eyes of glass and feet of stone.

Things I did these past couple weeks:

  • Submitted for a bunch of stuff I am sure I won’t get
  • Including a recorded video of me singing
  • Had a minor (?) meltdown about what I look like (again)
  • Realized that’s probably why I haven’t recorded any more vlogs
  • Realized you all probably don’t want to hear about my body image issues for the umpteenth time
  • Refrained from posting about that
  • Thought about it again
  • Decided I really should make a post about it for real at some point as it does inform a lot of what I write about here (and also my various dysfunctions when it comes to acting/etc)
  • Got halfway through writing this (bullet point list) post and gave up
  • Had another audition

I’m kind of at a loss about this and don’t feel super-equipped to talk about it at the moment. But here I am posting about it anyway because it’s been so long since my last post!

On the other hand, I was informed that I got the part that I auditioned for a couple weeks ago! The character is described as something like “a girl next door, or a femme fatale. You know, depending.”  (Which I love, obviously!) The nature of the project means that I might actually get to share that with you – stay tuned to hear more about that!

every cadenza delights, every cadence floats.

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So you know, other than the fact that I’m a ridiculous and sometimes embarrassing human being, that audition went well.

I have a feeling I won’t know how that went unless I get it, which is fine!  I think it went okay – the character had changed since I last auditioned, I got to find out what the actual project is, etc etc.

I got through my recorded audition and my Skype audition as well (my laptop does not have a webcam, but I do apparently have a Skype account if you were wondering!). It was my first Skype audition and only my second recorded audition, which – blehhhh, I really hate recorded auditions but that could be because

  • I hate watching my face
  • I hate monologues/not having anyone to read off of
  • I really don’t think I come across well on camera facewise (I FEEL LIKE THIS MAY BE A PROBLEM?)
  • Since I can watch it back over I start analyzing and overanalyzing and wondering “well wait a minute maybe I can’t actually act at all?”
  • related to that, if I’m not pleased with a recording I do it over and over until maybe it actually IS terrible but I can’t actually tell anymore?
  • also, my face.

Anyway.  (It’s amazing how quickly I can go from “wow look at me go! I’m doing things I’m afraid of even though I’m afraid!” to “wow I am a troll, why does anyone let me out of the house?”)

So this week, I have a singing lesson today and then an audition on Thursday.  It’ll be my first audition with any kind of singing in…quite some time, actually, so Maestro has been kind enough to help me run my two cuts of sixteen bars into the ground.  (The neighbors are confused, I’m sure.) Someday soon I should make a post (or gasp! a video!) about my new singing teacher and how much I am learning in and enjoying lessons nowadays!

Life’s pretty good here at Chez Acting Ingenue (well, Chez Muse and Maestro, unless this blog is my house?) and I can’t really ask for anything more.

Sending out love and encouragement and happiness to you all, since I seem to have an excess of it at the moment! ^^;;;

monovlog: Shelby (Temporary Heroes by David-Matthew Barnes)

(blah blah vimeo blah youtube blah.)

The first installment of my monovlog!  A piece from Temporary Heroes by David-Matthew Barnes; as such, none of these words belong to me.

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audition prep 2013: day five! (and four!)

I’m going to confess, I took most of yesterday off from audition prepping.  I know what you’re thinking: SLACKER!  And you’re right. I spent most of yesterday cozied up watching The X-Files with Maestro.  Which was lovely, but doesn’t really help with preparing for auditions other than studying what Gillian Anderson can do with her face.

So today I thought to remedy that!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned here that I have singing anxiety (no, really?) and I feel as though I get most of my practicing done in the car where no-one can hear me.  I’ve actually made a bit of progress in that regard – I can practice at home as long as there’s no one else in the house!  Err, that might not sound like progress, but what if the neighbors hear me??

