auditioning · career · family · procrastination · progress · theater · trying · work · worry

Meet the New Year, (not quite the) Same as the Old Year.

there’s so much and little to tell you: 

i have to decide whether to ditch work and attend my annual women’s meditation retreat next weekend. how to tell my boss when I asked for that sunday off — originally for the retreat, but now for an audition — that I really do need that time. and I’m taking monday and tuesday off for my friend who’s visiting from canada. 
that the couple who were the subject of the “day before christmas” poem/blog came to visit me on tuesday, and took me out for sushi, and it feels like i have this sort of surrogate parental couple right now. even though they live in vancouver. we exchanged all our information, i got a happy new year email, and i’m going to talk to him about mediation. like, becoming a mediator, and what that would look like. another career goose chase maybe, but worth looking in to. 
that my mom is having trouble sleeping, and doesn’t want to change her work schedule even though she could. that she’s having health issues that she could address, but procrastinates on. 
that two years ago, right very now, I was waking up in lahaina, maui, hawaii. in the bed of a school boy whose parents graciously invited me to stay and kicked their son to the couch, so a bald and chemo-riddled me could have a vacation from a cancer. 
i have to call the student loan people so they don’t raise my payment from $67/month to over a thousand, but being my mother’s daughter, i haven’t yet. 
I am excitedly waiting for the indiegogo campaign to end and for the funds to be sent to me, so I can write this final check to my landlord for my back rent accrued while i was sick. and to watch that number in my budget line fall to zero. 
i am looking forward to my first real paycheck from the retail store, but as i’ve figured the numbers, amazingly, i’ll have earned the exact amount i would have if i were working at the desk job i quit in october. 
though i wouldn’t have that back-rent money, because that only came about as i was sitting in a cafe with a friend in november, looking for work, him too, and i mentioned the wanting to art again and the potential art studio upstairs, and the back rent. and he said, you should do a kickstarter. 
so, i wouldn’t have that, or at least not now, if not for being unemployed and sharing with a friend who was also spending a mid-day cafe work-search. 
i have a script to read and a song to rehearse for two auditions this month. 
the first is because a friend from mockingbird suggested i try out for this one company in town, and i said i wasn’t good enough, and he said i was and i should and made me promise. and so i did. you know, just a few weeks later!
it’s a classical play. i’m nervous, as i’ve never done one before. 
the second is another musical. and, i’m nervous! but. i’m excited for the role i’m auditioning for. it could be a lot of fun. 
they would run consecutive to each other, one closing, and a few weeks later, rehearsals for the other beginning. so it could work. but not with this sales job. i think. assume. project. worry about. 
but then, too, i have to remember the whole “from thanksgiving to thanksgiving” thing/blog: to not worry, to trust, to at least notice I’m worrying and begin to try to trust. 
i have all these collage cards i still want and need to make, holiday cards and thank you cards. but with the constraints of buses and bart and standing and … (*breathe*) from thanksgiving to thanksgiving. 
i flaked out on my NYE plans. i think i may have disappointed my friend by doing that. but it was a day off for me. i got loads of stuff done early, and by the late afternoon i was home and cozy, i didn’t want to leave. even though it’s a 9:00pm ball-drop! i had to work yesterday, and yadda yadda excuse excuse. i just didn’t feel like getting all dolled up. though i’m sure it would have been fun and my FOMO-meter ran high. 
instead i stayed home, and it was lovely. i know it won’t always be so quiet. but it was nice. 
i have a lot and same old happening right now. i don’t know if any of it is interesting to you, but today is more a state of the union address:
all is well, amorphous, covered and uncertain. 
i have friends and opportunities and procrastination habits and work issues. 
i have a warm home to leave and come back to. 

and two auditions to get ready for. 

Happy and Healthy New Year, Friends. You rule. 
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auditioning · fun · laughter · learning · theater · trying

Jazz Hands.

Yesterday was quite the hilarity.

I was called back for the dance audition for Addams Family the Musical, and it was just too funny and fun! There was a choreographer, who taught about 25 of us in a small side room off the theater, that had a wall of mirrors and a ballet bar.

There were people who were obviously dancers, and many who obviously weren’t. But, we’re shown this whole dance routine for about 40 minutes, going over part by part, to make up about only 2 minutes of dancing! Then we were called in groups of 5 to do it on the actual stage… Eek!

