Look over your shoulder

The only way to know how far you’ve come is to look back at where you’ve been.

As I embark on another 2 week vocal intensive with my teachers Juliana Gondek and Rakefet Hak in Los Angeles, I find myself daunted by the monumental task at hand: to make this small town, country yogi into an opera singer. Oftentimes I become overwhelmed by all the details that need to be perfected, all of the vowels to adjust, all of the pitches to solidify, all of the technical challenges that must be overcome… turning me into a tangled web of tension and heartbreak.

At those times, I turn on my computer and watch hours of video footage and listen to cd after cd of recordings from my past. As I sift through solo recordings from high school choir, videos from my time at USC, recordings from West Virginia University, and post-college productions, I see how the subtle details and adjustments add up over the years drawing me closer to vocal freedom: shaking jaw tension slowly making its way out, odd vowel formations gradually becoming normalized, awkward resonance placement finally finding its true path. Yes, there is more to be learned, further to progress, and continued challenges to overcome; but, I’m making my way. One note at a time.



Minolta DSC

High School Choir


Amahl and the Night Visitors at USC

Marissa Jr recital-0207

Jr. Recital at USC


Senior Recital at USC


Messiah Performance at WVU


Summer and Smoke at WVU


Julia Child in Bon Appetit

Thanks for the memories.


2 thoughts on “Look over your shoulder

    • Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I am proud and privileged to be a part of your journey. You have had plenty of hard work but you are polishing your diamond of a voice. Now is your time to shine!

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