Well not quite the usual actually. On Wednesday I sang at The Duplex in the Village. It is a stalwart of the New York piano bar scene and the West Village bar scene. There is live music every night, a dance floor upstairs and a cabaret theatre in the back.
There are many singers' showcases at The Duplex so I got in on one last week. It's a really good thing to do because you have a short time to prepare - well I did anyway - and you really have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
I chose three very different songs as is wise in these situations. The whole point of a singer showcase is to be like 'this is me - this is how I sing, this is who I am' which is great because you're not confined to one genre or voice type. Fab for me as I like to switch it up. You're also expected to talk a little in between songs, the content of what you say is entirely up to you. I did not rehearse this and I'm glad I made that choice - I don't have a problem inventing it as I go along and I'm definitely more me when I'm doing so. I personally prefer people who are more spontaneous than those who are meticulously rehearsed. It's also a tough gig because you could rehearse by yourself all the live long day for weeks but you still don't know until the night how it's going to feel on the stage, with the lights, with a mic you've never used etc.
Plus you are required to sell a certain number of tickets so you round up all your mates and shake them down for $12 each for the pleasure of hearing you sing. I'm lucky in this respect - most of my friends here have for whatever reason actually never heard me sing so there was actually a good reason for them to come (we get asked to go to these things a LOT - its understandable when people are just over it). Also they're just good friends so they came out in force to support. One thing about that: I generally find it much harder to sing in front of people that I know - unless I am backed by a full band. So while the week between my audition and the show was a breeze and I felt sublimely confident, the hour before we started I suddenly thought 'oh blimey, some of my nearest and dearest are out there and I am going to KNOW if they are lying about how good it was afterwards' and also 'where are the 80 guitars I'm used to having around me? argh!'
However it went great, I was the opener which is a wonderful thing because there just isn't time to get all that nervous. I would like to commend myself for pulling off this whole thing with about 4 hours of sleep and a full day of babysitting - at one point I had 6 kids aged between 9 months and 9 years. I RAN from the Even's where I had Itamar, Bella, Ruby, Yahli, Louisa and Ari in different combinations from noon until 7.30 because my call time was 8.30 and I had not had time to figure out what to wear, my face looked exactly how you'd expect it to look after that day, hair dragged through a hedge backwards...the works. So I had to get down there, pull off a magical transformation and sing a couple of bars of each song in hopes of getting the hang of the extremely sensitive mic in 2 minutes...well, I didn't manage that last part. It was unfortunately set too low for me to begin with (for some reason, hmph) and the technician had been so vehement that we not get too close to it that it was hard to know if I should adjust it or if it was actually fine where it was. I adjusted. I also held the mic itself (verboten) moved around a lot (verboten) and generally broke all the rules she'd given us but as I said...two minutes, half an hour before going on. BUT I did pull off the Cinderella of the Century and was little black dressed, curled, coiffed, made up and unrecogniseable from the disaster that initally walked in. And who needs a vocal warm up? Not me. Actually funnily enough I really don't - I have never, never been more successful with a warm up than without. The opposite. Warming up makes me psyche myself out and I often accidentally end up with my voice in a place that I don't trust. If I had to sing a classical piece or very soprano-y yes but in general I've so far found that I'm better straight out of the cannon.
So that's my big news of the week...of course my main preoccupation has been THANKSGIVING
WAAAAAH there's a tiny, teeny chance that I've bitten off more than I can chew by hosting 17 people in our apartment.
I am nonetheless super excited about all my ideas and preparation. I have to make
- A cottage pie
- An apple crumble
- Chocolate pumpkin cookies
- Pumpkin caramel sauce
- Cranberry sauce
- Roasted veggies
I have to clean the apartment, finish cutting out leaves for my leaf garlands, hang decorations, make a trip to the Trader Joes's wine shop on 14th St, obtain a baking sheet and casserole dish, find out some Spanish, Dutch, Argentinian, Luxembourgian (!!!), Chinese and Czech bands and singers to make a playlist, decorate flags and probably a lot more things. Oh yeah well sleep, eat, work, audition, launder, socialise, pay bills and probably go to the moon, why not. But I love it, I'm high on being swamped!