Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Try to be abnormal"

So said my teacher to me in the hallway after I sang. Apparently my feeling of disappointment in myself, of wanting to rush back in and do it over, of beating myself up over the little mistakes, of just feeling embarrassed about myself, apparently that's all normal. ????

It was so weird. I wasn't nervous until after I had begun singing. I was sort of looking over their heads. Then I glanced down at them and saw that they were furiously scribbling, and any shred of calmness and self-certainty that I had left went out the window. I cracked, I lost my vibrato on some notes and was generally shaky sounding.

I've never sung with an accompanist before. I've never sung in front of people I didn't know, and certainly not people who were judging me. It was so weird - there were little parts here and there where I knew I was off but couldn't control it. I never sang "Goodnight My Someone" with any music other than my voice teacher playing the chords. I didn't realize there were several measures of piano after I was done singing. I was like, isn't it over? Why is she still playing? Did I forget a section? Should I still be singing? I was confused and a bit freaked out that I was doing something wrong. My teacher told me later that I picked up my water bottle while the piano was still going. I don't even remember doing that. She said that was my only real "mistake." She said I incorporated the things we talked about last week about creating vertical space, and she knows that I was off on the ornamentation in Lasciatemi Morire because of nerves. She said that for my first evaluation, and my first time singing with a real live accompanist, that I did very well, that I've worked hard all these months and I should be happy.

So why do I just want to cry? Relief?

Lest I bring the reader of my otherwise lighthearted blog down, take a look at the certificate I got. How silly is this! Yup, it's official. I've been evaluated. It's a little wrinkled because I sort of shoved it in my bag... And what, no frame? Time for a trip to the dollar store!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You want to cry because you want perfection; it's the bane of most good artists. Try and be abnormal :) and focus on what you did right, instead of what you did wrong. And keep working.

Susan said...

Hmm Donna is that you? It sounds just like you...

Anonymous said...

Nope, the new Nathan Gunn fan who asked you to post If Ever. Been keeping an eye on your blog. I work with many people of talent, and the one thing they have in common is that they are rarely satisfied with their work, but they are relentless in perfecting it.

Mandolin Vision said...

Susan:
Congrats on your first eval!
Sometimes great things don't start easy, but they certainly make up for it later.

Susan said...

Thank you both for your kind words and support! Anon, you really sounded just like my teacher! :) I'll certainly post the feedback they all gave me once I get it.

***focusing on the good stuff... focusing on the good stuff...*** Ouch I think I sprained my brain...

dpc said...

This IS your teacher speaking (er, writing)......if you won't listen to me, then listen to "anonymous" (who DOES sound like me!!!): "focus on what you did right instead of what you did wrong"...and "keep working"...And from me: Knock off the perfectionist routine. I now it all tooooooo well!!! "It" will never be perfect...it will rarely be as great as it was at home...you never know what's going to happen once you get "in there" or "up there"...the things you expect to give you trouble will go fine, and the things that always went well will suddenly fly out the window...this evaluation experience is offered as a learning tool and a means to grow...so you should feel like you've learned a lot about a lot...and you're now at least 6 feet tall from the growth experience, aren't you???

By the way, you were not the only one thrown off by having an accompanist yesterday...and it's difficult to perform unrehearsed with an accompanist, even when you have experience!!! (My profound apologies for being inadequate in the accompanist area...)

You are a wonderful student and a gutsy girl...keep on being gutsy, and one day, you'll feel the glory, as long as you "focus on what you did right and keep working"...

My thanks to anonymous...

DPC

poltergeist said...

The thing that really matters is that you have sung for the first time with accompanist, you have sung for the first time in fron of people you didn't knew...you may have done something wrong, and a lot of things right...but you have done it!!!It's another step in your singer career!

Congratulations on your evaluation!

Susan said...

Thanks again everyone for pointing out what should be obvious, and for giving me the advice that I would give to anyone else in the same situation.