Angel of Music?

November 11, 2006:  La Mancha Rehearsals

“When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have.” ~ Edgar Watson Howe.

I think that in a previously life, I may have been a French opera singer who got laryngitis on the opening night of La Vestale and then the career went spinning out of control into oblivion.  I like to think this explains my inability to sing well by myself, as well as my inability to sight-read vocal music.  There is a deep, dark black part of my soul that is hiding away all there terrible, imprinted memories of lives past, and therefore my future life is affected.

Yesterday I was handed a ten-page piece of sheet music to learn to sing.  Some of it is solo, and the rest is duet.  The last time I had a solo, I was in fifth grade (I think) and I had to sing “Shenandoah” to a group of elderly people on Memorial Day.  That was about eleven years ago.  Since then, I have been in two musicals (“Groovy,” wherein as long as you hit your cues, the director was happy; and “Kiss Me Kate,” for which I was in the chorus and could match my voice with others).  But for “A Christmas Carol”?  Oh no.  I’m flying solo.

It’s exciting, because it’s a new musical written by a talented local composer for me.  Because he works with Small Pond Productions, and he loved the show and was absolutely inspired by it.  I’m touched that he loved it so much.  I was one of the first to know that it was becoming a musical, and it’s been a blast hearing about new developments, but I always assumed I wouldn’t have to sing a solo.  Okay, no.  That’s a lie.  I assumed I’d have a duet, but I hoped I wouldn’t have anything where I’d have to pave my own way in the music world.  But I do.

I’m melodramatic.  The show is in December, and Tracy (the director) says we can cut the song if I can’t do it.  But that’s just it.  I want to be able to do it.  I want to learn how to sing well so that I can do musicals.  So that I don’t feel like I have to play Rock Band in a quiet, secluded corner.  I will have JoJo, who is one of the jolliest, most amazing and talented and patient people I have met, to help me when I need it.  She taught Isaac for “Dracula” so I can only hope that I’m not a tougher case.

Right.

Breathe in, breathe out.

In my avoidance of pulling out the keyboard and practicing this morning, I have managed to write a ficlet for the first time in… a significant period of time.  It’s Reaper’s Rock, and I’m actually incredibly pleased with it.  Sean is a character I’ve always had a little bit of trouble with, but he’s clouded in intrigue, and so I’ve never dropped him.  I feel like the piece is insightful for me as a writer.  I keep telling myself that I’m going to get back into the ficlets, but then I don’t.  I think that my favorite excuse is that the Word of the Day from the Oxford English Dictionary has been horrible.  I mean, honestly, “detent”?  Makes my writing options pretty narrow, especially because I only have one character who may (and probably doesn’t) know what a detent is.

This has been my day so far.  Picking up sheet music, striking terror into my own heart, and picking up a pen instead.  May the rest of the day be just as eventful.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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