Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why did the chicken cross the road?

... well, what do these people have to say?

The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

To die in the rain. Alone.

Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side'. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ....... reboot.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

I invented the chicken!

Did I miss one?

Where's my gun?

Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

Friday, November 30, 2007

HYMN to PUMPKIN PIE by Grace Parra

Some, O divine pumpkin pie, argue the Patch was your place of birth,
Where pumpkins roam free as mountain beasts.
Others sing of the Kitchen, from whence your ingredients merged
As stars from distant galaxies dance together for Helios.
But I, swinging with might my heavy sword,
Lash at you with two swift thrusts.
Slice! Slice! I am Parra, goddess of the feast!
You quiver slightly as I probe, but for your loss I feel no remorse,
For of your temple you are no proper guard.
I drive my stake to your heart, hot from the conquer,
But with rapid force I plunge to your mercy.
"O nutmeg! O flaky crust of bliss!" I weep,
Honor banished and swordsmanship humbled. My nurse-mother
Gives me a sip of milky ambrosia, skim as the day is long.
Rejuvenated, my eyes flutter open, and quickly become wild with
Rage. I charge at her, armor at tow.
"Why? Why did not you warn me of the poison, the drug?"
"Would that I had never occupied the pie plate, never tasted its
buttery glutton." Thus I speak,
And my nurse-mother whispers an answer: "So that you might learn,
Child, the sinful source of such pleasures.
Many a soldier as you has blamed the Patch, the Kitchen.
But the true taste of pumpkin pie occurs within."
"I do not understand," I seethe, preparing my spade with the fury of
Far-shooting Apollon. "Its maker is to blame! Fair-wreathed Demeter
From whom life is spawn!"
"Its maker is you," she cries. "Until it touches your lips, pumpkin pie
it is not. It is merely a spherical vase of temptation."
I stagger forward, the weight of my armor curving my spine.
"Now I see. It is not the pie that tempts me, but me who tempts the
pie." Wresting with fate, I grasp my spade.
Knuckles as white as swan's down, I hurl the spade to my heart.
"And I shall tempt no more." My final blow has been delivered,
The sun has set for the last time. But the pie –
The pie she lingers, fit for remembrance and another song too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Please support me...

I have just discovered that my "friend" Coco has demoted the link of my blog on her blog because I have not posted in two months. "Well, you haven't written in two months," you might say. BUT BUT BUT... I spoke with her last week, and she said if I didn't update, she would take down my link. I asked her to give me time. You see... I was in Boston last week with family for Thanksgiving... yes it was nice, but we have to talk about more important things... the state of my blog at

I just sent Coco an e-mail expressing my dismay at how little time she gave me to post an entry to my blog. She failed to consider that I had to immediately return to work upon my arrival back in NYC, AND that we are STILL searching for a new roommate, AND I am having computer issues that are causing me to spend lots of "free time" on the phone with tech support. (at least they're nice when they are wasting your time).

What I ask of you... Please visit Coco's blog at and express your displeasure with her insensitive actions. If enough people can convince her that my blog is worth linking in the main links column, then perhaps she will realize how all too hasty her actions were. And then maybe, just maybe, she will fly out to NYC, and where I stand, she will approach on bended knee... in the cold rain... pleadingly stretch out her delicate arms as a single tear falls from the delicate triangular curve of her glistening eye onto the perfect curvature of her cheek apple where the cold, wet rain intermingles with the salty, bitter tear creating a stream of pure remorse which will fall onto the wet Earth with a resounding thud, and she will say, "I am so sorry. Please find it in your heart to forgive such a cruel and unjust action. Time after time, I have fallen and you have caught me... time after time. Time after time I was lost, and you reminded me to look... and I found you... time after time. Oh, please forgive my transgression. I have restored your blog to its rightful place. I was only lost again. You asked your people to remind me to look. Now I have found you as I always do... time after time."

Then I shall say, "Thank you. All is now at peace. Now come inside and have a delicious cup of Mighty Leaf tea."

Oh... I have a blog?

Ten reasons why I haven't updated my blog in so long:

1. I don't know.

2. Computer problems resulting in my needing a new hard drive, a motherboard, memory cards, and a graphics card.

3. Haven't had time because of working small part-time jobs in addition to my regular full-time job- yeah! I STILL can't afford voice lessons.

4. I'd rather sleep than blog.

5. I feel a little bored yet constantly stressed with all the work I've been doing, and so I have little time for play which leads to experiencing events not really worth writing about.

6. One of my roommates is moving out, and so for the month of November, if I've been on my computer, it has been in order to find someone else to move in.

7. I am now having new computer issues. Spent 5 (FIVE) hours on the phone with Dell yesterday. Looks like I will have to reinstall Windows... YET AGAIN!!!

8. I am spending potential blogging time at the apple store looking for a Mac computer.

9. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to blog.

10. I am busy cleaning up the shattered remains of my PC which unexpectedly decided to commit suicide by thrusting itself out of my 5-story high window.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Good-bye Common Sense!

London Times Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Band-aid to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers, I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Cover Letter from an Opera Singer

So the job I currently have does not pay all the bills. Plus, the schedule is completely incompatible with any opera company's rehearsal schedule. As a result, I am now looking for an office day job. I came up with a creative way of standing out among other applicants, and I thought I would share. Please read my cover letter template...

Dear Sir or Madam:

My goal in life is to be a rich and famous opera singer, but until the rich and famous part happens, I need a salary so that I can continue my vocal training, and I need health benefits so that I can see an ENT specialist regularly.

By hiring an opera singer (not just any opera singer, but me), you will gain an employee who is sophisticated, creative, charismatic, fast-learning, exceptionally detail-oriented, adept at performing tasks to the highest standard, and who can improvise, communicate effectively, play well with others, and take pride in his and others’ work. If I am having a stressful day and am feeling grumpy when I have to meet with clients, I can act! And at the end of the work day, I can graciously accept applause (and whatever flowers that may come my way).

Please do not allow my sense of humor to deceive you. I do know how to conduct myself appropriately in a professional office environment. I have had several positions which have given me quality experience that would make me a valuable asset to your company. As a result, I would be perfectly suited for the [Insert type of position here] position you are seeking to fill because I have had prior [Insert specific types of experience the employer is requesting] experience.

Please review my resume, and if it is to your liking, I would be most grateful to receive an invitation to interview.

Most sincerely,
The Opera Singer

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Busy Celebrity Weekend

Before I begin my stories, I will let it be known that I am by no means celebrity- obsessed. I think it is exciting in a mildly fun way to see a celebrity. Usually, I will say to myself, "Oh! That is so and so! Cool." And then the moment has passed, and I tell everyone who I saw and then I share my interaction with that person. At my job, celebrities will come in every now and then, and because I am the door-person, it is highly likely that I will interact with our celebrity guests.

So we will begin with my interaction with celebrity #1. Friday night. I was standing at the host stand covering for my boss who had been taking tickets. He had just returned, and released me to go back to my position at the front door. As I was about to go to the front door, a very short, older gentleman (the celebrity whom I didn't recognize) walked through the doors by the host stand. I said, "Hello, sir. May I help you." He either ignored me or he didn't hear me because he continued to walk forward. Another member of his party came in from behind him, and I asked him for his tickets. He said, "We are on the guest list." I responded, "You have to have tickets to enter so you will need to get them from the box office." He complied, and I happily walked up to where the soda machine was so I could refill my drink before heading to the very front door. As I approached the doors by the host stand, my boss walked toward me, and smirked at me while saying, "You just asked Paul Simon for his tickets?!?" He laughs, "Next time, if someone like that (read: a celebrity) comes through, just let them in." I laughed at my mistake, and went to the front doors by the box office when the employees there began to laugh at me. They all pretty much said in unison, "You made Paul Simon's party come back to get their tickets?!?" I laughed again.

Let's move on to celebrity #2. Saturday night. The last show of the evening was a performance by Daniel Reichard who is/was one of the original Jersey Boys (a Broadway Show). That meant that most every guy who came into the venue was a muscled gay boy. This one group of about 5 muscled gay boys came in and were figuring out who had tickets and who needed them. I didn't hear the whole conversation because I was too busy looking at their perfectly sculpted bodies and thought about how they looked TOO perfect. So then I decided to entertain myself to see who was the least attractive. I was looking at the one that I thought was the winner of being the least attractive (and I will add that he wasn't ugly), and strangely, I found him to look slightly familiar. I shrugged it off, because I knew I didn't know him, but as soon as the group of guys sorted out their tickets, they went inside and one of the box office staff said to me, "Did you recognize Lance Bass (he used to sing with N'Sync)?" I replied, "Is that who that was? I thought he looked familiar." I will always know whenever his name is mentioned to me that I picked him as least attractive among his friends. I feel somewhat vindicated by that. You can be rich, you can be famous, you can have a career singing with mediocre talent, but I chose him as least attractive!

