Beauty found in San Francisco
I am currently flying out of Denver, over the clouds, and on my way home to Ohio. Isn't technology cool? This weekend was really crazy fun.
I flew to San Francisco not really knowing what to expect. I had seen this opera workshop (www.theoperaworkshop.org) advertised on Yap Tracker and decided to step out of my comfort zone and look into it. It's funny how God works because I usually delete my Yap Tracker e-mails. I haven't felt ready to audition or perform yet, and so I don't usually look through them too hard, but for some reason (and I can't even remember what prompted it) I either looked at that e-mail or got onto Yap Tracker and saw this workshop advertised. What intrigued me about it was no audition required. This could either be a really good or really bad sign! But I figured... it's in CA right? So I mean... if it sucks, at least I'm in a really cool location!
Well, I couldn't be more surprised and pleased with how this weekend turned out. I not only worked on an aria, but I found a confidence in myself that I wasn't sure was there. One of the biggest realizations this weekend was that if I really connect with my piece and the character I create, I stop worrying about the audience. My piece was stripped bare - literally - I usually use a lot of props and jewelry and ham it up. Instead, we focused on real emotion, real life thoughts and feelings, and in turn, how I would react to those things. I tend to be worried about how I look or sound instead of focusing on telling the story of the character truthfully. So we worked on that, and it brought me to a place in my singing that felt so good - and the technique followed. This is very very exciting for me, because I am constantly feeling like my technique fails. But now I feel like I am finally reaching a happy place, and I am so excited to pursue it more and more. One of my favorite things the director said was that we have to make the audience cry our tears. In other words, we feel and sing with an emotion so complete, and so realistic, that the audience cannot help but feel the full weight of it for us.
I have to mention the two guys who organized and ran the whole workshop by name. Daniel Witzke and Bruce Olstad. Both are kind, and extremely knowledgeable in their field. What really stood out to me though, is their sincere desire to help you succeed., and to encourage you and guide you on your first baby steps to become a legitimate acting singer who is able to move the audience (whether it be 3 judges in an audition setting or 2000 people on a mainstage). The warmth and clarity with which they present instruction created an environment where people thrived. Everyone started and ended on different levels, but each individual made great progress.
I'm so thankful for the opportunity this provided, and in the process I met some really wonderful friends on the West Coast. I am heading home very excited and ready to work on some new musical goals. I am convinced God has a plan, and there is a reason I went to this. It's my job now to follow through and keep the momentum going :)