Happy New Year again! The lunar new year was just last week on February 19th, and Baritone Boy and I enjoyed a wonderful if not-quite-traditional celebration at home after a long day of work for both of us. I lack the culinary skills to create a real Chinese New Year feast, but I did stop by Chinatown on the way home for groceries and successfully cobbled together a meal inspired by the foods that remind me most of home and family: noodle soup, potstickers, zongzi (sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), and nian gao (sticky new year’s cake). Each course brings to mind very specific family memories, so this meal made me feel close to my family despite being separated by the width of the North American continent.
It has been years since I spent Chinese New Year with my parents and brother, but I loved sharing this holiday with Baritone Boy and Dante and indulging in some delicious dishes. This New Year marked not only the start of the Year of the Sheep but also wrapped up what has been a very busy seven weeks since January 1st.
Life has been full of music since coming back to NYC. I added two new arias to my audition package and have even had the chance to try both of them out. Cantanti Project had auditions and put together its roster for Project 2. Cornerstone Chorale brought back their Cafe Concert, a fundraising event for the organization with the evening’s entertainment provided by members of the Chorale, including yours truly.
Plus, I’ve had about six auditions (not counting the ones I sang in the earlier half of the audition season before the holidays). I still experience nerves, especially as I’m offering some new arias, but I am getting more comfortable and I’m also getting encouraging feedback from the auditions.
The feedback, combined with my own assessments, have really driven home a few important points: that a great audition doesn’t always result in getting cast and that not getting cast does not mean the audition was a bad one. There are plenty of factors, some of which we can guess at, most of which the we will never even realize, that play a part in whether or not we ultimately get the part.
Although this could be a bit demoralizing — realizing how not-in-control we are, how out-of-our-hands it is — it has actually been very liberating. During the course of this recent wave of auditions, I’ve been more able to experience each audition as its own mini-performance rather than fixating on the outcome. That’s not to say that I’m not checking my email frequently hoping for Good News and wondering if I’ll hear back from these companies, because I am. However, this outlook has helped make the last seven weeks slightly less stressful and has given me a renewed sense of optimism and confidence as this new year continues. The weight of the waiting period has lifted. I can view the audition itself as less of a judgement/sentencing and I find I am able to say to myself “That went well, I’m happy with how I sang and performed, I know I acted my butt off,” whether I get that Good News Email or not.
Of course, getting Good News is always great fun and fulfills a special part of our singer souls. I’m happy to announce that I did get some good news: I’ve been cast in the role of Vespetta in Telemann’s Pimpinone with Apollo Opera. It’s an opportunity to do more Baroque music, indulge in some comedy, and work with a company I haven’t worked with before. It’s an exciting step, a step coming after many other steps from the past year and a half of lessons, practicing, and doggedly singing on.
The best part? I’ll be sharing the stage with Baritone Boy, who will be singing Pimpinone. We’ve started working on the music, and we’re looking forward to rehearsing and performing together this Spring.