Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 1: The Memorial Day Challenge

No really, I'm actually starting this week, today in fact. I've cooked my meals, I've got my handy-dandy planner, and I've got my new work-out DVD ready to go. I'm also feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the things I need to get done, but I'm not going to allow that to sway me from my goals for this challenge. I will just take one thing at a time as it comes. That's all one can do. Wish me Luck!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Life's what happens when you're making other plans.

I let hormones and life get in the way of me truly meeting the challenge which I set for myself, V and anyone else hankering to try. I am committed however to starting strong this Monday 3/31/08. I've already created the menu for the whole week including snacks. I have my shopping list ready for the grocery store, so that I don't get detoured...and I'm going to purchase a new work-out DVD that I'm really excited about. It's good to be gives you a good start and gets you interested. It's been a while since I've been excited about my work-outs, so I think this will be a nice tool to help me get back in the game.

This weekend is one packed with music...two recitals to go to on Saturday and one recital to sing in on Sunday. Plus I have several new pieces of music to learn and have ready by mid-April in order to enter them into a Competition that coming up in May. I'm ready to really dedicate myself to my music and gaining the edge I need to be competitive in my career. That's going to take scheduling and consistency, but I can do it! Perhaps I should buy a planner as well as that new DVD that I'm picking up today. I currently use a big place mat calendar on my desk, but it would be nice to carry it around with me too. I was also thinking of getting a new fancy phone that's more of a PDA and keep my schedule that way as well. We'll see what I come up with...maybe I'll just create something on the computer to carry around with me and save some dinero. I also need to organize my home life this weekend and do the grocery shopping for the week. I don't have any plans for tonight yet, so I believe I'll get some of my needs out of the way in order to have time for other things later. Time management is the name of the game...right? Well it is currently, in order to survive my upcoming schedule.

Ok, so now I have a plan, a schedule and the inspiration to get things just to execute and persevere. I can so do this!

Have a great day and weekend!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Memorial Day Challenge

Doing well on the restarted program. I got some exercise, 7 hours of sleep, took my supplements and kept my caloric intake under 1500 yesterday. I'm currently having my first meal & grouping of supplements of the day and I am already looking forward to my work-out at the gym later today for lunch. It feels good to be back on track, and with consistency & perseverance, I'll reach my new challenge. In case you don't feel like back blogging, the challenge is to lose 10 lbs. or 1-2 dress sizes by Memorial Day. That's definitely doable, especially when you do the numbers: 8 weeks at 1-2 pounds a week...I believe that's a nice healthy pace. But again I have to remain consistent with my work-outs and my nutrition. One of my main objectives is to keep processed crap out of the diet...I think that in itself is helpful. So what do you think? Do you want to join me and Ms. V of the Dietbook Blog for The Memorial Day Challenge? What do you have to lose except for unwanted pounds and inches. :)

Have a great day,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Das Belly Flab

Have you ever considered the close relation between the words Mental and Menstrual? They look and sound so fact, you could say that I'm Mental when I'm Menstrual. I'm sooo PMS-ing currently and terribly moody, not to mention bloated and crampy. I've found that the healthier I eat, the more active I am at exercising and the more rest I get, the less PMS effects me. Sadly I've been so lackadaisical when it comes to good eats, rest and exercise that I really am feeling the bad side of my menstrual cycle...due to start this week. That said, I'm doing something about it: I'm back on the good eating kick, have plans for some nice exercise, and who knows I may actually get some sleep tonight :) Oh and I'm logging my food, water & supplement intake, so that I stay on the straight and narrow.

Now the goals for the day, week and next few months: Blasting away the Belly Fat. I made a challenge to my friend V from the Dietbook blog to spend the next few months with me losing 10 lbs and/or one to two dress sizes...assuming that works within her current fitness program. I'm serious about setting goals and meeting them. So by Memorial Day I will be svelter and on the healthy side of happily lean. How do I plan to do it? Eat clean (lean protein, veggies, fruit, and whole grains), portion control (5-6 small meals a day), Exercise (6 days with on day rest of cardio and resistance training) and get atleast 7 hours of sleep a night. Sounds like a no brainer huh? But now I've just got to do it. I know what I have to do, it's the sticking with it and the consistency of it that makes it work! So if any of you out there want to join me in this new challenge for Memorial Day, drop me a line and we'll get started. No time like the present.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Continuing towards Svelte-ness

