Changing My Voice, Changing My Thoughts, Changing My Life

Sitting on a plane bound for a major audition for the Ryan Opera Center with Chicago Lyric Opera, I can’t help but think back to my previous audition trips… “Adventures” filled with seedy hotel stays, angry cab drivers, terrible plane flights, and, even worse, debilitating fear of the “what ifs”. What if I don’t get into the school? What if I forget my words? What if I fail?!
Throughout this audition trip, I have attempted to change my mental approach to auditioning because if I’m going to survive or even enjoy (hard to believe, isn’t it?) the dozens of auditions this year, Something is going to have to change. In years past, I have always stressed myself out to the point where I could not sing my best. Tension, stomach aches, headaches, sleeping problems–these where regular occurrences for me; so much so that they seemed to be commonplace. I was so used to these ailments that I thought overwhelming stress and tension were just a part of everyday life: something everyone has to deal with. I hid it so well, even from myself, that I was under the illusion that I did’t get stage fright or have any tension issues.
Would you believe it if I told you that you don’t actually have to live like that? These past 5 months, I have become a regular at a yoga studio attending almost daily yoga classes. I was amazed to learn that you don’t have to carry around these stresses and tensions. For the first time in my life, I caught a glimpse of mental and emotional freedom. However, incorporating that freedom into everyday life or even in the practice room is much simpler than achieving that calm at a major audition. But, if there is one thing I’ve learned in all of my years of schooling, it’s that you don’t get anywhere without practicing.
And what better time to start than now? So this Ryan Center Opera audition with the Chicago Lyric Opera was my first attempt at non-attachment to results. Every chance I got, I fought back that nagging feeling that I was wasting my time, money and energy. I fought back the feeling that I could not possibly compete with these other singers and that I was not good enough. You know… those voices in your head which are constantly nagging you and telling you that you aren’t enough and you will never be enough. If you know what I’m talking about, then please know this: you are enough, just as you are. This might not be the right time or place or the right fit for you at the present; but, when you are ready, it will come. There is that old saying (and song) “Che sera- whatever will be, will be.” no matter how hard we fight it, we must just do the work and not be attached to our preconceived notion of what the results should be. This is, of course, easier said than done… Which I found out at this audition. I may not have been as successful as I had initially hoped at conquering those inner-demons; but, I just keep fighting the good fight and maybe one day those pesky voices in my head will just shut up and let me sing! Care to join me?

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2 thoughts on “Changing My Voice, Changing My Thoughts, Changing My Life

  1. So true. It can work for florists too. I don’t feel that you can ever be truly great unless you let go of those voices in your head that hold you back. All we can do is to try our best and be satisfied within that. You are truly on the path to greatness. Namaste

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