I am also very thankful for the tasty fried chicken joint next to the subway stop near his apartment/studio, though my stomach is questioning my choice to get this savory snackbox. It definitely beats the Central Park hotdog, but seems to result in the same need for Tums come sundown. The spicy chicken and greasy (but delicious) fries remind me of going to Captain D's on Sundays after church or bringing a bucket of chicken over to Granny's for an afternoon of Uno and stories. Though I have found excellent Latin, Asian, deli, and European offerings, I am still in search of good homestyle/soul food offerings. In apartment news, we are all doing alright, working a bit here and there, trying to save our money, and feeling more at home in a little piece of the peninsula (Is Queens on an island or peninsula?). We even have an official lease (still in need of signatures) and should soon see some needed repairs to the apartment. Per last week's cold weather, the girls set about removing the A/C units from the windows. One survived, one did not. It currently lies at the bottom of the walled-in area in between buildings that we have not access to. Woops! Let's hope our move-out inspection is as lax as the previous tenants . . . for now, we will enjoy our semi-warm apartment. Looks like Erin will make a great Ginger for this year's Halloween. Tomorrow, looks like another day off (can it be?) that will hopefully find me again soaking up the sun, exploring the city, and growing more and more into this New York life.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Finding My Voice
It is sunny again (or at least it was)! After a lot of cold, rainy days, the sun and its warmth have returned to New York for a few special days. I was glad to get out of the house for a bit today to soak up the sun. Off from work following another Locale weekend, I was glad to sleep in today, free from any work or audition obligations, not getting out of bed until the sun hit my eyes and forced me from my slumber. I spent most of the morning cleaning my room, which has a particular way of getting dirty very frequently and washing dirty dishes, which never go away. Alas, for the days of a dishwasher (or my master bedroom in Bloomington!). This afternoon, I met with a vocal coach for the first time since arriving in New York. Having met at a bar a couple weeks ago (he was playing piano there), I got his business card and finally set up a meeting for today. After my trek from Queens (fairly daunting considering he lives on the way Upper West Side/Harlem), we talked about my voice, my acting, my career, and sang through my book of repertoire, then talked about what I have and what I don't. It was so good to sing, to hear my voice loud and clear, sans pressure from the audition room, and not limited to 16 bar cuts. So many of the songs in my book are selections I have sang for many years and bring back memories of Bloomington and my vocal journey up until now. Our meeting went very well, and I am looking forward to continue working with him and hope it can help to bring me big returns in the audition room. There is something very special about singing with a piano and the interplay between voice and accompaniment, the subtleties, the call and response, the ornamentation and subtext. How nice it would indeed be to perform the songs I love, instead of waiting tables for a living! One thing I find so fascinating, but also daunting about this business is the need to really, truly know yourself: the weaknesses, the strengths, who you are and how you are perceived. As actors, the bulk of our work is in one minute or less to convince a group of people that we can not only sing, but be believable and entertaining onstage, as well as coming off professional, polite, and competent (in other words, letting them know you are not a bitch to work with). While here in the East, I have not only been working on my musical voice, but also writing a good bit (almost 30 total blog entries) through this blog and private poems and journal entries. Who knows, maybe one of those will see the light of blogdom one day . . . I have been working to sharpen my writing skills and allowing myself to let what is inside me flow out onto pen and paper or word documents. Not only is this beneficial for my mental health, but presents a possible other avenue for me some day. Maybe even a future play or one-man show. . . Regardless, this writing helps get me through the (Locale) day and keeps me honest, daring to tap into the deep, honest parts of myself that contain the most potent thoughts and passions, those things truly worth seeing onstage or putting into print. As I learn to trust this voice, I find myself bathed in confidence and self-assurance during the day, not walled off from outside forces, but rather fueled from within. For this I am very thankful.