Stay happy, strong, and healthy
I love you very much!
Stay happy, strong, and healthy
I love you very much!
I am writing this post as a reflection. This is not the typical happy post that the title implies. This title was based on the sermon for a funeral today to celebrate a music teacher’s homecoming. Our wonderful friend died while on a Thanksgiving cruise, living the life that she dreamed.
I posted on Fakebook aka Facebook today but deleted it. My thoughts would probably untangle in a blog post better than upset my colleagues and friends who were at the service.
I contemplate death during the holidays, anytime really. This was the fourth music educator to die during service during my tenure. After the funeral, I just rested and reflected about this today since I really don’t have much time to reflect that much.
What does it mean to die before retirement? Are you living the life that you dreamed? My hope is yes. Contemplating my existence, I can say that I am doing what I enjoy. I’m not for everyone. I consistently stay busy; however, it’s been awhile since I’ve booked gigs. Hopefully, that will change soon. I’ve gone back to class and taking my time exploring and submitting quality auditions. Booking union jobs is much harder and creating your own jobs take time. Grateful that I do multiple creative outlets.
Blessed are the creatives who pursue and achieve the life of their dreams and desires.
At the end of the day, I create; however, I am a teacher. My salary supports me creatively all day long. I’m thankful for that too. However, the math slapped me in the face as it usually does. I entered the teaching profession at 24 and will hopefully leave at 54. That’s tough to know that I won’t be a young woman at all. Youth is in the mind. However, I gasped at my own situation. My youth was spent doing things that I enjoyed and I’m forever grateful to earn a living at it. It was tough at times. God placed me in a wonderful position that I’m forever grateful; I work in a performing arts school and it’s a gratifying place to work for a creative.
Death. Life. (in reverse). Are you and I living the life that you dreamed? I can’t speak for the after life. We are not in it. However, let’s live in hope and happiness today and everyday. Live the life of your dreams.
It’s really up to us.
I had an ENT visit yesterday that I can share with you.
The ENT (ears, nose, and throat) is also called an Otorhinolaryngologist.
I wanted to check my vocal folds (term also used is vocal cords) to see if there was anything that I should be concerned about. I had overused my voice on a particular day and since I’m in a choral group, teach choir to young singers, speak as a voice-over talent, act, and sing at times, it was time for a check-up.
The specialist was great. I highly recommend Buckhead ENT in Atlanta, GA.
If you’ve never been to an ENT, I procedure is not painful. However, it is uncomfortable.
Spray goes into your nostril on both sides. A tube with a light at the end is inserted into one nostril down to your vocal folds.
I was asked to hum, sing a high sound, ascend and descend vocally so that full coverage could be viewed.
I had gone to the PCP earlier due to my throat issue and discovered that I had acid reflux. The ENT did see redness due to the acid reflux. However, my vocal folds were fine, yay!
There are many issues that can occur as a vocalist, speaker, and teacher. I encourage people to take care of your voice with simple things.
These are very simple ideas; however, they work.
For the website of Buckhead ENT; see below:
Good Sunday Afternoon!
It’s been an interesting long hot summer with the 2016 election. Hopefully, it will be over soon whether we like the result or not. Please vote!
My posts are updates as a talent.
That’s the completion of my status at this time. A film project is complete and I hope to finally complete my audiobook project in September 2016. I will write an update on that project next.
Enjoy your life. You only live once.
It’s been five months since I last wrote on my blog. It was a purposeful decision. I really didn’t have much to say during these five months that wasn’t totally about me dealing with personal issues. I’m moving beyond the personal and back to the professional to some degree today. It’s been a purification of water, fire, air, and dirt (thrown in my face). I’ve been extremely blessed to work in a performing arts school that’s about five minutes from home which is beyond cool and extraordinary. There are constant performances in choral and instrumental music with my students including drama, dance, and art. I’m eternally grateful to become a part of the faculty.
Today’s purpose is about voice-overs as a union talent in a right to work state. I was sent a non-union voice-over audition from my agent in FL who knows that I’m a union actor. Heck, I have SAG-AFTRA on my website. So, I’m being tested to check if I will do a non-union gig under the table. That is the only rationale that I can think of at this point since they needed decent, good, or great African-American women to submit the audition and send that baby to the client. Apparently, I passed the test of “decent” enough that they wanted me to submit.
(Sigh)……I have the desire to post on my Facebook and biz pages that I do not accept non-union work since my agent is on my friend’s list. That is just a reminder to them. However, no, I will not. They know. I’m just being tested.
So, I’m sending my a$$ to Nancy Wolfson to become more bad-a$$ and see if I can book the gigs that I hope she sends my way and book the sh!*&t out of them. After that, I’m sending my a$$ to Celia Siegel for marketing help.
