On this day 9 years ago, I moved back to the East Coast from Milwaukee.
I moved because I wasn’t performing anywhere, and I wanted to sing somewhere before it was too late.
Because I felt as though a singer’s shelf life varies from person to person (depending on fach, health, and other circumstances) and I wanted to make the most of the shelf life I have left.
Richard Miller told me in 1999 that I would never sound old, which I’ve kept close to my heart. But I have found that, particularly in the last couple of years, it’s not as easy as it used to be.
I think it has a lot to do with the multiple cases of bronchitis that I had in the late 90s/early 00s. I think they sapped my stamina, and I’ve never fully recovered it. I used to be able to sing all day and then go to rehearsal and sing all evening and not show any signs of fatigue, but that is no longer. I really have to manage my singing carefully and know what I have ahead of me for the day.
- If I’m going to sing something that’s really low (church alto parts), I need to make sure that I don’t sing too high during the day
- If I’m singing something that sits higher, I can sing higher, but I have to make sure I balance it out
- If I am preparing for an audition or a recording session (the former of which is this week, the latter next week), I need to put myself on a regular practice schedule (gone are the days where I could just leave the house with a lip trill and walk onto stage, ready to go)
(Ignore the woefully incorrect solfege.)
But even though things have changed somewhat over the last 20 years, I don’t feel that it’s too late for me or for anyone. There may be some things that I can’t do anymore, and not just singing-wise. There may be some things that I don’t want to do anymore, and not just singing-wise.
I saw this post on a friend’s Facebook page this morning and commented, “stealing.”
I still want to perform.
I still want to teach.
I still want to direct.
I might want to do some more choral directing.
I still want to travel, and dance, and go to shows, and be in shows, and enjoy my life.
And these things seem to be more attainable to me than they were before I moved back.
So happy anniversary to me, and a reminder to myself and to you that