Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've come to a realization about myself, I do very well with structure. In fact I NEED structure basically in every aspect of my life or I just shut down. For example: If I have a "diet" to follow with a starting day and time and a finish, I generally stick to it perfectly and ne'er stay; or if I have a set exercise regime, like classes on certain days to take or a log with exercises to do on the other days and that I can check off, then I'll end up doing it for the sheer satisfaction of accomplishing my healthy goals for the day/week. I seem to be a goal oriented person and accomplishment brings me satisfaction. Same with music, if I have to learn music for an upcoming performance or audition, I generally learn it rather quickly and efficiently and seldom procrastinate.

As of late, I've been pretty off-kilter with the structure thing. I finished the detox diet, so now what? My hours have changed and the classes I liked to take at my old lunch-hour time are now unavailable to me. Being sick and having to be at the theatre so much as of late, has laid an opening for eating crap, drinking, and then being lazy with any empty time that I may have. In fact, if I DO ever have free time, I really don't know what to do with myself. I get all jumbled up in the head and can't decide if I should rest (if I don't, I'll get sick and/or burn-out), if I should clean (Lord knows my apartment is in need of some serious cleaning), go out with friends (which I should see every now and then to truly have a relationship with them), spend time with my boyfriend (he's terribly neglected and our schedules conflict and it's about to get worse when he starts Columbia in the Fall), practice (hello I have an Opera career that I'm pursuing) or a multitude of many other options that involve everyday life. However the option I generally go to is a vegetative state...I tend to find a little bit of free time and completely shut down. Not that that's a bad thing, it affords me to recharge a bit, but there's SO MUCH TO DO! I'm not really going to allow myself to get to stressed over it, because it's not worth getting upset over. I do alot in my everyday life and accomplish much, but now I just need to tweak my schedule a bit to allow for some better time management. And maybe, just maybe if I schedule in some cleaning, time with the bf, grocery shopping, a new work-out schedule, and time to practice, these things will all get done with minor amounts of stress. All this ontop of my day job, my voice lessons, coachings, and productions at the Opera.

Now to just decide what "diet" and exercise regiment I want to adopt and adapt into my current lifestyle. Again, I need structure with small goals to accomplish. One bonus, because I've been eating well and exercising pretty regularly before getting sick and this latest production at the Opera, I've pretty much maintained my loss. I've been naturally making smarter choices about food, and when I don't, I end up eating smaller I truly have learned something from my previous successes. I want to research Jillian Michaels' program and see if I want to try her eating and exercise plan to incorporate into my schedule. Or maybe check out what Oprah's Dr. Oz has to say about things. Any suggestions? My goal is to have a nice balanced plan that is loaded with healthy eating of whole and organic foods. No potions, pills or poisons. And an exercise plan that constantly changes and challenges the bod, because truly that's the only way to get results. I like cardio, light resistance training, and fun activities like boxing, yoga, dancing and even hiking. I know what I like to do, I know how to do it, I just need the (here comes the word of the day) STRUCTURE in order to do it. I need a plan to follow, stick to and check-off. I like the idea of Ms. Dietbook and her gold stars. I believe she also does the Jillian Michaels' plan of some sort, and I will definitely be picking her brain about it. Ms. Dietbook has got perseverance and will continue to have success in her health goals because she doesn't quit. She'll continue to grow and change and she'll wake up one day (if she hasn't already) and be like holy crap I look good, I feel good, and I'm proud of myself.

Tonight we start rehearsal for the RA Cabaret, and no one knows anything about anything regarding the show or what we're expected to sing, but hey we're professionals, and we can handle anything that's thrown at us...right? LOL. That's the business, always learning and changing. Life's about that you know you're living if you're growing and learning, but once you stop, you're as good as dead. What's the point of living if you don't do anything with life? My belief is to go after what you want in life, make decisions and don't regret. You can make mistakes, but get over it and move point in dwelling on the past (hello it's the past already, you can't go back) So go forward and make new educated decisions that you've learned from living. I always say "Live in the now and Plan for the future."