If a talent chooses Fi-Core, then fine. However, I’m not Fi-Core. I get plenty of non-union auditions daily. I don’t do them. I audition as a union talent. I’m sharing this since a talent has to stand up for what they believe in doing. Morals trump money (so that’s why I’m broke…hmmm). Most of the time, it’s the other way around. I’ll keep my morals (thank you God). If I want more money, I don’t prostitute. I work as a bartender or pet sitter or teach music/drama lessons if I need more money. We all need more money. However, I’ve come to realize the whore side of this business. It’s not for children and yet child actors need protection as well. It’s a crazy, ruthless, stab-you-in-the-back-kind of business. Yet, I have some morals that I choose to keep. I intend to keep them (praise God) and will work towards that end.
So, I’m working now locally and my auditions have improved. I’ll continue to work hopefully with sessions when I can afford them with Nancy Wolfson and company (Jeff who?). It’s a matter of showing up and showing out.
Parents beware. Raise your children to become excellent people first. If they want to work in the arts, they will find their way. Raise your child and pray for them daily.
Meanwhile, be bad-a$$. That’s what this takes. I don’t know how the ending will come out. However, nothing less than your best will do. Get the best and do your best.
Today is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
Thank you for following this blog to the small group out there that has done so. If you stumbled on this blog, welcome to my little world at GVOS and Me. You’re appreciated much more than you know.
Today, I want to share my thoughts (I do more of this than anything else), about the triple threat talented person in the arts.
It’s wonderful to have many talents. My thoughts come from protecting your talent and cultivating it at the same time.
It takes money, time, and continuous effort to hone the skills needed for a triple threat. However, you can negate them all at once if you don’t take the time to practice, get your rest, exercise, cultivate, pay for the expertise and skills from masters that you admire. Is it really a triple threat if you don’t take care of your instrument, body, and health? Is working too much too much for you?
I like well-rounded individuals. However, there comes a time when you have to say to yourself when and where should a person focus in their careers. A person should want a family and cultivate healthy relationships with friends and co-workers.
Whatever your triple threat was or has become, maybe reconsider your goals, objectives, skill sets with the time, money, and patience that’s involved. I’ve said that I’ve asked for forgiveness about asking to become a triple threat in my past. I concentrate on music (choral directing/singing), acting (film), voice overs (long form narration). I’ve done more in music than in any other discipline. However, I need to focus on my acting and VO as well. They are part-time disciplines while I still need to practice on my music (while earning money too, whew). I need rest, patience, and refueling of my desires to continue in the arts. If you’re not recognized for your talents, what does that mean? Are you really talented or wearing yourself out for no reason whatsoever (just asking the tough questions…).
I have to take one day at a time. Hopefully, those many days will produce more product for myself and my talents. Also, I have to say that if God really wants me to continue in these talents, show me the way. There are times that I’m at a loss for direction. However, I’m glad to listen for it from the sources that are positive for me.
What about you? I tend to hash out my belief system on here with inner conflicting questions no doubt. Sometimes, questioning then action remains helpful in one’s journey.
If you are a triple threat, good for you. If you have one talent that you’re good at, good for you. The one benefit of being a triple threat is that when one area becomes static, you can switch to another area to focus on that feeds back to the original talent. Disciplines feed off each other. You also might have other sources of revenue stream as well. However, do you really become a master in that area? It takes a lifetime to become a master unless you’re born a prodigy.
Think and ponder, then get back to work. If you enjoy what you do, that’s half the battle in one’s life solved.
Happy New Year 2016!
First… I do not usually create New Year’s resolutions. However, I do have some thoughts about the New Year that I would like to share…be yourself.
We keep our true selves hidden from others. If you have committed a crime, then I can see why. Jokes aside, we change ourselves to gain acceptance for more friends, fame, money, etc.
Who are you? What are your interests? What do you like or dislike? In simplest terms this is basic. However, we are very afraid to remain ourselves to the outside world due to criticism. No one enjoys criticism so we shun our personality from the world which includes social media.
I don’t know how long that I will continue to post. I do not seek attention although I have a business and am in the entertainment field. I need to make a living but want a life. However, these are some things that I will share on social media. I’m going rogue but here it is.
These statements may or may not matter to people. I would like to make money blogging but I’m not interested in mass acceptance by the public: so my bad, oh well. If you want, you can send me one dollar via PayPal. I’m joking but not really. I can accept a gift if I helped in any way. lol
Unfortunately, this blog has been more about me and reflection than GVOS. Fortunately, I’ve kept to my premise based on the title of this blog and have kept up with the writing. I impressed myself this time. Maybe you will also find something that interest you and keep it up as well. If it doesn’t serve you, let it go. I will work on the same principle. Also, I won’t let fear keep me from trying new things. If I make a discovery, I’ll share it.
Enjoy your life. I will take one day at a time. Life is too short for nonsense. Be you and the best that you can be. Happiness is a choice.
There has been many events that have occurred this summer (not to mention US events like marriage equality and Obama care).
Life has been a wild ride! Enjoying the ride with its crazy and life altering changes. I’m still here; that’s what matters.
1. I start a new job with a performing arts school. Glad to join the faculty.
2. Booking union VO gigs via the website and word of mouth including the Voxy Ladies website. Glad to book as a union talent in a right to work state. The non-union talents are killing it due to lower rates. However, I’m well and glad for that as a union talent.
3. Got a roommate. We were both theatre majors so we have things in common.
4. Graduated from bartending school. I learned a new skill. Actually, my roommate and I both went. We’re having private parties for friends. Will work event gigs on the weekends as well if needed. Glad for the new skills for a few gigs.
5. Met my favorite playwright, Pearl Cleage, and choral composer, Roger Emerson, this summer for workshops.
6. A theatre owner passed away who hired me as an actor many years ago, S Craig McConnell. It was unexpected. I went to see him in the hospital and later to his funeral. Others passed as well, however, I didn’t know her, Jo Noonan.
7. On the mend from unexpected outpatient surgery. Life is interesting.
It seems that I’ve been cutting down trees to reach a destination. I’m ready to plant gardens and stay awhile. The work is continuous and I’m glad for the work. My goal is to work smarter, not harder. A life in the arts is not for the faint hearted. Diligence, passion, exercise, perfect practice, and reflection is a part of it. Ask for forgiveness if you asked too much. It’s a calling and few are chosen. I’m thankful to remain. Want excellent work sent from me. It’s not about the money but I’m worth every penny! 😉
I’m slowing down a bit. However, I’m building more meaningful relationships. If you are reading this post, then thanks for being here. I don’t have nor want a lot of readers. It’s not a popularity contest. My blog has become a reflective personal journey which includes info on the arts, specifically VO. It’s become more personal than what I have expected. I’ll post more VO related (and arts related info soon).
Until next time,
Enjoy Life, Life is to be enjoyed!
There are many great speeches and songs about dreams, for instance, “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and “I woke up this morning with my mind on freedom..”
I woke up this morning myself dreaming very specifically. I don’t mind sharing my dream. It’s very specific, and lately, they usually are.
My dream was about my voice teacher Miss Florence Kopleff. We visited each other. We were outside walking. You see later in life, she could barely walk. I think that a leg was amputated from what I heard but she could walk briskly with me. We had a very nice conversation. She was my voice teacher at GSU in the late 80s and early 90s. We spoke about our time there. I didn’t tell her but she knew about my new position at the performing arts school that I will be at as faculty in the Fall.
We were able to honestly discuss my work at GSU as a student. You see, we didn’t get along as teacher and student. She was a screamer and I always shut down which I believed hindered my growth as a vocal student. I moved on to another studio after undergrad in college and did fine afterwards. However to this day, I don’t like people screaming at students even if they are passionate: I hear the scream but not the meaning behind the words.
You see: Miss Kopleff was a gifted singer. However, I had trouble learning from her. I should have went to another voice studio but I wasn’t placed in one. I wasn’t the only student who had trouble with her. I saw students walk out of her studio before. The personalities crashed, even with the best singers.
When she died, I hated her. I have since accepted my responsibility as a student in her vocal studio and asked forgiveness from God and moved on. However, maybe she knew that and we were able to speak honestly and freely with each other.
She told me what not to do and some of my issues in the past. I also spoke about my MA work later in life. We were walking the whole time outside in what seemed to be Washington D.C.
I asked if she wanted a cupcake. For some reason, I was thinking three cupcakes for Miss Kopleff, myself, and a third (maybe for Robert Shaw, the great ASO conductor).
I couldn’t think of the word: Sprinkles which is a cupcake company but could come up with the word, Cami-Cakes: go figure.
We stopped at an outside eatery. We met these young boys all in a straight line in front of us and one teenager in the middle called out Miss Kopleff by name: it was Pres. John F. Kennedy, Jr. However, he was a young kid in high school. He spoke to Miss Kopleff directly. Then, Pres. Jimmy Carter spoke to us. He was closer to me. Their features were very clear. These were young boys or teenagers. He was also a young kid, a teenager. He was to the right of Pres. JFK, Jr. a few boys were seated, then Pres. Jimmy Carter was seated. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was about 8-9 years old to my far left with a few (maybe two or three all together) other African-American boys. They seemed to be the only African-Americans there. In my Spirit or Soul, I knew who he was but it was not spoken aloud. He was giggling with some of his friends.
There was a whole line of young boys from what I could see in a straight line talking (some to her or us directly) as I was standing next to Miss Kopleff. Then, I woke up.
That was ten minutes ago since I wanted to preserve this dream in my blog and type it for posterity.
Maybe Miss Kopleff wanted to speak with me and knew that I had laid my issue with her to rest. She also knew my future and was happy for me although she never mentioned it.
I purposefully didn’t write everything that we spoke about since that is between us. Miss Kopleff will remain one of the most influential people in my personal development. I learned a lot of what I like and didn’t like as a student and now as a faculty member in the performing arts.
May she rest in peace, and may I move forward with great work in my present and future. I’ve accomplished great work in my past with multi-cultural and Latino students for the past twenty years. I’m happy to work with performing arts students in my future.