Sunday, April 30, 2006
The pissed-off expression on my face is there because Matt and Bill didn't make it to the concert. They arrived just as the concert was beginning, but at Open Stage, the doors are locked during shows to stop vagrants from wandering in. Not realizing there was an intermission in half an hour (we would have seen them and let them in at intermission), they walked around downtown, stopping back every now and then to find the doors still locked.
Thus, I was left scanning the crowd from the stage in vain during the show, wondering if Matt and Bill were somehow hidden in the shadows. Other than that, the concert seemed to go all right. The crowd was certainly appreciative.
- Ahahahahah! Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Not Amused? Watch the video. Seriously the most awesome thing I've seen in a while. If Matt died, there's a good chance I would chase after Stephen Colbert. Also, I want Helen Thomas to be my grandmother.
- Welcome to Marissa's world. God, this makes me ill. Check out her super-awful website too. I can't believe she hired Hilary Duff's photographer, and all of the shots are still terrible.
- King Lear. Oh my lord. Oh my good golly lord. I think I might suddenly develop a pressing reason to be in the UK next March.
With Helen Thomas as my grandmother, my fantasy family now stands at the following:
Alan Rickman as my father
Cate Blanchett as my mother
Ian Holm and Ian McKellen as my grandfathers
Helen Thomas as my grandmother
Edit (see comments): Judi Dench as my other grandmother.
Still open are the positions of
Saturday, April 29, 2006
This is all so nuts. I'm knee-deep in real estate and feel ridiculously grown up.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I still find the immediacy of the internet strange and miraculous at times. I don't remember quite how I lived without it, and I wonder at children currently growing up will I'm sure take it all for granted. "Hrmm," I thought to myself as I heard the Romeo and Juliet music, "I should rather like to play that." And in under 15 seconds, there it is. Remind me to buy that after I get paid this week.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Ross Care is originally from Harrisburg, though he's lived in California for many years. He's coming back, though, for this concert of some of his work. There's incidental music for The Glass Menagerie and A Midsummer Night's Dream, song cycles of James Joyce and William Blake poems, and music from Alice Through the Looking Glass.
And of course, singing a few solos, yours truly.
He sings in the hollow:
Come follow, come follow,
All you that love.
Leave dreams to the dreamers
That will not after,
That song and laughter
Do nothing move.
With ribbons streaming
He sings the bolder;
In troop at his shoulder
The wild bees hum.
And the time of dreaming
Dreams is over--
As lover to lover,
Sweetheart, I come.
You can also purchase tickets by e-mailing Cheryl. It's been a lot of fun working on the concert, even if I have been turning up to rehearsals half dead from everything else that's been going on lately. I really miss working on classical music in ensembles. The thought of joining an orchestra for the first time in eight years this fall at West Chester U makes me giddy.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
There has been a mix of good and bad news. Lucy's boy, Fays, whom I also consider a friend, was stabbed in a mugging in Sydney. He's all right, but it was a close call.
I auditioned for King Lear and was given the very role I wanted: the Fool. I cast the play in my head while watching the callbacks, and was completely correct, which is strangely gratifying.
I feel like there's too much to do. I sent out too many checks this week, and I think something's going to bounce, which is making me stress unnecessarily intensely. I'm very whingy.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
- Via Athenia Animus, Talking Cats. Matt and I are pretty much obsessed with cats. It's kind of tragic. You know the way some people get over babies? That's us with cats. And not at all with babies.
- Last year, I was interviewed on WITF's Artbeat. I made an mp3 of the interview, for anyone who has not yet heard my voice.
- I uploaded some mp3s of the incidental music I wrote for The Glass Menagerie. One day, maybe I'll turn it into a pretty page.
- When asked by the Pope what the Catholic Church could do for music, Igor Stravinsky is reputed to have answered without hesitation: 'Give us back Castrati!'
