The comments about the "Which Should I Sing" video both here and on facebook made me realize that one of the reasons I was so slow to incorporate proper breathing was the whole poofed-out stomach issue. On facebook someone said that she avoids any activity that requires her to poof out her stomach any more than it already is. I can relate to that. We (women) spend so much time sucking our abs in to look thin (at least, I do) that it was against my instincts at first to unsuck, or I guess I should say, to poof out, my stomach to get the breathing thing going in order to sing correctly.
Then, of course, there is my personal issue with my weight. Before I had Alex I was down to about 120 pounds. My weight varied between 117 and 122 at that time. I was 122 when I got pregnant, 155 I think at 38 weeks, 137 or so right after I gave birth and down to 125 again at some point in the past couple of years. So how did I gain almost 20 pounds back? Stress, finishing Alex's food off his plate, not finding the time to exercise… yes, yes and yes. So who am I? Am I the Tiny Person from my life Before Child? Or am I the Chunky Middle-Aged Mom? I cringe just writing that. We are bombarded with weight-loss ads everywhere we turn. Gym memberships, magic pills, trademarked diets and miraculous fitness equipment. The message is to lose, lose, lose. I just have to figure out if I'm a Tiny Person stuck in this bigger body, or if I'm a chunky person who used to be thin. Or maybe I just have to forget about those labels and just be happy wherever I am. Yeah, good luck with that…
The next who am I question: Mezzo or Soprano? I know, I know - don't categorize yourself into a voice type. Many people are considered one voice type but sound great singing songs that are categorized in the other. Diana Damrau sings Rosina. Cecilia Bartoli sings Despina. Of course they are the best of the best and can probably sing everything backwards while standing on their heads and it'll still sound beautiful. But this post isn't about them and their wonderfulness. It's about me. It's about how sometimes the soprano stuff is too high and the mezzo stuff is too low. But sometimes I can totally rock the soprano stuff. Sometimes the mezzo stuff sounds pretty good too. But other times I crack all over it because it's in That Range. What is going on? Why can't I be consistent? I know there are, as Alex would say, a hundred-infinity-nine reasons why. But obviously it's possible to overcome a few of those reasons and produce a passable sound, a consistent sound. It's frustrating that I can do it, sometimes, but just not all the time. Professionals do it all the time. Or if not, they're good at faking it.
Am I not practicing enough? I don't want to practice too much. I need to figure out what the right amount of practice time is to help coordinate the layers I've learned so far so they become habit. I need to build my core so that I don't end up with sore abs after singing one aria.
I already use the blog as a tool to help with my vocal identity issues. I'm thinking of using it to report my body issues as well. Not in a way that takes over the spirit of the blog, but as a way of having someone out there to report to each week. I used to do cat-pic Friday. Perhaps now I'll do weigh-in (or measure-in) Friday. There's a thought.