Celebrity #3 came by Sunday night. This time you will be happy to hear that I finally recognized this celebrity. I was directing the line and sending the patrons where they needed to go. Well, when I saw Jeremy Sisto (who played the bi-polar brother of Brenda on Six Feet Under), I was excited that I FINALLY recognized a celebrity, and then I thought, "Cool." I never had any verbal interaction with him. He never really spoke. He only seemed to gesticulate towards me. For example, at the end of the night when I was throwing everyone out, he politely half-bowed and smiled as if to say "Thank you and good-bye" without having to verbalize it. Maybe he thought I would recognize him if he spoke, or maybe he has the hots for me and was too shy to speak to me. I think that would be okay. You would understand if you were to ever have him flash that gorgeous smile of his at you personally from about a foot away.

Okay, that's all for now. Hope you were entertained!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Free Rejection

So, my internet has been screwy the past week and a half. I thought I would update my blog by saying that I turned down the contract I was offered. I was very polite in my e-mail and said that at this time I couldn't afford to work for free. I also reminded them of my previous professional chorus work, and said that as a result I have gained as mush chorus experience as necessary so I no longer accept chorus work. Then I went on to say that I am ready for the next level of being a soloist. I told the company I was open to negotiate, but I felt it was important that they know what my professional needs are at this time. Then I finished the e-mail by saying what wonderful things I have heard about the company, and that if my needs couldn't be met at this time, I would be happy to audition again when they could meet my needs.

But as an addendum to this entry, I would like to add that if ALL us singers would decline gigs that don't pay, companies would have no choice but to offer some compensation. I had to pay (and still do) for my education and my professional training (adding up to over $50K) so why should I offer my professional services for free?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To sing in a chorus for FREE?

So, after writing my blog entry last night, I sent an email to the opera company requesting what roles and compensation I would be offered in the Resident Artist Program. I got an e-mail today with my offer and a long contract. The roles they have offered are two chorus roles, and one understudy. The other roles for 2008 have yet to be assigned.

The contract goes into great length about how I need to be available at such and such times (15-35 hours a week), or how I can be fired if I change my appearance. Then there are the outreach concerts, but of course not everyone will get to participate, and then there are the Master Classes and Workshops which I am "encouraged" to attend, but if I am going to be absent, I must receive permission.

As usual, the compensation paragraph was vague. I will copy and paste it for you:

(Insert company name here) will not charge a fee nor pay a fee for the program as a whole. However, depending upon the assignments given, a contract may be issued and a fee may be paid (separately contracted role, “going on” as a cover, chorus on tour etc.). In any case the Resident Artist is an independent contractor not an employee of (Insert company name here).

WTF does that mean? I'm not going to get paid to sing in the chorus? I quit my job singing in the CHORUS of the SAN FRANCISCO OPERA to move to NYC to be a soloist. Had I stayed in the SF Opera chorus this year, I would have earned a minimum of $52,000. So, why should I sing in a chorus in NYC for FREE?!?!? Aside from the fact that I would have to take time off of work (i.e. lose money, too) in order to do it.

So, what's the point of the contract if there is no benefit for me?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I got a singing gig.... but... where's my contract?

Is it just me, or is life moving in slow motion right now? And no matter what anyone does to fix it, it stays the same speed. I think the batteries in the remote control have died. Or the "resume normal speed" button is broken.

In any case, in June, I had an audition at a reputable opera company in the Upper East Side. It had all the fixings of an audition that would bring about a favorable outcome for me. What were they, you ask?

1. It was a call-back/ make-up audition for those who were too sick the first go-round. That was me. I was still recovering from pneumonia.

2. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being extremely self-confident, my level of self-confidence was at around 2.

3. While warming up at my house before leaving, I felt a tickle in my throat which quickly became a cough, which became a gag, which became the previous night's dinner in the kitchen sink.

4. My audition time was during morning time, i.e. before noon. That means, my voice was nowhere near 100% performance quality.

5. I sang a mediocre audition. The lyricism was good, but there was nothing really extraordinary about my singing... unless you count the warbling B-flat at the end of the aria.

So on my home, I was thinking about what a crappy day it had been. Little did I know, the events of my crappy audition day would yield a recipe for success.

A week later, I received an e-mail from this company wanting to know if I would still be interested in becoming a resident artist because this company wanted me to be one. I was so excited.

Fast forward three weeks. I get an e-mail saying asking for "us" to be patient as the panel was making its casting decisions. Once this is accomplished, contracts would be completed and mailed out... the next week. The next week came and went. No contract. At the end of the week, I get another e-mail stating that the contracts were written, but just needed the approval of the head man in charge. That was 2 weeks ago.

So my audition was about 7 weeks ago. I am STILL waiting on my friggin contract. And you know what, when performance time comes around, won't they be wondering why it's taking so long for everyone to learn and memorize their music. BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO LEARN AND MEMORIZE!!!!

The slow-motion thing is a vicious cycle. People... please do your part to speed things along to a reasonable pace.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Knowing Someone

So, I haven't updated in a while because I got a job working at Joe's Pub. But not until after I pounded the pavement with my blood, sweat, and tears. After searching for a month, I discovered that all I had to do was one thing. I had to know someone who knows someone who knows someone. By the time I figured that out, I had my job. No resume. No interview. No drug test. I just had to know someone.

For more info on Joe's Pub, go to

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Plagiarism a la Coco

Coco left school, lovingly dubbed “poetry camp” Monday afternoon. "This residency had very curious undertones to it," which she thinks a few of them attributed to the full moon. "Poets are an interesting bunch of people," says Coco. One evening, as they danced in the school pub, she grinned, considering that at any given moment, one of them might break away to go write down a poem that had begun drafting itself internally on the dance floor. This semester looms ahead with some exciting poets in her future to read and with which to acquaint herself.

And now Coco is in New York. Which kind of feels like the time she was in Bangkok for a 20 hour layover between leaving Delhi and heading back to Marin. This isn’t her home and she's out of sorts a bit, but relishing in finding her way around NY. Coco and I ventured out to Yonkers today for a cook-in (weather not permitting outdoors) at her high school friend’s condo. For the next few hours, we drank and ate and laughed and played playstation and searched for more of her high school classmates on myspace. Her friend's window overlooks the Hudson river, colored grey today. Cheryl’s friend John had celebrated his 34th bday Monday, so we sang happy birthday and Coco fumbled pretty much all afternoon trying to get at least one side of a Rubik’s Cube colorfully intact. We ended up running to catch the train with six minutes on the books before it was to arrive: imagine five somewhat sloshed people running to the elevator, running up stairs and then running down them- Coco giggled the entire way. What a great independence day!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

An e-mail to a friend

I got such a kick out of an e-mail that I sent to a friend today, that I thought I would post it here on my blog. What began as cynical turned into something very comical for me as I wrote it. How therapeutic, right? Anyway, enjoy!


So... K.

I have to find a crappy job. One that is meaningless. One that will suck the life out of me and turn me into vapid shell of a person. One that will cause my heart and blood vessels to shrivel and dry out only to be blown away in the wind as dust. One that will cause my eyeballs to roll back into my sockets and up into the cavity of my skull where my evaporated brain used to be. One that will cause blisters, boils and callouses to form on my hands and feet. One that will cause so much pain and Hell that sitting through a 3 hour long concert of Natalie Merchant's singing will seem like peaceful, unadulterated bliss.

BUT! I digress...

In my search for a crappy, meaningless, life sucking, circulatory system drying, brain evaporation, eye-rolling, etc. job, I will need references in order to prove my abilities at such daunting tasks as the following:
1. Asking, "What can I get for you to drink today?"
2. Bringing said beverage to table.
3. Writing down on paper what a person wants to eat.
4. Bring said food to table.
5. Collecting payment.

