Tag Archives: James Lapine

Tough Few Days

Thursday October 6th 2016

1 2I was so discouraged today. Didn’t want to go out to play at all. I was depressed. Started thinking about Martha’s Vineyard and how much I miss it. We will probably never go there again and I don’t know why. I loved Martha’s Vineyard. We were so supported there. I wish we had more of that. I was hoping we’d do a show once a year in Martha’s Vineyard, but that’s not happening. Not one person who saw the shows liked us enough to bring us back. It depresses me a lot when I think about it.

The park seemed busy and quiet. Three people were waiting for us to begin. One woman sat on a pillar. She had unicorn hair, like me. She had seen us last week, went to our website, read my blog and listened to all of our music. Her name was Rachael. I love that. Such a rare thing. No one has said anything about my blog for months. It’s hard to keep going when no one seems to care. It takes every fiber of our being to do what we do. It’s so easy for someone to write something, say something, throw us a dollar. The least anyone can do is show a little support.

Rachael sat and watched our entire prayformance. It helped to have one person witnessing us. We got through an hour and 40 minutes and I just couldn’t perform anymore. It wasn’t as bad as yesterday, but it was still slow. Rachael knelt and spoke with us while we packed up. The amplified trio started playing. Whenever we hear them, we get sad. I called the park rangers, but who knows if they would come. We walked to the train, got salads for dinner and went home.

Wednesday October 5th 2016

Today was tough. I wasn’t very inspired to get up and got out to play, but I did. I did very simple makeup and hair, but I felt beautiful. That’s all that matters.45Dan Rubin came and Cover Story was performing. They hadn’t been at the tunnel for a week. We missed them! They said hello to us. They had a big crowd and it was quiet, so we thought we’d have a great day. Not so much.

We had big crowds but that was it. Generosity? Clapping? Not so much. The entire two hours, the same. A big crowd would gather, they’d clap tentatively, then no one (or maybe just one or two people) would come forward and they’d all just stand there staring at us. No one said anything to us. It was especially hard after seeing a sold out show where people were laughing and cheering and clapping emphatically the night before. We are alone, especially when things get hard. Our frustrations, our bad days aren’t very important to anyone.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

I know. Boo hoo, poor me! I’m a world traveling musician who makes a living singing, only two hours a day. Easy you’d say. The truth is, it’s not! We’re struggling every day to get up and do it by ourselves. It is our choice to do it. That’s why no one else in the world does what we do. It’s too hard! I do wish it wasn’t such a lonely path. At least I have my Bunny. Being yourself requires trudging along through life alone. The fact I found someone to be at my side is incredible. We are alone, together, fighting the constant and daily uphill battle to make our art in this unfair and unjust world.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

The fact we’re still doing it, that Thoth has been doing this for half his life is staggering. No matter how many great days we have, the days always get hard again. That’s life. We treated ourselves to salads and doughnuts for dessert.

Monday October 3rd 2016 and Tuesday October 4th 2016

So Monday and Tuesday (our days off) were pretty chill. On Monday we went to see a movie on 23rd St. and got a sandwich, doughnuts (at the best doughnut shop in NYC, Doughnut Plant) and ate our (free) leftovers from Sunday night at home. For how little I eat, I f’ing LOVE food!

On Tuesday we stayed in the house all day until time to go see “Falsettos” on Broadway. Sarah Kernochan, James Lapine’s wife, got us free tickets in the orchestra. (James is the director and book writer of the show.) We got there early and got a juice to tide us over for dinner. Picked up our tickets at the box office and went in.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was James. I got up and hugged him. Such an awesome guy. We haven’t seen him since our opera commission last August in Martha’s Vineyard. He’s one of those people I love and admire a lot yet hardly ever see, like my other friend James, from England.

The first act was hysterical. The second act was more serious. I liked the first act more. James talked to us a little when the show was over. The show is in previews so he has to be there to watch it and give notes at the end. Stressful. We walked to 41st St. to have burgers for dinner. It was past midnight when we got home.

Living the Dream

Thursday September 10th 2015

We decided to do errands instead of going out to play today. IMG_20150910_102856548#1 It was supposed to rain heavily, but it was only a light drizzle. We took the day to shop at Trader Joe’s and go to the bank. The carry home wouldn’t have been possible without Jadelyn and Adam’s granny cart and freezer bags they lent us. Once we got all that done we could relax the rest of the day. We always have to spend lots of money when we first arrive in a new city, then we slowly make it back as we perform. There’s no way of getting around it. The trick is trusting we’ll have a successful season and everything will turn out well.

At home, I watched our friend Benjamin Zander’s various videos on Youtube, one being his great TED talk and the other his masterclass with a young soprano doing the final movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. Both were very enlightening.  He is such an incredibly astute musician and so enthusiastic about it. It’s astounding that we know him and of course he displays and talks about the same things I heard in his videos. It’s a very different thing to know someone as opposed to know about them. I also watched James Lapine giving a commencement speech for The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. It conveys his natural humor, which we experienced firsthand. It just astounds me that both of these people know us and have heard us at our best. Who knows what can happen! I feel that I must be living a charmed life. IMG_20150910_160943325 IMG_20150910_161820656 IMG_20150910_171014404Thoth made chicken for dinner and I talked with Jadelyn until 11pm. “You’re living the dream.” she said.

