Sunday, September 18, 2011

Of Nymphs, Fairies & Goddesses or why Early Opera is Way More Fun

As if it weren't fun enough to sing opera, it's even more fun to be a niche singer. Because all of our instruments are so different, there are some singers who do better in a niche - like me. Standard operas call for big, dramatic voices (there are some exceptions, but this is mostly true). As much as I love a good Puccini aria, I will never sing one in public. Why? I'm just not built for it. I've got a light voice and it would not sound appropriate in a role like this. Isn't this gorgeous? I mean, it's glorious and her voice is to die for. I bring this aria to an audition and I'm laughed all the way back to the Conservatory.

Written before 1800? I'm all over it! I've found that the early music people like my sound and I like the repertoire, so I decided to specialize a few years ago. And why not? Doesn't this look like fun!?!?

You HAVE to watch this one all the way through. (This is Les Indes Galants, "Les Sauvages". American Indian theme obviously. My dream role is to sing princess Zima. So fluffy and cute with a great aria in the end!) Rameau is one of my favorite French Baroque dudes and Patricia Petibon is the cutest soprano ever. (I swear she's part fairy.) Doesn't this make you want to go to an early opera right now?

Early Operas were fun!!!! They still have BALLETS, costumes were outrageously extravagant (the wigs!) and a lot of them were about gods and nymphs and stuff. This is where I get typecast usually: In my January project, I'm a fairy/fury/something little and probably is accompanied by a twinkle sound. Today I had a callback for a sort of god-like virtue who is a young boy. Pants Role. Always something cute. Do I care?! NO WAY! I LOVE these kinds of characters! Not all my gigs are fun, but staged opera gigs are where the fun is had. How often do you get to step into another character and make beautiful music? I am so grateful that I get to have this much fun in my life and call it "work" :)

Maybe I'm gushing because it's kind of fall and everything is starting up again, but I'm looking forward to a great season!

How about an outfit?

Dress: Anthro Nostalgic Asterisks Dress, Limited Cardi, J. Crew Scarf, Anthro Elk Camp Wedge Boots
Did you all enjoy our healthy shopping show on the Dereck and Kay Show last night? If you missed it, click to play the show on my sidebar! We did a two hour show JUST for you guys! Enjoy!
Thursday, September 15, 2011

This Saturday Night: A Discussion on Healthy Shopping, Shopping Addiction and Keeping yourself Fashionable and in the Black!

Good Evening, Ladies! It seems everyone in the Anthro Blogging Community are all sharing the same thoughts and sentiments. Are we in trouble with our shopping habits? Did we all HAVE to have the Two-Wheeler Shirtdress even though it ran big, was a dull shade of blue and had tiny, tiny armholes (Come on ladies! I love mine, but you know it's true)? Is that $500 Leifsdottir coat really worth it? Charge or pay cash?

We are talking about it ALL this Saturday night on our live podcast, at 7:00pm EST! We'll have a special guest psychologist who will discuss compulsive shopping and how to tell if YOU or someone you know has a problem and needs help. AND we'll poke fun at ourselves at ALL the times we know we've slipped up and been idiots about shopping! We'll discuss how to stay out of the red and still look fierce!

Please join Dereck and me for a lively discussion (he likes shopping too!). We are still lining up guests so you never know who will stop by! Stay tuned!

Where am I going to hide all these bags?

Dark Days

Well, hello everyone! Here's the thing; I love Anthropologie and I like to talk about it in my blog sometimes. That makes me an "Anthro Blogger". It also makes me unable to ignore what's been going down over the last few days. If you keep up with this community, then you know what I mean. Frankly, I'm pretty sad. I'm sad that someone I had so much respect for and seemed genuine had such a dark underside. It's like lifting up a pretty rock and finding out there are TONS of maggots underneath. It was also upsetting to experience some harsh critiques of the community from other points of view. However, some valid points were made. Why so obsessed with a store? Do we shop obsessively? Do I have thousands of dollars in credit card debt? Where are our priorities?

The bottom line is that the last few days, along with being harrowing, have made us turn the lens on ourselves and our habits as well. Obsessively stalking a piece of clothing, calling multiple stores to find it, or hiring someone to find it for seems a little left of center. And how are we all nice, sweet and complimentary to each other all the time? Constructive criticism can be helpful and the way we view ourselves is different than the way others view us. I always tell my voice students to bring an audio recorder with them to their lessons. The way that you hear your voice is from the inside and it sounds completely different from the outside.

I know that I have been re-thinking the way that I shop for the last few months. Frankly speaking, I live in an expensive city and don't have tons of expendable income to spend of frilly clothes.  Plus, I need Nintendo games too. And dammit, they're expensive!!

All that aside, I like this little community. It's a break from the stress of my every day life.'s an outfit.
Anthropologie Verdant Slipdress, Banana Republic Petites Cardigan, Payless Sandals
Last night was the first rehearsal of my choral ensemble so this is what I wore. Good thing, 'cause it was so hot!!!! The Verdant Slipdress was the one piece I have been after all summer...since June and I finally caved when I saw one in the store last week for 50% off. It's PERFECT. It's comfy, the colors are great, it's a great length for a petite. PERFECT.