Have a great day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

When it Rains it Pours

Yeah, I've been terrible at this posting thing lately. I was out most of last week with Strep throat and just haven't been up to much of anything. Currently, I'm getting over the strep nicely, however NOW I'm totally PMS-ing...when it rains it pours, eh?

So let's see, time to catch you up on the comings and goings. We're currently in performance at Dicapo Opera doing The Dangerous Liaisons. My involvement includes, hair & make-up, wardrobe assistance, and singing in the off-stage chorus. It's made for an interestingly busy time at the theatre, never boring, and I do adore helping my fellow performers (they're good people). I've also upped my vocal coachings and have been learning a good amount of's nice to be pushed to learn pieces quicker than I normally would on my own, having a coach really does give me that extra push beyond just working on my technique with my teacher (another very important part of singing). Plus, it's beneficial to be taking from a Maestro that's very talented, not too expensive, and will be a nice connection for possible future gigs. Coming up soon we'll be doing the RA Cabaret at Dicapo where we tackle the musical theatre world...that's right up my alley kids. Musical Theatre is a good old friend of mine and we work well together. I just hope I get something good and meaty to sing for the show.

On the exercise and nutrition front, I have to admit I've been pretty terrible. Lots of living on bagels, chicken rolls and Chinese food...very bad. Quick, convenient and cheap...that's what's been called for as of late. And with me being sick, it hasn't afforded me much in the way of planning or making sound decisions, much less work-out. That's right, I haven't worked out in over a week! So now to right the wrongs and start eating and exercising in a good and healthy manor. However I may allow myself some sushi tonight because gosh darnit, I just want it! (and chocolate) you say Hormonal?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Always through the changing...

I had my audition last night for the title role in The Ballad of Baby Doe. I feel that I did pretty darn good and got a good vibe from the producers and directors in the room. I don't know when and if I got the part, but I did my best, and that's all I can do...the rest is in their hands. What really amazes me is how confident I felt walking into the audition room, sure a bit anxious, but overall pretty collected. I was told later by the maestro, that they were impressed by my confidence and how I had all my materials together and ready. He also said they loved my acting and expressiveness in the pieces I sang...OK...but did I get the bloody part? It would be unprofessional for him to tell me and it would be unprofessional for me to ask; besides 30 minutes out of an audition is too soon to have an entire opera I'll have to be patient and wait. Ahhhh...I really suck at waiting...I'm very impatient and will be a complete nut case until I know one way or the other...let's hope I get a call regarding this today so that I won't drive the people around me batty!

As for the eating and exercise side of things: I didn't work out yesterday so that I could have enough energy and endurance to make it to and through my audition at 9:30pm last night, however I did walk 20+ blocks in the snow if you want to count that as exercise. My eating was pretty good up until 7pm when I had dinner with a friend, and ended up splitting pancakes and a croissant with her. Bad Fatty Carbs...oh well, hopefully the snow walking burned some of the damage. Today I'm back on track and have plans to go to my Ballet Bar class at 1:15pm, so I know I'll have fun and get my butt kicked all at the same time :)

Have a great day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What If's?

