Join me today, August 3 (my birthday!), in celebrating youth and fitness. This year, I’m running the ING New York City Marathon on November 4. It’s my first race ever, and each Saturday, I run more than I’ve run in my life at one time. This week, it’ll be 8 miles! I’m learning so much about nutrition, motivation, and my own limits and can only imagine what it might benefits I might have reaped if I had learned these things at a young age, like these kids in Team for Kids’ running programs. It would mean so much to me if you could take a moment to check out my website at Team for Kids and consider joining me by making a donation. Reaching my fundraising goal would be the best birthday present ever.
Update coming soon. Well, let’s just say I’ve busied myself lately, surrounded by geniuses and working harder to walk among them. In the meantime, I wanted to alert my New York City fans to a great last minute opportunity.
Kent Tritle’s Organ Recital. Tonight. 8pm. You have 2 hours to get there. Go.
Seriously, aside from the fact that the title of the event rhymes brilliantly, Kent Tritle is an incredible organist. According to an extremely talented friend of mine who has played upon this recently refurbished Schantz organ, it remains one of the best early music organs on the East side. If that doesn’t mean much to you but you love the organ, believe me, you’ll understand by the end of the concert.
Tonight, Kent will feature works by George Crumb, Larry King, Ned Rorem, and Julius Reubke, and I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret attending.
Meanwhile, because many of these gigs still leave me mostly unemployed, I’ve taken a side job or two in art modeling, in focus groups, and with the charity auction ibidmobile team mentioned in last week’s post. With little money and only two fully open spaces on my calendar between now and April 25, every second, penny, and friendly face feels almost painfully precious. Given the recent news of earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation leaks, and explosions, all from one unexpected event, perhaps I ought to continue this attitude throughout and beyond each of my busy days.
Last evening, I had the chance to earn a little money again with ibidmobile, a somewhat tiring but important job helping to facilitate silent auctions for charities. Five hours on my feet with an ipad, talking over music and hundreds of guests? Not a situation I generally would seek out as a singer who needs to rehearse in the morning. I could have grumbled about at least a handful or two of things, as any work provides such an obviously tempting atmosphere for complaints. I may have even heard one or two from other employees in passing.
Instead of joining in, something came over me tonight in a very exciting way that required no alcohol whatsoever, and I hope to take it from last night into each of my every endeavors this month. No, at last evening’s Nightingale-Bamford School charity event, I chatted with friends about fun auction items near NCG 1350 and the Andromeda Galaxy at the American Museum of Natural History while waiting for the guests to arrive. I helped at least a few people win their coveted experiences, wines, and lunches, ran into a friend who works at the school, and met a drummer interested in hearing me sing for his world music group. When for a brief moment signal interference paused the auction, we danced with incredibly fun and generous guests under the blue whale. At the end of definitely my favorite of these events thus far, a great girls’ school had raised a very significant amount of money for tuition and scholarships.
Tomorrow brings more recital rehearsal and an evening of running from a puppet with a club. I hope you’ll join me here and in person for the rest!
APRIL IN PARIS: A Romantic Recital by Opera Singer, Abigail Wright and Pianist, Eugene Sirotkine
Ah spring! Retreat to Paris this April 16th at 7pm with mezzo-soprano, Abigail Wright and pianist Eugene Sirotkine for a romantic recital with a French accent at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Teaneck, NJ. There will be a reception immediately following the event.
Ms. Wright is an accomplished singer/actor whose wide-ranging career has taken her from the Metropolitan Opera stage to modeling to the world of puppetry. She has been critically acclaimed for her remarkably wide vocal range as well as for her sensitive musicality while delivering intense and dramatic performances. Eugene Sirotkine brings his expertise as a pianist, a world-renowned conductor, and a composer to their rich collaboration, inviting Ms. Wright to perform at St. Mark’s and also to sing one of his brilliant compositions, Sensation (poetry by Arthur Rimbaud).
The evening also features the song cycle Le passage des rêves (“The passage of dreams”), an exquisite new work by composer Benjamin C.S. Boyle, exploring the lush poetry of French philosopher, Paul Valéry. Other selections include Claude Debussy’s Ariettes Oubliées, set to the poetry of Paul Verlaine’s Romances sans paroles (“Songs without words”), the magically evocative Shéhérazade by Maurice Ravel, and a set of English language songs – including Vernon Duke’s April in Paris, of course!
