Dear Future Self

Dear Future Self,

I promise you that work will always come. After my concerts with Bristole Riverside Theater I had a whole in my schedule, and no upcoming gigs to speak of. In the bleak winter it’s easy to get fatalistic and think that I’ll never work again. It’s a thought that comes to me more often than I’d like to admit, as I’m sure it does to all freelancers.

So, with no work in sight, I ordered 3 books on Kurt Weil for a cabaret project, and set to thinking what roles are on my Opera and theater bucket list that I could dust off over the summer. Maybe it’s time to learn Nedda and polish Violetta.

Then, things started to come up, just as my wise and lovely colleagues said they would! First was a lunch with an old friend from Ithaca, the incredibly creative and talented Zach James, where we talked about a Don Giovanni and me trying out my first Donna Elvira. At the time, I wasn’t sure I could sing it, but my teacher was on board (thank God) and now that I’m learning the role, it is SUCH good fit that I added her entrance aria to my 5 right away. That’s a big old deal.

I felt so reassured by my 1 upcoming gig, seriously, I cannot tell you how comforting that 1 upcoming gig can be. Just to know that there is something to look forward too, no matter what it is. Something that allows me in my mind to justify being “A professional.” Then out of the blue, I got a call from my old Friend Tony at Seagle Music Colony asking me to come up and do a workshop of a new piece by Richard Wargo & sing Adele for their Alumni concert. YES! Little does Tony know, or maybe he does, that I’ve been DYING to be a part of the Seagle new music workshops for years, YEARS!

Then more things started to pop up. A friend of a friend recommended me to work with the Eastern Wind Symphony for their summer concert. Sure, I’ll learn some new music and sing off stage. Really, if more of my work could be modern, off stage singing, that would be alright with me. Dressing up is exhausting. As I learned in May, when I jumped in for an ailing friend to sing some G&S and Sinatra (Hey, why not!) with the Riverside Opera/Symphony, only to discover that the zipper was broken on my one concert gown. See? Exhausting.

Then I went and booked Big the Musical at Shadow Lawn Stage, a gig, I was 98% sure I wouldn’t book, especially when the callback was me, and 3 skinny bitches. I could never eat a carb again, and I would always be an overflowing hourglass. But as my one friend put it: “See, you booked the gig AND you get to eat cheese.” I call that a win/win.

Before Big even opened, I booked another concert at Salt Marsh Opera through an audition for a totally different gig because the pianist likes me. Be nice to your pianist kids. Especially when they are crazy talented.

This post might be a little bragg-ey, but I’ve read the humble-brag is over, so I’m owning it. I worked my ass off and I deserve every gig that comes my way. I have a product that I’m proud of and is FINALLY consistent. So yeah, Future Self, next time you find yourself crying on the floor of a dark closet, remember you’re a hard worker, and you sing the shit outta some Fiordiligi, own that, and work will come.

It’s like what Joan Rivers said on the Louis CK Show: “Appreciate where you are, I’ve been up, I’ve been down…. Know when you’re lucky. I’m a million years old, I’ve been in this business for a million and 2 years…I have done it all. I have done it all and the only thing I’ve learned s you don’t quit…

I wish I could tell you that it gets better but it doesn’t get better, you get better… I’ve been up and down I’ve been bankrupt, I’ve been broke but you do it you do it because you love it more than anything else. That’s why you’re doing it… what we do is not a job, what we do is a calling.”