So I went off my detox diet Friday night and this weekend and decided after much physical agony that meat and dairy are no longer for me. My body suffered greatly due to the changed eating and I wasn't even that' not like I went out for fried chicken and French fries or a great big steak or something of the like. But I did break down and have pad thai with my boyfriend Friday night followed by some frozen yogurt, and boy howdy did my body revolt. On Saturday I decided to have a multi-grain bagel w/low-fat scallion cream cheese and a decaf coffee w/half & half...NOPE, my body couldn't handle that either...I knew in the back of my mind I should have gone for the tofu cream cheese! Finally on Sunday I opted for delicious pumpkin pancakes and an apple cider and my body was much happier...however, I neglected to eat until I got home after my rehearsal and coaching yesterday, which was a good 8 to 9 hours since I ate breakfast...not the smartest thing to do and my body had the worst time resting & falling asleep. There really is no substitute for healthy and clean eating. My body seems to really respond positively to the whole grains, nuts, legumes, organic fruits & veggies (duh). I've also been enjoying the inventive and adventurous's been a really nice experience over all. How nice to have abounding energy from eating well and having the capability to really challenge myself at the gym and in everyday life. So I believe I'm going to stick to this healthy new way of eating and see if I can finally reach my overall goal of a lean & healthy body. Not only have I been getting comments about how good I'm looking, but even I can notice and feel a change happening both inside & out. I will allow myself a multi-grain bagel every now & then, but with the tofu cream cheese option instead (boy did I learn my lesson the hard way). It's so funny...I look back at all my "failed" attempts at dieting and sticking to an exercise regiment and realize, they weren't failures at all, but the baby steps that have gotten me to where I am today...finally accepting of myself physically and pretty darn happy too. Granted, I'd like to look like a bikini model, and who knows with enough perseverance and hard work, I'll get there, but overall, I like me as I am right now and can you really ask for more contentment than that? I think I'm in a pretty healthy place right now in life. So what a great success all the try, try again attitude has given me. Kudos to all of us who never give up and continue to strive for the best WE can be. I have to say, I do have those moments of "what if" I had really hit the gym hard everyday since beginning my journey or what if I had stuck to eating clean without ever slipping up, but I also realize that I'm human and that it takes time to change habits that have been built up over a good chunk of my lifetime. So all I can do is look to the near future, the next moment even and resolve that I will continue to try and succeed at reaching my optimal goal. From this moment on to commit 100% in order to meet my own expectations.

Now onto the opera side of things: I've been coaching and singing like a mad woman for the past couple of weeks. I've memorized two new arias and learned two other pieces of music for my upcoming audition with Chelsea Opera tomorrow night at 9:30pm. I'm actually rather proud of myself with how quickly I've been able to learn this music on top of working a full-time job, rehearsals at Dicapo Opera, and the few odds & ends jobs I do for them as well. Come to think of it, I did all this and stuck with my diet & exercise consistently as well...maybe I've turned a corner and am finally on the other side of healthy living. Good thing I'm pretty flexible, because I'm sooo patting myself on the back right Oh well, if you can't appreciate your own accomplishments, who will? All I can say is that I really want this particular role that I'm auditioning for...It's really perfect for me, vocally, physically, and age wise. So I'll go in prepared and ready to sing my best, for that's all one really can do.