Today, not only did I practice while there were people in the house – I also recorded my practice!  I deleted it immediately after, but it was huge for me.  For one thing, it’s hard to hear how you actually sound when you’re inside your head, so that was helpful.  But also, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some kind of vlog, and I thought getting used to the idea of being recorded while I sing (or whatever) would be a good idea.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of video-recording it, which is why I ended up deleting it immediately afterwards, and now I’m angsting about my appearance.  Perhaaaaps I ought to have forgone that until after my audition on Monday, because now I’m all too aware of how I look while I sing and what I look like on camera (aka what I look like to other people) and I’m…not happy about it, to say the least. :\

I’ve been trying to be better about not indulging my insecurities lately – I’ve wondered if part of the reason I’ve become so insecure is because I’ve been indulging it at every opportunity, voicing it and and not even really trying to fight against it.  But today all I want to do is whine about how I’m not at all pretty from most angles and I have a terrible nose and no jawline and why am I even bothering I’m nowhere near pretty or thin enough to make it in any capacity wah wah wah wah WAHHH.

So even though I just indulged my insecurities, to try and counteract that, I’m going to also mention that I sounded pretty great singing “In My Own Little Corner.”  I feel as though I’m getting a ton more control over my voice.  It used to be that I would sound exactly how I wished sometimes and then other times I would sound like a rusty hinge and I wouldn’t even know why – I had no real technique or control over my voice.  Nowadays, I feel as though I’m getting a lot more, my vibrato isn’t as wide, and in general my musicality has gotten better.

So there’s the silver lining!  Maybe if I get over myself I’ll actually post some kind of audio or video later. Maybe.

standing in line with two hundred girls who are younger (& thinner!) than me.

So: I went! I did it! (I’m number 1, as evidenced in that top left picture.)

Because I have the sense of direction of a thumbtack, I somehow ended up in a totally different city than I needed to be to get on the train. Seriously, I’ve driven to that train station a frillion times, I don’t know how this happens to me other than the fact that I have the sense of direction of a thumbtack. I ended up being a half an hour out of my way and had to turn around to backtrack and finally get to the station I needed.

I have to thank the lady who sat down next to me on the Orange Line and talked at me (about her nails and her husband and people being rude on the train) for the ten minutes or so we shared a train – sincerely – I really needed the distraction. The nerves I lamented not feeling yesterday afternoon were in full force about an hour earlier than I even needed to wake up, and didn’t abate until I was finished.

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shut your eyes and sing to me.

809334th verse, same as the first.

I probably don’t need to regale you all yet again with the tales of my low self-esteem and various Issues with my singing voice, but I’m going to force myself to do it anyway because maybe addressing some of these issues will help me sort them out.

…aaaand of course after I write that I immediately distract myself with something else. Good job there.

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I could have been a famous singer, if I had someone else’s voice.

I feel that the title of this post is pretty self-explanatory (though it is also a song lyric).

Sunday night – and it was night, my maestro is quite nocturnal – PC and I began our Secret Government Eggo Project. I, of course, began with a sense of trepidaton bordering on full-blown panic. With my heart in my throat, fingers vibrating with fear, I asked him “why? Why? Why is this so scary?” (Sometimes I repeat things three times for no reason.)

“I can’t answer that for you,” he said, and took my hand. I clutched at him and he squeezed my hand just hard enough to hurt. And away we went.

(I didn’t hold his hand the entire time, though, he did have to conduct me. Which, strangely, helps.)

In any case, I didn’t wheedle my way out of it completely (I can be very convincing when I am afraid of doing something!) and we got a lot of good material despite it being past midnight when we finished. All in all, it was more exhausting than the four-hour shift I had at my show the night previous.

If I keep doing this, maybe it will be like driving – I start off petrified and panicky, but eventually it won’t be that big of a deal to me. Like driving, I’ll still be constantly vigilant (because if you do driving wrong you can, you know, die), but I will be more comfortable and less inclined to panicked crying. One can only hope.

