Reflections, moments, ideas, dreams, hopes, compositions
-“The passion behind creating has to come from the enjoyment of the every-day grind of working”-
I am so glad Megan asked us to write these little snippets of our current selves, as I find it difficult to focus on the present in my journey as an artist. I often find myself thinking about what I could have done, or what I should be doing in the future. It is easy to get lost in the self-critique of creative works, especially when you’re in such a competitive field. I also think focusing on the present really ties in well with our most recent repertoire theme, Here I Am. There is no judgment involved, only observance and proclamation of the present moment.
After I graduated in May 2016 with a BA in Music and American Studies, I found myself doing all kinds of random artistic projects. Between recording a few songs, to producing and acting in a horror-spoof film, to even singing with a funk band in Gloucester, I was certainly a Jane-of-all trades/wannabe Renaissance woman. After I had had my fun trying out different gigs, I found myself in need of money and therefore a real job. After a long job search in the corporate world and a reality check, I found myself working at Improv Asylum as a box office agent and doing a few temp jobs in Arts Administration. It was then that everything started to click, or rather, crumble.
Should I pursue music education? Should I try my luck out in opera? Will my friends doubt my technical abilities and knowledge of music theory if I sing musical theatre repertoire and four-chord pop songs? Do I need some sort of performance degree to keep up with my peers? Should I become an ethnomusicologist and do field work for the rest of my life? All of these questions (and more) demanded my time and attention for a good 6 or 7 months, until I came to a few conclusions.
It simply is not plausible to know where I will be in five years, because I hardly know where I will be tomorrow. I cannot worry about the destination, because to me, it simply is not important. I must focus on the journey (did I mention I’m a yogi?), and continue to ask myself, “What do I want to see grow? Where do I see potential?”
It cannot be about the title or the trophy, because that is not what creating art is about. The passion behind creating has to come from the enjoyment of the every-day grind of working, practicing, networking, and creating. From that, I hope, will blossom some sort of collective of passion projects.
This is why I am so happy to be singing with Voices 21C, because our performances are all about being in the moment, and about delivering the music from a place of inner and outer acceptance. We do not strive to be the best choir in the country, and we do not think we are so entitled as to create peace among nations. Instead, we focus our energy on how to perform our repertoire so that we can spark insight and ideas among our audiences. We hope they will realize things about themselves, just as we are realizing things about ourselves while we are performing!
So, what is my current passion project? Well, I do music therapy in Jamaica Plain every once in a while. I’ve performed at a few open mics, taken a theatre improv class, have half of an album written and a fourth of a musical script written (you can guess what happened), and I am now creating a repertoire list of jazz and musical theatre songs to work on for the next few months. And, I sing with my Voices 21C family!
I suppose you could say that my project is trying to figure out where I want to put most of my energy over the next year or so. In the meantime, I will keep aspiring to have as much stamina as Andre de Quadros!
(Side note: I guess I should mention that I will be attending NYU’s masters program in Performing Arts Administration in Fall 2017…I had to figure out some way to get my foot in the door of the NYC performing arts scene!)