Have a great day :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Sorry I've been MIA for the past few or so days. I was dealing with the lovely feeling of rejection *rolling eyes*. I'm in a business where you get 10 times more no's to the one yes, and you'd think after so many years doing this that you'd get used to it. WRONG. It does get a bit easier, and you start to understand that it's less about you or your talent and more about who you know or what exactly they are looking for. This past experience is a great example of that. As I had written in earlier blogs, that I had a personal invitation to audition for the title role in The Liederkranz's production "The Merry Widow". I was truly honored to be invited and thus gussied myself up, warmed-up and headed up to the audition on Saturday. I felt that I looked good, performed well, and sang fact we were chatting and laughing as soon as I walked into the door of the audition. They seemed to like me not only as a performer but as a person as well. So I did my thing and left feeling confident about the audition...the only question in my mind was, should I have worn more make-up? I know that seems like an odd question, but this role is usually cast older, and the more make-up I wear, the older I look. I was in such a hurry to get to my audition on time on Saturday, that I was just wearing my fresh looking street make-up and hadn't had a chance to put on the dramatic stage look. When I'm not in full make-up it makes probably 5 to 10 years difference in appearance. I'll attach photos for you to compare for yourself. So I waited for the call of whether I got the role, a call back or even a chorus part...around 8ish pm, the lovely Vegan Diva text me and asked if I had heard anything? So I called her up and said, no, no word yet and inquired the same of her. Sure enough she had received a call offering her the role of Olga (one of the lovely wives)...about 2 hours after that, I had received another text asking the same thing, this time from my friend I called her up and said, no, no word yet and again inquired once again the same thing...she too had been called and was offered one of the other wife roles in the show. By then, I was crest fallen...I knew if I hadn't gotten a call, that chances were slim. I really had my hopes up for this show; I sing the heck out of it and really enjoy the role...but two days past and not one single peep regarding it. So I took my friend KV's advice and called up the nice lady who invited me to the audition and let her know that I am a team player and am always willing to play any role in a show. She called me back that evening and thanked me for my kind message and we discussed the audition. Turns out that the panel truly loved me...that they thought I sang beautifully, I looked great and read really well. She said it was a joy to sit back and watch me perform. However, they all felt that I read too young for the part. CRAP...I knew it! I had even said to my friend KV at the audition that I really should put on more make-up, but there wasn't time. I thanked Liz for her honesty and told her I totally understand that when casting a show that all the components have to fit together, and that my casting really depended on how old the male lead was (because the two have to be close in age for the story to work). She let me know that she wished she had known that I would have taken another role earlier, but they had already cast the entire show...she also assured me that I will be receiving future audition invites and future gigs as well. So something good did come out of the whole experience. I honestly don't know how old they're casting the widow, and I don't know if a little more make-up would have made a difference anyway. But I can come out of this whole thing knowing I did my best, that they respected and enjoyed me as an artist, and that I have made a good connection for the future. So you see it's really not rejection at all, but just a difference of circumstance.

Whew, now another thing about the "rejection" part. Remember I was "crest fallen" about the audition and not hearing anything? That really took a toll on me emotionally and for the next 12 hours, I was feeling "poopy" and pathetic. I had no appetite and no gumption to do anything but to lie in bed and feel sorry for myself. This is when emotional eating could have taken over. Jake asked me what would make me feel better, and I said chicken wings and a then I assured him that there was no way I was going to screw up the hard work I've put into cleansing and detoxing my body. So instead, we treated ourselves to hours of video games :) I think that's a better treat than a caloric inducing one, don't you?

The eating this weekend wasn't terrible either. I knew that we had a party to attend for Superbowl Sunday (Go Giants!) I pre-planned, and headed to Whole Foods and picked up gluten-free, baked corn tortilla chips, organic kettle chips lightly salted w/sea salt, some olive oil terra chips, organic salsa, avocados, hummus, artichoke spread, olive spread, limes, and cilantro. I knew I'd need snacks and I picked authorized, gluten-free and vegan choices. My friend Rebecca made so much food too. She mixed up the guacamole making sure to season it with sea salt, and had prepared a veggie tray for me. So I spent the night nibbling on veggies, chips, hummus and guacamole...oh and while everyone was having beer or cocktails, I made myself apple spritzers...1/4 seltzer to 3/4's organic apple juice :) I also made sure before I went to the party that I had eaten well...I made up a nice mushroom, garlic marinara and put it over quinoa pasta with a nice mixed green garden salad on the side with lemon garlic dressing I had made. It was nice and left you feeling fact, Jake commented that this way of eating really made him feel good and healthy with tons of energy, instead of lethargic and uncomfortable like one usually feels after eating a pasta dish. (Yay Quinoa pasta!)

Today's plan is to continue to eat clean and get in my ballet bar class. Have a great week!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Feeling the Love