Ok Ok...I've been a complete slacker lately. I've been partying almost every night consuming WAY too much food and alcohol than one should ever ingest in one sitting. I haven't really worked-out much AND I've hardly had anything that you could call rest. Oh and on top of everything else I'm sooo PMS-ing. Lovely huh? This weekend is my last planned event and after that I will be back on the nutrition and fitness wagon. I've just got to decide what I want to do...and shop and plan for the next week in order to be successful in my endeavors. One of my favorite cheesy inspirational sayings is: "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail." It really is true in my case. I'm just a much needed planner and logger...I have to write it down and make it work or I'll just glaze over and ignore what I really need to do. Granted I'm a ridiculously busy person, so I really have to schedule everything, including my eating and exercise. So as of Monday, the blog will be back on the whole being a not fat opera singer, and less about my whining about too many social events...waah! I sooo need to get over myself.

Anywho, tonite I'm going to NYC Opera to see be preceded with time with my best gf Rebecca. I should probably go home and rest before the opera, but I have plenty of time to sleep tomorrow...I'm lucky when she and I can actually get together with our crazy schedules.

I'm attaching a pic of me and the girls finishing up the hair & make-up touches for "All That Jazz"...I think we look fun & saucy...especially the red-head ;) Not too bad considering my horrid consumption habits for the past couple of weeks.

Have a great day, a great weekend and a Happy Easter!
PS. I just wanted to say...I really have come along way when I'm actually willing to wear a fishnet bodystocking with nothing but a bra & panties on stage. Guess I'm getting used to this new bod of mine.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kiss Me I'm Irish

Top o' the mornin' to ya. Tis Saint Patty's day and the Irish are out and fighting...or at least kissin' & pinchin'...and later drinkin' (if they haven't started already or continued on from the weekend's festivities). I'm of course wearing a cute green dress in celebration of my Irish heritage. On my father's mother's side we're Irish, which explains the pigmentally challenged skin I ended up with. No complaints, I'm lucky that I got the porcelain without all the sister however, you could play connect the dots on. Personally I think freckles are way cute, especially on my sis.

So far this morning I've had enough Irish Soda Bread to count as a full meal, and yes with butter on it (mmm...) but now of course this means that I have to watch what I eat for the rest of the day. Lord knows I don't need that much bread at anyone time, but it was sooo good.

The performance went really well this past weekend, and sadly it was our last show all together. Now it's just the boys left doing Fanciulla del West with only 3 other girls, and only one of them being a Resident Artist. I'll be heading up hair & make-up and my friend Kristin will head up the wardrobe department, so that at least adds 2 more RA girls to the mix. We will also be taking this show on tour as The National Lyric that makes the process even longer. This will be the final show of the season followed by a master class for the RA's. The master class will be the final opportunity to see and hear all my lovely friends at Dicapo together. The group changes every year and it always seems a bit sad and bitter-sweet. Those who go on to bigger and better things, will be missed :( As for me, I'm planning on at least one more year in the program if they'll have me and if I get a considerable role for the season...if not my teacher won't allow me to do the program and I must hunt for roles outside of Dicapo. I guess she's right, I do have to get roles under my belt in order to continue to work and grow in the opera business...I just will miss everyone terribly and I truly enjoy working with the folks at Dicapo Opera Theatre...they're very talented and nice people, and they've been good to me. Sure it's a lot of work...but hey, it's work and I'm always doing something, so that to me is a bonus.

Tonight I have two parties to go to and a week full of activities. just doesn't stop does it.

Have a Safe and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Currently I've got the theme song from "Little Shop of Horrors" stuck in my head...I'm singing it this weekend in our cabaret show at Dicapo Opera Theatre. It's a really cute number, pretty fun and I get to pretend that I have soul or knows I sold that years ago. I'm also in "All that Jazz," "One Day More," and "Nine"...that's about it, I think? There are no solos, it's a show full of duets, trios and ensembles. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with everyone for being able to crossover into Musical Theatre so well...I don't think there's one person that doesn't get it. Looks like it'll be a fun and entertaining show, even though we're still learning words and choreography up to the last second. Tonight's the last rehearsal to finish learning all that I just mentioned and tomorrow night is the final dress rehearsal (even though we haven't even had a dress rehearsal at all)...I still have no idea what I'm going to wear, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