Now, I KNOW that on several occasions, I must have done several of these arduous tasks for you or near you. I haven't ever written down what you want to eat, but you have seen me read and write haven't you? Anyway, it is my hope that you have witnessed such events because I would like to ask you if it would be okay for me to list you as a reference on my job applications. I would list you as a former classmate/ friend.

Soon to be souless,
The Opera Singer

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So here's what's up...

Why are you sad? [amazing pictures] For darker people

You are sad because of your grief
Take this quiz!

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What is your element? [with pics + detailed answeres]

Your element is Light. Your heart is pure and shining with love. You believe in the goodness of those around you and give almost everyone a smile. You are not the kind to hide your happiness and tend to smile all day long, both in and out. But when sadness hits you, you become very devastated and may be upset for quite some time. What you need in your life is friends, friends who will love you unconditionally, like you love them. But you have a naive nature and don't always notice when someone is trying to hurt you. Some would say you are oblivious to mean people, which makes you an easy target. However, your true friends will probably be there for you and save you. In school you are either the popular one or the little weird one. It all depends if "the higher people" find your caring side irritating or not. Nevertheless, you have a bubbly personality and are social. Big partys may not be your thing since you want bonding time with your friends, so slumber-partys fit you more. You like the happy things in life and like everyone else to be as happy as you are.
Take this quiz!

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mid-May Update

I'm still alive. I just haven't updated in a while. My grandmother from Cailfornia is arriving today and she will be visiting for a week. That should be fun!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Springtime spiritualism

I have to say that springtime in NYC is beautiful. I love seeing all the vegetation blossom and bloom with all the greens, pinks, yellows, and even purples. I walked by Central Park today and it was gorgeous. One thing lacking from San Francisco was an obvious change of seasons, so being in New York and witnessing the change from winter to spring has really awakened an appreciative fascination within me. It's almost as if I'm seeing it for the first time.

And as I walk around Mid-Town, I can sense the collective excitement in all the people that winter is finally over and the season of new life and new birth is upon us.

As part of my exploration of the city this past week, I finally went to the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. My aunt in SF recommended this place to me right after I moved here, and I finally went. You can check out the information at this website:

The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors is an art gallery that presents the work of artist Alex Grey. His work is done in a purely spiritual context. I recommend checking it out as it had a deep effect on me. The Chapel is also a spiritual haven of sorts. The artist and his wife hold events there which one can find on the web site.

If anyone reading this entry would like to recommend a location for me to visit, please do so. I'm eager to learn more about this city and what it has to offer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The dirty laundry is now clean!

So I came to the conclusion today that my blog has become a bit TOO revealing about my struggles with my inner demons. I've decided to keep a private journal to give them a nice place to play.

After making the decision, I coincidentally went to the laundromat and washed my dirty laundry. How's that for ritualistic symbolism?

While happily folding my clean laundry, I listened to my beloved Mozart's music and allowed my heart to dance inside my chest.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


So last night, I had about four or five nightmares that lasted to its bitter and tearful conclusion. Then I would awake with my heart pumping rapidly, I would take a few deep breaths, and drink some water before going back to sleep.

And I've been feeling jittery all day. So in order to help calm myself down, I played one of my computer games that I enjoy. City of Villains. It's quite fun. It's an online game where you create your own supervillain. You can go on solo missions or you can chose to team up with other players to conduct your villainous business. After several hours of that, I quit playing because I realized that I needed to eat. And while I was eating, I ran into the end of another America's Next Top Model Marathon. That was fun.

Now, I'm about to make some pasta, and I will probably watch a movie or some other DVD on my computer before going to bed. I hope I will sleep better tonight.

It's good that we have our dream experiences to process our fears, because it's a LOT safer than experiencing them in the physical world.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Um... Fear?

Wow. Just wow. It's like my life just lead up to this moment. Have you ever been to a wax museum? Imagine it. You are inside looking at all the cool wax figures, and they are all set up in some type of atmosphere reflecting their respective roles in society. Movie Stars are at a party, political figures are standing by their nations flag, singers are on some type of faux stage-like thing. It all looks really cool, and you can't get over how life-like the figures are. Then you come to the Hall Of Horrors, BUT there is a sign directing you down a more pleasant path should you chose to avoid the Hall of Horrors. Well, for me, there was no sign. I didn't realize I was in the Hall of Horrors until I was already inside. But the wax museum Hall of Horrors is still somewhat predictable. You've all seen the Friday the 13th movies, Nightmare on Elm Street, Frankenstein, etc. So, it's not that scary. But when it is YOUR life represented in that Hall of Horrors, and every imaginable fear of yours is in it, then it becomes unpleasant. Even more so because life isn't always predictable. We haven't seen that movie before. And sometimes, we aren't given a detour so we have no choice but to face the demons inside. All we can do is pray that there is an exit.

Allow me to explain. As each passing day has gone by, my life has gotten further and further away from the life that I want for myself. In fact, my life right now is just the opposite of what I want for myself, and in fact, each aspect of my life reflects some huge fear that I have. I will list them:

1. I fear having to live in a city in which I don't have any true desire to live.
2. I fear being in a state of isolation (physical distance) from my friends and family.
3. I fear being constantly ill so that I am prevented from singing my best.
4. I fear not being able (for whatever reasons) to pursue my solo career.
5. I fear having to put most of my efforts and energy into searching for a meaningless, worthless, mundane, boring office (or any other non-singing type) job.
6. I fear my dreams becoming unattainable for me.
7. I fear being broke.
8. I fear that God hates me and is punishing me for being a good person.
9. I fear that my life will remain stuck in this hellhole state for the rest of my days.
10. I fear everything getting worse to the point where I mentally crack and go insane.
11. I fear not being strong enough to overcome my adversities.
12. I fear hating my life forever.
13. I fear sacrificing everything for my dreams to get nothing in return to show for it.

These things are ALL happening RIGHT NOW!!!! Plus a few more, but I only listed the main ones. Number 7 occurred today as a result of my bank putting a 10-day hold on the check which supplies my main and only source of income. They didn't tell me either. I paid bills against that money. I was charged fees on top of fees which I made my bank refund. The stupid thing is that the bank will release my funds on Monday... $800. But you see, I need that money NOW. But as a result, I now get to face what it is like to be flat broke while I have the displeasure of experiencing all of my other fears at the same time. The ONLY bright side to all of this is that I had squirreled away my rent money in my savings account. Otherwise, the evil Bank of America would have taken that too. They took ALL the money in my checking account and FROZE it!!! FOR NO REASON!!!

SOOOOOO, as any sane person would, I quickly became insane and proceeded to have a nervous breakdown in the shower... which quickly turned into a cold shower to make matters worse. The nervous breakdown has lasted all day. I am still shaking. And I randomly begin crying at intermittent points throughout the day. And yes, with each passing day, I can see my dreams of being an opera soloist fading away in the light of my other fears. I had to stop watching an opera performance on PBS because I began to cry. It was too painful to watch something I love so much and I feel I will never get to do... again... in the light of my other fears. My back is tense, and I feel extremely jumpy. It's like I'm being constantly pumped full of adrenaline.

So, I would say I am having a really bad day. I would say that until my life changes dramatically for the better, I will be having a lot of bad days. But I am being FORCED to face my fears. ALL of them. I said to my friend on the phone tonight that all that's left to happen is that my bank decides to take my rent money, and then I get evicted as a result which would force me to move back to TN to live with my parents. I'm sure I'd go straight to the mental institution once I got there though. And not to be morbid, or to sound suicidal (because I am not), but in the light of all this fear, I strangely don't fear death. I think I faced that one when I came down with pneumonia a few weeks ago.

So here I am faced with extremely BAD circumstances for me. Again, I am not suicidal. I don't know if I would be classified as clinically depressed, but it would be hard not to be depressed given the circumstances. So, I have to say one last thing before I end this entry. It will make me feel so much better to say it, especially to such a public audience:

When I moved here, I thought my life would improve. I had hoped to jump into the singing and get the ball rolling. No such luck. Based on the current circumstances of my life, and considering that I am living each one of my fears day-to-day ALL the time... I HATE my life as it stands in this moment. I despise every circumstance surrounding me. I HATE each fear confronting me. My life abhorrently sucks right now. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE everything (but not everyone... just to clarify). My life is AWFUL and the complete opposite of the life that I want and deserve.

I will plan a more positive message for tomorrow. But for now, consider this lesson: What are your fears, and what would you do if your life reflected most all of them?

