I sit in a Sunset Park (Brooklyn) apartment above a mortuary, listening to the wind howl. A blizzard (yes, a blizzard aka snow-hurricane aka snowicane?) is making its way through the city, and I sit in a house full of creatives singing nonsense into a microphone. #NEWYORKMOMENT Every moment has a beginning, so when did this moment begin? About five months ago, I turned 28: the maximum age for such reality-television extravaganzas as American Idol. So, I decided I’d go ahead and send in an audition video to both American Idol and The Voice – the latter of which I discovered actually sounded kinda fun (coaching sessions with Pharrell Williams? Sign me up!).
A week or two later, I was delighted to be invited to an executive audition for ‘The Voice’ (never did hear from Idol folks). The audition dates were in sharp conflict with my and Daniel’s (already planned) Africa-Europe trip, but we made it work; cutting short a global trip seemed balanced by the opportunity for some hefty exposure (which could do wonders for my musical career). We scheduled an east coast family-visiting trip, topped with a jaunt to New York for my audition… just in time to experience #WINTERSTORMJUNO
Winter storm Juno “could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the city’s history” says New York Mayor Bill De Blasio… So here I sit “keeping myself safe” with a six pack of Guinness Extra Stout. #NEWYORKMOMENT
I had damaged my voice about a week prior to the audition and had been on vocal rest, which became house arrest as the weather in New York got colder and windier (which worked wonders – thank you Daniel!).
As I sat at the coffee shop across the street sipping lukewarm lavender water before said audition, I set an intention that this audition was about ease and abundance, and that something much bigger than me was at work, and at work in all of our favor. Texts and messages flowed in from my loved ones wishing me great success, and I felt ready to win it! Though I felt ready to win, I was not ready for waiting in a line for 2 hours after a 1:20 appointment had come and gone (I guess when you’re big time, it’s hard to be on time).
After a long stretch in the cold hallways of a New York recording studio, I started my audition with the most difficult song in my repertoire (whoops!), and chose the most out-of-the-box interpretation of the song as well. This was my first live vocal audition (yes, I’ve performed as a vocalist… but never auditioned as one), and I grossly underestimated the effect of nerves on my voice. Whoops again! The judge was Michelle McNulty of McNulty casting (it was an honor to get to sing for this actress/businesswoman-extraordinaire) who said that I sounded “pitchy or maybe nervous, but had some delightfully quirky moments.”
Pitchy – lacking sense of pitch and intonation, out of tune, not able to stay in key
Nervous – what was actually happening
Delightfully Quirky Moments – my life
As a seasoned classical musician, and someone who gets consistent feedback regarding my amazing sense of pitch… I attribute this not to actually being off pitch, but to choosing too many jazzy, colorful notes for a non-musician critic who expected something more standard.
Anyways, her exact ‘rejection words’ were “not this season”… so will I audition for another season? Who could say – though at this point, I don’t want to. Part of my mistakes in this process was diving too far out of my comfort zone, and pushing too far out of the box…. BUT I don’t want to sing into the box! I want to rub my vocal rump tenderly on the outside of the box, while cosmic wonders burst into the glittering void. Maybe one day I’ll find my place.. likely that place is not on reality television. #NEWYORKATTITUDE
So ,what was our final New York moment? Escaping to Florida for some family time vacation.
Here’s some photos of Florida, New York and such from our travels…
So then, what ever will you do!? Well, I’m working on two new albums and a bunch of studio releases for upcoming licensing opportunities. Hopefully you’ll be hearing me on some random commercial very soon.
I’ll also be releasing my “How to Actually Enjoy Classical Music” free e-course, as well as “Music Practice for Self Realization” sometime this year.
Also, now that I know I won’t be flying back to the states for season 9 of ‘The Voice,’ I’ll have as much time as I want in Europe visiting family, meeting new people, working on music, being my sister’s maid of honor, and writing my adventures onto this blog for you: my loved ones.
Most importantly, I really have new ground on my fear of rejection. I just put my almost-best-foot forward and it wasn’t quite a fit (insert some clever Cinderella reference), so what has that taught me? GO FOR IT ANYWAY! I’m still alive and I’m still breathing and singing. I’m gonna make some badass music and get it rejected and accepted all over town, so that my loved ones can hear that call in the night, the lighthouse in the storm leading them to the shores I like to call ‘creative paradise’.
My intention was ease and abundance, that something much bigger than myself is at work in my favor – and not just my favor, but all of our collective benefit. So, I know that this seeming-rejection is a blessing. As I see it, I have two choices when facing rejection… get stronger, or get weaker. I’m proud of me and my nervous, damaged vocal chords and so grateful to be back to rest and developing my production and business skills.
NEXT STOP: THE GARDEN
This is the song I should have started with, Amy Winehouse’s Rehab. This is a recording of me in the Brooklyn apartment above the mortuary after a couple of long-awaited beers and having released my disappointment in my performance:
Here’s a roadtrip REmix of Alan Watts on Thoughts: (mixing on long open highways is the best!)
Last project from the east coast, Sunshine and Waxing Moon(namesake of my next album):
Stay tuned, and deeply resonant.