I’m not one to raise my voice.

Yesterday I worked on looked at
Caro nome; Rigoletto
The Girl in 14-G
Nothing Is Too Wonderful To Be True; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (I can’t find this!)

The only one of those I actually “worked on” was Nothing Is Too Wonderful, since it’s the only one I sort-of know. I’m looking at it as an audition piece, since I don’t have a lot of contemporary stuff in my repertoire.

MP seemed at least content with my performance, if not outright thrilled. I don’t know, I didn’t want to press her, but I did tell her that I’d felt terrible about it. She wasn’t effusive, but she did tell me she’d been pleased with it.

I’m trying to set up a placement audition elsewhere at the moment, more news on that when I know more!

maybe I’m on nobody’s side!

Saturday I ventured into Boston to interview with John Robert Powers, which presents itself as an agency and a school.

It is, as I suspected, a bit of a scam. A very expensive scam. Of course, they adored me, and wanted to book an appointment to get me all signed up right away, which at the time I thought was very exciting and flattering (advanced classes, they said! beautiful coloring, they told me!). Once I did a little bit of research I called them back to cancel (since my appointment was supposed to be today).

I am getting better at being savvy and doing my research. A couple of years ago I would have given them my money because they told me I was pretty. A legitimate agency, as far as I can tell, will not hold classes and expect you to pay for them to work with the agency.

Acquiring a set of jade-colored glasses does have its benefits, I suppose. My next adventure is looking into a possible switch of voice instruction and finding a legitimate agent or agency to take me on.

I also heard from K, who directed Into the Woods, and she wants me to come out to audition for Grease, which might be fun! I’m flattered that she thought of me. :D

Oh. And the piano-bar-act that PC and I were thinking about doing probably is not going to happen, for various personal reasons. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but.

such a happy little tune to hum.

So I don’t leave tonight on the worst possible note, here is something that I find deeply inspirational:

The reason I find this so deeply inspirational is that I can tell she is nervous. This is Amy Adams, the actress whose career and talent (and looks) I would die to have, singing at the Oscars. And despite the fact that you can tell she’s nervous, she nails it – just nails it. I find it so inspiring to know that someone like her can be nervous – in the way that I am nervous, where I can’t find my breath but I keep going anyway.

Watching this video just makes me adore her more. ♥

lascerò straziarmi il crine

I am told that the recital went well last night. Since I spent the car ride drive home sobbing uncontrollably you might not want to ask me for my objective opinion.

Organize the tags on actingingenue
Organize the tags & categories on theactingingenue
Organize my music
Call JRP back to make sure they forward me the info about Saturday
Organize audition paperwork: headshots, resume
Make hair appointment?
(Research (other) voice lessons
Order the music I’ve been meaning to)
Research more casting agencies etc.

I’m taking my time, but I don’t know where.

Well, I really have been doing things other than making pie-in-the-sky plans and dutifully going to my weekly singing lesson, though I have to say my singing lessons are usually the highlight of my week (no matter how badly they go).

I’ve been at home almost an entire year now, and despite everything, not very much has changed in my circumstances. Because I am self-sabotaging in many ways, I haven’t been able to progress as far as I would have liked – would have hoped – okay, would have expected to in the last year or so. Self-sabotage due to low self-esteem, not the most productive of issues. It is ridiculously hard for me to work up the courage to audition for anything, never mind the idea of changing my life and lifestyle so decisively.

What it comes down to is that: I am safe here. I know I am. There is no risk involved in being an office drone. Even if I were to move out there is no risk involved. I am safe and coddled and stagnating and I hate it. My life is cold and sterile and the energy involved in putting any sort of effort in drains me ten times as much as it ought to; I have no room or energy for creativity in my life because my soul is being drained away.

So something needs to change, and the thing that needs to change is me.

First of all, I need to actually commit to losing weight and working out on a regular basis. Will I talk about that here? Sure won’t.

Among other things, I’ve started to ask around as to how one gets signed with an agent. I don’t actually know anyone in the business, but I know people who know people. Earlier this week I started sending out headshots and résumés to a bunch of casting agencies. I also put up a listing on one of the bigger actor search engines (for lack of a better term?) with a headshot and resume.

I already heard back from one of the casting agencies that I sent my headshot to, and it hasn’t even been a week yet. I have an appointment to go meet with someone in July, even. I may get there and it might be a total scam, but at least I’m putting one foot in front of the other. I need to keep sending out more headshots, but I suppose it’s a start, at least!