- How to Create Stereo Photographs
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I really thought I might die yesterday. It was just one of those days. I had to play Juliet twice in an educational theatre program in Reading, PA, a good 100-minute drive away. I overslept by 20 minutes, and on my way out the door, I realized that I had a 600-word Ethics paper due in the evening about a film I hadn't yet watched (Errol Morris' The Fog of War)
On the way to Reading, I ran into traffic and took a wrong turn, so that instead of arriving at the call time, I was parking my car in the high school's lot five minutes before I was due on stage. With no makeup, no warm-up, no caffeine, and a script only vaguely in my head, I stumbled through the performances. The stress and panic made for some very realistic Juliet-in-distress scenes; i.e. I bawled my eyes out onstage in front of hundreds of giggling teenagers. Twice. It was draining, to say the least.
I sped home, watched The Fog of War, and wrote a paper, only to discover when I arrived at class that the deadline had been pushed back two weeks. I also had to give a presentation about Nike's sweatshops in Vietnam, which went as well as can be expected; I sounded somewhat like Bobcat from the Police Academy movies, only frothier and less coherent.
It was only after coming home from class that I realized that I had spent the entire day before my big audition without practicing a note. Not only that, I was exhausted and had a two-hour drive ahead of me. I packed quickly, loaded up the car, whimpered for about ten minutes with dread, and set off.
I spent the night at a Holiday Inn near the University. At 5:15am, my eyes flew open of their own accord. I didn't feel rested, but a combination of nerves and chemicals (prozac, echinacea) had murdered sleep. I showered, dressed, drank some tea, and tried unsuccessfully to meditate a little. I found a space in a corner of the room just big enough to play the cello and attempted a few scales. Nothing seemed to be working, so I took a quick swig of sherry. Yes, I brought along a bottle of sherry, just in case. It was the only thing in the house.
The auditions at West Chester are pretty hardcore for an undergraduate degree at a non-conservatory.
8:00am - check in
8:40am - introductory speech
9:00am - written theory test (extremely easy)
9:15am - sight-singing (piece of cake)
9:30am - vocal audition (The fact I sang a Mozart concert aria went down very well.)
9:50am - composition interview (This was very intimidating. One of the [gruff, but nice enough] comp/theory professors sat me in his office and asked me variously to talk about myself, play the piano ["Play something. Anything ... Now play some Mozart or Bach."], and recognize chords [I totally missed naming the V9, even though I successfully identified all the individual notes in the chord. D'oh. I knew I should have read through my Harmony textbook last week]. He seemed pleased with me, even though I probably sounded like I was on crack and highly stupid.)
10:15 - piano audition (The auditioner was very nice, but I shook so badly I completely fucked up the piece. By this time the nip of sherry had worn off.)
10:40 - cello audition (More like an introductory lesson than an audition. I think I'm going to like my new teacher.)
11:40 - exit interview
After each of the auditions/tests, I was given a sealed envelope, all of which I took along to the exit interview. There, a man who looks something like Max von Sydow opened them and examined my scores. It's not so much a competitive audition process as a "you must be this tall to ride on the rollercoaster" kind of audition. And I'm tall enough.
I'm glad things went as well as they did. Apparently the Theory/Composition stream is pretty tough to get into; there are only eight students in the current freshman year. The guy before me didn't quite score high enough, and was offered a place in Music Education instead.
Anyway, it's done. I'm getting out of the horrific vortex of shit that is Central Pennsylvania.
Monday, April 10, 2006
BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I'm trying to treat the stress with meditation, but it's hard to clear my mind, and even harder to force myself to take two minutes out of every hour when I'm convinced that every second of preparation counts. My temporal paranoia is not helped by the fact I had three Popcorn Hat shows this weekend and a Seventh Sister rehearsal this afternoon, tomorrow is taken up with two school performances of Romeo and Juliet in Reading, and I have a presentation to give to my Ethics class tomorrow evening. I haven't even thought about that presentation yet, let alone prepped. I'm cutting out of class immediately following the presentation to drive to West Chester, where I'm staying overnight at the Holiday Inn. I hope the walls are thick enough for me to practice the cello at 10:00pm when I check in. On Tuesday morning at 8:00am, I have to register at the university for my audition.
