I didn't sing much while I was in Florida. However, I didn't stop thinking about singing. I practiced in my head. I practiced holding together all the things I've mentioned before - relax the shoulders, relax and open the throat, open the jaw, caress the notes, deep breaths, maintain the legato, and so on. These are things that, when singing, I still have to work at to get them all to fit together. But I thought about them in my head and practiced them. Sounds strange to say I practiced without actually singing, but I did.
Then today I had my first voice lesson in three weeks. I went in with my "sing like no one is listening" attitude. And guess what? I could hear the difference. And my teacher could too! She pointed out that sometimes taking a break from singing and just thinking it all can really make a difference. It's like I straightened something out. I had a mental breakthrough. The notes were clearer, I was more confident and I was getting some of that sound I've been aiming for. Not all, mind you, but some. I allowed myself to relax and enjoy. Again, sounds strange, or obvious, but there you have it. I was in a Happy Singing Place. Next week we're going to revisit Despina because I want to see how far I can take her. Or me. Or both, I suppose.
Now I'm posting in tiny tiny letters and italics, in a difficult-to-read color, to trick myself. I am NOT posting about That Guy I sometimes (often) post about, but a situation has been brought to my attention... turns out that Juan Diego Florez, Joyce DiDonato and That Guy I'm not allowed to mention are all performing in Barbiere together in Los Angeles in December. But you didn't read it here, ok. Shhh. And no, I don't think finances will allow a Take 2, although I doubt Juan Diego will be going anywhere near bony fish in November.