Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Audition for "Bye Bye, Birdie"

I have not done much with performing or healthy living in a while, so I haven't posted. I did have the pleasure of watching my daughter perform in "The Sound of Music" last weekend though; she's got the theatre bug now, so I will likely post more here about her sometimes.

I was physically reminded on Monday night of one of the reasons I want to lose weight and get healthy. I auditioned at a local theater for a part in "Bye Bye, Birdie". While the audition call mentioned a dance component, I was thinking they would just want to see if we moved comfortably on stage. Turned out, this was a really fast-paced, full choreography dance audition too! I think I nearly had a coronary! LOL (But I kept smiling the whole time, so that has to count for something, right?) I did put my all into it, but I couldn't help thinking (as I was dancing next to some 100-pound 13- and 14-year-olds) how much EASIER this would be and how much BETTER I'd look (in those stinking full-length mirrors, no less) if I weighed less and was in better shape. So, if I just do a big dance audition every week or so, it should keep my motivation up JUST FINE! (Incidentally, I should know by Friday afternoon if I've been cast. Not many parts for my age group, but I'm hopeful. Keep your fingers crossed for me!)

[UPDATE 6/24/10--I got a call from the director last night and was cast playing Mrs. Merkle (Ursula's mother). First rehearsal is Monday evening!! Thanks for all your good thoughts!]

The a cappella group I sing with has a name now--Vocal Brew--and we are performing July 24 at Ethos Vegan Kitchen, Orlando's premier vegan restaurant. More about that as the date approaches.

Have you ever auditioned for anything? Despite all the singing I've done over the years, I get shaky at auditions. Any tips on how to fight that and sound more natural? Share your story in the comments if you like!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Disney Party in a Box

Slightly off topic, but still Disney-related . . .

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Mickey Moms Club when it formed back in 2007/2008. The club provides some fun content through e-mail newsletters and a web page, and every once in a while is kind enough to send a little gift in the mail.

Recently, they accepted applications to host a "Walt Disney World® "What Will You Celebrate?" In-Home Celebration". If you are familiar with the House Party concept, you'll find a lot of similarities. After filling out the online application, a pre-determined number of applicants are chosen to host. The sponsor (Walt Disney World, via the Mickey Moms Club for this party) then sends the selected hosts items to help him or her plan a party. The goal is to share information about the sponsor or its products with the people invited to the party. Call it an in-person infomercial maybe, but it's a fun marketing tool.

I'm thrilled to say I was selected and received my Big Red Box last week. My birthday is coming up this week and my sister, daughter and I were already planning a celebration this weekend at WDW, so it seemed like a great time to host the party!

There will be games (instructions and supplies were included for bingo and Disney trivia), crafts (a Disney character-themed "cootie catcher"), balloons (Mickey Mouse-shaped, of course) and goody bags (pictured above). There might even be another surprise or two.

So if you'll be anywhere near Disney World on Saturday, April 17, come join us at the Caribbean Beach Club around 7:30pm. More details are on Facebook (click to go to the Event listing).

DISCLAIMER: Mickey Moms Club provided me with the contents of the box; all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New (Non-Musical) Job = No Posts

Funny the way it is . . . just as I begin a new project (this blog) I also start a new job. While I'm working only a few more hours per day than I was, my commute is longer--especially since my most recent commute involved padding my way in my fuzzy slippers from my bedroom to my office. Because family is important to me, I've spent some extra time with them these past few days to make up for the time I'm no longer at home.

Sadly the job is not musically-related, but it helps support the hobby that might one day be a full-time position. In the meantime, I am helping out as a backup pianist for the production of "The Sound of Music" my daughter was cast in. My first rehearsal is tomorrow and my piano skills are rusty--wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fitness Matters

One of the items I mentioned in my first post was fitness. Possibly you were wondering how fitness ties in with singing and performing. Beyond looking better and having more energy to perform (both important), I was physically reminded of another benefit at rehearsal on Sunday.

I have been singing with an a capella group for almost a year. When I first joined the group, to call my singing skills rusty would have been an understatement. Although I performed for a while in church post-college, several years went by while my vocal cords forgot how to make a polished sound. This is fine for when The Fray comes on the radio. When I joined these singers, all who have performed professionally (one who--wonder of all wonders--SANG WITH VOICES OF LIBERTY!) I felt like a frog croaking. I've been improving over this past year, working at home on vocal exercises and trying to match the beautiful bright tone I hear of these awesome men and women with whom who I sing.

Fast forward to last Thursday through Sunday. On this healthy living quest, I've been trying to get more active, doing cardio and strength training, and focused quite a bit on ab work those days. During Sunday's rehearsal, for perhaps the first time ever, breath control felt relatively effortless as those newly strengthened ab muscles contracted and did that thing they're supposed to do while you sing! I think my tone was better, I know my phrasing was improved and I believe a lot of it had to do with the physical activity I've been doing.

I recall in high school, periodically our choir director would go on a kick where we'd have to add crunches or leg lifts to our warmups, all in the name of strengthening those same muscles. Mrs. Nilsen, I'm sorry I doubted the effectiveness back then!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome and A Little About Me

Welcome to "Singing My Way To Disney"! This is my first try at blogging (I guess we'll see how I do . . . ). I've enjoyed the idea of having a blog for a long time--I've always enjoyed writing, and love reading others' blogs--but somehow never felt as if random strangers--or heck, even my family--would find my ramblings interesting.

I'm here now in large part because of a conversation I had with another blogger, Amanda Tinney of Disney Every Day. Amanda and I had met via Twitter and met up for lunch a few months ago. We started talking about blogging and I basically told her what I've just typed here. She suggested finding a way to write about a hobby, like singing. It stuck in my head for a few weeks as I read more and more blogs.

I realized that everyone has a story. But the blogs I enjoy most are those that have a focus which means something to their writers. My focuses these days are my family, music, getting healthy and Disney. I could certainly join the ranks of writers who cover any one of these topics, but I wanted to find a way to add something unique.

So here I am, thinking about a dream I've had since high school: to sing at Walt Disney World, and even more specifically, with the Voices of Liberty. All the things that are important to me figure into this dream. If you want to dream with me . . . and see what I'm doing to get closer to it . . . read on!