Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A string of good lessons - I think I'm getting this!

Had another good voice lesson today.  I continue to hit snags, still have a few places where I'm trying to work out the technical things (phrasing, breath control - the usual), but it all feels much more solid and much easier.  As I told my teacher this afternoon, I think I'm finally getting the hang of this business. :)  Seems like I'm thinking about and applying the latest technique I'm working on even when I'm not working on my lesson music (i.e., at church or in "Mattress" rehearsals). 

My two uni audition pieces are far enough along that they're ready for a second opinion.  A previous voice teacher lives near (and was the one who sent me to) my current teacher, so at C's recommendation, we've asked K to sit in on the 2nd half of my lesson next week so she can hear my audition pieces and offer suggestions.  It's been a long time since she's heard me sing; I'm looking forward to showing her my progress.

Tomatoes! And other food

The cherry tomato plant (Sweet 100 variety) is really coming into its own - we've got about 2 cups of little red gems sitting on the counter waiting to grace a relish tray on Saturday, with more tomatoes expected to join them in the next few days.  The grape tomatoes have also been ripening; it's just that the other plant is so very prolific, it makes this one look like an underachiever, even though it's already produced more tomatoes than I got off my container-grown plant all last summer.  I've mostly resisted snacking on the tomatoes, but it's hard - they're just so good!

TW and I are having an open house Saturday afternoon.  It's been 21 years since I bought the house (!), so maybe we could consider it a coming-of-age party for the house?  (Of course, the house is much older than 21, having been built in the 1920s.)  I spent most of yesterday & today making party food - triple batch of hummus, double batch of dill dip, triple batch of salmon spread, triple batch of brownies, double batch of muesli cookies and gluten-free peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies.   We'll also do a deluxe veggie tray and a full batch (makes about a gallon, by actual measurement) of "awesome salsa", which has black beans, corn, and other goodies in it.  The lovely thing about making this kind of party food is that we can have leftovers for dinner and know that it's all good for us (well, except for the brownies & pb-choc chip cookies; even the muesli cookies are pretty healthy).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Last music-only rehearsal

Last night was our first music-only rehearsal in about a month, and our last until we get to the Sitzprobe in a few weeks (!).  I was reminded of the difference between doing this for a musical vs. an operetta.  Operettas tend to attract a LOT of trained singers, with the rest of us being amateurs with a lot of choir experience, all of whom can read music at least a little.  In community musical theater, on the other hand, you get a much wider range, from trained singers and instrumentalists to those who learn only by ear, or can carry a tune but have trouble holding their musical line when the people around them are singing something different.  That means a lot more time spent woodshedding parts.  I think that's at least one of the reasons we lost one of our ensemble members - didn't understand why others had so much trouble learning music he got on the first or second run-through.

So yes, in an ideal world we wouldn't need to spend nearly so much time on the music, but this is community theater, where the performers have day jobs.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Sometimes our good deeds do come back to "haunt" us

Yesterday I finally managed to line up an audition accompanist - hurray!  Better, she's someone I already know, as she directed a show I was in 4 or 5 years ago.  I also gave her daughter rides to several "Yeomen" rehearsals and performances last year.  Because of that good deed, D quoted me a rate for 4 hours of her time that is only slightly more than I pay for a 1-hour voice lesson - a very friendly rate indeed!  I told her that her daughter had already given me a thank you gift for the rides, but "this is from a very grateful mother."  Happy to oblige!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Here come the tomatoes...

Our two tomato plants (cherry, Sweet 100 variety; grape, Santa variety) have been thriving - the Sweet 100 is quite bushy and at least 6' tall!  Both now have a dozen or more clusters of little green tomatoes on them.  We harvested the first few tomatoes a week or so ago, and have been getting at least 4 or 5 a day the past few days.  Looks like those numbers will start rising steeply pretty soon, though, given the dozens of little greenies that are getting paler by the day and starting to turn orange.

These are doing SO much better than when I tried growing tomatoes in containers on the deck - we've already harvested more than we got all last summer.

Better yet, the replacement zucchini plant seems to be thriving.  I'd be delighted if we actually manage to get a zucchini off the thing before the weather turns colder.

I've got my books!

My books for the semester (well, all but one) arrived from Amazon the other day.  I could wish they'd bothered to put the box between the main door and storm door, as it was raining and my box was wet, but fortunately the books weren't damaged.  I got a better deal from another vendor for one of the books so that one is still en route.  Ordering online was cheaper than getting them from the school's bookstore; I managed to save about $78 with the sales tax.  (It helped, of course, that I already owned one of the books for my Intro to Stage Make-up class.)

They're all sitting on a shelf together, just waiting for classes to start 3 weeks from Monday.  Well, for two of them to start that week.  The other three don't start until 3 weeks later; odd schedule!

Again with the waiting game

Last night I reapplied to uni, this time for the Spring 2016 semester.  Aug. 1st is their early-admission deadline application; those of us who make that deadline will hear by mid-October whether we're in.  Sure would be a nice birthday present to get the electronic equivalent of the fat envelope this time.  (The last time I was going through the college admissions process, a thin envelope contained  "thanks but no thanks" letter, while a fat envelope contained a "welcome to our institution" letter and a packet of forms to fill out for financial aid, housing, orientation, etc.)