Walking in the World

I haven’t written lately. I feel as though I have been doing so much, and at the same time, nothing at all. I’m organizing a studio recital for next week, and singing on an Irish-themed program for the MacDowell Club on March 14 (which I am also coordinating.

The latter is giving me tsuris. (I always wanted to be Jewish.) Not because I can’t do it but because I’m used to doing things on my own timetable – in other words, fabulously, but at the last minute. I’m also used to asking people to do things and having them say, “But of course!” I’m having the worst time finding participants from the club membership. I don’t know if it’s the Irish theme, or if it’s a bad time of year, or if it’s me, but the majority of the performers are guest artists because people are simply not returning my calls/emails. So I feel somewhat dejected and paranoid, which is absolutely ridiculous. It’s that voice with the Estonian accent that still lives on, even after its owner has left this earth, that says, “Maybe people don’t like you.”

Anyway, to get myself out of this rut, I am re-doing Walking in the World, which is Julia Cameron’s sequel to The Artist’s Way. I’ve done The Artist’s Way and felt that it helped me find a focus that I had misplaced when I moved back to Milwaukee. The added element to the sequel is the weekly walk. That I’m not getting done so much – it’s cold out! But this week my artist date was going to a vintage shop and picking up 3 scarves for $10 (still trying to find my “signature look” that someone on the Today Show said was necessary to “establish my brand;” it’s either scarves or jackets, can’t decide which). And I’m writing my morning pages and filling out the questions in the book (or in my journal).

So far the universe has revealed that I am a frustrated Francophile who wants to live in an apartment, dance, and paint. Okay, so I get back on the Rosetta Stone train and keep doing Zumba (not moving, though!). But painting? Since I can barely wield a paintbrush to cover a WALL, let alone a canvas, I decided this meant that I need to include a trip to an art gallery or to the MAM in one of my artist dates.

Lo and behold, the very day that these discoveries made themselves known, I received a postcard labeled MUSIC AND ART! Milwaukee Choral Artists is doing a CD release party at an art gallery on Brady Street on Friday, 2/26. I think this means I have to go. The universe told me so.

I was one of the original members of MCA – I left after two years because I didn’t feel comfortable singing second soprano in the 3 part music, but alto was often too low. I felt that I was not blending well and was not an asset to the group, and when I did try to blend to the conductor’s satisfaction, I felt vocally constipated. I realized that the things that made me the happiest about singing with the group were the times I sang big solos – the Vaughan Williams Magnificat, the Debussy La Damoiselle Elue, the Britten That Yonge Child – and that wasn’t what I was there for, really. So I left.

I stayed in Bel Canto Chorus for another year, simply because I didn’t feel as though I stuck out so much. And then I left that because my studio was taking off and I was just vocally wiped by the time I got to rehearsal (which again, made me not an asset to the group). I felt as though Sharon felt that I chose BCC over MCA and it really wasn’t that – I just didn’t feel I was giving MCA what they needed.

So I’ll go to the MCA party and hopefully mend some fences that I didn’t mean to break. And meanwhile, I’ll continue my navel-gazing and see what else I find out.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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