Just a side note: Many of you know that Kim was on my Blog Talk Radio Show about two weeks ago. We are very saddened by the development of all of the drama involving her Personal Shopping Service. We have been discussing it and we are very sad and sorry for all of the ladies who got their money taken and we hope that Kim gets the help she so desperately needs. I have published a post about it on my show blog here and we will mention it on the air when we go live Saturday night. If you would like to participate in our discussion, you are more than welcome to do so, but I also don't want to beat a dead horse either. I know some ladies have been in touch with me and wish to talk.  Let's see how we are all feeling Saturday, shall we? Until then, wear some pretties for me, ok?
Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years.

Image via
On Monday, September 10th 2001, I was a graduate student just starting out my last year in my Master's Program. That evening, at 6:00, we had taken part in the funniest yoga/feldenkreis class for singers and all of us felt so goofy rolling on the floor of one of the carpeted concert halls. As we walked out of the class with our sneakers and sweats on, we talked of feeling silly. We talked of going to Europe to pursue opera fest contracts. And we talked of what we were going to eat for dinner when we got home. As I walked outside on the streets of Cambridge, I remember the sunset being so stunning. It had a warm, pink and coral glow that just made you feel at peace. I walked a mile and a half home in the warm September light and I was greeted at home by my adorable little two year old ginger cat at my little one bedroom apartment where I felt so safe. I made dinner, poured a cocktail and watched some Seinfeld reruns on Fox and tucked myself in. I had everything. I felt so at peace in my little place, with my little cat, in my little world.

The morning came. I scrambled to take a shower and prepare for the first day of my Graduate Research class, which was going to start at 10:00am. I turned on some music while I got ready and skipped around my kitchen while I made my coffee and fed the cat. I had been watching the Young and the Restless since I was 9 because my mom watched it too. It was one thing we really could share together even though it was a cheesy soap opera. I had to program my VCR every day to record it so I could watch it later that evening and gossip with my mom about it. My mom is a military physician. She's an amazing lady, because along with being a doctor, she's a full colonel in the Army and sometimes has business to take care of at the Pentagon. She's my hero, since she still has to be a strong individual to hold her ground in a boy's club, she's still my sweet, funny and witty mom.

I almost forgot to program the VCR before I left! I was busy pressing the buttons to make sure I was going to be all set before my mile and a half trek to school. I just wanted to switch on the TV to make sure that the channel was right and all the settings were correct (I had been careless before and recorded some snow instead of my show!). When I switched on the TV it was still on Fox from the night before. I saw an image of the Twin Towers, both of them with holes in them and smoke billowing out of the holes. Then it switched to an image of one of the planes crashing into the towers in slow motion. The size of the Towers had dwarfed the size of the plane. It looked as though it were a tiny prop plane, flown by an individual. The gravity of the situation was was not evident to me. I though to myself: "Terrorist attack.". I couldn't believe what I saw, but I had to go. I grabbed my Walkman (sign of the times) and turned on NPR as I walked to school, horrified by what I had seen. The batteries were running low, so I stopped into a local drugstore to grab some more so that I could stay updated on the way to school. I walked up to the counter and told the woman who was ringing me up; "Do you know what happened?!"

She looked at me confused. "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center in New York City!!"

The woman seemed to not believe me. I think she thought I was crazed. She took my cash, gave me some change and continued on her day. Who can blame her? Who would believe something so horrific and random? As I walked to school, the news kept getting more and more awful. Then came the news that scared me the most of all. There was some sort of "fire" at the Pentagon. The same Pentagon that my mom frequented through her workweek. Things seemed to be happening ALL over and they seemed to keep happening. We had started class, but with a radio going in the background. I could not pay attention to anything that was being said by the professor. All I could think about was the Pentagon and my mom.  Eventually, after about 20 minutes of trying to have class, it was decided that classes would be canceled for the day as more and more devastating events were happening. By this time, The South and The North Tower had already collapsed. I started to walk the mile and a half home. The first thing I did was try to call my parents in Washington. Busy signal. I heard a busy signal for the next few hours. When I got home, my landlady was in my apartment. She didn't have a TV, but she knew I did. We watched in horror as the coverage continued. I finally got a phone call and I heard my mother's sweet voice on the line. She was home that day. I was so very grateful to receive that phone call.

There were tens of thousands of relatives and friends who were not as lucky enough to receive the same relieving phone call. Nearly 3000 people lost their lives that day, including 125 at the Pentagon. 55 of those were military personnel. Maybe my view is colored by being a child of two military parents, but I know that even though our Country is far from perfect, it's still our Country. We should never forget that we were united that day in sorrow, but must continue to be united in times of peace.

