Thursday, January 31, 2008


Did you know that Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is also pancake day?
This is not too too surprising as pancakes are a delicious and efficient way to get rid of all of those verboten ingredients for lent.
Anyhow I believe we all know my feelings towards pancakes. Which is to say that I love them, think that the ones that I make are the best, and that if I tell you otherwise I'm probably being really really polite. Though I did have a camper introduce me to some other ways of making them that are really good.
Anyhow I thought as a tribute those of you who do not keep track of you tube would enjoy this clip!

They are admittedly not pancakes but crepes that he makes, but I love crepes too. And stop motion animation is pretty much amazing!

Friday, January 25, 2008

On dealing with disappointment and insecurity

In this profession that I am seeking to pursue and therefore the lifestyle that I must lead I deal with a lot of disappointment. You are rejected from competitions and auditions and are turned down for roles much more than you are accepted. The way that you may get accepted next time is to listen to someone tear apart your performance and tell you how to improve it (if they’re nice) or why it was just not good enough (if they’re not so nice).

It’s not merely the authority that tells you their opinion but everyone who learns that you are a singer. Everyone has advice for a musician, because well they like music and they know someone who knows someone who’s doing very well for herself and singing at the Hilton.

Needless to say I receive some very questionable advice, and some very good advice. The good advice comes in two varieties: 1. The same thing that everyone tells you, which is right but you’ve already heard it about 20 times, 2. The rare glimpse of something new, and worthwhile. However that happens so rarely that it is really a gem to be grasped.

But back to disappointment and criticism. To succeed you have to just decide that the disappointment and sometimes mean comments are just not going to affect you. You have to be incredibly confident walking into a room, know your music, know your history, and know that you are the best at it, all while being modest and kind to everyone and not acting like a total prick. But you still have to be confident, you never get anything if you don’t think that you will. That on top of the fact that the situation that you’re walking into is by all accounts very nerve wracking.

So you build yourself a little emotional fortress where you are untouchable. I am for the most part rarely nervous about auditions and performances because of this and can take all sorts of criticism with out any reaction other than, “that’s interesting” or “thank you”.

As a result (tangentially perhaps) I am incredibly insecure about some things that just don’t make any sense from the outside. Karaoke being the most ironic I think…Emblies you sing for your supper all the time, and you can’t belt into a microphone for drunk people? Well not really I’ve never tried. I’m also insecure about dancing (unless I’m with a certain group of people).

In my personal life people tell me that I am one of the most secure people that they know in my own skin. I have always been told this, in fact that’s the universal thing that people said to me upon my leaving high school, and it does not seem that this has changed. However I find that the security is easier to project than actually feel. There are many things that I’m insecure about in life, and you know there are two choices and a right time for both actually. Sometimes you have to leave the thing that is making you insecure and not make it part of your life. And other times you have to expose yourself to that insecurity and learn how to not be insecure about it. Do you have things that you just have to remove from your life because of the negative impact they have? And what have you triumphantly faced that makes you feel like you are now 12 feet tall now that you can deal with it?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

that college feeling

So I was walking across campus today after a morning of arduous photocopying (see my life is not so glamorous as I make it out to be when I describe my job) I was sleep deprived, emotionally drained, hungry and my brain was working on what I would call a low gray whir.

And I suddenly had a realization: this is what I felt like in college...most of the time. And I had the sick realization that it was through this haze of being drained that I was most able to be productive and that in fact I was thinking of how to plan the rest of my day. I realized that I could write a paper just then if I really needed.

How ridiculous is that? I have trained my mind and body such that when I am at my most drained I can be the most productive. The question is it coping or something that I learned otherwise?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Not with a Bang but a Whimper

I just returned from seeing the Lyric Opera's production of Doctor Atomic. The work ended in silence. Utter silence as the audience held its breath, wondering is it over? should I applaud? That lasted almost 15 seconds....really! That is a tremendously long time for there to be silence after a show. I love that. I actually often wish that I had a moment to enjoy the silence after the music before the audience goes leaping head long into applause, perhaps I am not ready for applause. I think that there is a lot to be said for allowing things to sink in so that you can really appreciate them.

But this is a pet peeve of mine, excessive applauding and even more irksome, excessive standing. Really I think that standing should be reserved for those moments where you just can not imagine a better performance.

Now the moment was clearly crafted just so this silence would occur, and it worked. There was a roar and then small strings then the stage slowly faded to black, and then it was the audience, I know I was willing everyone to hold off clapping as long as they could. It was great, from where I sat there was not awkward movement or giggling, just pure silence, almost as in expectation!

I enjoyed the opera in full as well, I found it to be really engaging musically the whole way through, but I have a soft spot for so-called post minimalism. Personally I didn't like that Oppenheimer's wife was a character in the opera. It's not that she was a bad role just a little heavy handed in the "humanizing" theme for my taste. Plus I had the feeling like she was there merely to fill the leading lady role that is of up most importance in opera. I actually would have been more interested to see this opera with an all male cast...meaning all male protagonists, I think that would be quite interesting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

some amusement

I know I fail at being a blogger of any entertainment, and I have now been shamed after being told that damn it Emily I went to the effort to put your sight on google reader...and I have nothing to I actually have a few real posts in draft but for now...two things that I watch when I wish to be amused!

one History through string quartet!

also this is one of my favorite pieces! I love how they did cool! I mean certainly it looses something because the piece is all about the timbrel changes from horn to strings to wind etc. Supposedly Ravel at this point really didn't hear melody very well and therefore was more interested in exploring the different timbres of the orchestra. This is clearly not achieved in this rendition, but I think a certain level of awesome makes up for it!