Last evening marked our second public performance of Dried Tobacco! Many thanks to Roosevelt University CCPA, Associate Dean and Director of the Music Conservatory Dean Berna, and Dr. Brown, Opera & Voice Chair and Coach Extraordinaire, without whom the evening’s event would not have existed.
Cass and I, along with a fantastic collaborator, Chao Gao (SHE WAS AMAZING), presented our centric movement, IV. Dried Tobacco, to the National Association of Schools of Music. It was a wonderful opportunity to show everyone our work so far and our intention with DTP. (Let’s be honest, we’ll take as much stage time as we can get!)
Here are some thoughts from tonight:
I spent the past few days prepping for this performance: reciting the text, working over the notes, reviewing the dramatic points, etc. I had my score in hand while I was lying sleeplessly in bed or while I was on the train during my daily commute. If there was one thing that I didn’t want to do, it was to screw up this infinitely important message.
A common practice for dramatic performers is to take their work to an individual that they trust, like a teacher or a coach. Thankfully, I have access to a huge pool of individuals who have already taken me to new musical heights. These are artists that I respect immensely. So I took “Dried Tobacco” to them and we poured through the work.
We tossed around several ideas, tweaking my musical interpretation and diction precision and something was said to me that I will never forget, in this project and all my endeavors to come.
I think you’ve lived with this text too long. You are losing the meaning.
You could hear my heart hit the floor when I heard this. This message, this meaning, that is so important to me and to this project, was being lost because I was too focused on being perfect. Can you say “reality check”?
So I sat on my thoughts for a few days. I didn’t look at the score. I didn’t tune out the world with my headphones and my recording of the mp3 rehearsal track. I just sat and listened to the heartache that comes with the themes that resonate so strongly in DTP.
Tonight was the night that affirmed what we are trying to do, at least for me. We are spreading a call for hope, awareness, and love. This isn’t about perfection in performance or my own self-evaluation. This project is bigger than me and I had, in a small way, lost sight of that.”
So now we’re looking forward. Cass and I are on a mission to tour this puppy around and give the message to as many people as our voice can reach! This train is running high-speed down the tracks and we are not going to stop until everyone knows what the Dried Tobacco Project is all about: Social Justice, Acceptance, Hope, and Love.
Thank you for reading my little blog entry and please follow us on our journey!
We’re around on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/brunchprojectpublishing/) and we’ve got some more exciting material that we’ll put on the website soon! (Can anyone say videos and sound excerpts!?)
Much Love and hey…you know…let’s get brunch!