Tuesday is my birthday. Haven't really thought about that yet, either, but I'm not particularly looking forward to being 26, which is the beginning of the end of the mid-twenties. Temporal paranoia.
Also in my arsenal of possibly useless coping mechanisms are two low doses of Prozac (placebos, really, but every Dumbo needs a black feather) and a Holosync demo tape. I don't think I would ever pay for Holosync music because it seems like such quackery, but freakily enough, the free demo tape does seem to work for me. It helped immensely when I was working 22-hour days pulling double duty at WHP and the Shakespeare Festival this time last year. If I listen to it more than once in a day, it actually tends to disrupt my sleeping patterns because I feel so awake.
And now, a picture for the upcoming season. I think this is wonderful:
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
- Waiting for NESARA. Angela, knowing my penchant for conspiracy theories, sent me a link to this movie. Anything that mentions the reptilians is A-OK in my book, and this one's got it all. Here's the Wiki link. The first major flaw I see is that Bill Clinton is obviously also a lizard, so I'm not sure why this would be his doing. I adore that the theorists meet once a week in a local Kentucky Fried Chicken.
- Make your own hand-powered iPod Shuffle recharger! An interesting possibility for when I move to a location with public transport and have a genuine need for portable music.
- CD Baby: TEARS FOR AGNES: Shui - the album is finally for sale.
- What the fuck? No, not that Streep gets stage fright - big deal - A Prairie Home Companion has been made into a movie. And look at that goddamn cast!! Goddamn!!!
- 'To Catch a Predator' III - Dateline's fascinating and frightening (and also sensational, but never mind) pedophile sting.
- DHS spokesman arrested in child sex sting. Note well that this is a different DHS employee from the one caught in the above Dateline story.
- Beer scheme rubs out Top End toads. I love a sunburnt country.
- Administration tells Congress (again) - We won't abide by your "laws"
Monday, April 03, 2006
I arrived at the conservatory to discover that my accompanist, organized on the phone the week before, hadn't shown up. Another accompanist agreed to step in and sight-read the pieces I was playing. We didn't get a chance to run through them before the audition.
In the audition room, I realized with shock that the auditioner was none other than the director of the conservatory, Wolfram Christ. Mr. Christ also happens to be the lead violist in the fucking Berlin Philharmonic when he isn't in Sydney. My terror reached new heights. This was compounded when the accompanist took my pieces at approximately double the correct tempo. I think I had an anxiety attack. I vaguely remember one of my pieces falling apart so badly that I was told not to continue.
It was the worst audition of my life, and must rank in the top five worst hours. At the conclusion, Wolfram Christ asked for the name of my teacher, and I'm pretty sure he filed it away with the intention of never accepting any of her students into the conservatory ever. Afterwards, I walked all the way from downtown Sydney to Oxford Street bawling my eyes out. A few months later, I enrolled in med school. A year after that, I dropped out. My viola gathered dust.
It's been nearly ten years, and I'm back where I started, only this time I play the cello, and I'm auditioning for the Bachelor of Music Composition program instead of an intense and competitive practical degree. The audition might end up being a piece of cake, but I'm fairly sure that the memory of my last audition is half the reason I feel like I'm shitting a brick.
Have I ever mentioned that liquid echinacea is the most foul-tasting substance known to man? If I swallow too much and retch a little, the sudden taste of bile is a pleasant relief.
Fuck, my audition is in a week. A fucking week. And it's a busy week too. Fuck. I am filled with mental anguish. Maybe I've worried myself sick.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Yesterday I woke up with a giant headache and a sore throat, which doesn't bode well. I was let out of work early, and slept for a good long time. The symptoms seem to have cleared up this morning, but I'm wary.
I'm also wasting time dreaming of new pieces to play. I want to play the fifth movement from Quatuor pour la fin du Temps, and Piazzolla's Le Grand Tango, and Kol Nidrei. This is ridiculous because I don't have the money to buy the sheet music, I don't have the time to learn them, I'm supposed to be practicing for my West Chester audition, and frankly, I don't think I'm good enough to tackle any of those pieces yet.