I've heard countless responses to this request, from the benign, "I'm not warmed up," to the passive-aggressive, "Will you perform your job for me afterwards, then?" to the downright aggressive, "I'm not a performing monkey," and have admittedly offered a few of my own responses when I haven’t been in the mood to sing.
Go ahead and get rid of all the music on your phone and elsewhere. When you go into stores, no music will be playing, and you won't be hearing any while you work out at the gym. If you've got tickets to a concert of any kind, throw those out. Musicians are artists, and you won't be needing any of that.
So is it enough to simply lay down Bernstein's words every time tragedy strikes? No. And while beauty is important in art, art also must challenge, alert and stimulate its performers and listeners, opening our minds to new, diverse thoughts, connecting us to our common humanity, reflecting the darkness of our times and motivating us into action. Activists have already started their marches worldwide: the Women's Marches, most recently the anti-wall marches in Mexico, and anti-Islamophobia marches in Toronto.
My viola: you were with me for a thousand mornings. How do you greet an empty room? With Bach of course. Or as time went on, with improv, as your magic worked in me and I felt freer and freer to sing anything from the heart, trusting what would come from you.
If you’re anything like me, you're already dreaming about fresh strawberries and Prosecco, long summer evenings, and outdoor opera. While a chilly fog settles over London once again, I'm getting curious about upcoming shows and trends, so here's a breakdown of what we've got to look forward to at 2017's UK summer festivals.
"It reminds them that that part of them is perhaps not lost in a place that is dehumanizing a lot of the time" the two-time Grammy Award-winner said in an interview with The Today Show on NBC. "The first day I was there... my instinct was 'Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact' and forty-five minutes later I was staring into the eyes of these inmates and we were singing to each other."
Is it okay for us to talk about this openly? Can we be honest for a minute about how difficult this is? After a while I started to notice that I wasn’t the only one feeling the strain, and I definitely am not the only one wondering if it's alright to talk about it. So I'm here to talk about it. Openly, honestly, and publicly. And to invite others to be part of the real talk surrounding our endlessly difficult and confusing line of work.
I'm a singer and it's Christmas. It feels like I have a rehearsal or performance every single day. My Facebook feed is full of spam about performances (half of which I'm in) and memories of past statuses congratulating my fellow performers on a job well done. My partner and I are like ships in the night. My Mom guilt is at record levels. So many babysitters, late nights, and not enough sleep for my little guy who still needs Mommy to fall asleep.
The past few weeks every time I log on to my social media feeds, or open my inboxes, I find the same messages. "Sub needed for Dec 23, 24, 25," etc., outlining the money made per call. This doesn't just happen at Christmas either. I see the same barrage of posts happening during Lent/Easter as well.
The voice in my head wants me to be a brilliant actor, an incredible singer, the best blogger, a life changing financial planner, and everyone's favourite friend. I want all the things. You see… I'm not the kind of guy who can do just 'one thing'. I like having multiple focuses… focusi? And so I'm constantly in conflict with my want to do all of things, and my want to be great at all those things. The smaller the focus, the larger the voice.