It was awesome and hilarious and super fun. I did alright. Everyone had to go a second time, and about half of us forgot it by then. Witness! Human’s amazing short-term memory!

I was called to stay afterward to read for one of the leads, and although I would certainly love to take that role, I don’t know if I have enough experience. I do think that I’ll take a role in the chorus if I get it. I mean, it was a lot of fun.

And the whole concept is just ridiculous enough to be my kinda ridiculous. And FUN.

A friend of mine always used to tell me: Don’t forget the “f” word: Fun.

That is the point of all this for me. Yes, theater is meant to be moving and evocative and a distillation of real life for two hours in a way that makes your hours outside of it gain meaning, at least for the few days after you leave the theater.

But, for me, knowing what I do about this very short mortal coil, I’d really love to have fun while I’m at it.

(Monday’s truncated blog due to workout studio shift.)

auditioning · change · growth · singing · theater

Owning Voice

Last Thursday, I began a class at Berkeley Rep School of
Theater entitled, “Voice for Performance.” A short-term class of 5 sessions,
lasting three hours each, I am getting a taste of the Linklater method (which I
hadn’t heard of ’til recently, but apparently should know), vocal warm-up exercises, and where my
own challenges are.
At the first class, we all introduced ourselves while our
sprightly, mildly Cockney professor got up in our grill. She watched how our jaw
moved, how we held our body, listened if we grated words in our throat or
didn’t support our breath, and chided the modern world epidemic of ending
declarative sentences with a lilting question at the end. Last night, she
called me out again for it. It’s not, Hi, I’m Molly?, she laughed good-naturedly;
It’s, Hi, I’m Molly. Of course you are, she said.
At the first class, she spoke a little about the messages
some of us receive that cause blocks in how we speak. Were you told to keep it
down, that your voice was too loud? Did you sit at a dinner table with loud
people, and so learned to speak out the side of your mouth? 
There is a reason no one knows I sing. There is a reason
this whole blog is called Owning Voice.
There are messages I received, and internalized, whether
someone actually said something to me or not. I learned I had to be quiet to be
safe, that a loud voice was the tool of the abominable. I have clear memories
of “voice quelling.” When I was singing a poem at my Bat Mitzvah at age 13, there is this lovely harmony at the end that really makes the whole song, and
changes it to something powerful. I got to the end of that song, and I made the
choice, in my blue velour dress with puffy sleeves, to not go for it, to not try
for the notes that would make the song whole because I wasn’t sure I could reach them, and so I sang through it with the banal repetitive melody, sad for myself for not trying, and filing that experience away in,
“I’m not good enough.”
I remember auditioning for a high school musical, practicing
upstairs in my room, and coming down to ask my parents what they thought, if
that note was too high. They told me that I better not go for it. So I
didn’t.
I remember auditioning in college for the a cappella group
on campus, Orphan Sporks, and not making it; for the college plays, and not
making it.
And this is when I stopped. I believed that I learned that I
wasn’t good enough, and to stop trying.
But, part of the reason I haven’t made the progress I could,
is because I have those beliefs that I need to be quiet, that I need to not
make noise, that I need to be something better than I am to do it, and so, I don’t sing, I don’t share from the heart of who I am, and
therefore, I get to continue feeding the story that singing isn’t for me. And
when I do actually sing, because it’s such a rarely used instrument, it’s not
as well oiled as I know it could be, and again, I get to file this passion away in the “Not
for you” category, or dismiss my voice as Not Good Enough, or tell others, Oh,
it’s not really, I’m not really, …
I’ve taken singing lessons before, sporadically; I know I have a 4 octave range, I know the voice is in there. I know I’m not delusional & I feel like magic when I own it; I also know I hide it. Like a boy on a date once said to me about my eyes, that they are beautiful, but I am shy with them. Same same.

The class I’m taking right now isn’t about singing directly;
it’s about voice, about your whole body—your ribs, your toes, your earlobes—vibrating
to create sound. To drop the internal chatter and drop into your body,
zen-like, drop into your power which is there whether you obscure it with
rancid messages or not. The class is certain to help in the practicality of
singing, but for now, it’s just about owning breath, owning voice, and owning
truth.

Hi, I’m Molly.
Of course I am.