Monday, April 16, 2007

A sit in the park

So, I decided I needed a bit of nature today so I found a nice spot of dry rock in Central Park to sit on. Every place else was wet, and some parts of the park were even flooded from this weekend's rainstorm. The rock was cold, but feeling the low temperature on my rear kept me connected with the earth. I can't remember at what point in the day the cause of my emotional distress became clear, but I remember sitting in the park contemplating it and feeling my pain. It turns out that moving wasn't the real cause of my sadness and grief. This is an old sadness I've been feeling. I realized today that my life is not the life I want for myself. Not only that, but I can recall few moments from my recent past where my life was exactly what I wanted in those moments, but generally speaking, I spend more time, energy and effort trying to create for myself the life that I want and deserve. I don't really want to be living in New York, but I felt called to move here, so I did. A lot of the major decisions in my life that I make are based on "the call" that most artists have inside them. Like a telephone, it rings from inside, and we answer. The voice on the other end tells us what to do next, and we do it. It's a system of faith. If we follow the instructions, it will lead us to our destinies. But in the meanwhile, we (or I) have to live a life I am not satisfied with. I have to wait for what it is that I want. Continuously. And unfortunately, the world is unsympathetically going about it's business. I realize it would be arrogant to assume I'm the ONLY one in waiting for something better, but I am actively making sacrifices. If the recipe for my ideal life isn't right, I have to empty the pot and start over. Now I have an empty pot which leaves me with the overwhelming reminder that my life is not how I want it. I had to throw out the things I came so close to acheiving. So I am at a point where I feel that I have no control over my own life. Despite my best efforts at creating the life that is right for me, I failed somewhere. Otherwise, I would have my life. Instead, I'm sitting by trying to figure out where I'm going to get the money for my next audition, for new headshots, for voice lessons, while people my age and younger had some benevolent being who took them under their wings and guided them into my dream. The one where they are performing as soloists, receiving audition announcements from their agents, and they don't have to have headshots because everyone in the business knows who they are. Despite my beautiful voice, I'm lucky to have some company invite me to sing even if they can't pay me. I'm worth so much more than that. I am worth living my dream...

so God, Higher Being, Spirit, Universe, how much longer do I have to cry before you hear my sobs, or taste my tears. People tell me my time will come, but even as I sit here and listen to someone performing a Mozart piano concerto, I wonder if you would rather have everyone else share their gifts with the world and share in your glory (as a soloist of course... don't know why you still can't seem to grasp that concept), while I get to have my gift surrounded by sludge, phlegm (pneumonia), tar and feathers, and other blockages and obstacles. F- you! I have to move because your special and retarded children in San Francisco can't seem to open their crossed eyes and unclog their wax filled ears and recognize my potential? You created them so I blame you. You didn't respond to the simplest of prayers: "Please open their minds and hearts to the music that I will bring to them. Please make them receptive so I can heal them through the gift you gave to me." Had you answered my prayer, these people would be BEGGING me for more, and I want to heal the world through my voice. Don't know why you wouldn't want that. I guess you enjoy seeing people shooting each other and inflicting harm, but God forbid I should have the life that I want... the one where I get to heal mass amounts of people through my solo voice... to bring peace in a world of chaos... and yet YOU deny the world and me that sacred privilege. You are a cruel One. Why do you need me here at all if you allow the countless others to do what I was born to do? It is clear you have no purpose or path for me other than to take up space and air. I ask you repeatedly to show me the way, and yet, you do not show me. I guess there is nothing there. I look, I seek, and yet there is nothing. You are the most mute Being ever. You are the most blind and deaf as well. I could probably get more direction from Helen Keller. At least she could give me signs. I guess you are too busy helping the less talented ones with their busy schedules. I think that Andrea Bocelli is double-booked somewhere. But I'm sure you're already on top of that one. You probably feel guilty for making him blind.

Ok, I need to stop writing now. I'm getting too wound up, and it is time for bed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where's the love?

I need a San Francisco friend to visit me soon. Really soon. I could have things ready by this weekend if a San Francisco friend wanted to stay over. I promise not to give you pneumonia. It's not contagious anyway unless we lock lips so I promise not to kiss you, but I will give you LOTS and LOTS of hugs!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Using Sickness as Role Study for Opera

Have you ever coughed so hard that it felt like your brain was going to shoot out of every orifice in your head? I mean, really. If my skullcap were not made of bone, I think my brain would have just shot through the top of my head. It is the most unpleasant feeling. It's like falling down the initial drop of a roller coaster where all your body's organs want to stay a few feet above where your body actually is, except that feeling comes from a cough. Well, several coughs- Okay, okay. Maybe I coughed at least 50 times today. Ask my brain and it'll say it was more. I've given up on avoiding the throat irritation from coughing. I've been trying to protect my vocal cords from slamming together incessently, but I figured I may as well cough with gusto. After all, my lungs are taking a swim in the pool. Really. It feels like I inhaled some water except without the burning sensation of chlorinated water, although chlorine would help kill the germs. I do try to have fun with the coughs. Some bring me to tears, some make me want to scream with pain and discomfort, while others make me whimper like a child. It makes me want to name them after people or maybe even bad movies I've seen. Maybe I cough and say the names simultaneously for emotionally dramatic release. It's a golden opportunity to work on my acting skills. What if I ever get to play Mimi in La Boheme or the whore from La Traviata? Sure, they were coughing up blood, but I could inhale a little bit of ketchup for the sake of my art. And even though I'm a tenor and would never get cast in those roles (unless it was some drag queen production), I could put it on my resume under special skills. I think that would give new meaning to the words "role study". But as a Rodolfo or an Alfredo, I could TRULY understand what Mimi and the whore are going through. Except a soprano would NEVER give a full-on throat slamming, brain splattering, blood (ketchup) producing cough in a production, and she would resent anyone critiquing her little puny "a-hem". So I'll have to "act" and make-believe that the hell-gates of all things respirationally grotesque just swung open during those moments on stage. I mean, come on. It's art. It's supposed to be messy.

I think being prepared for the roles from real life experience is what makes art thrive. So, if any of you sopranos out there get pneumonia or TB, cough it UP! I actually believe my throat muscles are strengthening. I know my rib muscles have. They aren't sore anymore from the extreme contractions which have squeezed my lungs like fists around a sponge. I'll probably be a better singer for it all. I don't need my brain anyway, because I'm a tenor, right? And you don't need yours because you are a soprano.

So, what's the moral of the story, kids? If you want to be a better singer and actor, you should get pneumonia. And apparently, it's not easy to catch, so come on over, and we can make out for 15 minutes. Half an hour if you're a good kisser. In return, when you get cast as a Mimi, the whore, or the countless other opera divas who die from respiratory illnesses, you can recommend ME to sing along side you as your tenor counterpart.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

My weekend with Pneumonia

Well happy Easter to me. I have pneumonia. Today was better than yesterday though, only because I was in the ER all day yesterday with a deliriously high fever. It's amazing how this illness crept up on me and smacked me down. Friday, I didn't notice anything too unusual... scratchy throat, a little extra mucous. I thought it was my typical New York allergies that have been working my last nerve since I moved here. I took some sinus medication, and the scratchy throat went away.

Later that evening, I felt strange. Didn't know why so I called telephone psychic Lorraine (remember she is the one who recommended I contact Rosie and remember she hasn't been charging me for her advice). She asked me if I'd been drinking. I said no, because I hadn't. She firmly asked again. I firmly replied with a no. Then she asked me if I had been doing drugs. I said no. She said, "Well, I'm getting the image of either drugs or alcohol." I explained that I took over-the-counter sinus medication. She said, "THAT'S IT!" She asked what I took and I told her (Mucinex D). She sternly said to me with a drug-intervention tone, "Those medications can have serious side effects. I hope you know what you're doing. What are you doing taking this pills? Have you seen a doctor about it?" I calmly replied that I've been having sinus problems and my doctor back in San Francisco recommended the medication to me, and it worked for me back in the day, so I'm using it again.

So she really didn't answer the question to my satisfaction: "Why do I feel strange?" So I asked again. She said I need to stop asking the question with that word "strange" because I am inviting in the negative. I said, "No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are," she retorted. So I pulled out my diplomacy skills and said, "Ok, I don't see that word as negative-"

"It IS!" she interrupted me.

"Okay, I will pick a different word. Foreign. Why does the energy around me feel-"

"That's just as bad," she interrupted me again.


"You are welcoming negative things to happen by using that type of language."

"But these words are not negative to me. I see them as neutral."

"Well, you need to be more careful."

So again, she managed to not answer my question for a second time.

About an hour later, I felt a bit feverish so I checked my temperature and it was around 99.3. I wasn't worried. I popped two Advil in my mouth and swallowed them down. I figured I could make it until Monday to see a doctor. Boy was I WRONG!!!

Early the next morning, I had to get up and use the restroom. I felt extremely feverish and my body ached. I used the restroom, came back to my room and tested my temp again. The digital thermometer started at the typical 97 degrees and kept going up steadily. When it got to 102, I thought it would stop any moment, but it kept going. When it got to 103.5, I decided the thing must be broken so I took the thing out of my mouth, popped in half a vicodin (couldn't find any more fever meds and vicodin has acetaminophin in it... or however it's spelled), and went back to bed. The next day I went to the ER and got my diagnosis.

Today was better though. After I pumped myself full of meds, I went to the living room with my big down comforter to watch some TV. I started watching a show that I thought looked interesting from the previews. "Little People, Big World." Or something like that. It's a reality show that follows a family of little people. Well, at least the two parents are and so is one of the kids (they have four kids in all). So I started watching it, and I decided it was an awful show. Those people were so boring... seriously. In the guide menu on the TV where it summarizes every show, this show was about "Amy (she's the mom) has a hard time adjusting to being pampered." PUH-LEEZE! She went to the "spa" (as she called it) with her daughter and they got manicures and pedicures. That was it. The dad is a loser. Everytime his family does something fun together, and he can't participate (he is crippled and walks on crutches), he just says, "I'm just going to sit this one out and let them have fun." You could tell he was sad, but he never would acknowledge how his handicap affects his familial relations. That's so much more interesting to me than putting up a front. So that show pissed me off. I quickly changed the channel.

Now, MTV was having back-to-back episodes of America's Next Top Model, and you can never watch just one. Episode after episode went by as I became more and more engrossed. I was so excited by this one girl who had amazing photos and an amazing personality. To me, she was the total package. But to my surprise, they let her go, and decided to keep the mediocre one. Yeah! They even acknowledge she was mediocre. They got rid of the other one because her personality was too firey, too strong, too in-your-face. This just goes to show you that mediocre people always win because those of us who are true to ourselves and shining bright threaten other people's comfort zones. So anyway, despite my disgust, I kept watching. Halfway into the second to last episode, some TIVO recording reminder pops up, and I assumed one of my roomies wanted to record something so I clicked "accept". It quickly changed the channel, and wouldn't let me switch back unless I canceled the recording. Moral dilemma. Cancel the recording and find out who America's Next Top Model is or begrudgingly allow the TIVO to continue recording Masterpiece Theatre's The Wind in the Willows? I chose the latter. That sucked. Now I will never know who won. I just know that it should have been that girl they kicked off a few episodes back.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Update on Rosie: Part Two

Ok, here is the continuation of this afternoon's events for those of you eagerly anticipating what happened during my meeting with Rosie.

What a day! So I get to the theatre in Mid-town, the door is locked, and no one is there. After waiting 15 or so minutes, this guy comes from the inside to open the door. I tell him who I am and he guides me through the lobby and off into a side door that says "crew only". He leads me down a long hallway and at the end is a row of chairs. He tells me to have a seat. Well, I am so anxious and my palms are sweaty. While I'm sitting, I see him walk into an adjacent room... looks like the green room. I hear mumbling through the wall. A minute later he comes back out and directs me inside the room. And there ladies and gentlemen was Rosie O'Donnell (and it was the green room, except the walls were lavender). The guy left and it was just me and her, and some nerdy looking man. We shook hands, and did the formal introductions. We talked and talked about the business and compared notes between the opera world and the musical theatre world. It was such an AMAZING experience. She offered me some water and asked me if I was ready to sing for her. She introduced the nerdy man as the guy who would be playing for me today. I gave him my book, and I started with my favorite, "Un' aura amorosa" from Cosi fan tutte. After I finished she seemed impressed but admitted she had no idea how to constructively offer feedback. She recognized the talent and asked if she could hear something else.

So this was weird for me. I've sung auditions for tons of people in the biz, and now I was singing for Rosie O'Donnell. It made no sense. But anyway, I decided to sing Sam's aria from Street Scene. After all, it's a cross-over piece. She LOVED it. It actually brought tears to her eyes. She said that was one of the most beautiful things she ever heard. She asked me if I would like to sing one more, and asked the nerdy man if there was something specific he would like to hear. (I thought this was a bit odd). He looked through my book and asked if I wouldn't mind singing Belmonte's aria from Abduction. So I said sure, and I sang the heck out of it. I was so pumped and excited.

After singing I chatted more with Rosie and the nerdy man entered the conversation too which had a completely different energy than the one before I sang. Everyone was revved, and the nerdy man revealed himself as one of the artistic administrative something or others with the MET. My jaw dropped as he invited me to audition for the MET during their round of spring auditions. He said that there are some roles he would love to consider me for, but the other higher-ups need to hear me as well before finalizing anything.

So, I gave Rosie a HUGE hug for her help, and I thank the nerdy man who was now my new hero and we were leaving the theatre when Rosie asked me if I'd like a ride home. I said, "Sure!"
We headed to her car, and I was surprised she didn't have a limo... just a regular car. So I made a joke saying with a "dumb blonde" voice, "I didn't know celebrities could drive." She quipped back, "Would ya rather walk?" Ha ha ha... good times. We chatted on the way, and finally we get to my place. As I gather my things and thank her for helping me, she hands me her card and tells me to keep in touch. She said she wants to know how things turn out at the Met. I then informed her of my blog, and she said she'd look into it. I hugged her good-bye, and got out of her car. I watched it pull away out of the corner of my eye, and felt a rush of excitement wash over me.

"FINALLY!" I thought to myself. "It's FINALLY happened!"

And then I remembered it was April Fool's Day! GOTCHA!!!

Update on Rosie: Part One

So I was dreaming about being on a cruise in Montana (???) when I hear Open Arms by Journey playing over the loudspeakers. I suddenly snapped out of my sleep to realize it was actually my cell phone ringing. I look at my clock. 9:13am. Who the heck calls people that early on a Sunday? Well, I soon found out when I answered the phone. I answered in a groggy-but-trying-to-sound-like-I've-been-awake-for-hours voice, "Hello?"

"Hi may I please speak to The Opera Singer?"

"This is he," I said.

"Hi, Opera Singer. This is Rosie O'Donnell calling about the letter you sent. That was very creative of you. Normally I throw these kinds of letters in the trash, but I was entertained so I thought I'd call and see what I could do for you."

Well as you could imagine, I was dumbstruck! I didn't know what to say except for stupid stuff. I stuttered incoherent words, and I'm sure she thought I was insane. Especially during those long pauses. So as best I could I explained my story and why I wrote to her... It was especially awkward for me explaining that a psychic told me to write her. She told me it wasn't the first time, but she could relate to my story and my sense of humor about the whole thing made me less insane sounding.

So she asked me what my plans were for the day, and I told her I didn't have any so she asked me if I wanted to meet up with her at a privately owned theatre in Mid-town where we could chat, and I could sing for her! I, with humor, responded, "I'll have to think about it. YES!"

So, here it is almost 1pm, and I am to meet Rosie at 3pm. I am freaking out, and I'm not sure what to wear or even sing. Do I bring her flowers?

Anyway, wish me luck. I will be updating my blog tonight with what happens next so stay tuned!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

You are cursed and don't know it!!!

You know, the Universe has a wicked sense of humor. Usually events will transpire when you are at your most introspective and serious side, and these events will snap you out of your zone and send you reeling. (I am also currently questioning to myself why I'm thinking with a British accent whilst I write) In any case, I would like to share a personal example.