So, ten years have passed. I will never forget the feeling of comfort I had on that sweet Monday evening and the feeling of fear and horror that wiped away that feeling on that horrible Tuesday morning. But I will also never forget the bravery of our first responders who gave their lives to save others, the passengers who stood up for freedom in the face of certain death and the strength of the people in the face of an unknown threat. Never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

OOTD: En Plein Air Dress

 I am really crankin' em out this week. I just finished singing my 3rd audition of the week. It's a little crazy, but I figure it's best to cast a wide net this season! The En Plein Air Dress is GREAT for singing! It's not too tight so I can take a big breath and it's striking enough to be remembered. Having two auditions in one evening isn't something I do on a regular basis and for good reason. It's a little much. However, it was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be. After being a nervous wreck at my audition last night for Very Important Conductor, everything else seemed like not such a big deal. I was able to be somewhat relaxed and give a solid B+ Audition. Here's hoping for A- next week!

I hope everyone is getting ready to enjoy a great weekend! Thanks so much for tuning into the Dereck and Kay Show last week when we had Roxy and Kim on! If you missed the show, click the link at the bottom of my blog and listen in! The first 30 minutes of the show are a bit of a disaster, but the rest is good! We are on again this Sunday, not talking Anthro (unless you want to!!), but we'll be having a good time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Auditions or A Week of Wigging Out over 10 minutes of your life

Part of the difficulty of being a singer is doing auditions. At most an audition will probably last you 10 minutes, but that doesn't stop you from FREAKING OUT over preparations. Tonight, I sang the first of three auditions. Audition

Having your body as your instrument can cause you a lot of unavoidable frustrations: allergies, colds, menstruation (believe it or not, this time of the month ACTUALLY causes vocal swelling. SO UNFAIR.), cannot get away from how you're feeling at any time. It's been raining in Boston for days and my sinuses have been so swollen because I'm sensitive to pressure changes.

BUT...I can't take decongestants because they are too dehydrating to sing on. So, I have to resort to multiple steams with a drop of eucalyptus oil and a neti pot. It helps, but it's not a quick fix. Plus, breathing into a steam machine and using a neti pot seem so hocus pocus to me. If you've never seen a neti pot in action, watch this video.

Then on top of that mayhem, I still have to work my day job in the morning, mid afternoon and then get it up to sing like an angel in front of three strangers who are scribbling notes about you on a sheet of paper while you expose your soul to them in a Bach Aria. Ah, well, here's what I was wearing anyway:

Anthropologie: Deuxhill Cowlneck, In The Trees Skirt, Checkered Belt, Bare Traps Pumps
I have been a wreck all week stressing about this audition. I sang well and felt like I am improving getting control of my nerves and controlling the inner critic. But it's tough. Luckily, I was near an Anthropologie and I visited it for the first time in a few months :)

Boy, were the Anthro Gods with me today. The piece I have been WAITING to go on sale, was there. Now, the Boston Anthropologie is moving from Boylston Street to Newbury Street and they are offering an additional 25% off their sale merchandise because of it. You know what was on sale because it was the last one AND it was my size!?

Verdant Slipdress! I have been stalking this little beauty for months and to score it for less than half price was amazing! Thank you, Anthro!

Two auditions tomorrow night...and the beat goes on...
Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flower Stand Dress and Anthropologie on the Dereck and Kay Show

Good afternoon, dear readers! I am so excited about today! I started the day by putting on my Flower Stand Dress for my gig this morning. This dress is so incredibly pretty and feminine. It just makes me feel like I need to go to a fancy Tea or something.

Anthropologie Flower Stand Dress, J Crew Jackie Cardigan, Seychelles Kiss at Midnight Pumps

And tonight is a very special Dereck and Kay Show! It's our FIRST Birthday!

I can't believe we've been doing our little goofy radio show for a year now! We didn't know what we were doing for the first few months, but after a while, we fell into a groove and our little dinky podcast is gaining popularity (yay!). To celebrate, we will have two special guests on the show from two blogs you know and love, Roxy from Effortless Anthropologie and Kim from Anthroholic. They will be on our show and ready to answer your burning questions! Call in to interact with us! Please tune in tonight at 7:00pm EST! If you miss the show, you can catch the podcast version about 15 minutes after we go off the air. Please like us on Facebook and subscribe via iTunes!

Click to listen to the show!
I hope many of you will enjoy tonight's Anthro-centric show!
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dereck and Kay Show Birthday Special Sunday: Q&A with Roxy and Kim!!!

Good Morning Ladies! Well, I was super bummed that last weekend's Dereck and Kay Show got hurricaned out! Well, this weekend, we are back and I'm super excited to announce that our one-year birthday celebration show will include two very special guests! Roxy from Effortless Anthropologie and Kim from Anthroholic! I'm super thrilled to have these iconic Anthro blogging ladies on the show!

The best thing about this is that you will be able to call in and ask your favorite Anthro Bloggers questions! How cool is that?! So, be sure to tune in this Sunday, at 7:00pm EST on blogtalkradio at this link.

The call in number is 661-467-2416, which is also available on the blogtalkradio page and will be announced several times during the show. Also, please check our facebook page for updates on this exciting show!