Ho hum...I can't think of anything pithy to write, so I'll just be boring and straight forward (better than yesterday's sappy blog...cry me a river). Oh, but I can tell you that I'm down 5 lbs. since starting the Vegan/Gluten-free diet on Monday (yay detox diet!), AND I still feel fabulous. I also believe that I'm looking pretty svelte as well. Interesting how a week of clean eating and hardcore working-out really affects you. I've been a saint so far on this diet, and I've had so many lovely people supporting me in this endeavor. There's the Vegan Diva (Goddess is more like it) that's given me such great info and weblinks...she even took me to whole foods and showed me around...thank you for the support Red. There's my awesome personal trainer boyfriend Jake, who also helped me shop the next day and fill our fridge with tons of fruits & veggies. He also generally eats what I prepare (except for the other night with the BBQ Chicken episode, but in his defense he did try to eat it while I wasn't in the room). He has been enjoying the Vegan fair quite thoroughly, and had several glasses of the vanilla rice milk with his berry square last night (he also digs the almond milk). Then there are several of my other friends who have been dears and let me choose the restaurants that we're eating at while eating out, so I can stick to my regiment...they're sooo awesome...I love you guys! Oh and even my voice teacher made Vegetable Soup with fresh ginger, turmeric & cumin for us to have for dinner last night...we generally have dinner after my voice lesson every week and she's so great and supportive in EVERY aspect of my life...I love her dearly.

Today's eating has gone so well thus far, and I plan to go to Fat-Burning Pilates for my lunch hour. It's pouring outside and my coworker's left at odd times today, so we'll see if I make it on time to the class...I hope so, I could definitely use a good Pilates session, not to mention the fat-burning part. If not, I'll either hit the elliptical or maybe treat myself to a lunch out with my friend Nakeeta, who is a vegetarian, but seems fascinated with this diet :)

On another note (I'm so punny); I thought I should talk about the opera side of this blog: I have my audition for The Liederkranz Foundation's production of The Merry Widow tomorrow. I'm really looking forward; I truly love this Operetta, especially the translation they're using. Not to be vain or egotistical, but I sing the HELL out of Villia (and the rest of the role for that matter). Infact, a girlfriend and fellow soprano of mine says that she's never heard it sung better and that it should be on the recordings that I send out to companies to garner auditions. She doesn't hand out compliments readily, so if you get one, you better take it seriously. Everytime I sing this aria lately, I get raised eyebrows of surprise from coaches and the like that comment on how my voice has "grown" since they last heard from me. Let's just face it; sometimes you get lucky with a piece of music that sits so well in the voice that it seems as if it was written for you. This aria really does show off the Lyric side of my Lyric Coloratura voice, and it's nice to be seen as a "real" singer for once instead of just a singing actress or crossover wannabe.

I think I may have found another role that sits just as well in the voice...The Ballad of Baby Doe. I've sung through it with a coach and my teacher in the past couple of days (sight reading mind you), and there haven't been much if any corrections, except for maybe some rhythmic or vowel adjustments. I believe this will be another role well suited for me and my voice. It's very rare for me to get through a piece of music with my teacher with out her stopping me every bar or so to make a technical adjustment (it's been a challenge changing over from Musical Theatre technique and maintaining proper Opera), but we got through all 3 main aria's for Baby Doe in less than 30 minutes...that's never happened before. The music not only sits well, but the character descriptions match me almost perfectly. I'm very excited about learning this role and can't wait to present it, whether in masterclass, concert, or opera performance. Hopefully I'll be able to realize it in all three forums, for I feel I have something to prove to myself and too the Opera world.

Ok, so here's today's food log thus far:

7:00 AM - 1/2 lemon in warm water & glass of water w/flaxseed (grnd)
8:30 AM - Starwberry/Blueberry, ricemilk, protein shake sweetened w/apple juice

11:30 AM - 15 raw almonds & bosc pair
12:30 PM - Green Tea

2:30 PM - Curried Lentils over quinoa
3:00 PM - Organic Apple Sauce w/cinnamon

1tbl sp grnd Flaxseed X
250 mg Milk Thistle
500 mg Vitamin C X
200 mg CoQ10 X
Multi-Vitamin for Her X
1200 mg Calcium w/D

X indicates Taken

Exercise: I made it to my Fat Burning Pilates, because I jogged to the gym in the rain in order to make it. Thus I completed 45 minutes of Fat-Burning Pilates :) Oh and it kicked my butt...ha!