New Year, Old Me

Welcome to my new blog! This has been a project that I have had on my mind for over a year. It has been fun for me to share my professional life with you through Facebook and Instagram, but those platforms don't provide as much detail as I would like. What does it really mean to be a classical singer? To travel and audition? To work a job away from home? I'm looking forward to shining a brighter light on this job that I love so much. 

 Visiting the Badlands. The dogs are looking just thrilled! 

Visiting the Badlands. The dogs are looking just thrilled! 

To recap much of 2015, the themes would have to be travel and change. After completing a young artist program in Colorado, I almost immediately jumped into rehearsals for The Magic Flute in Idaho. Once the show closed, my husband and I hit the road with our two dogs for a cross country move to Virginia. We saw, we conquered, we arrived! Well, sort of. I began making almost weekly trips to New York City for auditions and made stops in New Jersey to visit my husband while he was taking a class. Our dogs were staying with my family in Maryland and we still needed to move into our house in Virginia. Throw in a trip to Oregon for a few Messiah performances and a fractured kneecap for good measure. Life was hectic! While a plan may look good on paper, this was a wonderful lesson that you must include time to re-charge. 

 We woke up like this. 

We woke up like this. 

By the end of the year, I was feeling exhausted, uninspired, and completely burned out. So much time on the road means always sleeping in a new place. Not being able to make your favorite foods. Being disconnected from your family and friends. Continually putting yourself out there in audition settings, which can be incredibly stressful. It was becoming difficult to summon up the mental strength and stamina needed to perform well for the panel. I was finding myself losing focus in the middle of arias. How could I be the heartbroken Pamina, the sexy Musetta, the determined Juliette, when I myself was the bleary-eyed Courtney? What I needed desperately was time to relax at home, in an unpacked house, with husband and dogs; refilling the well of creativity and healing my body of its injuries. 

Cue the New Year. Traditionally, this is viewed as a time to set goals, either lofty or modest. To focus on self improvement and plan new adventures and experiences. While I have set goals this year, my biggest focus is to get back to myself; the old me. Does this seem to go against all that the New Year stands for? Yes! The old me enjoyed practicing and used a practice journal to keep on track. She loved the researching, emailing, studying, etc., that goes into this career. As I evaluated what I want to achieve in 2016, I kept thinking that the old me would go above and beyond the goals I was setting for myself. She was motivated and inspired, and wasn't deterred by a roadblock here and there. In this new year, I resolve to come back from burnout and see where the old and new me can go, together, in 2016.