~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of my weekend... ~ Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, it has certainly been an eventful weekend!

Friday night, Tom had a gig--and so did I, in a sense! I was off to a concert for which I was slated to write a review for the Record. I knew that it would be a test of sorts--so the editor could see if I was capable of writing something appropriate to their needs.

So, off I went. Lucky me, I was close enough to the front that I could actually see my page as I made notes, so they remained reasonably legible afterwards. The concert itself was great! I had a fab time--though the latter portion was a little nerve-wracking because it was less programmatic and so it wasn't as easy to figure out how to write about it.

I went home and tried to stick to about two hours in writing up the review because I understand that that's often how long one has before submitting the story. Since I had the luxury of time in this case, I didn't submit it right away, so that I could tweak it a bit once I had some distance. I sent it in the next day and then waited. The editor liked it!! Yippee! So hopefully I'll be doing other reviews in the future. That's exciting.

Another cool thing we did this weekend was see the opera "the First Emperor" by the Chinese composer Tan Dun. It's part of this wonderful undertaking by the Met and various partners: they broadcast a Met production every week in high definition to movie theatres around the world. So, we went to the local Galaxy cinema and watched a wonderful Met production! The show itself was really engaging for the first half or so. I was drawn in by the music and it really held my attention. I found the second act (it was only two acts), post Intermission rather static--it really dragged, unfortunately. It also felt repetitious and a little slapdash, as if he was in a rush to finish it, and so kind of threw things together. The final climactic twist seemed a bit of an anti-climax to me, and not much of a twist--at least not one that most people wouldn't have seen coming even without reading the synopsis. But still, it was thrilling, and the calibre of the first half made it worthwhile for me.

And next week is Julie Taymor's Magic Flute!! I'm so excited. I love her work and I'm reasonably fond of the Magic Flute (I probably wouldn't see it again at this point--unless it were being done by someone like her or Robert LePage). It's the same day as the Cafe Conversation meeting, but that's at 11 and the show is at 1:30, so I figure two hours should be enough at the cafe. Plus, I'm going to see if anyone there is interested in joining me for the show (though of course, it has little to do with French).

The Bad (though ultimately good in a makin' lemonade kind of way) was my performance at the Dream Auction. This was the first time that I actually had some kind of "set" that I was doing: five or six songs. And I think for that reason--because I had more than one piece to do--I got nervous. Also, I think it was because I didn't start off quite where I wanted to be with my voice, and so that eroded my confidence for a couple of subsequent songs. And man, I gotta practice more with a mike--it always sounds so different that I have to get used to that shift. Note to self on that one: practice with a mike at home if I'll be using one in a performance. At any rate, my voice cracked a couple of times and--worse, IMO--I didn't pass it off with bravado, but actually winced a couple of times and in one case, broke off during the song. Another factor was that I didn't rehearse enough. It was pretty last minute and I had heard it would be background music--but then everyone sat and actually listened as if it were a show! All the same, it was a great learning experience, and the audience was both forgiving and appreciative--which is the best kind there is for such significant "first times!"

The Ugly!! My audition for a community theatre production. Yes, it was ugly--a miscalculation on my part. I should have done it a capella. Instead, I brought the music, and since the accompanist seemed fine with the prospect of playing it, I thought it might be okay. It really, really wasn't. It was very noble of her to make the effort and I give her full kudos! But, it was unreasonable of me to expect anyone to read that piece totally by sight (she was also great with the other pieces I heard--just as another testament to her skill and the difficulty of my piece).

So, while I think I sang well enough (not quite in the right place--I wanted to sing it in my head, but instead I sang it in my throat and chest. A typical reaction when I'm thrown off or nervous, and something else I'd like to work on)--and I wasn't even all that nervous (more thrown off), it ultimately sounded awful because the piano was doing something rather different to what I was doing. I could see it in the faces of the auditioners and almost wanted to laugh. After all, they had been warned it was Sondheim, and they had these frozen, polite expressions on their faces as if they were thinking something along the lines of "Is it supposed to sound like this because it's Sondheim or has something gone terribly wrong?"

At any rate, because I didn't freeze up and felt pretty good about my own performance there, I'm not devastated that I'll likely not get in. In fact, it was pretty funny and I'm still chuckling as I think about it--and about their expressions as I was singing.

I can just chalk this up to experience and figure that if I use this song again (I likely will because I love it, it's unusual, a great character piece and demonstrates a knowledge of musicals), it will be a capella, with perhaps just a starting note to get me going.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 7:04 PM::::


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Anduril Elessar
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