Tickets can be purchased at the door, for a suggested donation of $15, to benefit St. Mark’s.
What: “April in Paris: A Recital with Abigail Wright and Eugene Sirotkine”
Who: Mezzo-soprano Abigail Wright and pianist Eugene Sirotkine
When: April 16, 2011 at 7pm; reception to follow concert
Last night, I attended this month’s Obliterati event, saw my fantastic friends and met some great new ones. I heard about someone’s spacious new apartment and art studio in Bushwick, met a woman writing her first book about sex and dating, lent a sympathetic ear to a friend after a breakup, talked with someone about the intriguing prospect of writing a blog post for Spa Week, introduced an awesome guy to my friend The Date Coach, and met Peter Pawlick and his friend who attended the party with a message to spread.
Simply stated, Peter wanted the people at this social media party to remember that humans are greater than the Internet. I imagine his encouraged social media fasts (and perhaps other technology fasts in general) might actually help people find deeper ties in their current relationships, while gaining a more focused opportunity for self-discovery. On the other hand, my recent dives into the pool of social media have enhanced my life, some relationships, and even my career in ways I never could have expected.
Challenging me to jump out of my comfort zone every day, my blog has given me a restored desire to try new things, meet different people, see varied performances, and brave more auditions. Through it, I have had the opportunity to review organizations, concerts, and experiences and encourage people to attend worthwhile events. Shockingly to me, Twitter has provided me an amazing vehicle for promoting friends, concerts, and even a charity or two. Occasionally, I find the random friend or colleague who busily responds less to phone calls and emails than Twitter, so it sometimes helps me to reach out in a third way and cut through the noise to get his or her attention. I also have a sneaking suspicion that all of my exposure online through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and even WordPress helps me promote my career in a way I never could have done before, just by regularly reminding at hundreds of people of my existence and hopefully my essence.
Admittedly, seeing status updates, new technologies, deals, and posted opinions not just daily but sometimes all day does wear on one’s attention span. On the other hand, shared events occur far more often and more easily with the help of the Internet. Recently, a girlfriend of mine found a cheap studio online and invited some of us to try out belly dancing. That was a fun bonding experience! Groupon led me to a new friend and great personal trainer, and a newer discount-focused website called Yipit gets delivered daily to my inbox, offering me opportunities to try out classes, food, spa services and more, all gathered from several various daily deal sites according to my interests. Thankfully, for a writer with a very minimal budget, sites like these help me immensely!
I heard about Yipit and another website I hope to use very soon called Kickstarter from the April 18, 2010 article entitled “Tweet Tweet Boom Boom” in New York Magazine. Its author, Doree Shafrir, talks about technology-based social media startups in New York, their optimism, and their unusual outlook that technology really can bring people closer together. Despite the obvious dangers of constantly posting one’s status and location on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and especially Foursquare, I do believe that the benefits far outweigh the threats to safety, especially when we can carefully accept or deny friendship invitations and control our postings. For a girl who spent four years as a child living in a village in Ohio, I can’t recount how many times a day a big grin develops on my face from running into my friends in the street or even online in this great village of Manhattan. I never knew a big city could feel to me like such a small town.
A new colleague of mine brilliantly accompanied an audition for me yesterday. We met briefly at her production of Handel at the Gershwin in early March. Doubtless she would not have remembered me from only that meeting; however, I wrote a rave review of that event, and she blogged about my post. Finding her on a website for singers called YAP Tracker, listed as an available accompanist at yesterday’s venue, I called her right away and had a great audition. Thank you technology and Jennifer Peterson.
When speaking in the hallway afterwards, Jennifer and I talked about technology and media’s impact on relationships and careers. In response to my mention of the New York Magazine article, she tweeted an article to me about Amish business ethics and how a lack of technology has likely allowed them more reliable percentages of success. One Amish businessman named has allowed some technology into his practices, and I think on either side of the h > i argument, we can all agree with his response. “How far do you let technology affect your business? I guess you just have to stay true to your convictions and draw your own lines and not overdo it where you lose the values and your way of life.” Here’s to all of my friends and family: a jargarita to celebrate finding ways online and off to deepen our relationships and enhance our lives.