As for the sleep deprivation, I'm feeling much better today. Either I'm getting use to running on less sleep or I've got my second wind...HA! And there seems to be no rest until after the show this Saturday. They've got us scheduled until 10pm tonight which means I'll get home close to midnight and get up before 6am...and then do it all over again tomorrow. In between work and rehearsal I have a vocal coaching as well in order to prepare for my recital on the 30th this month...but once this weekend is over, things start to "lighten" I wouldn't trade it in for the world though...I do indeed love my life and could only ask for maybe a bit more money and a few more hours of sleep. But God knows that I would probably end up using the money for lessons or something and the hours in order to take them in...haha, so you see, it's impossible for me to just stop and rest. Oh Well...Carpe Diem.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daylight Saving Time?

Can I have my hour back please! I mean really this waking up early with an hour missing is for the birds...come on...seriously? I'm getting up before 6 am every morning which is really before 5 am if you think about it. My body just isn't adjusting happily :( And boy do I feel it! All I want to do is sleep. In fact I did take a nice 2 hour nap last night when I got home from work and then slept all night on top of if that's not need for sleep, I don't know what is. Currently I'm writing this blog through a sleep deprived fog...and ne'er does the coffee I consumed at 7:30 this morning help.

So the agenda for today: Work of course until 4:30pm, get in a work-out at lunch, teach a friend the choreography for our upcoming performance this weekend, rehearse until 10ish and then back home to sleep...yeah, no rest for the weary. I guess I'll have to invest in coffee this week in order to push through. I've just got to make sure to take my vitamins, get as much rest as possible and not get sick. A tall order, but what can a girl with a busy schedule do? I'm really not complaining though. I'm thrilled to always be performing and spending time with my friends and loved ones...Life truly is good with many options on the horizon. I'm not gonna kick myself too hard for not being ridiculously strict on my diet and exercise program...heck I'm thrilled that I even get a work-out in and that I'm not scarfing down half a gallon of chocolate ice cream. Just gotta keep on keepin' on. Perseverance baby...perseverance.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Life in Flux

Why oh why are women so overwhelmed and swayed by their hormones? I just hate how hormones make me react and feel. For example, it can put me in the mood or not, allow me to make irrational decisions, cry on a dime, eat & drink things that aren't necessarily the best for me, and so on and so on... If you're a woman I think you can understand and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with PMS. It's just the different levels of chemicals floating around in our system that can be triggered and that set us off to make decisions that aren't always the best in life choices. I mean if I didn't have triggers, I would probably go to the gym everyday, eat veggies and lean proteins and be perfectly content with the good aspects of my life. However that's not the case. And so I will try to remember myself and my logic and try NOT to be ruled by hormonal imbalances that may be in flux.

I went with a group of friends this past weekend to Cambridge, MA to see a friend of ours perform the title role in Turandot. It was a long drive in the rain that took 5-6 hours and we were exhausted by the time we had arrived. A quick cup of tea and a few grapes with some bread and butter, then it was off to the theatre, where my friend had me do her make-up for the show. (This is not uncommon seeing as how I do it professionally for my current opera company besides singing there). Then we sat for a 3 hour long opera...I believe each one of us was ready to drop by the time it was over. The pro's of the performance were the orchestra, our friend's singing, and a few shining performers in the lead ensemble. Then we got a grand tour of Harvard and then it was back to our lovely Turandot's apartment. In the morning we traveled back to NYC, this time not taking as much time, including a stop at Denny's on the way. Can I just say how much I miss and love hashbrowns?...It was also the introduction of Denny's and Hashbrowns to our Italian friend Paolo who was on the trip with us...he too now has a love for hashbrowns...ah...welcome to the darkside Paolo...*mwahahaha* Finally back in NYC my friend Lynne and I killed time together until I had to go to rehearsal at Dicapo for the cabaret we'll be doing this coming weekend. Rehearsal lasted much longer than anticipated and the choreography for the opening number is still not finished. This seems to be the way of it every year, it's a bit stressful, but it's the theatre and I can handle it. You'll have to forgive the disconnected ramble of this blog. I seem to be a bit sleep deprived due to the long hours of traveling, rehearsing, and daylight saving time. There will be plenty of time to rest after this weekend...but until then I must continue to rehearse, practice and perfect until time to perform.