Whilst walking through the West Village on Sunday evening, I saw one of those street psychic places. Now, I have been bemoaning the fact that I don't have a good psychic here, nor have I had much luck finding one, but the street psychics are in abundance. I walk past them almost everyday. My first street psychic experience was in San Francisco. I had never been to a psychic before so I was definitely curious. When she said my aura was violet and she mentioned be involved with music, I knew I had to have a session. But I'm getting into another story here. My second experience was in Oakland. My third was in downtown San Francisco. I would go back thinking that for some reason the experience would be different, but it is AMAZING how exactly the same each visit would be. A visit goes something like this:

You see a big sign in a window that says "Psychic Readings $10". You go in and request your reading. The psychic will then say, "You've had love, but have never really been satisfied with it. Your job does not inspire you, and money comes and goes but never stays. There is a dark shadow surrounding you. It is evil. You have been cursed. Now I can remove this curse. I will have to go to the church and pray tonight. I will need to light 10 candles and let them burn. When the candles have burned out and when the curse is gone, you will have all the happiness you deserve. You will meet your soulmate, you will find the job you need, and you will have better luck with money. You can't tell anyone you were here. Now, I can do all of this for **insert obscene amount of money here**" At that point, I would say, thanks but no thanks, and then they would tell me that evil will be surrounding me until I have it removed. That I would be... DUH, DUH, DUH... CURSED!!!

Well, I did tell people I was there, and it is amazing how many people have had the exact same experiences... even with different psychics. Is there an underground script circulating? I remember I went to my trusted, non-street psychic Hilda and asked her if I was cursed. She said there is no way anyone could have that kind of power over you unless you let them. Curses always go back to the one who casts them. So, I guess she never really answered my question, but she told me she didn't believe in curses, and so that was good enough for me.

But I do feel down sometimes, and it annoys me that someone would tell me it's because I'm cursed. Everything bad in my life is because of a curse. Well, where does personal responsibility come in? Apparently no where. Bad choices are from a curse. And it makes me mad that these are the only psychics I see around me... the ones that would tell me I'm cursed instead of actually helping me come up with a constructive solution to my negative feelings and situations.

So, these are some of my thoughts on my way home from the West Village. I was so engrossed in my own thoughts about curses that I decided they were really too absurd to believe in. When people give them SO much power that personal responsibility is no longer part of the equation, then THAT in and of itself is the curse. So walking down the street between the subway stop and my apt building, I declared to myself that curses were ridiculous and not real. I was then distracted by a cat sniffing some garbage bags. I apparently had startled it and it ran in front of me to hide under a car. Right as it was going under the car it hit some light, and I thought to myself, "What a beautiful black cat!!!" And then the irony of the situation hit me. I laughed and laughed all the way home.

So it was the Universe that gave me a good laugh that evening. Here I am contemplating curses and declaring they don't exist, when a black cat crosses my path at the exact same moment. Or was it EVIL warning me that I should take my curse seriously!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Now that you've smelled God...

Now that you've smelled God, I would like to recommend NeilMed Sinus Rinse. If you are a singer, or an allergy sufferer, this is a must-have. Sure, it is gross, slimy, and unpleasant to squirt saline water into your nose, but it really works well. You see, despite having a humidifier, it gets REALLY dry in my room. My sinuses get too dried out, and I'll spare you all the details, but irrigating my sinuses keeps my nasal passages moist and clean. What this means is that I will have fewer sinus infections, no more post nasal drip, and my voice will be in better form to sing because I won't be as dried out. Read the reviews here:

You can purchase this product at any drugstore: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, etc.

I also recommend purchasing a humidifier while you're there as well.

So, I figured I would post some helpful information for you singers out there who suffer from nasal drainage problems. If you know of any other remedies, please post them in comments.

On smelling God

"You will smell the fragrance of the Lord's holy presence as you open this (Song of Solomon 2:1)"

So when I collected the mail today, there was a envelope addressed to Neil Totton, and above the address part, this biblical phrase was written in a large purple font. So, first of all, WHO is Neil Totton? Second, I didn't know the Lord was distributing His fragrance through the USPS. The return address is in Tulsa, OK, so is that where Heaven is? I don't mean to be blasphemous or anything, but wouldn't it be really nice if God DID write a personal letter from Him to you. What do you think yours would say? Now for all of you who know me, I'm really not one to talk about some sort of biblical lesson or preach a sermon. That is not my style at ALL! BUT, I have been thinking a lot about my path. Being in a new place and having a fresh start is exciting, but it is also overwhelming. I don't know where or how to begin. I suppose past griefs and fears have some share of the burden. So, it would be nice if God could send me a letter written by His hand. I'm going to write a letter to myself as if it were from God since we are a part of Him (I believe), and I encourage you all to do the same. If you want to post yours in the comment section, I would be interested in reading it.

Dear Opera Singer,

You need to be very patient with yourself. Things don't happen all at once, for if they did, you would be truly overwhelmed. Remember to breathe, for it is in breathing that gives you life. It is what brings fervor and zest to your voice. Best of all, breathing will help you relax.

I can't tell you what your path is. Your path is your choice, and it is up to you to decide where it leads. Know that I will be there to support you with every choice you make, but you MUST make a choice and step forward.

If I could give you a back massage, I would, but you see, my hands are not physical. You must try to feel my hands on your back supporting you like a loving parent. With my support, you don't need to hold onto your stress.

Most importantly, don't forget to keep singing. It is my gift to you. If others can't appreciate that gift, I will send them to Hell.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Dedication to Coco

I have a lot of socks. I really had no idea how many pairs of socks I own, not to mention the underwear. I still haven't had to do laundry since I moved in which is nice, but I'm going to have to do it tomorrow. My underwear and sweatshirt supply is low. But I really want this entry to be about my socks. Now why would an opera singer want to write about socks, you ask? I don't know, but what I do know is that there aren't any auditions happening until April, so until then, I have to find other things to write about. Today, it will be my socks.

Every day before I put on my shoes, I reach into the top drawer of my dresser, and pull out a pair of fresh, clean white socks. I always neatly fold them in a special way... the way Aunt Hilda (name not altered... yeah, you TRY to find her!) in Germany does them. The special way to fold them is that you place the two socks together in a parallel fashion with one lying on top of the other. Then you fold the pair of socks three times so that it forms a square. The next part will be difficult to describe. It's much easier to demonstrate. Take the outer sock and pull open one side from the opening, then wrap it around the pair which will turn it inside out, but the pair of socks will be wrapped up nicely inside.

Well, occasionally I will pull out a pair of incorrectly folded socks, and although mildly annoyed, I think endearingly of my friend Coco (name altered) aka my game Soulmate, and I think back to that day when she spent an afternoon helping me pack back in San Francisco.


I had also been doing laundry that day, and because I was so incredibly busy with my move, any help in any aspect of my life and daily duties was welcome. Coco helped me fold my laundry. I kind of showed her the appropriate way to fold my socks, but I didn't go into much detailed instruction because I thought it was rather obvious. She seemed to have it down. 20 minutes into folding, she asked in her cute way, "Now, is there a particular way you want these folded, cuz I'm not sure if I'm doing it right?" I looked with horror at the pile of "folded" socks before her.

I said, "Well, how are you folding them?"

"I've been putting one sock inside the other. Isn't that what' you're doing?"

"Yes, but HOW are you putting the one sock inside the other?"

"Well, I'm folding the one sock and sticking it in the other."

I was thinking, "No, No, No!" But I remembered how to curb my control-freakish tendencies during my time in San Francisco so I just said, "That's not the right way. You have to do it MY way, like this." I then demonstrated the Aunt Hilda fold in a determined, Germanic manner. Coco gave me a blank look... no judgement, no emotion. After a pause, she said, "Well, I'm not refolding these socks. You will just have to think of me when you unpack them."

Then we joked about how I would curse her name whenever I would pull out a pair of her folded socks, which I do (with humor), but all is EASILY forgiven. I do get annoyed that they aren't folded correctly, BUT the socks bring me back to that day with my friend and the time we spent together laughing at my quirky behavior.

Coco, this entry is for YOU! I miss you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bringing IKEA home

One of my favorite things to do in my new room is to watch dvd's on my computer at night. I know it doesn't sound that special just yet, but wait!

