Reading goals for 2016

I vowed to blog on the 1st and 15th of every month, and today’s the 15th, so here goes….

I purchased a bunch of books over the last two years that I have simply had no time to read. So before I buy any more, I’m going to read them. And since school doesn’t start back up for me till February 1 (!!!!), I have a little time. These books are:

  1. The War of Art – I’m actually reading that now. Not completely blown away by it. I think it’d be a better podcast than a book.
  2. Practical Vocal Acoustics by Ken Bozeman of Lawrence Conservatory. I bought this last year at the NATS Winter Workshop in WPB, Florida (where it was warm and I wish I could be there right now). This will be a challenge because it’s science-y, and not science-y in a way that I can grasp easily, like vocal anatomy and physiology. No, it’s acoustics, which tend to scramble my brain.
  3. Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman. Also purchased last year.
  4. The Vocal Athlete (and its companion workbook) co-written by fellow Peab and Somatic Voicework™The LoVetri Method colleague Marci Daniels Rosenberg. Amazon tells me I bought this in JULY 2014.
  5.  Directing in Musical Theater: An Essential Guide. I bought this in November, because this is something that I MIGHT be starting to do in the fall. (I know, it’s a cliché – “But what I really want to do is direct.”)
  6. One Voice: Integrating  Singing and Theater Voice Techniques by Joan Melton, with whom I took a workshop a couple of years back.
  7. Singing in Musical Theater: The Training of Singers and Actors, also by Joan Melton. Both of these books were also purchased in November.
  8. Various other books that are non-singing related that I purchased for no apparent reason and I’m not in a hurry to read them.

 I think I’m going to hit Marci’s book first.

So I have no reason to play Bejeweled at night, when I have all this stuff to do, right?

I’ll try to review them as a finish each one.

New Year, New Plans

I keep saying I’m not making any resolutions this year, that I’m going to have a central theme of organization that will govern the year (with a secondary theme of marketing myself as a singer and a teacher), but there are a few things that I’d like to do this year.

First of all, I have created reminders on the first and fifteenth of each month to write a blog entry. I think that my probably-excessive presence on social media has sapped me of finding things to write about, both in my own personal journal and here. So hopefully, these automatic reminders will get me back to doing what I intended to do, and writing about singing.

I realized that I didn’t write about the most important thing I did this year, which was make my NYC debut in October. I was fortunate enough to be asked (through social media – which is one of the reasons I stay on it) to be on a tribute concert on the 25th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s death. I was the only non-NYC person performing, and initially, I was only going to sing Madame Dilly’s Carnegie Hall Pavane from On The Town, which really isn’t much. But in the weeks leading up to it, my friend Lloyd Arriola put out the word that a couple of his mezzos bailed and did anyone want to pick up “Ohio,” “We are Women” and “Some Other Time.” I said, “Sure, I’ll take the latter two!” and then found out 2 weeks before that Lloyd misunderstood and thought I was doing all 3. Fortunately, I’ve staged “Ohio” before for my studio recital, so I knew it pretty well.

It was a very successful performance – everyone was very good, and I made some new connections. But I did drop the ball on a couple of things afterwards.

A friend told me she’d talk to her agent about me. I haven’t asked her about that. I need to.
There was an agent I was going to audition for in NYC in December. I didn’t do that either. I felt overscheduled and just didn’t get to it. Probably because I didn’t have my materials organized.

So there’s the organization thing again. If I had my materials ready to go – an up to date recording of myself, primarily – this would be a no-brainer. 

I also am not entirely pleased with my physical presence right now and want to get back to where I was in June 2013, when I was in really good shape. But I can’t let that keep me from going forward.

A friend of mine told me she couldn’t take voice lessons until she got her voice back in shape because she was too embarrassed to let a teacher hear her. I thought that was ridiculous until I realized I was doing the same thing in auditions and going to work out. I need to accept where I am right now and do what I can, when I can. Because time goes by so quickly and I can’t waste any more of it.

I’ll be back on the 15th with something coherent to say, I hope.