on the eve of August 1st, bullet points. Pow! POW!

  • Tomorrow would be my parents' 41st wedding anniversary. I would send my mom flowers, but she's moved and I don't have the address... Should I read into that?
  • My last entry was a sinfully hot day backstage at the Filene Center, accompanied by a criminally fantastic performance. This past Friday? Also too warm to be charitable, and yet the headliner was one of the most gracious, elegant men I've ever come across. Remembered my name, and everyone else's to whom he was introduced. A genuine man, a class act, and a demeanor to which I aspire.
  • I really hope that next Thursday and Friday aren't as brutal, weather-wise. REALLY HOPE.
  • The end is in sight! We started opera prep on March 28th, and finish with all things operatic (well, aside from the 8-city audition tour...but I'm blocking that out...) on August 24th. I'm mourning the opportunities lost to the scheduling madness and looking forward to buying a new sweater and taking a cooking or dance class. And a vacation. (I think I need that last thing...)
  • I have tonight off! Hubs is sick, so I made dinner, walked the dog and put them both to bed before 9pm. 
  • I worked an easy 5 hour shift today - felt like playtime! (Well, it actually was playtime...at least partially with the Instant Opera run-through.) My last day off was the 23rd. My next will be the 8th. And in between? Several split days -10am-midnight with a break in the middle. I'm determined to actually take an hour or two off in the middle of those days, if only because leisurely lunches will keep me from becoming a raging beeyatch. (Well, one can hope...)
  • Is it just me, or do the things that should be easiest always tend to take a turn to the left? Every year we get blindsided by something that's traditionally been easy taking a turn to the south... The killer is that it's seldom the same thing 2 years in a row. I need a better crystal ball...and more band-aids.
  • I know...all I usually do is bitch. But I am totally 100% in love with the Studio. I am totally thrilled with the amazing artistry from them and the FYAs. We're totally lousy with pretty notes and dangerous dramatic intention! And our tech folks /costume staff /artistic team/stage management team /interns are nothing short of f*ing spectactular. (And nice, to boot!) I should find a way to lose sight of this less...it's an amazing thing, and something I miss desperately in the off season. 
So, I'm counting my blessings. And sharing some things that caught my eye with you.
  • These. Come to mama.
  • I aspire to option #2.
  • Ew. Time to scale back and embrace the crow's feet.
  • I have to have this, so that I can hold it in my hand and pretend to be a GIANT.
  • Books and art? Two of my favorite things!
  • One of my former students. Who's learning from who now?!? 
  • A frequent daydream, articulated.
  • This picture won't leave my subconscious. And I'm ok with that. 
  • I'd just settle for doing everything. Or, doing everything I'm supposed to do...
And my five:
  1. RC's laugh. Right up there with chocolate and good shoes as far as feel-good powers.
  2. House Hunters International...plotting the next adventure, even if it is virtual.
  3. Open, interesting artists. Today's audition class just reinforced how special these folks are.
  4. Sugar cookies. I should not love them so much...but I doooooooooo...
  5. Class at the gym. My ass has been kicked, and I loved every minute! (Sick. I am a sick puppy...)


Sweaty Todd

Tonight is our one-night-only production of Sweeney Todd with the National Symphony Orchestra.

It is fan-damn-tastic. The singing and playing are out of this WORLD. The projections are glorious. The costumes are adorable and creepy (if those two things ever go together). A compelling evening of theater that looks great and sounds great.

Yesterday started at 10am, and ended - well, for me, because I went home after the rehearsal - at 11:30pm. When I say 'rehearsal', though, I mean 3 rehearsals occurring simultaneously:

  • Spacing rehearsal - it's the first time the singers have been in the space, the first time they get to work with all of the elements put together.
  • Technical rehearsal - it's the first time that the lighting designers and the projections designers get to see the show in rehearsal on stage, and to create/modify their designs to support the action.
  • Dress rehearsal - it's the first time the orchestra and singers have to run the show, top to bottom, together.
After the triple-threat rehearsal, there was an overnight lighting call...because you can't really see what the projections/lights look like unless you see them when it's dark, like the audience will. And since we're an outdoor amphitheater, well, that stuff has to happen when it's dark outside. Ugh.

And tonight? One stab (slice?) at the show. Weeks of rehearsal, months of planning, for one night. 

And that night just happens to be forecast as one of the hottest on record.

So all that work, all this amazing fabulosity, and a whole lotta "it's too hot. I'm not going to be able to make it."
Understandable. Totally understandable...I have used that very same line myself. But it's still totally, amazingly defeating. Because when you have something really special, you want a butt in every seat. 

And this is really special.


Oh, chickadees... July and I are not friends.

Not even frenemies.

Granted, he's trying to win me back with a stretch of the most impossibly gorgeous weather...blue skies, low humidity, gentle breezes...

But he's also Captain Burnout. He makes me work long hours. He asks me to spend more money than I have and then give back money that I need. He makes the same mistakes over and over again, and makes me fix them every time. He shortens my fuse by teasing me with lovely weather on days that I have to work inside, and them cranking up the heat and humidity on those long days when I'm stuck working outside. His rules are impossible, largely because they constantly change. He makes me feel inadequate, stupid, fat, unlovable, incompetent. He positions cacophonous construction crews outside my window at 7am on my days off, and populates my social media with pictures and status updates of friends enjoying summer getaways. He takes me away from connecting with people, and chains me to computers, spreadsheets, grant applications, ad copy. This summer he's given me more to do with even fewer resources (mental/emotional/financial) than usual.

He is a total douchebag...

July, you're only halfway over, but I am TOTALLY over you.



I have a file folder on my desk titled "Problems Time Has Solved", and at this point I'm chucking everything I possibly can into it. It's a risky strategy, as the likelihood of something dragging itself out of the magical folder and biting me in the ass is quite high.

(Some of the things in that folder? Zombie-like...totally unkillable.)

But here's hoping!

However, that's not to say that things are going poorly. Take today, for example. A morning which would've been filled with an orchestra rehearsal magically opened! Errands & gym, then caffeination and mealage were procured before heading to the Filene Center to work the first Symphony show of the season. Sure, it was hotter than the hinges (90+ degrees and humid. And why yes, my hair does look AWESOME.), but an afternoon rehearsal followed by an evening concert made for a lovely, condensed day. The program was Tchaikovsky, featuring a fanTAStic young violinist who did not break a sweat (and how? no idea. maybe because she's 18? was youth really THAT magical?) and selections from the Nutcracker.

Hearing the Nutcracker live in July is the bee's knees. Seriously.

My feet and knees are sore from miles walked on concrete and three very large flights of stairs, but somehow the evening of reunions with stagehands and NSO folks, and fantastic music making, made this evening practically fly by.

Days when time telescopes in on itself, and the relationships take equal footing with the tasks? Those are the best days, my friends.

My five:

  1. Wide-legged linen pants. I have a new favorite pair...they feel like pajamas, even when working in super-hot weather.
  2. Charisma - boy, could Caroline Goulding play! An artist who definitely had something specific and personal to say.
  3. Fans. I may or may not have positioned myself between two high-powered ones for a large chunk of the day. (note to self: pants are a good way to avoid unintentional Monroe-ing...no skirts on symphony days)
  4. Chipotle. GET IN MA BELLY.
  5. Getting home hours early. (before midnight! instead of before 3am! SO AMAZING!!!)