The very same day I moved here, my mother (she helped me drive here from San Francisco) and I unloaded the HUGE SUV I rented, and then immediately went to IKEA in NJ. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IKEA! I bought a full size bed including the mattress, mattress pad, sheets, quilt, quilt cover, and pillows. I also bought a bookcase, some dressers, and shelves for my cd's and dvd's. Because I painted (had help from my San Francisco and New York roommates) 3 of my walls with a lighter spring green and one accent wall with a darker, earthier green, I felt I needed other colors to balance out the attack of grass colors on my walls. So I chose red. My quilt cover has very shades of reds on it: red, magenta, burgundy, and even some various shades of orange. I even bought a red rug for my hardwood floors. But now to the best part. It is the lighting in my room that really makes everything pop. Just by altering the lighting, the room can have multiple atmospheres, and my favorite atmosphere is the one I create when I am watching my dvd's. For that, I have two 12" lamps called MYLONIT that are red. Go to and do a search under that name I can't pronounce. Of course, they come in green, white, and blue as well, but I had no idea that with those two red lights on alone, my room becomes bathed in a rich, red light. Think red light district in Amsterdam, but without the booze, sex, and drugs. I bet the same effect could be achieved with the other colors as well. I should get two of each color just so I can alter the color of my room for various moods and such. Of course, if anyone reading this wants to buy a housewarming gift or two, I wouldn't object to having more of these lamps, but just in other colors. They are only $9.99 a piece and you can order them online and have them shipped anywhere. :-)

So late at night with just me and my dvd's, I lay on my bed, and watch my shows and movies on my computer until the wee hours... all in the comfort of my own personal IKEA showroom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New York Celebrity Moments

Ok, so to make up for lost blog time, I'm going to add an additional post. It was St. Patrick's Day. I was riding the subway, and at one point I transferred to the express train. No, I didn't get lost this time. So, when I get on the train, I sit down, and directly opposite me is a woman who looked a lot like Lucy Liu. Now, I couldn't be sure because she wasn't wearing any make-up, but I did my standard celebrity scan to assess whether or not it was her. It was much like the time back in 1995 when I had a summer job bagging groceries at Lake Tahoe, and Leonard Nimoy was checking out in my line. I knew he looked familiar... a lot like Spock from Star Trek. He was my first celebrity scan. I just stared at his ears. I tried to imagine them pointy to see if it helped. It didn't. What did help is that he payed with a credit card, and the checker was able to correctly identify him. then I said to myself, "I KNEW it!" Then I asked his wife if she needed help out with their bulk sized toilet paper. Think of all the trekees who would kill to touch something that would go where no man (other than Spock himself) has gone before! Anyway, back to Lucy. Yes, I did my celebrity scan. She had the right haircut. Same as the real Lucy Liu. Check. Asian eyes. Check. High cheek bones matched with the unique angular jaw line. Check. But I still couldn't tell with out the make-up. So I started assessing the clothes. What WOULD a celebrity wear on the subway? Why would a celebrity ride the subway? Anyway, the alleged Lucy's pants were like hospital scrubs. Her shoes were cute, but nothing special. After all, there was dirty street snow everywhere. Why would anyone wear nice shoes? The coat look nice. It was white and looked like it was down-filled. But the BAG!!! It looked like a fancy rich girl bag. It was BIG and square. So, my conclusion was that I didn't know. I couldn't ask to see her credit card. She wasn't buying toilet paper or anything. And even if it was her, I really didn't care. I'm not one to get star-struck. She's not my "celebrity type". Although she is hot... and so is the alleged Lucy. Hmmmmm. Check?

Since I am on the topic of New York celebrities, I have to share another celebrity story. I was talking to one of my psychics on the phone last week- yes! I have more than one, but I was not speaking to my primary psychic. I was speaking to Lorraine (name altered). My good friend Karen (name also altered) referred me to her a year ago. I haven't conversed much with her, mainly because her advice is sometimes too simplistic for my needs although she is good at putting complicated situations into perspective. Anyway, we were talking about my move when she has an intuitive flash. She said I needed to contact Rosie O'Donnell. She had a serious urgency in the tone of her voice. I responded, "O.... K....?" She promptly said, "The angels are telling me you need to make contact with her. She is meant to be an angel in your life, and she will help you with your career." At this point, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. But Lorraine was SO SERIOUS. And I mean NO disrespect for her, but the cynic in me laughed so hard inside. She said the message was so strong that she was getting goosebumps. Now you might be thinking, she just wanted my money, but the truth is, she wasn't charging me for this information. Lorraine is a very sweet but straight-forward woman (in her 60's or 70's, I think) who charged me only for our initial automatic writing session. After that, she said if I ever needed to talk, all I had to do was pick up the phone and talk.

So after laughing the rest of the evening and into the next day, I started thinking about it. I mean, it really couldn't hurt me to contact Rosie. The worst that could happen is that she wouldn't respond, or she would take out a restraining order on me. Neither of those situations would really bother me. So the question then became, what would I say, and how would I say it. Well, Lorraine told me what to say: "Tell her that a psychic intuitive told you to contact her and that the psychic intuitive says that she is meant to help you. Tell her your story, that you are an opera singer who just moved to New York, and that you need her help. She will love hearing all of that. She is into the psychic intuitive stuff." So between my own laughing and trying to be open, I finally decided to write to Rosie.

It took lots of mental preparation. I had to be professional, and I had to add humor to soften the strangeness of a "fan" writing her because his psychic told him to. So I will post below my letter to Rosie which I dropped in the mailbox today:

Dear Ms. O'Donnell:

My disclaimer: I think this letter will be very strange, but I’m hoping (and betting on the fact) that you’ve received stranger.

I am a 29 yr. old male opera singer who just moved to NYC from San Francisco. While in SF, I received my master’s in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and I performed as a soloist at small local companies. I also sang full-time with the San Francisco Opera Chorus for two years, but I grew restless and my heart is wanting more, which is why I moved to NYC at the beginning of March. I know that more auditions in the opera business take place here than in SF. The problem I have with my career of choice is that embarking as a soloist is an entirely individualistic experience. No successful soloist will travel the same path. Even the experienced mentors I worked with in SF could not guide me. They all say the same things: “Keep working on your voice.” “Keep auditioning.” “Get more experience.” The problem for me is that I continue doing these things anyway and always will, but it feels like a break will never come and that I spend more time practicing and auditioning than actually doing. I’ve had several higher-ups in the profession tell me I’m very talented and that they were impressed by my talent, but they never do more to help me.

So while in San Francisco (I’m originally from TN), I got in touch with a new spiritual aspect of myself. I needed to because I was coming into my gay sexuality as well as my singing career. I made contact with reputable psychics so that I could have intuitive assistance on my path. The New Age stuff was really helpful for me because I was able to find my repressed angers and frustrations as well as the love and compassion needed to heal them. I became more grounded and found my sense of purpose in this life. Knowing what I needed to do was the easy (using that word loosely) part. But knowing HOW is what causes me to feel frustrated and lost a lot of the time.

Here is where the letter takes a strange turn. I was speaking to one of my psychic intuitives last week on the phone and receiving advice, and she said I should contact you and tell you my story. She said that “it is divine providence for her to be an angel in your life.” She said she felt the message so strongly that she got goosebumps. After I hung up the phone, I laughed non-stop for several hours and on into the next day. I was seriously wondering what was wrong with her. But once I finally stopped laughing, I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt my cause any if I were to write, except that you might never take my mail again. And if nothing else, you should at least get a nice laugh out of it, too.

Now, honestly speaking, I don’t know much about you except that you do/have done musical theatre, are a host on the View, and that you have a family. So, I’m just writing to let you know my story and that a psychic told me you could help me. I don’t know the why, when, how, where, and what (the psychic left out that part), but if this letter pressed your intuitive “OH MY GOD! I must help this one, and I know how! I’ve been waiting for [The Opera Singer] to contact me my whole life!” button, please feel free to contact me. (My contact info is below.) Otherwise, thank you for taking the time to read this very strange letter. I think I will save it on my computer as “Psychic Referral.”

All the best,

[The Opera Singer]

So that's my Rosie O'Donnell experience. If any developments occur, I will add it to this blog... unless she decides she wants to be my best friend and requests discretion. And to my primary psychic, Hilda ( I hope you recognize your altered name if you are reading this... especially since you are psychic), if you wish to provide any of your intuitive input into the situation, it would be welcome. Will she be my best friend? Will we be anti-American Idol, truth-speaking, truth seeking, 5th chakra soulmates? Or should I expect a restraining order in the mail?

