Wednesday, January 18, 2006

diseases, shadows, and a belated new year's resolution

I am a happy person. I tend to be cheerful almost all the time. I don’t like feeling dissatisfied, ashamed, sad, full of regret, angry, etc….. and so I tend to get past those feelings very quickly and move on. My mom calls it a disease. J

I don’t think that I suppress bad feelings, only to have them explode later on. I don’t think I’m particularly passive-aggressive (at least, I try not to be). I generally handle my bad feelings in a healthy way, and vent when I need to. I just like to put them behind me as quickly as possible.

For example, I got rejections, essentially, from all the programs I auditioned for in New York in one day last month. It affected me a little more than usual, mostly because I felt like the auditions went so well, and I was hopeful that something would work out. It was a bad day. Well, it was a bad hour, and then I felt better. Now, I still have a couple auditions to do for the summer, and I have some back-up plans if none of those things work out. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. However, I’m realizing that there are benefits to living in those dark moments for a while, and exploring them. Some of the most remarkable personal growth in my life has been during times of great sadness. For one thing, it’s important to examine things, to find out if there’s something I could be doing better, and to make those changes, if possible. But beyond that, there’s a whole other side to my personality that only comes out in those moments. I discover things about myself that I don’t see in my normal, cheerful, day-to-day existence. I’m forced to ask myself those difficult questions that I don’t deal with on an average day. Not in a self-pitying way, but in an honest and real way. What would it really mean for me as a person if this or that situation did or didn’t come to pass? Would I still be able to be happy and fulfilled as an individual, even if I never get to……….? The answer (so far, anyway) is always yes. And it’s important to get that perspective. I go back to being happy and cheerful, but it’s different than before – refreshed, truer, and more grounded.

I have a friend who, up until a few years ago, was having a great deal of success performing early music as a vocalist. She was singing in some great situations, and becoming very much in demand. She pushed through a performance when she was very sick, developed vocal nodes, and had to have surgery followed by 6 months of TOTAL vocal rest followed by a year of no singing. When she came back to it, obviously, it wasn’t the same, and she is no longer singing, as far as I know, on a regular basis. I haven’t been in touch with her for some time, but the last time I talked with her, she was grateful for all of it. It reminded her, she said, that singing was not life itself – just a form of expression within it. And she had a real life that was far more important to her in every way.

I hope I’m never in that situation, but I’m reminded of it as I make this resolution to spend some time exploring this year. I want to live for a while with whatever I’m feeling, even if it takes me in to the shadows, and to see what those moments have to teach me.


Canadian Basso said...

It's a tough situation to be in. I have a number of soprano friends this year who have yet to get into any of the programs they auditioned for. I can only say: find something else beneficial to do during that time, and keep auditioning.

(Hopefully) you are making vocal progress all the time, and every audition you present a better product. The unfortunate truth is that as a soprano, on some level this industry is a numbers game. Just like in cards, you can't win every hand... sometimes you just have rotten cards, and the best singing in the world won't help you.

So, if you've had some bad cards this round, don't stop playing. Just keep learning and improving your play.

Lane said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing your insights.

Gregory said...

I hear you.

Rejections are de riegeur for me. So, we're in this thing together. The thing is to keep trying. I've really enjoyed your blogging, and it's given me strength when I need it. So.

Love. Strength.

write. i'm here. talk to me. we'll gab rep. you can gripe. I'll listen. I'm good for that.

Thank you for everything you've given.