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!!!

Wherefore art thou...?