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Fungus Jungle: Riding the Subway

So, it's been a while since my first post. Not much has happened, but a lot has happened, too. My body has been reacting to the stress from the move now that I have a had a bit more time to relax. I got a throat infection last week and had to see a doctor (which I can't afford) and now I am having fungal problems with my feet as well as a clogged oil gland in my eye. Why do these things seem to happen when I can't afford to treat them? But at the same time, they provide me with the excuse of not having to look for work. I know, I know... I came to NY to pursue my career, but I am TERRIFIED! My fear must be pretty bad if I'd rather have pus on my tonsils and fungus between my toes while having a warm compress on my eye just so I can postpone auditioning. I'm not afraid of actually doing work. That I love! It's the constant waiting. It's the working to get work that seems so fruitless and unrewarding.

On a separate note, I have to say the first thing that annoys me about New York, and not surprisingly, has to do with public transportation. If it weren't bad enough that the incoherent signs underground lead you through a maze of tunnels and train stops only to lead you back where you started after half an hour, you finally get on the right train to find you are headed downtown instead of uptown. But wait, you were supposed to know that to get on the uptown train, you had to enter the station across the street down three alleys behind a dumpster. One hour later and with most of your hair missing after your ripping it out, you finally get on the train. Now, for me, subway time is ME time. After weaving through thousands of people for an hour to get to my correct train, I need some quiet time. Don't talk to me. Don't look at me. Then IT inevitably happens. Three or four thuggish looking ghetto types who get on at the same stop as I do, turn on their low-quality ghetto boombox at a very high volume and begin to breakdance. One time, this guy smacked his head into a pole. I secretly laughed. It's not real breakdancing unless you break your face which he, unfortunately, did not. Therefore, I didn't feel he earned his donation so I declined to give it to the thug with the hat. Sometimes though it's someone other than 80's wanna-be's. This other time it was a little Mexican or Spanish group like you see in the restaurants. They have two guitarists and even a double-bassist. Oh... and don't forget the man with the hat who collects donations. That music was nice and it sounded really nice, but I'm anti-hat. Five minutes after they left, a group of congo drum players get on the train and start beating the drums. They also had a man with a hat. So, all of these things tie into my annoyance with public trans in New York. I don't mind Subway entertainment if 1) it's good or 2) it happens when I'm in the mood for it, but it kills it for me when it's obvious they are shoving it in my face to earn money. It takes the joy right out of it. They may as well be homeless people asking me for a bite of my food while I'm in a restaurant eating it.

Anyway, those are my updates for now. I tried to keep it short but it didn't work out that way. Let's see if I can tie the two separate paragraphs together in some sort of metaphorical, cohesive fashion... Riding the subway in New York is a fungus jungle. There is always something about it that will crawl under and grow on your skin preventing you from having a stress-free existence which in turn hinders your career development. To make it simple, if you ride the subway, your career will die... just look at all those people performing there! :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


In August of 2001 I moved to my favorite American city, San Francisco. I had visited there frequently while I was growing up, but never thought I would or even COULD actually live there. But fortunately, the opportunity presented itself during my final semester of undergrad at the University of Mississippi. I was getting a Bachelor's of Music with a vocal performance emphasis, and I wanted to continue my studies so that I could get a Master's degree. I didn't have many prospects because I was financially limited when it came to flying around the country and auditioning for graduate programs, but I knew that staying in Mississippi was NOT an option. I hated being there, but I'll save my feelings about Mississippi for another blog. While considering schools, I was looking at the Manhattan School of Music, and had asked my parents to print the application for me because I was having printer problems. When my mother gave me the printed application, she remarked that it was a joint application with other music conservatories in the country. She saw the San Francisco Conservatory of Music listed on the application with several other schools and said, "I'd rather you go there because at least you'd have family near-by." It had never occurred to me to consider SFCM, but I suddenly felt overwhelmed with excitement over the possibility of moving to San Francisco. Anytime someone mentioned that city, chills would rush over my body. It was like an orgasm. I LOVED San Francisco, and now I could live there. Who cared about the Manhattan School of ... whatever it was called. I was going to audition for SFCM and get in. When I expressed my excitement, my mother's eyes seemed to glaze over with regret for opening her mouth. She would have rather seen me go to Indiana University, but that's a story for another blog.

At the point in my life when I called my parents and told them I had been accepted into SFCM, they were glad I was accepted, but they still wanted me to stay close to home (Tennessee). First of all, they didn't understand the opera world so it was hard for them to be supportive. They didn't know how to support me. They only knew how to dictate practicalities such as money, money, and more money. "How will you support yourself?" "How will you get to San Francisco?" How do you expect to pay for school?" "What will you do for work when you graduate?" I didn't find their practicalities very supportive. They were very limiting. I felt like this noose was being tied around my neck, and the messages they were sending me was that if you don't have money, you can't do anything or be anything. I think they were just feeding me fear to keep me from going, but I went anyway. The call of my San Francisco was much louder and stronger than the voice of fear so I followed my heart.

So here is a brief summary of my years in San Francisco. As I said before, I arrived in August of 2001, and for the first time in my life, I felt at home. I made really good friends effortlessly. I did really well at SFCM, and I was well-liked by the student body. I had the freedom at SFCM to grow into myself as a person and as a performer. I got side work at local small opera companies during my first year, and during my second year, I was able to support myself by singing with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. My life felt perfect! Then school ended in May 2003. I thought I'd take my talent and my master's degree and audition in Germany. I was sure that I would get a contract somewhere, but I didn't. When I came back, I felt lost. I had lots of debt, and no job. I had missed the fall auditions in SF so I didn't have anything lined up. I had quit the Symphony Chorus "knowing" that I would get solo work in the Fall. 2004 was an uphill struggle. I had worked 5 to maybe 7 different jobs (2 of which I was fired from for unspecified reasons) ranging from a model scout for a scam company to a collections call agent for a legal software company to a singing waiter position... which I got FIRED from because "it's just not a match." So with more financial debt in tow, and with my morale at an all-time low, I auditioned for the San Francisco Opera Chorus and got in. To say I was elated would be an understatement. I could finally start paying off my debts (which I still have to this day), and I could finally afford voice lessons. Plus, I could get quality professional experience as a performer without all the heavy duty responsibility that comes with being a soloist. BUT being a fast learner comes with a price. During 2006 I started getting restless. My personal work as a performer was improving and I was forming relationships with the "right" people, but by this point, the "right" people saw me as a one of those people who always works to improve, but never actually gets to do. I knew I was ready for the next level. I auditioned for some Young Artist Programs, but I couldn't afford to be everywhere for all the auditions. Plus, I couldn't miss work to fly everywhere too. I didn't get hired for any of the things I auditioned for. I even auditioned for the SF Opera as a soloist. The lack of opportunities began to take it's toll on my well-being. So, I knew I had to go where I could find numerous opportunities.

Leaving San Francisco has been a VERY painful process. But if I had stayed, I would have been miserable. I hadn't had ANY solo work in the past two years, and I had begun to feel my voice being squelched by how others chose to define me as a chorister, or as one who just works really hard, or as one who sings just like everyone else. I wish that the people in San Francisco who had the power to give me solo work could have seen and appreciated the development and progress of my voice, if only so I wouldn't have had to leave to seek out those who would be more than willing to open doors for me. I have pulled the rug out from under myself, and threatened my entire sense of security based on the belief I have in myself.

So, now I am in New York City. I live in Manhattan, and I've been crying or on the verge of crying every day because I miss my friends and family back on the West Coast. I miss walking up and down the hills while the fog rolls in. I miss the Metreon. I miss my game soul-mate. I miss the climate. I miss getting my gourmet burger at Flippers and renting a dvd at the local video store. I miss the energy of SF, the nuts and flakes. I miss my psychic. I miss the New Age bookstore where I'd get my crystals, candles, and books. I miss the wine and liquor aisle at the grocery store. I miss walking two blocks to work at the opera house. I miss the sourdough bread. I miss the view of downtown from driving down Twin Peaks. I miss visiting Comp USA in downtown for the latest computer games. I miss seeing the cable cars. I miss having my voice lessons in a place where there is a view of Alcatraz. I miss going to the beach. I miss the ocean being right next door. I miss the drag queen bar around the corner from where I lived. I miss singing Journey at The Mint (karaoke bar). I miss Gavin Newsom being my mayor. I miss my favorite Japanese, Greek, and German restaurants. I DON'T miss MUNI.

I don't hate it here in New York, and I don't feel lonely or overwhelmed by any of it. I'm a city boy at heart, but my heart is in San Francisco with my people. But my passion is in my career. It is my dream. I HAVE to follow it. This blog is my NY story.

Wherefore art thou...?