My trip to NYC was wonderful, although I didn’t win or make the finals for Liederkranz. I feel good about my singing, but I think they took fewer people to the finals this year. I was a little disappointed, but I know how it goes! I’ll try again next year.
Now, to explain that photo. I thought it might be an interesting insight into the life of an oft-auditioning singer to see the warm-up space I rent when I’m in NYC. (Is it annoying that I always call it that? Should I actually write out New York from time to time?) Before this year and the once-dreaded move into Coloratura Land, I was fine with a simple warm-up: humming in the shower, singing a few mid-range scales while I got dressed. Nothing too excessive, and I didn’t feel bad making these sounds in Mark & Elizabeth’s small apartment. The most important thing at that time was getting the breath moving. Well, now it’s a different story! Now that I’m spending much more time in my high range, I find that I get tired too quickly if I don’t have a good warm-up. So rather than annoy my hosts with half an hour of scales that go ALL THE WAY up (my favorite: two octave scales and arpeggios; great for keeping the breaks smooth), I take advantage of a uniquely New York business: music studio rentals.
I get a small room with an electric keyboard (or upright piano if I can get upgraded to a bigger studio), some chairs, and a mirror for $14/hour. The larger studios have a full wall of mirrors and are often used for dance classes, theatre or dance auditions, or musical coachings. In my hour, in addition to vocally warming up, I’ll take care of all the other presentational details for my audition: applying make-up, curling my hair, changing out of my comfortable walking shoes (see embarrassing photo) into the heels that perfect the outfit. The audition location is usually near the studio, so I can handle walking six blocks in heels. Also notice the wool sweater over the dress; my “winter in Seattle” coat doesn’t quite cut it in NYC. My pre-audition outfit is pretty dorky! But in that little studio on 72nd, I transform into an opera swan. Hopefully, a better-singing swan. And one that doesn’t die afterwards.