You might have noticed that this particular blog was... delayed. In fact, you haven't heard from me since I started my August intensive with NYDV, and now we've rolled over into September! What happened? Well, a couple of things, actually. I was working so hard during the program that I didn't have the energy at the end of the day to write. I was focused on giving my all to the program (which I still believe was the right decision). However, immediately after the intensive ended, just when I was planning to decompress and write about my amazing experience with NYDV, my family and I were given an opportunity to move to a beautiful farm in Virginia. It was a situation which improved my family's living conditions on many levels, and gave us a chance to rebuild after having been severely impacted by the pandemic, both financially and personally (emotionally, spiritually, etc.) It also meant that after the program ended, we had two weeks to pack up our entire lives for an interstate move.
We moved in on Saturday, and although we are not fully unpacked, it is incredible to experience the stillness and serenity of country living after years in the NYC rat race. Also, the produce is incredible. I may never be able to return to supermarket tomatoes. We will still be keeping one foot in New York, and returning regularly for auditions, meetings with the producers of our new musical, Dublin Rising, recording sessions, and other professional opportunities, but our new home base is an outstanding place to do real creative work without the distractions of living in a big city. Plus, we're only an hour from D.C., with all its incredible museums, opera, theatre and culture.
Now that I've filled you in on the massive changes in my life, let me bring you back to one month ago, and the beginning of my role intensive with New York Dramatic Voices. I was nervous, excited, and altogether uncertain of what to expect. I had worked very hard to prepare myself. I knew my music. I had gone in deep to understand my character. I was as ready as I knew how to be. But it was also my very first young artist program, and I really wanted to show everyone involved that I belonged here - that I was worth the coveted spot I was given.
My first coaching session, Monday morning at 10 a.m., was with Anthony Laciura. I guess my nerves were showing, because I really struggled that first hour. I was disconnected from the text, and couldn't find the emotional groove I was looking for. Anthony gave me excellent direction, but I wasn't applying it effectively. I knew it and I was very frustrated. I will always be grateful for Anthony's warm and supportive demeanor. I didn't make the showing I wanted to in that first coaching session, but I found my groove by the second and things got a lot better, very quickly.
Immediately after my session with Anthony, I had my first musical coaching session with Matthew Lobaugh. After my initial hour of dramatic coaching, I was well warmed up and ready to work. We spent the hour working on "Stride la vampa". It's an incredible aria: emotional, dramatic, a little bit spicy and very technical. I came into that session thinking that I had a really good sense of the flow of the aria, but Matthew refined my understanding of the musical accents, phrasing, and the relationship between vocal line and orchestration. Have you ever absentmindedly tried to read in dim light and then someone turned on a bright light and suddenly you realized that you only thought you could see before? It was like that. It was illuminating. It wasn't big things. It wasn't major, dramatic changes. It was subtle things. A breath here, opening up the vowel there, placing the trill just right. It was absolutely transformative. The music came to life in front of my eyes...
More to come next week!