He really is very patient with me, he’s somehow struck the balance between not letting me get away with anything and not wounding my delicate flower feelings. (Delicate floral feelings?) I’m enjoying it, so far – the work that he’s done is beautiful, as usual, and I enjoy working with him. I just hope I’m not ruining it completely with my voice. D:

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.

To-do!
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.

pace, pace, o vita mia!

Tuesday I worked on
Batti, batti
V’adoro, pupille
The Willow Song (briefly)

Surprise surprise, the day after a not-great singing lesson I conveniently forget to update.

MP seems to be irritated with me, being stricter than usual and reprimanding me more frequently. Though, of course, that might be me projecting my irritation on to her.

I feel like every time I take two steps forward, I take three steps backward. In general, in my whole life, but performing-wise and singing-wise, especially.

This is a useless entry. The recital is the 15th of next month, and that’s coming up pretty quickly. I need to just concentrate on being better rather than angsting about my life (even though I’m much better at that than at learning to be better).

>"get out of your own head. get out of your own way."

>Sometimes it amazes me how things can come up over and over and over and over (and over) again when the Universe wants to teach you a lesson. I really do believe that this sort of thing happens when you are not paying attention to whatever lesson you’re supposed to be learning; eventually the words get so deafening that you can’t ignore it (or be ignorant of it) anymore.

In the past few weeks, the phrase “get out of your own head/get out of your own way” has come up repeatedly. I’ve had my singing teacher and director for ItW flat out say it to me. I saw The King’s Speech (which I loved, by the way – Colin Firth deserved that GG he won for it!), which had a similar lesson. Not to mention the conversation I had with PC about it not that long ago.

It’s not exactly a secret that I have this issue.

It’s interesting, I’ve found this post to be the hardest one to write so far. I started writing it before tech week started, and now it’s the Wednesday after the show and I’m still sort of stumped as to how to continue. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to get enough space between me and this subject, it’s obviously something that I struggle with and am having trouble distancing myself from.

I guess yesterday and the day before would be perfect examples of how I can’t get out of my own head or my own way. Monday, I had something as simple and commonplace as getting lost deter me from doing something I actually wanted to do. Yesterday, I woke up feeling oversensitive in general, had a couple of things hurt my already raw feelings, couldn’t keep it together at work long enough to do any extra hours (I really do need the money), and then got in a car accident on the way home and decided against going to an audition I really wanted to go to.

Now, the accident wasn’t serious, but I still ended up in my second snowbank in less than a week. My car is going to need to be fixed. I could have made it to the audition, but instead I curled up in my bed and slept from 5:30 to 11:30. Because instead of sucking it up and going, I just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep for days.

My singing is never up to the standards I want it to be because I can’t get out of my own head. As soon as I start feeling the tiniest bit shaky or underconfident, I can hear it in my voice – and I’m sure anyone listening can, too. And then that starts the cycle: everyone can hear that I’m not any good, therefore they all know that I’m just pretending and what business do I have singing in front of people anyway? And so on and so forth until I’m a shaky little wreck who can barely squeak out her notes. It’s terrible.

MP put it best, I think, when she said, “you have to not care so much.” I’m too much inside my head at all times, and I don’t let the love of it come through, just the anxiety that someone is listening to me. I hope that with practice that will get better, will instill somewhat more confidence in me.

I kept insisting during the last week of the show, when people were talking about the shows they’ve done and parts they’ve played and auditions coming up, that “I’m not a singer!” Because I don’t think of myself that way. Maybe I need to own that too, as PC would say, and then I’ll have to live up to my own promises?

That’s the issue: I’m not really sure what to do about that. How do I get out of my own head (or way) when that’s where I live? If that’s the only way I know how to think? I understand the lesson, at least intellectually. I just don’t know how to enact it, how to start doing what the universe is telling me. Do I have to fake it until I believe it? Am I some Trilby that needs her Svengali to hypnotize her uncouth tone-deaf self into a confident diva? (If so, where do I even find one of those…?) I just don’t know.