In other news, I’ve started mirroring my blog over at livejournal as well, so one can also find me there!

it’s a dangerous kind of sport, and yet it’s fun.

Yesterday I worked on
Both of my recital pieces!

Yesterday was focused on performing. And also remembering my lyrics.

(e le care tue manine
lieta poi saprò baciar)

All in all, the lesson went fairly well, especially considering how badly the last couple have gone. I don’t know why I have this mental block when it comes to Acting While I Sing but I definitely do, especially when it comes to singing operatically.

“You didn’t have a problem with the Jewel Song.”

“…well, no, once I had an audience in front of me I was fine.” Apparently she doesn’t remember the agonizing lessons before the recital where she would try to get me to emote while I sang (“it’s ‘comment n’être pas coquette?’ not ‘I’m just going to stand here and stare at you while I sing'”), shrinking further and further inside myself. It’s so awkward to act when a person is watching you, just one person, just a few people judging you. It’s different than acting for an audience, somehow.

It ties into the whole “I need this to be perfect” idea: techincal perfection is what I strive for (and don’t ever even get near). My mind is so occupied, so obsessed with Doing It Right that I have no room for anything else.

And then again: I completely surprised myself during my performance of the Jewel Song at that recital by being able to emote – I felt light and effervescent and it was as though I was watching from somewhere outside myself, thinking “where did that come from?”

(e le care tue manine
lieta poi saprò baciar)

I’m glad that I had at least one good lesson leading up to the recital. I feel slightly better about my life and my choices now.

In other news, PC and I are embarking upon a new project where I get to lie across a piano in a pretty dress and get paid for it. Actually, that was how I proposed the idea to him. L and I are also revisiting the idea of our as-yet imaginary band and actually writing a couple of original songs (scary!). My life is alive with the sound of music!

text-message theatre
j: Maybe if you work in a piano bar I can lie across your piano in a slinky dress and get paid for that.
pc: We could totally do that! You could do it as a side/weekend gig! I’m totally serious, too, I would be proud to be your accompaniment!
j: wait what, I just want to lie across the piano. I have to sing too?! :P
pc: I don’t think singers lay across pianos anymore…they realized all those sequins scuff up the finish. …and yes, you would have to sing.

notte e dì vogliam passar

Yesterday I worked on
Batti, batti
The Willow Song (very briefly)

Sì sì sì sì sì sì…

Batti batti has been going around and around in my head like a carousel for the last week or so; when I read “notte e dì vogliam passar” my brain just continues with “sì sì sì sì sì sì” and then it just keeps going and going…

Anyway! You know, this blog is about 90% writeups of singing lessons. I should call it The Singing Ingenue instead.

Yesterday’s singing lesson went fairly well, though I still apparently have a bit of a mental block with my vocal placement. I went from being able to place everything correctly to not being able to place anything correctly in the space of a few minutes. That is, MP said that Batti batti sounded good but The Willow Song was just…not. We gave up on that after a few minutes.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that I definitely need to find somewhere to practice singing other than driving in my car, or else get over my ridiculous hangups and just sing at home. That, and I don’t know how much longer I will be with MP for various reasons. I don’t know that I feel that I am really learning any technique; I don’t know if it’s that she forgets that I never learned how to sing properly or what but I always feel as though she tries to explain things intellectually or she just tells me to do it without explaining what it should feel like and how I should physically get there. If that makes any sense at all. Maybe not.

Arias to look at for after the recital:
Caro nome; Rigoletto (“even though this is Verdi” – haha)
Elle a fui, la tourterelle!; Les contes d’Hoffmann
Sì, mi chiamano Mimì; La Bohème

as our days pass in the emptiness away.

Today I worked on
The Willow Song
Batti, Batti
Thank Goodness, from Wicked

Today was another three-steps-backwards day. I don’t know what my issue is lately; I always have a problem getting myself out of my head while I sing but last week and this week have been exceptionally bad. I don’t know if it’s that I just feel like I’ll never really get any better so why bother, but when I’m in my lesson I’m trying so hard and nothing sounds right!

It’s all the same things: “stop forcing vibrato, stop trying to sing from your throat, sing up and outwards, sing like a laser beam” (haha), “pull it to the front of your head, you have to place EVERY NOTE the way you place high notes.” These are all things I can conceptualize in my brain, all things that make perfect sense to me and should be able to be translated to my physicality. But nooooo. I know the way I place notes is a habit, but I don’t know how to break it and MP just says “do it,” like it’s that easy.

I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to do! I don’t know how to fix it and my recital is on the twenty-second and who knows if I’ll be able to sing anything then! Argh!