2nd Performance of Esh and Ee-ay in Martha’s Vineyard!!

Sunday September 7th 2015

Sarah Kernochan came over at noon to give us notes. All were to help make the story more clear. Who knows if I would be able to remember and incorporate them! It’s fantastic to have someone who knows our music well enough and can tell us if something doesn’t make sense theatrically. We’ve never had that kind of person who could help us like that before! She had found some maple leaves on her walk and put them on her nose while she was talking. It was so funny, and she was being really serious. I had to immediately start doing my makeup when she left. I felt much more relaxed and ready today. I did a totally different look from last night. God this is so much fun!

Right before we left for the show, I checked my email. Wendy had sent something out to everyone saying “As you surely know, the response and buzz has been very very very good and if I do say so myself WELL DESERVED.” Now that made me feel fantastic! James and Sarah came to pick us up.

IMG_20150906_174901912We got ourselves ready and I got some pictures…

The great James Lapine and wonderful Sarah Kernochan. IMG_20150906_174934342 Here’s Thoth on the stage laughing at something James said. IMG_20150906_175028221Aren’t they cute? (James doesn’t like that word.)
IMG_20150906_175058152 unnamed-1unnamed-2My sister called while we were rehearsing and I put the phone to James’ ear. “Who is this?” she said. “A good friend of your sister’s.” he said. “Guess who that was?” I said taking the phone back. “I don’t know.” she said. “It was James Lapine.” I said. “Oh my god. Can I talk to him again?” she asked. I put the phone back to his ear. “Thank you. I’m happy to make people laugh.” he responded to whatever sis said.

James was cracking us up while we were rehearsing. Whenever we’re around him, he’s always making us laugh. That’s how he is. He’s very, very funny. It helps relax everyone. He’s the most laid back director I’ve ever worked with. No ego, no agenda, he’s just happy to help out in the creative process. No wonder he’s won so many Tony Awards. 🙂
IMG_20150906_180713041Uh oh, he’s coming for me… 🙂IMG_20150906_180717915That’s Wendy in the background and the Narrator to the right of James.
IMG_20150906_182458069 I was happy James would be staying for the show tonight. He has been such a tremendous, unexpected help to us. “Thank you so much James.” I said hugging him before going backstage. “No, thank you.” he said.

Thoth backstage before the show. IMG_20150906_184439790 The audience wasn’t as big as last night, but they were much more comfortable with us. I made more (unnoticeable) mistakes tonight because I was trying to incorporate Sarah’s notes. Thoth sweat his ass off (as usual.) He’s such a force to be reckoned with on stage. I think I added a lot of new shades to my character tonight. Being on stage with my husband makes me feel protected, while allowing me to fully be myself. I have expanded my violin abilities in a huge way this year. People see us as musical and creative equals. 11265308_10153570440609544_3290635441654181470_oWe are extremely expressive in general, but on stage even more so. This opera has forced me to do things on stage I’ve never done before.
10255522_10153570441719544_258578899548043165_oWe got another standing ovation and we stomped our bells while people clapped. That was fun. We played “Gypsy Dance” as an encore. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a musician through this work.

More people came to the reception tonight and we sold a lot more CDs. That made me so happy. IMG_20150906_210225877 The three conductors who were invited came to the reception. Ben, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, came straight up to me and told me his impression. He was so enthusiastic! That’s him on the left. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I’ve never heard a voice like yours before.”  Wow!IMG_20150906_210312055 All three of them loved the show. Meeting them was a highlight of the night for me!IMG_20150906_210317154#1James and Sarah came to the reception, but they had to rush to another event afterwards. I was able to thank James again. He held me by the hands and said, “You were amazing.” I blew him a kiss and he blew me one back.

 

Kate Taylor came. She was at the house party the other night and was so excited to see the show. Of course she loved it.

IMG_20150906_210703612 I love her style!IMG_20150906_210722496#1 People were bombarding us for CDs and showering us with compliments. That’s such a great thing about doing shows here. We get such great feedback! IMG_20150906_210903818 Puppies!IMG_20150906_210906822A lady is writing a review for Wendy. IMG_20150906_211254530She loved how I pulled the audience in with my little expressions towards them. She adored my expressions.  I wish I could remember what everyone said! I want to hold them in my mind forever! To have such incredible people loving us truly validated my feelings for what were doing. We are amazing, people do love us and good things will happen for us.

Wendy and Caroline took us to dinner afterwards. Wendy gave us fantastic feedback (I wish I recorded it) and read us some of the famous people’s reactions to the show (all positive.) Tony Shalhoub and Carrie Fisher both loved it last night, and Bob Brustein came tonight and was besotted. Lots of incredible people come to shows in MV. What an incredibly successful weekend!!!

PS. The show was filmed, so we’ll have to cut it all together and it will eventually be available for viewing!