Tuesday, 4 July 2017

I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it....at a mutually beneficial time for all concerned.

So, this post may come as a bit of a surprise. I said goodbye in the last diary entry and immediately regretted it because, much as my actual singing career may be going through some changes and the chances of me ever doing another musical are slim to none, I LOVE writing this blog/diary. Whether people want to read it or not is irrelevant. Of course I hope people want to and you are all most welcome to read but the simple fact is I enjoy writing it and I like that I am the Incompetent Soprano and just because I don't have support from certain quarters does not mean I have to throw in the towel on life itself. So, that said, I welcome back the Incompetent Soprano but this Incompetent Soprano is a changed woman. She no longer cares what anyone thinks of her and has new, far more interesting aspirations.

So, why have I gathered you here today? Well, today I spent a lovely few hours with a singer friend I have not seen in a long time. I think it was a meeting that we both needed to happen. We were both in need of a boost and needed a touch of inspiration. Women of a certain age need to assure each other that we are still relevant, still have something to offer and feel that there is a point to, well to life really. We sometimes lose sight of this.

We were talking about the opera business and how it has changed in the 15-20 years since we trained. I think we were there at the real start of the change and, as sensitive souls, we both found, and find, it difficult not to take things personally and had we had a touch of the bravado some of our peers had perhaps we would have gone further in our potential operatic careers. That said, who knows what would have happened in my career had I not taken "Jerry Springer: The Opera" and sidestepped into musical theatre. Of course I would not have changed this for the world, "Jerry Springer" was my favourite ever job, and you can't live life saying "what if?"

However, the fact is we grew up and trained listening to great women of all shapes and sizes singing the great operatic heroines but nowadays it seems that the first thing casting directors look for is what the singer looks like which is why so many singers with small voices are singing roles that are too big for them. This isn't sour grapes I promise and there are some "real" women out there flying the flag for us but I was so ashamed of myself for saying to my friend that there are still plenty of comedy/character parts out there for women like us. Implying that because we are both carrying a little more weight than we would like to that we can only do the parts that require an audience to laugh with (and at) us. Both of us have the ability and talent to do more than just be the light relief.

A few months back I did an audition for Tosca at The King's Head. It was the first operatic audition I had done in years and I worked really hard on my preparation for it. I came out thinking I had done one of the best auditions of my life. When I didn't get it I cried. Convinced I didn't get it because I was too fat. The first time in years I have cried at not getting a job. Of course this was bollocks. There are SO many other reasons I might have not got that job that had nothing to do with my talent. I KNOW I did a great audition and I followed this audition with 4 or 5 other auditions (for musical theatre) that were also some of the best auditions I had done, all of which also led nowhere. In fact they, cumulatively, led me to the decision I made to say goodbye to auditioning. 4 years of no is enough.

And this brings us to today. Slightly lighter of heart and feeling no stress (well, less stress). I still need the break I promised myself from performing but I have irons in the fire and I am starting to create work for myself because if I can not get other people to give me a job I will create my own. I am in control and I am responsible for my happiness and well being. So I now introduce the Incompetent Soprano 2.0 and promise to go back to being vaguely amusing, even though a relative of mine told me I am not funny and should stick to singing. Well fuck you quite frankly, I am going to stick to both!