Friday, December 07, 2007

They say that I won't last too long on Broadway....

For Elisabeth and Heather

The story of how and why I chose to pursue singing is so incredibly long. I'm not sure if you want the entire back story - if you do, let me know and I'll be happy to write it. It'll just take forever. For now, I'll just give you some cut and dry answers.

My singing ambitions didn't come about until just a few years ago, the result of a medical incident, a book, a Broadway recording, and a Broadway actress. I had always had secret ambitions of acting...or something in the entertainment field. I had a lot of people tell me that I was funny, that I had incredible timing, and that I could be a true comedienne. But singing? Nah. Never really entered my mind.

Once I had ambitions, I immediately decided that I wanted to be the best. I tracked down a well-known voice teacher in NYC and arranged to meet her. I lived in Albany at the time. Fast forward a few weeks - she decided that she wanted to work with me, and we set a day and time that I would go into the city to meet her, show her my raw talent and we'd figure out where to go from there. After meeting for her and singing for her, she told me that she loved my voice and that I had potential to make something big out of it. But what direction did I want to go? In the beginning I decided that I wanted to work to pursue musical theater...or, more specific, I wanted to be on Broadway, damn it. I asked her to be honest - did I have it in me? It would take some work, she said, but I had a unique sound that would be perfect for the stage...but she did encourage me not to close my mind to other genres. It would be later that I learned I had a voice for jazz - a bit raspy, sultry...once I found it I loved it. This woman has worked with countless Broadway actors/actresses, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera...and now me! Wow! Could I really make something of myself? I felt that she believed in me, I knew that Will believed in me, and for a small time, I believed in myself. After a while, though, I began to doubt what I could do. I held back. I talked myself down a lot. And then I got pregnant. I "pursued" this dream - a dream that was once so fierce and seemed so possible - for close to 2 years.

What was I in? Nothing. :) And I don't regret a single thing. I took a chance on something that, at one time, was so big to me, and, in retrospect, was probably near impossible. I wrote a letter to my voice teacher shortly after I had my first baby. I wanted her to see the amazing thing I accomplished. She called me after a few weeks and we chatted. She let me know that, had I stuck with what I was doing, she believed with all her heart that I would've been able to accomplish other amazing things. And she urged me not to give up.

My favorite musical? I have a special place in my heart for Wicked. Wicked when it first opened on Broadway, not the traveling show, not the crazy-fan-girl show that it has become. I read the book long before seeing the musical, and it touched me in a way that a book never has. Sounds crazy, huh? Especially since it's a book about the Wicked Witch of the West. Ha - I can name one person who would surely not be surprised - he/she doesn't know that *I* know he/she reads my blog. Boo! I also love Rent, although I never saw it with the original cast...and I'm pretty sure I would have loved it even more if I had been lucky enough to see it early on. Amazing story, amazing music.

Favorite musical actress? Idina Menzel...kind of goes along with how the whole story started. I find her voice amazing. It was *her* voice teacher I found, her voice teacher who actually felt me worthy enough to work with. I had the wonderful experience of meeting her one night after a show. Not just a quick pass-by on the street. I was able to spend a bit of time with her at the Gershwin, talking like normal people...she's simply amazing to me.

I could honestly go on and on in this post. All of that was another lifetime ago, though. I'm a mom now. Gone is the skinny(ish) girl with sexy hair extensions who walked around the streets of NYC, going to auditions, forever carrying around a bag filled with sheet music and a demo cd, just in case. No regrets. I miss that life sometimes, even though we were flat broke living in NYC...but had I pursued it further, I wouldn't have the amazing little baby toddler asleep in the next room.


Elisabeth said...

Funny how things change, eh? Thanks for posting! I loved reading it. You should post a clip of your demo sometime.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack, Throw This Mom a Bone said...

That was fun to read. You TOTALLY need to share your demo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!