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Things Change, Jo….

As we examine our goals in 2021, it’s important to see how things have evolved from when you set them in the first place. Both within yourself and in the world.

The goals I set in early 2020 included:

  1. expanding the Curiously Strong Performing series at Roland Park Community Center beyond just my studio
  2. writing cabaret shows for year-round performances at a variety of venues
  3. setting up a caroling group of my own that focused on classical singers singing carols that match their outfits (no jazzy Jingle Bells while wearing Dickens costumes!)
  4. attending the NATS National conference
  5. traveling to the UK to visit my best friend

Well, I did do #1 and #4 – but online. And actually, that was easier. Less travel involved, fewer expenses.  As far as #2, #3, and #5 – those will happen.

We’re in a pandemic and performing is on hold. Going places is off the table, at least assuming you’re not a selfish and delusional excuse for a human being (yeah, that’s a little salty, but when you’re married to someone on the front lines of the pandemic, you get a little salty).

One of my former students, who was easily one of my best singers, has decided to stop pursuing a performing career. At least for now. She needs to find what she loves about performing again, and that means taking a step back. And the reality is that she needs to pay her bills, and performing cannot do that for her right now.

When something that you love gets to be a chore and an aggravation (or someone – see my first marriage), it may be time to re-evaluate what part it has in your life. Has it served its usefulness? Have you served it as well as you are able to at this point in your life? Are you walking away completely or leaving the door open for a future re-entry? (And if not, that’s fine too.)

Being able to pivot is an important skill, whether it’s to change goals, careers, or just to get the heck out of Dodge if something isn’t working for you.

In a podcast I heard lately, my business coach, Michelle Markwart Deveaux, talked about viewing goals in the midst of the pandemic. These are from my notes from that pdocast:

  • Are those goals still attainable?
  • Do they still exist?
  • Am I still trying to get my clients/students to achieve the same goals or have they evolved during the pandemic?
    And lastly —
  • Use the creative skills that got you to where you were to get you to the next place

In Little Women,  Jo March has a hard time accepting change in those around her. In the musical, she asks Meg why they can’t remain together, and Meg tells her, “I’ve changed – you’ve changed.” In Mark Adamo’s operatic version of it, Meg sings a gorgeous aria called, “Things Change, Jo.”  Here’s a beautiful version of it, as well as a link to the lyrics (although her diction is quite good):

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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