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Bragging Boldly

Shine a light on your accomplishments

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the idea of confident humility vs false modesty. in which I talked about the need to be confident in your abilities and not to be afraid to share that confidence with others.

And then this happened.
On Sunday, one of my former Milwaukee colleagues, who is now in a major artistic administration position at the Metropolitan Opera, commented on how thrilled she was to have been a part of the amazing Verdi Requiem performed as a 9/11 tribute the previous night. This was a comment on another person’s post about how wonderful the concert was and what a shame that PBS cut off the last minute of the live broadcast.

Her joyful comment was met by someone still living in my hometown with the oh-so-supportive, “LOL, bragging much?”

Did I mention that she works at the Metropolitan Opera???
This really punched me in the gut because I just got a response like that from someone with whom I shared some accomplishments (or as she put them, “perceived accolades” – and there was no LOL). There was more to this conversation than that, and I’m not going to get into it, but basically –

I find it so disheartening when you share something joyful with someone and you get accused of bragging or being “too big for your britches.” 

I shared this on FB and my very wise friend Cynthia Vaughn said:

I love Bold Brags. Share your sassafrass! I have no respect for “Dream Stealers.” A true friend or colleague celebrates the achievements and happiness of others.

And a little later:

I’m looking forward to reading your blog post about this topic.

Well, Cynthia, here you go. (She knows me so well.)

DEEP BREATH.

STOP IT.

Stop being a dream stealer. It is toxic. It is unsupportive, it smacks of

      • Jealousy
      • BitternessWhy Mad Men's Betty Draper is the Perfect Example of a Tragic Character
        and
      • Pettiness (or “Bettiness,” as I nearly wrote, which might mean being in the state of Betty Draper on Mad Men, my least favorite character on the show, and someone who is probably the embodiment of all three of these characteristics – but I digress)

As Heidi Skok, another friend of mine (an accomplished teacher who has also worked at the Metropolitan Opera, and with whom I shared a stage at Wolf Trap way back when – me in the chorus, she as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni) commented on my post:

Let your light shine.

Thank you, Heidi. Thank you, Cynthia. Thank you to everyone else who posted affirmative comments.

As Deanna Maio said,

A wise person once told me “it’s not bragging if it’s true.“ 

If I’m too big for my britches, it’s because of chocolate. Those are my literal britches, and yes, they’re kinda snug right now.

As far as my metaphorical and professional britches, they fit just fine, thank you very much.

Shine a light on your accomplishments
*Not my actual body*

******
If you have a bold brag or sassafrass to share, feel free to share it in the comments below or on my studio Facebook page. Let your light shine! No snark allowed!

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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