My eating has been a half-hearted attempt at healthy, but not overwhelmingly bad...and my work-outs haven't been much better. I plan on going to the gym today and burn the calories I collected on my trip...did I mention hashbrowns?

The good thing out of all of this is that I forged new friendships and strengthened current ones. If you can take a road trip with someone in the pouring rain and come out relatively unscathed then you know you have friends for life...In fact I would say we had a fun and fantastic time! I think my favorite part of the trip is when I got to sit in front and play DJ with the Ipod and how everyone loved my song choices...Lynne had such a great collection to choose from and we jammed like we were teenagers again. Life is good...even when in flux.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Going for Gold

It's been an interesting past couple of days:

Yesterday I ate well (except for a little chocolate at the end) and I took a great fat-burning pilates class as well. I also laid rehearsal tracks for the girl who's lip syncing my voice in the movie. And today is the day we do the professional recording of the arias I'll be singing. It's kind of exciting and I will do my best to sing accurately and beautifully. I may not have the biggest honkin' voice in the world, but I've been told I cut tape well. If only I had gigs like this one all the time, I could actually live off of the income. Well that's the goal I guess. To make a living with my craft. Funny thing is, I have my hand it all the want an want a singer...ok...dancing? need me to do hair, make-up, wardrobe, build a set?...anytime...I'm a jack of all trades...however, I need to become a master of my opera singing. I've been riding on my laurels too long and I have really got to hunker down and train train train and practice practice practice. There's no excuse, except the "not enough hours in the day" one. How do I balance a full-time job, side gigs, and my resident artist work at the opera? I've been doing it, but it hasn't left much time for actual practice on my part. I learn what I have to learn for the next big thing and rarely work on the other things that will give me the competitive edge that will sling-shot me to bigger houses. I guess it all goes back to the Structure blog from the other day. I just have to schedule it in somehow...and be dedicated to the venture. I'm also insecure about my abilities to practice correctly on my own because I don't hear myself. I mean REALLY hear myself. Most opera singers can't you know...hear themselves. The voice seems to materialize 40 feet out and it sounds completely different from what your own ears are hearing, so you must rely on teachers, coaches, peers and recordings until your ear adjusts to the sound you make when correctly singing and you learn the sensation of it. In musical theatre and pop singing you can rely on your ear and inner voice, but that's just not the case with Opera...if you're hearing it in your head, then more than likely it's not projecting past the 1st row of the theatre...and that's the long and short of it. Ok, so enough talking about it and on to the actual doing of it! Why waste my breath on wishing? Only I can make it happen. That's the moral of the story kids, if you want something, then go after it. Only you can make it happen for are in control of your own choices. And I will do it, NO, I am doing it!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Blog with no Name...

It's been a crazy few weeks I can tell you that. Let me see if I can catch you up. As you know, if you 've been reading my previous blogs, we've been doing The Dangerous Liaisons at Dicapo Opera. My job for this particular opera was to sing background chorus, do hair & make-up and assist with wardrobe...whew. So now that that's done, we're in rehearsals for our RA Cabaret coming up in 2 weeks (or actually less than). I've started the healthy eating again and the exercise regime as well. I did pretty good yesterday and kept it to a vegan eating plan and a nice 35 minute jaunt uphill on the treadmill. On top of that, I did a film shoot on Saturday (a bit part with only 6 lines) for an Indie Feature film that is going to Cannes...and then they called me Sunday and asked me to do some singing for the film as well. So tomorrow I have a coaching for the music on the film and then the following day we lay tracks and do the dubbing. I'll be the singing voice of the "opera singer" in the film who is trying to handle her career and personal life, but snaps in the it's not my life's story! I think I'm handling life and career pretty well thank you.

Wow that didn't take very long. So now that you're caught up the only thing left is the present. Thus presently I broke down and decided to have a decaf coffee for a snack after my fruit smoothie for breakfast. I really wanted oatmeal with dried fruit and roasted nuts, but forces being what they are, I settled for the decaf. I is having decaf, breaking down? Well I'm trying not to eat or drink anything processed, and from what I understand, Decaf coffee has to go through a whole slew of transformation to become what it I'm basically having chemicals for a snack. Oh well, it's better for me personally not to be wired from the fully loaded version. I guess I could have just said no, but I really wanted it, so I allowed myself to indulge. HaHa... I love that coffee is now such a big negotiation in my life. Interesting how things change and it's not a cupcake. Isn't life funny! I'll write more later: