Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tiny Windows and Obsession in Art

There are sometimes when at night, I have trouble sleeping because I cannot stop thinking and thoughts and ideas are swirling and swirling around in my head. It's usually on nights like that, I slip on my iPod and turn on a Sports Junkies Podcast and listen to that instead of my brain.

I think the blessing and curse of being in a creative profession is that one can easily become obsessed with one's work and on some level, you need to be. Performing arts careers are not something I would recommend to someone to pursue unless you absolutely cannot do anything else and be happy. The stress of rejection, along with the simple fact that you will be needing to have some sort of other job (to pay your bills) and that your life will not be normal is not exactly glamorous. I'm lucky to have a good friend who understands the extreme highs and lows of life behind a music stand and we are there to support each other when times are good and when they seem their darkest and you feel like no one will hire you.

A few years ago, after I received (or rather, wrestled it away from the institution I was attending) my Master's Degree, I took up a day job in Arts Administration which was somewhat satisfying. I was still working around music and creativity. I didn't think I was talented enough to actually make a living from the field I just spent 7 years studying after high school. I didn't sing a note for anyone for a long time, until I was 2 years into my Pre-Med Program at Harvard Extension School where I was pretending to be someone who was good at math. I sang a song set for a friend's recital and at rehearsal, my best friend turned to me and said; "What are you doing? Why aren't you singing anymore? You're wasting it, man.". I appreciated her candor and I asked myself the same question. That one performance felt like a recovering addict's forbidden, sweet taste of their vice that crumbles them into helpless relapse. I figured I would give it a try while I was still young and if I wanted to be a doctor after I failed, it was always there.

Three years later, I can say I've come a long way, but lately I've become somewhat obsessed with my work. Obsessed with programming recitals, writing exercises for students, learning new music, etc. It's both frightening and delightful at the same time. I am currently programming a recital of all 20th and 21st Century Music (two living composers too!) and I feel alive with excitement and anticipation! I may not be the best soprano in town, but I love it hard. I know if you love music hard, it gives love back to you. A Labor of Love, indeed. Letting music back into my life was the best thing I have ever done.

The Tiny Windows Dress is a Dress I loved so much last summer, I bought two. Today felt like a pink day, being the perfect 70ยบ day. I'm still wearing an ace bandage on my ankle as its still really swollen, puffy and painful. It's a little frustrating, but I'll try to be patient with my recovery. It's not stopping me from walking all over the city. I guess I just can't try kickboxing this month :)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! BEMF is so great this year! I am enjoying some beautiful performances this week!


  1. Cassandre Petit-FrereJune 15, 2011 8:16 PM

    Very aspiring story! When you do what you love and are passionate about, everything else will fall into place.

  2. Great post - I can relate a lot to some of the issues you're describing. It takes a lot of courage to pursue the performing arts!

  3. I heart everything you said. I once asked an artist friend (20+ yrs older) how she stays the course. She part of it is making a commitment over and over again. I've always remembered that and watch her career change and evolve over time. It's been amazing because she stays flexible which has included integrating tech into her art, but doesn't seem to compromise herself. I point out that she's older because I know of some of the things she went thru as an artist starting out in the 60s. Think of how it was for women at that time...

    Keep going :)