The Peabody Curse

When I went to Peabody, I quickly learned about the Peabody Curse – that is, anyone you may be talking about will immediately enter the room while you are doing just that. My friend Sorab adds that the proximity of the person will be in direct proportion to just how badly you are speaking of him or her.

I thought graduating would end the curse. And generally, I don’t talk about people behind their backs, and especially not in public places. The one time that I indulged – well, this is what happened.
Yesterday I had lunch with some dear friends. When I came through the door, I saw a local television personality. I see her so often that I automatically responded as though it was someone I knew well and hadn’t seen for a long time( (plus the person she was waiting for me came in directly behind me so she was waving in my direction) … but before I could say, “Hi! Long time no see!,” I realized who she was and that I actually do not know her personally. 
So once we were seated, I told my friends that she was on a show that I watch but that she was not my favorite person on the show. I believe I used the word “twit” to describe my true feelings about her on-air persona. I did look to my left when I said this, because that was the direction people were coming from the bar to be seated in the restaurant. I did not, however, look to my right. And guess where she was? In the booth immediately adjacent to us – on the right. Sorab was right about the proximity element: “twit” = right next to you. If I’d said “moron,” I hate to think of where she would’ve been seated. Probably on my lap.
I don’t know if she heard me but I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed not necessarily for my opinion but for my choice of words and because I shouldn’t have been speaking publicly like that. I wasn’t thinking. And if she did hear me, I hate to think that she might have felt bad. 
Well, one thing I can say is that she is absolutely beautiful in person and that she was thinner than I thought she’d be. 
But I feel terrible and I wish I hadn’t been so snarky. 
The Peabody Curse is only effective if you participate. If you are talking about people in a negative fashion, someone will hear you and whether or not it’s the person you’re talking about, it doesn’t cast you in a good light.
So – unnamed TV personality – I apologize profusely for saying what I said. And friends I was with – I apologize for not being the best person I could be for those 3 minutes of blather. I promise to do better.

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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