Wednesday, November 09, 2005

But I want to be 12 grain!

I should be working. Alas.

So I found out this morning that my singing was recently called "white bread." How ironic, I thought to myself, given my last post. I have never thought of myself as a white bread singer. I have always thought I had interesting colors in my voice, and that it had something "special" unlike many other reasonably accomplished singers.

Certainly, I am capable of imitating other singers with more distinctive sounds--pop, opera, jazz and otherwise. But I never feel like imitation is real--since it's not, duh--and I never feel that it's truly me.

The incident in question occurred as I was "auditioning" for a play whilst seven months pregnant. It was a general audition, hence the need to sing for a straight play. And the director has a bit of a "this isn't New York so no one is good enough" complex. But I thought I sang fairly well and gave it my usual color.

I take direction well, so when he asked me to make some changes to my song based on his suggestions, I did. He seemed happy with the results. The second song did not go as well, but probably because I don't connect to it as much. I sang fine, but nothing to write home about. Cliche, cliche.

And now I come to find out that I am considered "white bread." And this pisses me off royally. Have I been singing for so many years and have I been thought of as "white bread" for more than a decade, without anyone ever saying anything, my teachers included? Why does everyone comment on the richness of the colors in my voice if I am truly "white bread?"

And ultimately, why in the hell am I letting this very young, 20-something newbie cause me to doubt my abilities? Yes, he is talented. And yes, it is only one person's opinion.

I recently sang on a recital. Two jazz standards that were a vast departure from my normal, aria in progress or wordy musical theatre fare--I was pleased with the results. Easy choices, but given my three month old baby, I allowed myself to get away with it. Was my jazz white bread and non-distinctive as well? Am I wasting my time and money? It will probably be at least five years or more before I can tackle a role onstage, given that I have two small children. Why pump the money into lessons, if I'm only studying for personal fulfillment and the once-a-year recital?

I must muse on that for a while.

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