257 days and counting
257 days. I counted it out and it’s been 257 days since I went into quarantine, 263 days since I’ve had an in-person voice lesson, and 316 days since I set foot on a stage. While I am very grateful that my loved ones and I have remained safe and healthy throughout the pandemic, I cannot deny that Coronavirus has had a profound impact on me, specifically on my life as an artist.
My last performance pre-COVID where I played Alice in Falstaff
My routine once consisted of shifts at my part-time job interspersed with rehearsals, lessons, coachings, and of course lots of time on the New York subway. With in-person performances off the table for the foreseeable future, I decided to get a full time job, in the hopes of saving money for that magical day when I’ll be able to sing in the same room as other people. Now my life is centered around my wonderful 9-5 job and voice lessons done by video chat. On weekends, I pour my spare time into learning new repertoire or recording audition tapes. You can see my setup below:
Since there is no specific music I need to learn for upcoming shows or concerts, I’ve chosen to devote my time to studying roles that I will (hopefully) be singing for real live audiences in the post-COVID future. In a way, I’m grateful for this break from routine which allows me to focus in on my technique and work at my own pace on music that I’ll be singing for the rest of my career. Through New York Dramatic Voices, I’ve also been able to receive free dramatic coachings on this material.
However, that’s not the only thing that NYDV has provided me with! They also have a membership program where singers can take part in information sessions and Q&As with great artists and industry professionals. In November, I was able to sit in on a conversation with the one and only Denyce Graves as well as a seminar with an expert in mindset work and the business of music, Kristina Driskill.
See here: my journal, primed and ready for valuable notes.
A couple of my favorite quotes I wrote down were: “You don’t have to place yourself on a stepladder of talent” and “If you don’t buy yourself, how can you expect others to”. Her seminar really made me reconsider my mindset and helped me feel much more empowered to accomplish my goals.
As Denyce Graves said in her session, COVID has had the unexpected effect of making these people, who are normally wrapped up in performing engagements or teaching at universities, available to speak with young singers looking for advice and guidance. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that NYDV has provided for us to connect with these professionals. When the pandemic is over, I hope to emerge as a more well-rounded performer with stronger acting and vocal technique.
Join NYDV's Membership here: https://nydvmembership.podia.com/nydv-membership