When I'm on my way to an audition I generally don't want to be. I never want to be on the way. I'd rather be there just doing it. It's the on the way that gets me.
On the way I start to think about "mapping" my arias technically and dramatically, I try to give myself 3 vital check points in each where I will not cry or get carried away but will instead think of technical things like "placement" or "registers" or all of those other nice technical words that singers are wont to use....
Anyway, this morning I rushed into the subway late and tied in knots wondering if I should have brought the hairspray, since Tribeca is very windy... and there was a man singing spanish songs with a guitar in my stop. He had the most beautiful voice I've heard in a while. Not trained, but just a beautiful high tenor, so sweet. He was just sitting there singing quietly. No one asked him to, no one gave him permission to, no one paid him to, he was just offering it.
Is this starting to sound like a homily? I feel like some times priests/ministers have a book of touching anecdotes that they use.. And I feel like I just wrote one... sorry. BUT it was true! I was so moved! I seriously just stood there and cried and thought what has this come to in my life?? I am ridiculously obsessed with producing this "product" and it's ruining everything that I love about performing.
The funny thing is that this is not the first time I've realized it. I realized it when 3 drummers rode with me to my last audition too, and they got all in everyone's faces and they were like "there are alot of y'all who leave your soul at the door every morning and it's killing you! don't leave it at the door! Take it with you where you go! Don't let this City steal your soul, ladies and gentlemen...." (again, preachy.... but true!) They walked up and down the aisle looking everyone in the eye, and it didn't feel contrived. Of course it might have felt contrived if I were not TOTALLY smelling what they were stepping in, as it were.
So are they always there, and I only notice them when I'm on my way to an audition? I'm starting to think that maybe I ought to take note. Or that I ought to bring my opera karaoke to the subway and enjoy my job.... On my way to another audition...
My husband and I are both opera singers, and in the fall we moved from NYC to Michigan, where he is now a professor of voice and opera at Oakland University. In January we bought our first house-- an 1895 Victorian, and we're expecting our first child (a boy) in April.