Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The dream isn't dead after all; at least not yet

It turns out that, because I'm taking voice lessons with a grad student in the School of Music, the pre-screening audition requirement is waived!  I wish I'd known that before I paid for an accompanist, but that's secondary to the main point - this means it doesn't matter that none of the recordings were usable!  Wahoo!  Now I can fill out my application, attach the recording waiver video they sent me, and schedule my live audition for sometime in January.  Two more months to get my audition pieces and my technique whipped into shape - pray for me!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Callbacks (mooooo)

Tonight they had the callbacks for the first of next semester's main-stage productions.  I learned from a classmate who works in the production office that they called back everyone who auditioned.  No wonder the numbers were so huge!  There were 47 of us tonight, and 53 for the other show for which I'm called back.  I'll probably bow out of consideration for that other one; it's too close to the end of the semester, with papers to write and exams to study for.

They told us before they started having us read that we'd have to do a British accent.  Sure woulda been nice to know that earlier, but oh well.  At least all but one of us (a British exchange student) are in the same boat in that respect.  I have no idea how I did relative to anyone else being considered for the same role, though I don't think I read badly.  Now the waiting begins; I hope they're able to post the cast list soon.  As Rose Maybud would say, "leave no one in unnecessary suspense."

So much for being a music major

I was less than thrilled with how I sang last night.  This evening I got the first file of 4 (2 takes of each of my two pieces); I couldn't bear to listen to the whole thing.  SO many things I didn't like about it; there's no way they'd want to hear me in person.

Disappointing & discouraging, but...  First of all, that means I'll graduate next December instead of 2019 or later, saving me a buncha money.  There are other places I can study music theory and take piano lessons, with none of the pressure of an academic setting.  The only problem is, I'll have to figure out that much sooner what I'm gonna do with myself all day. :D

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Good voice lesson, right before another big audition

Later this afternoon I'll record another music school pre-screening audition.  Yesterday's voice lesson was surprisingly productive.  I'd gone in feeling a bit cruddy (ah, seasonal allergies), but C assured me I was doing well - in good voice, breathing well, good energy.

I had an "aha!" moment when she had me working an exercise to loosen the root of my tongue (because tension anywhere in the vocal production tract is killer!).  I realized that my tongue was tensing up upon my inhalation unless I remembered my back breathing (i.e., expanding my full rib cage on the inhalation).  Another reason to do that back breathing!

Coincidentally, my Voice for the Actor prof had just introduced tongue exercises on Wednesday, including one to release tongue tension.  I love it when my various classes dovetail!  It's like I'm triangulating on good technique, reinforcing it from multiple angles.

Similarly, what both C andd my TA voice teacher have said about sustaining energy through a vocal line just got a boost from the energy exercises my Voice teacher had us do in class on Monday, to sustain energy through and past the end of a line.  All good!

C got a call from her mother during my lesson that she had to take.  Once she got off the phone, she explained that there was a completely unacceptable situation in her mother's building that the family was addressing.  When she explained the situation, I was livid for her mother's sake.  We then joked about "OK, now caress your lover's pillow" as I prepared to run through my other song.  Maybe it was having my blood boiling, but boy, was my energy good for that song! :D  I may have to use that trick this afternoon.

I'm trying not to get too worked up about this.  I need to relax (hah - as if!), breathe, remember the main technical points I've worked on since I did this last year, breathe some more, and, most importantly, enjoy the music.  After all, I picked these pieces because I liked them and knew I could live with them for months (or, in the case of one, over a year).  Now they're old friends; I need to sing them with that love.

If nothing else, I'm bound to do better than last year.  That was discouraging - back to singing only a week after taking about 3 weeks off because those blasted seasonal allergies were making singing actually painful.  This year I'm healthy (knock wood), and I've got an additional year of technical work, practice, and coaching under my belt.

I plan to get to campus early, find a practice room, and review all the technical and textual points I want to perform, do some loosening-up exercises, and maybe even get myself to relax a bit so I can enjoy singing these pieces.