Okay, so it’s been waaaay too long since I last updated this silly thing.
First off, I got the part of Maud Dunlop, one of the pick-a-little ladies and had a fabulous time with my Grecian urns. And the woman who played Eulalie (Mel, fabulous woman, generous spirit and incredible voice), went out of her way, several times, to tell me what a beautiful speaking voice I had. Always lovely to hear.
I had a blast!
That was January.
February was filled with deep learnings and internal work. I got a Soul-Level Astrology Reading from Mark Borax and then followed that with a sacred guided journey, and then spent the rest of the month just integrating all of those learnings into my body. Oh yeah, and I turned 48.
March was insane musically speaking, insanely fun that is. Here’s a (not-so)short recap.
It started with Most Happy Fella.
But let me back up a tiny bit first. Most Happy Fella was the third in the Symphony’s Broadway in Concert series. I was in all three this year.
For the first two shows that the Chorale did with the Symphony, they came to our rehearsals, and anyone who wanted to audition was accepted into the production. Kiss Me Kate, our first production, had 12 women and 6 men in the chorus. Not the perfect balance, but we did fine.
For Music Man, many more people showed up. A few of us were offered small roles, and that was fun.
For Most Happy Fella, they upped the ante. Instead of them coming to our rehearsal and auditioning anyone who had the courage to walk to the smaller room, they decided that they’d have us, the Chorale folk, do what they were having everyone else do. Come to the California Arts Theater, with a prepared piece, and actually audition in the room with the music director and the two head honchos from the Symphony.
Oh yes, and there’s a piece of tape on the floor waaaaaaay over on the other side of the room. We’d like to have you sing from there, to see what kind of volume you’ve got.
Oh, and it’s a high score. How high can you sing, you alto II, you? (That’s the lowest female part in a chorus, the part I sing). Uh. Well, I can hit F pretty easily. I can warm up to a B flat, but that’s a warm-up exercise. I’ve never “performed” that in my life.
So, I walk in with my song. I’ve chosen “My Funny Valentine” because it’s February and I’m a goofball. I love this song. Oh, and they say, “we only want to hear 16 measures of the song.” Okay, so I’ll sing the first 16 measures. You know, the bit that doesn’t go so high. I’ll do that bit. So that’s the bit I memorize.
Uh, you want to transpose this up so you can hear my range? Okay, just don’t tell me how high you raise it. Oh, and you want me to sing more of the song? Including the part that goes up high, several times, once with tenderness and quietness? Okay, I can do that. What the heck. Just help me out with the words, because I didn’t focus on that part AT ALL.
Actually, I knocked the song out of the park. My high F (I’m pretty sure that’s what he transposed it up to) floated out of me. It sounded glorious. I’m guessing I looked a little shocked.
I know that the three men looking at me looked surprised and pleased. One of them leaned in to the other and said, “Wow, she sounded good up there.”
And now, my five minutes is up. As I’m leaving, I say, “So, when will we hear?” Because the last time this happened, we waited for a very long time (what seemed like a painfully long time), and Andrew quips, “oh, it will be quick.” I said, “What’s quick?”
He said, “I suppose you’d like to hear by this evening.” And I said, “Of course!”
What felt like forever, but what was only a week later, I got a call saying that I was being offered a role in the chorus, but that I was the only woman from the Chorale to be offered a role. And there was one guy from the Chorale who was offered a role in the chorus. We each thought that maybe we were just concessions to the Chorale, as we were surrounded by Music Theater people. (And with us being “Classical” people, it felt like a whole different world!) And we were each assured (unprompted) that we were there because we’d given strong auditions, and congratulations for making the cut.
There were only three on a part, so six women and six men (plus an additional three tenors, because there were two different sets of trios for tenors in the show).
Several changes to the schedule this time around. The first two shows, the chorus had several separate rehearsals so that we could learn the music. This time around, it was just the week of rehearsals and then performances. Rehearsing Monday through Thursday and then opening on Friday night, with performances on Saturday and Sunday.
The leads rehearsed in the afternoons from 2-5 and then came back from 7-10. Those of us in the chorus rehearsed from 7-10 each night.
Monday night, I get to the first full rehearsal and Lisa Vroman (the lead from Music Man) comes up and gives me a huge hug and says, “I’m so excited to see you!” And then the fellow who’s playing one of the secondary male leads says to me, “Are you Nancy?” It turns out that we have a mutual friend, but in the moment, it just felt like I was being “seen” by the leads. And that is always fun! (Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that I was excited to see Lisa as well – excitement is infectious.)
I am listening carefully to everything, because I’m playing with the big kids now. Three of the leads have sung leads on Broadway. I’m on stage with them. I get to watch them work, stalk them (in a non-stalkery way, of course). I have the opportunity to watch people working in their genius zones. There isn’t much better than that. And to be in my own genius zone with others in theirs is extraordinary.
And oh those glorious voices! This was my favorite production of the three we did this year. And I’m really hoping that I’ll make the cut for the ones for next year.
But we don’t know what those will be yet.
I’m sure some folk know, but I’m not one of them.
Oh right, back to March’s insanity. So, second weekend in March. Most Happy Fella., ending with a matinee performance on Sunday.
That Sunday evening, I have a dress rehearsal for the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale performance. I am toast. I am so toast that it is visible to the conductor from very far away. There are 180 people on stage, singing, behind a jazz combo and a bunch of extra horns, because we’re doing Mass in Blue, which is hot! (The reason I know that it was visible to the conductor is because she sent me an email thanking me for giving it my all, even though she could see how tired I was. I wasn’t the only one who was tired. Ron, the only guy from the Chorale to be offered a role in the chorus, had also been singing every night for a week. We looked – and felt – like limp celery.)
So, rehearsals continued for the next week, because not only was there a performance with the Symphony Chorale, but my Santa Cruz Chorale was also giving a performance. Luckily for me, we were only singing one song as we were hosting Eileen Chang’s New Choir that night. But still. For 2 1/2 weeks I sang or performed every night. I was delighted with all that singing.
AND, when that ended, I slowed to a halt and slept for several days.
I would like to spread these things out a tiny bit. I don’t want to do less singing, but I’d love to have more space between performances.
So, that was March (first singing, then sleeping).
And now April.
The first weekend in April, you know just a few days ago (if you’re reading this in “real time”), I was at a workshop called EnneaMotion. It was led by Andrea Isaacs and filled with incredible students. We had one profound experience after another this past weekend as we dove deep into learning about the Enneagram through movement and dance. If you’re interested in learning about the Enneagram or in deepening your understanding of it, and you have an opportunity to take this workshop, then jump on that chance!
It’s hard to put into words the changes that occurred for me, but I came to understand aspects of my husband and my children that I hadn’t fully “grokked” before.
Hmmm, it occurs to me that I actually had lots that I could have been blogging about. Not sure why I didn’t. I love to write.
Well, anyway. Here’s the update. I can’t guarantee when the next one will be. But I’m not thinking that I’ll be doing the Think System, this time, so that might work better.