Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tired of Me

Sometimes when I'm teaching I think to myself:
'I'm so tired of me - la la la - blah blah blah - jump, run, dance - twirl, swing, clap - shake, tap, snap- etc, etc, etc. I wonder if the adults watching me feel the same.'
I can tell that the kiddies are having fun, but gosh there's only so much toddler entertainment that a grown adult can take.
Then again I do give 12 performances a week - most of the adults only catch me once a week.
I think I have good reason to be tired of me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diva Battle

This Sunday I'm going to see Kathleen Battle. This will be the second time I've seen her in concert. 11 yrs ago my parents bought me a $125 ticket to see my favourite diva as a gift to celebrate my high school graduation. It was so exciting!!! I dressed up in my prom dress and headed to the gala opening of the Mississauga Living arts centre all by myself. I sat in the 3rd row from the stage and was mesmerized by the diva as soon as she opened her mouth. I always really liked her voice and she was just so wonderful to see and hear in person. She lived up to everything I had imagined her to be. She was such a story teller and just so beautiful.

What I secretly have always loved about Kathleen is that she has gained the reputation of a "Diva". She certainly hasn't earned that title as one of respect either. She has the reputation of being a stereotypical ego driven opera diva. The met fired her in 1994 because of her diva attitude. And there are several stories about her performances in Toronto. Including one where she threw her accompanist off the stage and sat and accompanied herself for the remainder of the concert. . . . .

I really think that's her game though . . . she now has to live up to that reputation . . . so something divaesque has to happen at every concert. . . it's like everyone in the audience is waiting for her diva moment.

Back in 1997 her diva moment came apres intermission. She came out on the stage traipsing across in a slow dramatic way, then suddenly stopped when she noticed a music stand sitting on the stage that was not supposed to be there. She paused, turned her head, and glared at the stand for what felt like hours, she then swiftly turned around and knocked on the stage wing that had just been closed. The poor stage hand came out and Kathleen dramatically gestured with one arm to the lone music stand and said in a crisp projected voice "I'd like that music stand removed from the stage." . . . . if it were a soap opera I'm sure that dramatic "dun dun dun" music would have rang out in the background at that very moment. The poor stage hand apologized, scurried quickly onto the stage and removed the stand. Must have been incredibly humiliating for him. But it was what we were all waiting for. To me it just seemed a part of the act. I actually found it quite amusing. . . . . and I still find it amusing to this day.

As I've grown as a singer over the past 11 years, I've come to realize that Kathleen is not at all the greatest singer around. . . her diction is actually pretty atrocious, and she has a few bad vocal habits that singers should not imitate. I still do enjoy her voice though and there has certainly never been any doubt in my mind that it's her charisma that makes her.

My taste has matured since 1997 as I have come to admire other singers for their technical abilities and dramatic abilities. Nonetheless, Ms. Battle continues to be a great inspiration for me; afterall, the tales of her "lovely" Diva displays and the opportunity to actually witness one in person prompted the creation of my alter ego, "Diva" 11 years ago:) I really do need some new material . . . I can't wait to see what she pulls out of her extra long flowing diva train this time around . . . . if she doesn't please me I'll be super disappointed. I may just have to start a diva cat fight in the middle of her recital!! Now that'll be a Battle worth fighting - just for the sheer entertainment of it all:)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Me on TV

So, last night the Mom's were talking and decided that I should seriously consider doing what I do on Television . A compliment? Yes . . . I think it means that I'm doing a good job at entertaining their 2 yr olds.
Since the Polka Dot Door is no longer around, perhaps I should consider applying to be one of those hosts on Sesame Street. I always liked Bob. . . he sang nice songs, spoke sign language and always helped Telly with his anxiety. He's still on the show after all these years too. Could be a promising career move, I could be the washed up opera diva who moves into the cardboard box next to Oscar's can, with several of her neurotic cats (muppet cats of course) and spends her day singing songs to all her muppet friends . . . . I wonder how I'd go about pitching that one to the Children's Television Workshop.