful experiences for me, but I don't know that I want to do them again. So for now, it's just us, and I'm perfectly ok with that.
I am super thankful right now for the 3 friends that are N's godparents, because they are SUCH good friends. (Hey surferjupiter!) They have all been super supportive and encouraging and INTERESTED in my European adventures and what they might mean for my career. Unfortunately, my being away has brought out the green-eyed monster in a more local friend, who I'm now having to treat like any other church lady. A nice church lady, a friendly, likeable church lady, but someone around whom I must censor myself nonetheless. It's all about her own baggage and unhappiness with her own life, but it makes it very difficult for me to talk about singing, travel, or my hopes and dreams without either A. backlash/comments that try to squash my enthusiasm or B. her bitching to my husband (who is also her friend) about how ungrateful I am.
She made a comment to me that I "owe" him for my time away, "one year for each week away". Seriously? I'm in debt for a decade now??? Um, no. First off, our relationship doesn't work like that. I didn't go in SPITE of him, he encouraged me to go. We both worked and planned and saved for 2 years. And we BOTH would like to end up in the UK or somewhere in Europe for a few years. We see this not JUST as something for me, but for all of us.
But she doesn't see that I saved and planned, she sees that my dad helped and sees that as a hand out and thinks he paid for the whole thing. I think she thinks I was living it up and throwing money around instead of budgeting my ass off and cheaping out. She doesn't see that I worked every weekday evening last year, barely saw Chris and almost never had a family dinner time, because I was saving. She's insane about it because she wants to travel and feels trapped but instead of doing something about it will just sit and bitch.
So our relationship is going to be different now, and that's ok. It's sad that she's not the friend I thought, but I can live with that... she just has too much baggage to be supportive. Our entire families are friends, I just need to be on my best church lady behaviour and all will go well. And hopefully her hubby will still come for voice lessons, as WE get along like a house on fire.
That's one of the intangibles that has come from the trip. I don't have time for "friends" who are less than supportive. The "opera company" friend who can't be bothered to use me... this "friend" who can't share my successes without questioning her choices in life... No time. No hard feelings, but no time, it's not worth the energy. I need my energy to move forward, to keep going. I remember almost 12 years ago going through something similar where I stopped contact with 2 of the women who had been my bridesmaids, and I've seldom regretted the decision. Regretted the loss of friendship, yes, but not the black hole the friendship had become, where I was pouring in my energy and not getting anything back.
Hubby refers to me as a black or white person, that friends to me are people I can tell everything to, or they aren't. It's not really that, I just don't rank those people in my life that I really have to censor myself around as "friends". Acquaintances, sure. He's an introvert so he keeps a lot to himself anyways, and I don't. I'm and extrovert and need people I can share things with, openly. I have a few singer friends I can do that with even though they aren't super close to me in other ways, and I have the 3 amazing close friends I mentioned earlier. And maybe that's tons.
But I'm going to take care of myself this year, and focus my energy on what is WORTH it. Same with students... if you are a drain on my energy, it's not worth the money. Chances are the Les Miz movie will be good for business and new students, so fingers crossed for busy-ness and income!
I've applied for the UK Nat'l Opera Studio. It's a long shot, but what isn't in this business! A year of coaching and making connections in the UK could be amazing for me... so that's worth a shot. If nothing comes of it, I get to go back to the UK and I have some focus to my next couple of months as I integrate this new sound and breathing stuff. No loss there!
Anxious to see my coach and teacher in the new year, and get some feedback on the changes, but not worried about whether or not they are "right" -- I know they are, because it makes everything so easy to sing. Such a late bloomer... but so happy to be coming into my own